Blimey! Publisher's Rebellion are certainly pulling out the nostalgia stops with this one, originally published in Jet (and Buster after readers got 'great news') from1971. Although there are many strips from this era that are mature, interesting and intelligent, Von Hoffman's Invasion can charitably be described as a 'yarn' at best.
The plot, such as it is, concerns Nazi scientist Von Hoffman, who may as well shout 'Bwah ha haaa!' every time he appears, so evil is he. After being locked up at the end of the war for being anasty Nazi, he finally gets out and swears revenge on the Allies, specifically England. he is armed with a spray that not only enlarges any animal but also allows him to control them so they do his every bidding (Bwah ha haaa!). The only problem is that the effect is unpredciatably temporary. You'd think another problem would be that he'd run out of the spray, but this never happens, no matter how may giant spiders/dogs/beetlees etc he makes. this endless loop of him making giant things, causing havoc and escaping is repeated over and over again with scant character development or forward plot movement, with only the introduction of some meddling kids (who no one believes, natch) giving any real pause for thought.
Although written by weekly comics legend Tom Tully, Von Hoffman's Invasion is bloody awful. The mad German for some reason calls a Woodlouse a 'Cheese Roller', even though it's strictly a colloquial UK phrase, and tries to stop England winning the 'Global Cup' at football later on. His accented speech gets irritating, and if I wasn't going to review it I probably wouldn't have bothered finishing it. The saving grace is artist Eric Bradbury, who delivers quality visuals that don't lack for accuracy in the animal department.
Von Hoffman's Invasion is not fun enough to be a comedy and too silly to be a drama, ending up all alone in the middle with no mates. Repetetive, daft and dull, this is the first time Rebellion's British Treasury of Comics has come up wanting. This is one treasure trove that should have been left buried.
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