Previewing Dr. Mesmer’s Revenge: Classic Carlos Cruz Artwork On Classic British Comics

by Richard Bruton

The Treasury of British Comics resurrects yet another example of the incredible material lying lost for years in the vaults of Brit Comic classics. This time it’s the mysterious Dr. Mesmer, currently featuring in the latest Vigilant comic, whose chilling tale of eerie mystery features the stunning artwork of Carlos Cruz.

It’s one of several Brit comics where it’s the villain who stars, this time an Egyptologist who resurrects a five-thousand-year-old mummy called Angor – a Pharaoh possessed with mystical powers to set out to retrieve ancient artefacts stolen from his private collection. Their search for the missing antiquities brings terror and destruction to England as Dr. Mesmer leaves no stone unturned, with the police and the army desperate to stop him.

The story is lots of fun, with Avenell bringing in loads of mystical madness to the tale alongside Mesmer and Angor. But it’s the artwork of Carlos Cruz, one of several incredibly talented Spanish artists working in the Brit comics of the time, that really makes this stand out.

Cruz was a hugely successful Spanish artist whose comics career began in Argentina in the 40s with Colt Miller, Indio Suarez, Santos Palma. In the 60s Cruz found extensive work for Fleetway on strips including Dan Dare, Roamin’ James – Space Pilot (Buster), Crabbe’s Crusaders (Buster), The Pillater Peril (Smash!), Bloodfang (Eagle) and M.A.S.K., amongst plenty of others.

Here, Cruz’s line is so beautifully clean and confident, reminding me of David Lloyd with the wonderful use of shadow and blacks throughout.

Every page is a dream to see, with a marvellous depth on the page…

Dr Mesmer’s Revenge’s writer was Donne Avenell, who worked extensively from the 50s on classic strips such as The Spider, The Phantom Viking, Adam Eterno, Powerman (the Nigerian superhero from Power Comics, one of Dave Gibbons first professional works), Axa, and Eartha. He was also one of the main scriptwriters on The Saint TV series.

It’s another one of those strips that’s been talked of for many years, an example of a superb craftsman at work, and yet another of those great lost British strips that we can see once more thanks to the Treasury of British Comics.

Dr. Mesmer’s Revenge, written by Donne Avenell and drawn by Carlos Cruz, is published by Rebellion and The Treasury of British Comics on 3 October.

Dr. Mesmer’s Revenge contains material originally serialised in Lion And Thunder from October 1971 – October 1972.

Below, Comicon presents the first three Dr. Mesmer episodes…


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: