DIAL B for BLOG
NEW ISSUE ARCHIVES BOARD FAQ LINKS CONTACT ADVERTISE
.

Hello reader! This issue, we're covering comic books that were inspired by the TV series "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." Every episode of the show, from ."The Vulcan Affair," to "The Seven Wonders of the World Affair," was titled "The (SOMETHING) Affair" -- hence this issue's title, "The Comic Book Affair."

ORIGIN STORY: When producer Norman Felton asked James Bond creator Ian Fleming to script a new television series based loosely on Alfred Hitchcock's “North by Northwest,” Fleming drew up a basic outline for a show and suggested that the lead spy be named Napoleon Solo. Fleming left the project, but the name Napoleon Solo survived.

Writer Sam Rolfe created Solo's partner Illya Kuryakin, his boss Alexander Waverly, and the fictious international organization U.N.C.L.E. Felton cast Robert Vaughn (pictured middle left) in the "Cary Grant" role, hired British actor David McCallum (left) to play Illya Kuryakin, and chose Leo G. Carroll (right) to play Waverly.

The show was originally called “Mr. Solo,” but it turned out a minor character in Ian Fleming's “Goldfinger” was also named Solo. The network didn’t want to be accused of stealing anything from Fleming’s work, so it was decided to name the series “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” instead. The series premiered on NBC September 22, 1964, becoming a smash hit that would spawn countless imitators on TV, in films, and, of course, in comic books! Such as...

U.N.C.L.E., the "United Network Command for Law Enforcement," fought T.H.R.U.S.H., the "Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity."
.
.
.

DC got into the act by turning Jimmy Olsen into Agent Double-5, who was supposedly "Bolder, Brainer and more Boastful than Bond!" Are they talking about our Jimmy?!?!
.

Aquaman fought O.G.R.E. -- Organization for General Revenge and Enslavement; Agent Double-5 made sure "Even Superman cries U.N.C.L.E."; and Hawkman battled C.A.W. -- Criminal Alliance of the World!
.
.
.

And, of course, there's Marvel's "Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D." -- "Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law-enforcement Division" -- who fought the evil forces of Hydra. What, no acronym?
.
.
.

Tower Comics jumped on the bandwagon with "T.H.U.N.D.E.R." -- The Higher United Nations Defense Enforcement Reserves -- a group with agents such as Dynamo, Lightning, Raven and NoMan.
.
.
.

Even the Archie gang got into the act -- with a vengence! Here's A.R.C.H.I.E. as secret agent P.O.P., the Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E., against the villainous organization C.R.U.S.H.!
. . .

Finally, here's "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." copying itself -- in drag! It's the comic book version of the hit show's first and only spin-off series, "The Girl From U.N.C.L.E."
.
.
.

.Like “North by Northwest,” every U.N.C.L.E. episode featured an innocent character being mistaken for a spy and swept into an adventure -- from a suburban housewife in the first episode, "The Vulcan Affair," to those kidnapped in the final episode, "The Seven Wonders of the World Affair."

Fifteen years after it went off the air, "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." returned in a TV movie aptly titled "The Fifteen Years Later Affair." It ran on Tuesday, April 5, 1983. Vaughn and McCallum returned for the show, but Leo G. Carroll had died in 1972, so his role was taken over by Patrick Macnee (Steed in "The Avengers").

When first broadcast, "The Return of The Man from U.N.C.L.E." won its time slot, but failed to recoup the two million dollars it cost to make. It was the final U.N.C.L.E. adventure to date. Numerous episodes of the series, as well as the reunion TV-movie, are currently
available on VHS tapes. Click the link below for tons of info on all things U.N.C.L.E. Happy spying, reader!

Text adapted from ManFromUncle.org


COMING NEXT on DIAL B for BLOG:

HALF SUPERMAN -- HALF BATMAN -- WITH THE
POWERS OF THE ENTIRE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES!

THE COMPOSITE SUPERMAN!