Saturday, May 24, 2014

C´est le STRANGE feeling of Deja Vue again

It seems like I´ll never get to do my ALL - STAR SQUADRON post because every time I´m about to something else comes along. Today I wanted to continue with the INFERNO crossovers but after I had everything prepared ( I even dug out my own copy of AVENGERS 300 for this ) it´s now much too late to start with that. So I´m doing something I already prepared.

As you may have already deducted from the title Today´s post involves french comics or rather the french translation of american Marvel comics.

Yes, while most comics published in France are french or franco belgian BDs ( that´s Bande Dessinees which is the french word for comics as well as for the national union of comic artists ) there are also some american comics which are translated for the french readership. And I know this because it was one of the few things that made my student exchange sojourn to France bearable. Now I don´t know for which post I was doing the research - it was either for the SECRET WARS II posts or a HULK post - but I already mentioned that I read some Marvel comics in the french version first. Although reading is probably assuming too much since I´m not really that fluent in french. But I bought a few Marvel comics during my stay in France and I still have them somewhere in my comic boxes.

The cover you see above is from a STRANGE SPECIAL and STRANGE was one of the anthologies that presented Marvel Comics to the french audience. There was also SPIDEY but I think that came later on because - aside from various special series - the main were NOVA and STRANGE. Now I´m not so sure which comics were put into which titles but unlike what you might think Spider - Man was not in SPIDEY. SPIDEY had the X - Men and the New Mutants while Spider - Man was in STRANGE which didn´t have Doctor Strange in it and NOVA also didn´t have Nova in it but rather the Fantastic Four. And to add another wrinkle on it TITANS didn´t have the Teen Titans in it but STAR WARS and a whole lot of other stuff while the Teen Titans were published in LES JEUNES TITANS. Confusing.


It´s a bit difficult to make a clear cut to which series were published in which book because Marvel comics were published in France by three different publishers ( at least as far as I know ) Aredit - Artima, Semic SA and Editions Lug and none of them were very consequent in that regard.

STRANGE was the book that started printing Spider - Man issues

but it also contained issues of AVENGERS

as well of issues from the INVINCIBLE IRON MAN

and even the FANTASTIC FOUR

who normally were in NOVA.

STRANGE was first titled as LE JOURNAL DE SPIDER - MAN and later as LE MENSUEL DE SUPER - HEROS when it also included John Byrne´s NAMOR

and even some DC books like WONDER WOMAN, BATMAN


Now NOVA had LES FANTASTIQUES ( The Fantastic Four ) !

but also sometimes issues from the SPIDER - MAN line of books,

or THE SILVER SURFER. But here´s where the real fun starts.

Because TITANS was probably the book where they just threw in everything else they couldn´t put in the other books. From CHAMPIONS




or the AVENGERS,


In some cases I think it might have been influenced by the artist because there is no other common thing about CAPTAIN AMERICA

and SILVER SURFER than that Ron Lim did the art on both series.

On the other hand they might have just liked the cosmic stuff because they also included some issues from WARLOCK & THE INFINITY WATCH.

But I´m certain they liked Alan Davis because not only did they include his excellent EXCALIBUR series ( this book has my highest recommendation )

but also his criminally short lived CLAN DESTINE adventures.

And fellow blogger Terry Hooper would probably throw a fit if I forget to mention one of his favorite series, the french super hero saga MYKROS.

So now that I got all my faithful readers out there properly worked up and totally confused let´s get to the part I really wanted to write about Today.


I want to begin the DEJA VUE section of the post with covers that are slightly altered from the original version. I know, normally I just include cover hommages or recreations but here are a few french covers that are different from the originals. Now this happens in most of the translated covers and I have posted dozens of examples from the german versions of american comics. So don´t think I´m singling out the french people.

The first one is the cover for TITANS issue 17

which not only has less background and no speech balloons or text than on the original cover but instead of the Ghost Rider it´s his alter ego Johnny Blaze who rescues the Black Widow. Riding a bike that is not burning.

This may have something to do with overprotective parent groups or even religious reasons but I don´t want to speculate without substantial info.

What I found a bit stranger was that the cover for EXCALIBUR 42

looks quite different in the french version.

I guess they couldn´t translate the written pun adequately and went with the slapstick version instead. Because you know they love Jerry Lewis.

Now in the following case they just took a splash page from the issue and used it as a cover. You might remember it from my last HULK post.


Okay, now we come to the real cover hommages which are not as many as you might think. Which explains why I thought this would be a short post before my next REAL comic post. But then I began to write about the different french publications and which series were included in which of them - which is business as usual. Just give me any excuse to rant.

So our first original cover is SILVER SURFER 14

which was not only used for issue 9 of STRANGE ( September 1970 )

but also as the cover of issue 21 of NOVA in the October of 1979.

It was also hommaged in this wonderful masterpiece by french artist Frisano ( I think I already posted his website in an earlier post ).

Now I don´t know from where this cover of STRANGE was derived

if it´s really copied from anywhere ( at least I couldn´t find the particular cover or splash page ) but Frisano does another excellent version here.

And that´s the end of this post. As usual I should be in bed for a few hours instead of writing these long posts but what else is new ?

Now before closing I have to add the usual link section which in this case is a bit odd since all of it has to do with the INFERNO CROSSOVERS which is what I originally wanted to write about. I´m not sure if it really would have taken more time then this post but here goes. UNITED MONKEE provided the original ad for the INFERNO crossover which is number 11 in COMICBOOK RESOURCES´ list of the 50 Greatest X - Men Stories ( still not published in Germany ) which is also the topic of the portugese blog LEITURAS DE BD .Comicbook Resources also does a feature on Gilgamesh in 365 Reasons to love comics and ALL ABOUT COMICS has a post on the Avengers from around issue 110 to Disassembled while SPLINTER´S REVIEWS 1st part of Walter Simonson´s AVENGERS run covers issues 291 to 293. And last but not least GENTLEMEN OF LEISURE has a post on Uncanny X - Men 230 which also includes an ad for that AVENGERS run.

Since Today´s post was all about Marvel comics the video at the end of the post is one with Stan Lee and both John Romitas. Now I know some people think Stan´s hogging all the attention but it´s worth it for a chance to see these great artists at work. And let´s be realistic, you can´t expect them to draw and entertain the viewers at the same time.

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Terry Hooper-Scharf said...

Damn right you better mention Mykros!!! Really ticked off as it seems a lot of my Bastei Mykros were stolen AND, though I can't really read French, the complete series scans I was sent are on a disc SOMEWHERE and I can't find them. Can you see them from where you are???
Joking aside, I love these foreign edition covers -especially Strange.
I only really visit two comic blogs -this one and Kid Robson's "Crivens" but you have the edge with the Euro books.
Still awaiting "Subzero's Ultimate German Super Heroes" posting! Hah!
Now, stop looking for Boob Windows and write!

Terry Hooper-Scharf said...

The Romitas with Stan is great fun. BUT you have to remember that artists tend not to be very chatty (especially while drawing) and the old guys were not great self promoters as all they were interested in was getting work, money and being able to eat! Stan is the flashy showman but he always "bigs-up" the artists. Take Kirby, always thinking about comics and very shy when interviewed -his wife did most of the talking! Great talents who were not great self promoters (I want to see an interview with Sal Buscema!) but now its less talented writers/artists who are great at self promoting. Oh -BUY MY BOOKS! please....?

SUBZERO said...

So I couldn´t find any Mykros here. All I got after looking trough the piles of Condor pocketbooks were DAS RUHMREICHE STAR - TEAM 8 and 9. Which was Condor´s version of The Mighty Crusaders. No idea why they changed the name.

Now I have to do another post on german super heroes ? I thought I had alreay covered all that. Or do you mean american super heroes in Germany ?

Terry Hooper-Scharf said...

No,no,my friend: this is a QUEST to write the ultimate post on German, home grown super heroes and see if you can beat the one I did for CBO. I did, of course (modestly) mention myself in that posting because I am the greatest creator of German super heroes ever. Thank goodness its Modesty Thursday!