British children growing up in the 1960s (like me) often had their first introduction to Marvel comics characters through syndicated stories that appeared in Fantastic and Terrific. These were British-style weeklies with serialised, black and white versions of the current Lee/Kirby tales from Marvel that were unfolding across the Atlantic.
Following the successes of Wham! (1964) and Smash! (1966) the magazine publishers Oldhams expanded their weekly Power Comics in 1967. In January they launched Pow! with 'Spider-Man' as the lead strip, and February saw the arrival of a comic that consisted almost entirely of Marvel reprints: Fantastic.
Fantastic No.1, which launched on Saturday February 11, 1967, was slightly smaller in size and on better paper than Wham! or Smash! It was 40 pages long and a higher cover price (9d, compared to Smash's 7d for 28 pages) three times more expensive than the 3d cover price of D. C. Thomson's Beano and Dandy. It failed to make a profit, but gained a faithful following, including me!
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