Hawaii 5-O comic strip UK

When I was a kid Hawaii Five-O was one of my favourite TV shows. So it was with great sadness recently that I learned of the death of James MacArthur, probably best-known for his co-starring role in the series as Dan “Danno” Williams. Famously, many episodes ended with Jack Lord’s Steve McGarrett turning to Williams, having apprehended that week’s perp, and ordering him to, “Book ’em, Danno. Murder One.” Ah, that’s the stuff childhood are made of! That and the oh so clear images of the show’s opening credits featuring the zoom in to the top of the tall building, and the close-up of Jack Lord’s face as he turned to the camera… and THAT theme music: surely one of the best theme tunes ever!

I don’t believe there was ever a comic book version of the show in the US — not even from the license-heavy Gold Key line, however, there was a regular comic strip in the British weekly TV Action. The strip, drawn by Leslie Branton, began about a year after the title began (for its first year the comic was called Countdown, and was mainly focussed on sci-fi and adaptations of the Gerry Anderson ouvre, such as UFO, Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet, alongside the long-running Doctor Who strip which usually graced the front cover). It ran for about a year, finally being replaced by the likes of Mission: Impossible and Cannon (the fat detective played by William Conrad on TV). As with most of these things, the strip wasn’t over much like the TV version, but had something of the flavour — although, obviously, much of the glitz and glamour of the Hawaiian locations was diminished on the page in black and white. The likenesses of the actors were variable, but generally pretty good. I don’t know much about Branton, but he was a solid storyteller and worked on a lot of these TV strips, moving on to Look-In once TV Action finally folded with #132 in mid-1973.

Click on the image above for a better look at this sequence featuring McGarrett and Danno.

In addition to the strips, there would sometimes be photos, posters and factual pieces. Here’s one such “fact file” from the back page of TV Action #92 (November 18, 1972), featuring James MacArthur (we’ll pretend they didn’t misspell his surname, shall we?)

And below is an example of the cover of TV Action. This one featuring the first page of a Gerry Haylock drawn Doctor Who story. At this time the Doctor was portrayed on TV by the great Jon Pertwee, my own personal favourite of all the actors to have played the Time Lord.

cover from TV Action comic

TV Action #78, August 12 1972

TV Action ©2010 Polystyle Publications/the respective copyright holder

Hawaii Five-O ©2010 the respective copyright holder

Doctor Who ©2010 BBCtv