Not Brand Echh #3 [1967] – The Origin of Sore


NOT BRAND ECHH was of course Marvel’s title for self-parody. Kirby had stories in some of the early issues, doing parodies of the various characters he drew at Marvel (FF, Thor, Surfer), plus a, um, Forbush Man story.

I’m not a huge fan of the book. A lot of the parodies read to me a bit too much like someone read the “how to do a parody” strip in MAD #17 by Kurtzman and Wood, and didn’t quite get that it was a joke. But just by sheer volume there are always some good gags, and some of the art is good.

In #3 it was Thor who was up, under his gag-name of “Mighty Sore, Son of Shmodin”, against his arch-nemesis Hokey. Yeah, I know. Sore is kind of a good design, with a carpenter hammer, long blonde hair in braids, a chicken on his helmet and buttons that keep changing.


Among the better gags in this one, I like the pile of newspapers with stories about Sore, except the Daily Bugle running “Spider-Man is a Fink” as the headline. The page shown above also has the expression “kirbyesque” referring to Hokey’s cannon, which might be the first time that expression was ever published. And for no explained reason, when the Warriors Three are shown, “Bullstag” has a sign on his chest saying “Legalize Potatoes”.

The 8 page story is inked by Frank Giacoia, who does a great job on it, very clear and faithful. The Kirby checklist notes an art assist to Marie Severin, which would seem to be the panel showing a crowd of tourists in Asgard, including caricatures of many celebrities of the day.

Published 1967

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