March 1, 2014
Until the Interweb happened it was a little-known fact that “Smash!” 38 from October 1966 contained the first-ever “UK-sourced” strip concerning the Marvel Universe. Featuring the Hulk vs The Matador, apparently the story takes place between issues 3 and 4 of “The Avengers” which then had the Hulk as a member. Although I bought “Smash!” every week in those days I never noticed anything odd about the story at the time.
Previous issues of “Smash!” had featured reprints from The Hulk’s six-issue short-lived early 1960s comic and stuff from “Tales to Astonish”. I don’t know if this artwork really was commissioned by Odhams or if it was a try-out by Marvel USA given to some (Spanish) artist. For whatever reasons the artwork didn’t see the light of day in the States until a couple of years ago when it, along with British originated Hulk strips from the 1980s “Hulk weekly” and text stories from various Hulk annuals were collected together in a graphic novel.