This first ever Johnny Nero issue from Muthu, has got nothing to do with any of the political leader of Tamil Nadu, past or present.
Someone mentioned in one of the comments section of this blog, about the discussion he (over)heard, when this issue was released in 70s. Current CM was the CM at that time as well. So I guess you can make out the contents of their discussion. But I guess nothing much(of controversy) was made of this topic then (even now, as there was a Comics Classics issue as late as 2003/04) with the same title. Good for us and good for the publishers. :-)
I think the story line will give a better idea, as to why this has got nothing to do with political figures.
Accidental deaths take place one after other in France. In Oorleans, it was Pierre the postman, then it was Hans clipper the newspaper reporter and then in Naples, it was father Roger. There was no connection between these "accidental" deaths, except they all worked for Britain against the nazis in the second world war and the timing of the deaths coincide with the visit of Kohli circus to the city where they lived & died. British intelligence agency gets interested in this and they suspect Sir George, who has access to the secret info about the agents. He vanishes mysteriously with those files. Johnny Nero was asked to follow Sir George, but Sir George himself is only a black mailed pawn in this deadly game. The trial leads to the manager of a wax museum who tries to kill Sir George and Johnny Nero by lighting fire to the wax exhibits. However the manager leaves a trail by way of a cloth worn by circus clowns. Johnny immediately closes on the next target who happens to be the mayor of Leons where the circus is currently performing. Though he couldn't stop the killing of the mayor, he manages to nab the Kolaikaara Circus Kalaigan, Jospeh Krannen who was a ex-nazi, who wants to take revence on all the agents who worked against the nazi Germany. Typical war time story, but with the twists and turns at every stage, it is really gripping. No wonder this got published in Muthu thrice.
This was issue number 9 released in 1972/73. I do not have the original with me, so I'm not sure about the exact date. Most probably Dec 1972.
Take a look at the cover.
This was later reprinted during 80s. Take a look at the cover of the reprint.
And it was re-reprinted in 2003/04 in the Comics Classics series. Issue number 15. Take a look at the CC cover. The second story in this issue was Vinnil Maraintha Vimanagal. The cover for this CC is different from other covers. This one was slightly hard cover(like the ones used for Muthu/Lion now). I like this kind of covers very much, as it would help to preserve the comics for a long time. Unfortunately the editor did not use this kind of cover after this issue. Thos who want to buy this CC issues, please get in touch with the Muthu Comics office, as they may still have this issue for sale.
This story was originally published in the Secret Agent series in Mar 1967, issue number 5. Take a look at the cover, sample scans and the corresponding pages from the Muthu issue.
Last few pages of this Fleetway issue which featured Sporty(Vichu Kichu in Tamil) is below. Enjoy!
And here is something linked to the CC issue :-)
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