The New Avengers

The New Avengers' short run had a detrimental effect on its transition to the comic world. Unlike the notable runs received by the original Avengers and its characters in everything from annuals, to periodicals like Diana, to full-fledged comic books, The New Avengers' comic presence in Britain and Europe was limited to strips published in the series’ two annuals, and a French collection. Two stories ran in each annual, and two of those, plus an additional four, were included in the French collection, making for a total of eight stories. A ninth was scripted, but never illustrated.

However, The New Avengers still sold well internationally, and was broadcast around the world in the late seventies and early eighties. China, however, was not one of the 120 countries to screen the series in its heyday. The “Iron Curtain” prevented the broadcast of foreign television in the country. The Chinese market would not fully open up to foreign series until 1985, and the original Avengers series did not garner an airing until the late 1980s. Therefore, The New Avengers' Chinese premiere did not occur until 1990, when it was dubbed in Chinese and aired on TV channel Zhejiang Television under the name The Three Detectives. Even then, only 16 of the 26 episodes were transmitted.

This late airing meant late merchandising as well, in the heretofore unknown form of officially-licenced Chinese New Avengers comics. Published as an eight volume series by publishing house Renmin Meishu Chubanshi, each volume contained two stories adapted from the episodes aired in China. While many of the New Avengers comics published in Britain and France were also based on the episodes’ storylines, these comics stuck even closer to their source material, often reproducing scenes exactly as they appeared onscreen.

These comics did not come to light until early 2014, due to the tireless research of Steedumbrella webmaster Denis Kirsanov. The artwork and likenesses are of variable quality, but are really no better or worse than most of their British and European counterparts! The standouts are the eyecatching watercolouresque covers, bursting with action and energy. The comics are an amazing discovery, proving once again that it is still possible to discover new things about the series even forty years on. Anew, in partnership with Steedumbrella, is pleased to offer all of the Chinese stories for your persual. Prolific thanks go to Denis Kirsanov for discovering these gems, and for providing Anew with scans of the comics. The comics can also be found on Denis’ site. I hope all New Avengers fans enjoy them as much as I have.

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English Comics

Comics published in English in New Avengers annuals.

French Comics

Stories published only in French.

Chinese Comics

Episode adaptations published in China.