Tuesday, 21 September 2010

A Snippet (Literally) of Wrath of the Gods

Due to a fortuitous piece of reformatting the forthcoming "Wulf the Briton" book is going to include more samples of Embleton artwork which is pertinent to the story behind the creation of this epic but still relatively unknown strip.

So here's a sample spread from "Wrath of the Gods" which was Ron's first major strip following on from his work on TV Express. This episode hints at the darkness to come, in fact I'd speculate that "Wrath of the Gods" was about the darkest strip Embleton ever worked on, which might have been instrumental in his decision to walk away from the series after completing the first 23 episode story.

There is a hint of a possibility that  a book on "Wrath of the Gods" shot largely from the original art could be a goer.

We shall see...


  1. By Zeus, I can think of few things better than a Wrath of the Gods book. The undercurrents of darkness, calamity and violence in that strip deeply disturbed me as a child. In a good way, obviously :-)

  2. I was so freaked out by it Dave that I couldn't get to sleep for weeks.

    In fact I really was in need of a visit from the Sandman.

  3. That awesome page is burned into my imagination as it was the first episode of WOTG I ever saw (though I placed Boys' World on a regular order with my newsagent immediately after, the already-sold-out first issue became something of a 'Holy Grail' for me and I didn't track down a copy until many years later). I can still remember the dramatic TV advert where movie footage of a storm-tossed galley morphed into the opening panels!

    One thing I really liked about those early issues was the unique way in which the artwork was allowed to bleed right to the pages' edge, so it's particularly nice to see that set authentically restored without having new and intrusive margins imposed on it; in fact it's actually better than the original as even the staples have magically disappeared. Is it possible you were able to scan the actual artwork?

    Another thing I loved was the way in which each week's episode had a proper structure with a beginning, middle and end - like the chapter of a book. There was always the dramatic opening panel (usually revealing some fresh mythological wonder), the action-packed confrontation with same in which Arion prevailed by the skin of his teeth, then the final, gnomic link to his quest in which he's told to "seek the bull that never was" or whatever.

    This instinctive feel for the structure of ancient myth led many people to credit these scripts to Michael Moorcock, but if you check the editorial pages to Boys' World no.14 it is clearly stated that the true writer was Willie Patterson - surely one of the most literate and literary scripters to have ever worked in British comics (who else would have named one of Jeff Hawke's most memorable opponents after an ancient town in Bithynia?).

    Another thing that astonishes me about Ron Embleton's artistic tour de force on this strip is that he still, somehow, found time to contribute to other features in Odhams's brand new publication - including a truly amazing 'What Would You Do?' page in this very issue which recalls his time on Wulf the Briton by depicting an entire army of Roman soldiers in intricate detail!

    Fantastic stuff indeed!!!

  4. Thanks so much for your replay and for clearing up the Moorcock mystery. I was searching the internet today Phil as I had a feeling it wasn't Moorcock after all, I'd read about this somewhere but couldn't remember where.

    The scan is from the comic although I know the location of one or two of the boards and apparently all of them survived. This spread has had a little restoration as it's appearing in the Wulf book. The files are going off to China next week and it's looking even better than the teasers we've been running.