Updated on 16 October, 2021
The year 1953 must have been a bad year for comic books. The year before, The Great Depression had hit and left comics readers divided: Some loved it, others hated it. Even the advertisers, comic book companies included, were not sure of their future. So they kept on putting out new and improved comic books but sales were way down. And still no one was knocking down their door to buy a subscription.
So it was back to the drawing board. But this time the comic strip had to face an enemy which, luckily, was not a politician or an actor. This time it was a rodent. This rodent had taken up residence in the White House and was devouring the president's pet rats. No, this time it was not a rat; it was a werewolf. And Dennis The Menace had become the bestselling comic strip of the decade.
Yes, there was political trouble behind the scenes but the menace was still very much alive and rampaging about the White House. Dennis The Menace was the first comic strip to take this menace on full-force and show why he should be afraid of dogs. After all, rats have never attacked the Kennedys, even though their daughter was bitten by one while she was young. These fearless mammals became the bane of Dennis The Menace's life.
So here was a new pet for President Kennedys, a boy called Earl Grey. But he was no match for the vicious and cunning menace that was about to attack: Dennis The Menace. At first, there were not many who could stop this villain. His hairless face, his lightning fast speed and his ability to disappear in a puff of smoke made him formidable. No one could pin him down as he moved from one corner to another. It took several covers of every single issue of the newspaper comic strips to finally expose him as the monstrous character he really was: Dennis the Menace.
And it was at this point that things got really interesting. The Menace's enemies were not only the press was getting even more irritated by his antics, but now there was the threat of a full-blown war between the United States and England. Dennis was no match for the Redcoats and they were tired of his constant attacks so they decided to make him an offer. Would he spend the summer as their intern? They would train him, teach him to fight like their own personal army and they would be close to him wherever he went.
This plan worked out very well for them, especially since Dennis was very interested in martial arts and they had a good background with martial arts. So they convinced him to take up karate lessons and taught him everything there was to know about fighting and about comic books. The Menace was now a fine karate student, fit and confident enough to face the press and the newspaper comics writers and not have any problems taking them on.
As the strip went on, more outrageous things happened to the Menace. He metamorphosed into a snake like monster that was terrifying to look at. He developed a bulging eye and started to get angry. The Redcoat kept putting him in lock up until one day he decided he was no longer useful to them and he jumped back in the comic books. This time he was stronger and smarter and now, the Menace comics were becoming very popular with Christian Audigier and his army of devoted fans. The Menace was still hardcover as he was being written for the first time and he ended up selling out in two weeks.
The Menace is finally up on DVD and you can now enjoy the great comedy that made Dennis the Menace one of America's favorite comic strips. You can see all of Dennis' best moments, including the courtroom scene where he shaves his head with the help of his karate teacher and you can also see how he became such a mean bully in real life as well. You will also see Dennis' various sidekicks that made him a great cartoonist. If you are a fan of the Menace or a fan of live-action movies and cartoons, this is a must buy movie for you.