The Purple Mask unleashes hyper-mayhem!!

Animate 7 047

Cool melodrama, and sinister dabblings!

The Purple Cloud was a thrilling melodrama that featured within the Dandy twice at either end of the Swinging Sixties, as it enjoyed a repeat run after initially running from issue numbers 1006 to 1048 (March 4th, 1961 to December 23rd, 1961). The rerun occurred between issues 1403 and 1445 (October 20th, 1968 to August 2nd, 1969).

Beautifully rendered by Korky the Cat artist Charles Grigg, (who adapted his style to that of a more 'realistic' rendition to the point where casual readers may not have recognised that this was the work of the same artist), this thrilling chapter play recounted the mayhem unleashed by an American master criminal, the Purple Mask, who inflicts untold terror on that nation by spraying his lethal purple cloud gas, which destroys buildings and structures, laying waste to entire towns in some cases. The Purple Mask has access to an impressive private army who obey his devious bidding, and also very impressive advanced technology, including functioning flying-saucer styled craft (operated by his lackeys) that usually whisk him to safety as the authorities close in on him.

Hero of this piece is the splendidly (and ironically) named Dandy Jim Brewster, who pursues the fiend tirelessly throughout the saga. Jim has the antidote black cloud gas — invented by a civilian scientist — which Jim disperses from pistols, etc, to counteract the deadly effects of the purple cloud gas, sometimes to no avail. Much effective use of large splash panels within this tale illustrates vividly the scenes of total destruction, and though undoubtedly spectacular, it is debatable if the subject-matter would be acceptable within a juvenile comic in today's sometimes over-cautious post-9/11 society. A fascinating and worthy period-piece however, with many dated but fascinating elements of the early Sixties US on view (gas-guzzling cars, etc). Alongside The Island of Monsters — which also occupied the page three spot within the Dandy later on in the year — this was one of the visual high points of the 1969 period within this comic.

Animate 7 048

Uber-terrorism, unleashed by the fiend!

Animate 7 031

The thrills! The melodrama!