AWESOME-tober-fest 2015: Comic adaptations of HG Wells’ The Invisible Man
I’ve always been a fan of comic book adaptations of classic literature. The most famous versions of this are the Classics Illustrated line of comics from the 50s and 60s. But several other companies jumped on that bandwagon over the years.
The original HG Wells novel was adapted several times in comic book form. Here are a few of them.
In 1955, Nesbit Publishing released Superior Stories #1 which featured an adaptation of Wells’ novel. Art and inks were done by Pete Morisi. It was a mostly faithful adaptation except that they ended the story with the death of the lead character and did not include the epilogue from the novel involving the character of Thomas Marvel. Nearly ten years later this exact adaptation would be reprinted in Fantastic Adventures #18.
In 1959 Classics Illustrated #125 would feature an adaptation of the Wells novel with art by Geoffrey Biggs. As in the last comic, this adaptation also ends with the final fate of the invisible man and completely cuts out the novel’s epilogue. It makes me wonder if these comics were actually adapting the Universal movie instead of the book.
Marvel Comics would adapt the Invisible Man novel twice.
Marvel Supernatural Thrillers #2 from 1973 would feature an adaptation of Wells’ novel. It had a script by Ron Goulant and art/layouts by Dan Adkins and Val Mayerik. The art looks pretty great in that early 70s Marvel style that I love so much. Unlike the Classics Illustrated adaptation above, this comic features the epilogue.
In 1977, Marvel Classics Comics #25 would again adapt the novel but this time with art by Dino Castrillo and Rudy Messina and a script by the great Doug Moench. I’m surprised they didn’t just reprint the Supernatural Thrillers adaptation from four years earlier in this issue, but the art and layouts are great here as well in that 70s Marvel horror style. And yes, this adaptation also includes the novel’s epilogue. Not sure why the first two comics omitted it.
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