Brand Echh – Charlton Premiere #1

For whatever reason, while they would dabble with the genre from time to time, Charlton never quite took the leap into publishing super hero comics on a full-time basis. They seemed content to fill their racks with war, mystery, western, hot rod, romance and even comedy books. But super heroes were an ill-fit for them, and every time they would start something interesting, it would quickly shut down. But in the mid-1960s, given the super hero craze that was sweeping the nation (as fleeting as it would prove to be) it seemed that they had no choice but to try to get in on some of that action.

Thus, the first issue of CHARLTON PREMIERE was used SHOWCASE-style to debut a trio of new super hero-themed strips, in the hopes that one or more of them would prove popular enough to become a continuing series. None of them did–but THE TYRO TEAM was an interesting attempt at beating Marvel at its own game by introducing an even more realistic and down-to-Earth group of crime-fighters.

The Tyro Team was the creation of Steve Skeates, one of the most eclectic writers in comics. He’d very briefly worked up at Marvel, predating Roy Thomas’ employment with the firm, and thereafter he bounced around at other companies throughout the field. The team consisted of three College-age kids who possess a telepathic mental link of mysterious origin. Artwork was provided by Bill Montes and Ernie Bache.

This was an attempt to take a more grounded approach to the super hero concept, and reads like nothing so much as the pilot for a prospective television series. It was certainly the kind of thing that could have been made on a TV budget in 1967.

And, honestly, it’s a pretty cool little strip.

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