Wham! (comics)

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Wham! was a weekly British comic published by Odhams Press. It ran for 187 issues from 20 June 1964 to 13 January 1968, when it merged into its sister title Pow!. Although Wham! was superficially a typical British comic in the mould of The Beano, its later issues (under the Power Comics imprint) included short instalments of The Fantastic Four reprinted from American Marvel Comics. To many of its readers, this move destroyed Wham's originality and style.

The initial success of Wham! prompted the creation of sister titles Pow! and Smash! with similar intent, and led to the formation of the Power Comics line. But as costs rose in 1968, the inevitable adjustment of content, followed by mergers of titles, made the Power Comics more like those they were attempting to replace.

Created by Leo Baxendale, in its early issues Wham! presented both clear imitations of Beano strips, such as a clone of his Bash Street Kids in the shape of The Tiddlers, and new original strips such as Eagle Eye, Junior Spy and Georgie's Germs in which he attempted to break the mould of older strips by the use of bizarre humour, outrageous puns, and surreal plots.

The cult figure Grimly Feendish, originally the most popular character in Baxendale's Eagle Eye, Junior Spy strip, with the travelling accomplices (including bats, spiders, octopuses and other creatures of darkness and slime) who assisted Feendish in his schemes of world domination, graduated to his own comic strip in Smash! in 1966.

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