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Wham!

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Wham

Wham! issue 1, 20 June 1964

Wham! was a weekly comic published by Odhams Press. It ran for 187 issues from 20 June 1964 to 13 January 1968, when it was merged into its sister title Pow!. Although Wham! was a typical British humour anthology, its later issues (under the Power Comics imprint) included short instalments of The Fantastic Four reprinted from American Marvel Comics.

Created by Leo Baxendale, in its early issues the comic presented both clear imitations of Beano strips, such as "The Tiddlers", a clone of his "Bash Street Kids", 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 with bizarre humour, outrageous puns, and surreal plots. The cult-figure Grimly Feendish, who was originally the most popular character in the "Eagle Eye, Junior Spy" strip, with his travelling accomplices of bats, spiders, octopuses and other creatures of darkness and slime assisting him in his schemes of world domination was created for Wham!, and survived the mergers of 1968 to end up in its brassier offshoot, Smash!

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

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