Would you believe in 2017 someone on YouTube would be reviewing a comic based on the 1960s classic sitcom 'Get Smart' starring Don Adams? Well you better believe it cause its this weeks comic book feature!
SORRY ABOUT THAT CHIEF!
Get Smart #6, 1967, Dell Comics
About ‘Get Smart’
Created by the legendary Mel Brooks and Buck Henry, running for a 138 episodes from 1965 to 1970 on both NBC and CBS. The show followed the exploits of CONTROL agents Maxwell Smart, agent 86 (played by Don Adams) and his his partner 99 (played by Barbara Feldon) as they do battle against the evil origination KAOS. The show itself was a parody in a way of the spy films and TV shows of the time period, particularly the James Bond film with the rather over the top plots and schemes of the villains and various gadgets. The show is known a lot for its quick dialog as a 30 minute situation comedy, which raises questions on how well it could be adapted to a comic book format
About Dell Comics
Based out of New York, from 1929 to 1973, Dell is best known for having a lot of licensed properties in its stable of comics, from Disney comics, to the Lone Ranger, to Mission: Impossible to Sea Hunt. The Get Smart comic ran for at least 8 issues from June 1966 to until September 1967
Standard cover looking more like a magazine cover than a comic (at least when compared to what DC and Marvel were doing at the time), we get the top portion with the logo to catch the attention of people seeing it on a newsstand, the price was 12 cents, which I think was a bit below average at the time for comics (I believe DC’s books were above 25 cents at the time), and we get a image of Don Adams as Maxwell Smart… Can Smart Be Outsmarted… Can They Make A Fool Out of Smart… Is it Possible to Capture Agent Smart…. Yes! And You’d Better Believe It!
The book itself is in anthology format, featuring a trio of tales.
The first: The Kookie Kanine Kaper… sees that Max is escorting Agent K-13 (CONTROL’S Dog agent, aka Fang) to a doggy retreat in the Swiss Alps. Along with 99, it seems like a great spot for a little vacation as well, however it turns out KAOS has an agent running the facility and is hypnotizing the pooches that are brought in act as ‘spies’ with cameras attached to their collars.
The second tale: The Captured Copter Caper, Max and 99 are assigned to retrieve a Jet Copter stolen by KAOS with various hijinks associated with trying to get onto a freighter, avoiding KAOS agents to get the mission accomplished
The third and finale story: The Screwball Scooter Caper, KAOS looks to make Max their ‘inside contact’, because he’s so ‘dumb’ he’ll never know, with a plan to bug his car to control it remotely… however Max has been assigned a motor scooter that has a 4-Way Radio, Emergeny Pedals in case of motor failure, Ink ejector reflector, twin machine pistols in the handled bars, jets for quick starts, knife edge fenders… it’s discovered the scooter was tampered with and Max uses this as a way to track down the vile fiends
In terms of presenting the tales, it follows the show, Max gets his assignment, takes 99 along and through various hijinks gets the mission accomplished. The comic book version of Max is fairly on part with his TV counter-part, and the dialog does come across fairly well that you could envision Don Adams delivering the lines
It’s pretty standard, Max and 99 resemble their TV counterparts fairly well, and overall, the designs look as if they would be the style done for an animated series if was created in the same time period. There are some wonky bits but that’s alright, it doesn’t distract too much… the biggest issue some might have is is the ‘lack of backgrounds, often there is just a colored backdrops in several panels, which makes it look like some rooms were painted random color, but in some ways this helps makes the characters and action stand out, so no page seems ‘too busy’. Being a comic book, there are more things it was able to take advantage of that the show couldn’t on TV budget
The question I had was how well could this comic represent the show, and I think it does a decent job of emulating the show. The stories are short and sweet, the art work is easy on the eyes. If you are a Get Smart fan, this is certainly something worth tracking down, though finding comics from the 1960s can be difficult either do to them being over 40 years at this point. Quality can also be an issue as when I got this it was in ‘Good’ condition, and graded ‘Good 1.8’ on the comic scale. Its the nature of the beast when looking for older material!
Next Week: Doctor Who – Supremacy of the Cybermen #3