RC revived its long lost comic book series popularly known among the comic reading masses as THS: Thrill Horror Suspense, in the mid-2000s. Thrill Horror Suspense was one of the most loved and bought series during the heyday of Indian comics in the 90’s. But something happened that put an end to this revered series and forced RC to abruptly stop producing THS for good. What happened? What could have possibly gone wrong in this case?
The answer lies within the pages of these comic books. Unlike the Comics Code Authority in the USA, we didn’t have any code which could control whatever content the comic book companies came up with for their monthly readers. But despite this fact, there was an unwritten code which almost every major publisher used to follow and that code was in regards to the depiction of nudity, blood, gore and several other storyline elements which could offend the reader.
But Thrill Horror Suspense put an end to all of this. Those were the times when Thrill Horror Suspense was a regular series and used to share shelves in comic book shops alongside major character books like Nagraj and Super Commando Dhruva. Fans used to love this series as it gave them a break from the monthly ongoing exploits of their favorite superheroes. Thrill Horror Suspense used to churn out one excellent story after another on a regular basis, and I for one, was a big fan of the one shot stories of this series, contrary to the superhero stories which had years and years of backstory to catch up on.
Official Logo of THS
The fans would always get ample thrill, horror and suspense in every offering from THS, but there used to be times when the stories got too far when it came to the amount of blood and gore. One of the very best Thrill Horror Suspense comics (my all-time favorite), Aadamkhor Hatyara, boasted a cover featuring a cannibalistic killer about to murder a girl, while an axe is perfectly lodged inside his head. This was the case with almost every comic in this series and soon, letters from angry parents started pouring in, stating that they trusted RC with providing clean and quality content for their kids, and this kind of content was downright unacceptable for them. RC had no choice but to cancel the series, and minimize the amount of offensive content in their other superhero comics. This decision proved to be a wise one as the sales only increased from that point onwards.
RC’s 2nd volume of Thrill Horror Suspense didn’t shy away from these elements as a long time had passed since the THS incident and fans were ready for mature content. But the comics, produced by RC before THS’s downfall, will always be the gold standard for today’s horror comic writers.