The Reader's Letter Page !

Save the Children

Last Update 08/03/05

Hi there 'Battle' fans ! Welcome to the web page that lets you tell everyone why 'Battle' was the No. 1 comic. Just email me and I'll post your comments.

Also remember you can now go to the frothersunite! comics message board to leave your comments !

Amazing! One second I am drinking tea and surfing the net and the next my past catches up with me when I clicked on your site.
I never thought I would see Captain Darkie again! What a great site, I almost forgot how much BATTLE influenced me as a kid.
I think it is about time Charley's War got the 'Saving Private Ryan' treatment and gets on the big screen, the greatest comic story ever.
Well done

Cheers Martin.

Hi There,
What a great web site , it brought back many very happy memories ,Super .
Yes I was a Warlord Secret Agent , and I still have the original wallet, badge and inserts-code book and ID card. I also found some of the free gifts given away in long lost issues .I have a gate fold card with WW2 medals along with other bits and bobs , perhaps if I send you photos it may be of interest to other readers ?
I seem to remember a story about a Wermacht trooper with a schmeisser pistol - was he called Big Willi , did the writer artist have a sense of humour . My favourite stories of Warlord were Kampfgruppe Falken , Warlord , Iron Annie - great stories. In 'Battle' my fave stories were D-Day Dawson (no accounting for taste here), Bootneck Boy , Rat Pack .
Is it me or were Battle stories more gritty and Warlords more boys-own stuff ? I still have all my Warlord annuals and a few Battle annuals.
I honestly do not think we will see the like of these comicbooks again ,save for 2000 AD , soooo un P.C. , I wish we weren't so damn luvvy dovey and nanny'ish.


Yeh I'd definitely like to see pic's of your free gifts would be great! Send 'em in.

Just come across your site,I loved Battle, Battle/Action when I was a kid, started collecting it around 1980, as I was given a load of back issues, I then went out and tried to fill in the gaps, I still am filling the gaps as I've still got them all in a cupboard.

My favourite story is still Charley's War, The story was so good it made me go out and buy as many WWI books I could find. The story wouldn't have been the same without Joe Colquhoun, what an artist, he could bring a picture to life with the detail of his drawings.

I've got the two Graphic novels that came out of Charley's War and reading some of your back letters they might be coming out again, anymore news on that?
I've been to the CW web link but it doesn't work anymore, Has it been moved?
Special mention to Johnny Red (When Joe did the artwork) fantastic.
All the best
Lewis Llewellyn

Thanks for pointing out the dead link Lewis, I've updated it on the front page or you can go straight there from this link.

Colonel many thanks from a new friend in Greece...
I was looking around the net for Johnny Red and I was pretty desperate till I found your site and I started feeling a lot better!
I'm making model aircraft (WW2) and since I was a fun of the Red Devil I decided some time ago to start modeling the planes from the J. Red storys Only to discover that my memory was in a worst state than I thought!
So I really enjoyed the color scans from your site and I hope for more!
Keep up the good work and bless you man!

PS: Eazy rocks! The story was totally blocked out of my mind only to come back the moment I saw the dark figure leaning on the ground with the cigar smoking and the gun-barrel showing! And damn that was some Bentley!
Thanks again
Costas Karayiannis.

Hi Costas!
Glad to hear from a Greek 'Battle' fan - my partner is Greek & we were in Athens for Xmas & the New Year. If you have any pics of your 'Johnny Red' Hurricane let me have a copy & I'll put it on the website.

Just a few lines to say good luck with the site.
I couldn't believe anyone else was a fan I've been looking at the site with my son. He gets his World War 2 thrill's via online gaming e.g. 'Call Of Duty' etc........

'Charley's War' was my favourite in 'Battle'. I drifted away from the comic with it merged with the Action Force figure thing's.....
Any good sites with Charley Bourne art work on them ?


Yes there is an excellent Charleys War website with lots of great art on it. Check this link.

Dear Sir,
First of all thank you for setting up a remarkable web site to commemorate the much loved comic ‘Battle’. I’ve always remembered it from my Irish childhood memories. I still remember the very bizarre ‘Darkies Mob’, the resourceful ‘Major Easy’, the tragic ‘Panzer G-Man’, the wonderful and bitter ‘Johnny Red’ and the great classic ‘Charley’s War’ in bits and pieces.
It’s funny how one kid like me didn’t realise that there comics would be classics in the future and threw them out after a few months when they started to fall apart after so much reading. How much I really regret today!
After ‘Battle’ finally folded I spent years seeking alternative comics to read and nothing like ‘Battle’ ever came up.
I’m a great fan of Carlos Ezquerra and Joe Colquhoun art work and it’s hard to believe that their art works were rumored to be thrown out into a dump tip after the offices of ‘Battle’ closed down some time in the late 80’s.
Until I saw your site, I had no idea Carlos Ezquerra was from Spain! I mean I never took much notice of his name and, often from time to time, thought there was something very European about his art style, compared to other comics from France, the Netherlands and Italy.
Anyway keep up with your wonderful site and add more facts about ‘Battle’. By the way do you recall a story line, set in the time Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands in 1982, about a kid who’s always on the run from a cruel and sadistic Argentine officer? I can’t recall the story’s name and the names of the characters. Can you help me there?

Getting ‘Battle’ in Sligo, Ireland wasn’t easy as it depended on the shipments coming in from Britain. Sometimes the newsagents had it, then sometimes they didn’t have it as bad weather or no supplies were available. I still remember feeling depressed when my father came home without a copy for me and it wasn’t a nice feeling to have gaps in a story I was following. Still keep up with the great work you’re doing! I enjoyed the interview you’ve done. All the best,

Ruairi McGovern

Cheers Ruari, I do try & add new stuff to the site when I can, but I just don't get the free time I used to !

Hi Colonel,
Great site!
I started collecting Warlord in November 1979 and Battle Action in January 1980. Both comics were going through a purple patch at that time. I really loved 'Wolverine', 'Killer Kane', 'It Happened This Week', 'Red Ball Express' and 'Fight Or Die' from 'Warlord'. The artist for 'Wolverine'' (and later 'Sergeant Rayker') was very exciting but precise. Anyone know his name? Until about June 1980 Warlord was my favourite, then new stories came in that weren't quite as good and it declined steadily from then on.
Battle Action was superb through the whole of 1980 and 1981. 'Charley's War' was my favourite. Unbelievable artwork and great storylines ('Charley's War' was the only reason I kept buying the comic from 1984 to 1986 when I stopped aged 18). I think that story reached a peak with the Judgement Troopers and Colonel Zeiss in the Spring of 1980. Wonderful.
'Johnny Red', 'Rat Pack', 'Cooley's Gun', 'The Sarge' and 'Fighting Mann' were all tremendous as well. Don't know about anybody else, but I cut my comics up in 1982 so I could staple all the pages together to make a book of each story. I've still got these collections - pride of place in a cupboard in my bedroom!
Luckily I've been able to buy almost all the best issues of both 'Warlord' and 'Battle Action' from ebay in the past 6 months. Great to see each issue as I first read them.
Anyone remember 'Blitzkreig Bomber' from 'Warlord'? I really love the artwork for that story. I think he did 'The Tankies' from 'Warlord' in 1978 as well. Another great artist. Any idea what his name was?
On a completely different subject, did anyone have their imaginations fired by the Matchbox kits box art from the mid 70's painted by Roy Huxley? What really sets these off is the exiting battle scenes going on in the background. I couldn't believe it when Revell blanked out the backgrounds on a number of these kits in the 80's. Sacrilige! Anyone know if there is a book of this wonderful artist's paintings available (or large scale prints)?
Sorry for asking all these questions. What's the matter with me?
Keep up the good work!

Ah how many of us 'Warlord' and 'Battle' readers were making Airfix and Matchbox kits at the same time ? I know I was.

I got this every week when I was a kid. Unfortunatly, I missed the last 2 'Darkie's Mob' strips, always wondered how it ended.
I also won a model for a picture of 'Hellman of Hammer Force'. Do you know how I could find out which issue that was in?
Hope you can help

Well if anyone's flicking through some back issues of 'Battle' and sees a drawing by 'Donald' then let me know!

Brill site, used to have Battle ordered every week through the 70's.
Still got many old copies inc first four editions.
Favourite character was Paul Fallman.
Nick Giles

Yeh 'Fighter From The Sky' was my first favourite on 'Battle' too.

God Bless you!
I can't believe I found your site - I'm an Irish lad living over here in the States for the past 12 years and I am always trying to see if I can get my Mum to send me over my collection of 'Battle' and 'Action' comics...I miss them so - she probably gave them all away once I moved out.
It is absolutely wonderful to see all my old favorites - 'Charley's War', 'Panzer G-Man', 'Johnny Red', 'The Sarge' and more.

I used to look forward to getting my weekly comics as a young kid and it's a shame that they are almost impossible to get these days. Like everyone else, I would love to be kept informed if anyone has plans to re-release 'Battle' or any of the stories in the future. 'Battle' had a profound impact on my life and now, for kicks, and to stay "young" I enjoy doing WWII reenacting - there's nothing better than playing Army when you're in your thirties!

I think most of us are in what they call the 'Anthony Beevor' generation - fascinated by WW2 as a result of a childhood filled with war comics, Action Man and Airfix kits...

Hello Mate !
I was a big fan of Battle in the mid seventies, I once collected about 50 comics but then through them away, the things you do as kids !?!
I wish I had kept hold of them now. I have not looked at the site yet in depth ( I can't wait to) If I remember my favourites were 'Darkie's Mob', 'Charley's War' and 'Johnny Red'.
The reason I have only just come across this site is it just crossed my mind whilst looking on the Airfix site.
Anyway thanks for this nostalgia injection and I'm off to revel in your site now.

Hope you liked it Paul!
incredible site,how do you find the time?
Lots of memories from these images,like my dad making me leave for school early so he could read this weeks Battle and his face when I had a picture printed on the readers page.
Any top tips on how to find that copy?

I don't find the time much these days sadly Doug.
Hey there,
I stumbled across your site and was highly impressed with your dedication and love for those wonderful war comics of the 70's. I collected most titles when I was a kid - 'Battle', 'Action', 'Warlord' and at times 'Victor', until '2000 AD' was released hot on the heels of 'Star Wars'.
The reason I am emailing is for you to put me out of my misery. I cannot for the life of me remember a story that took place in either 'Battle' or 'Action'.
The premise was this: a young boy's parents are murdered by a Japanese squad in the jungles of Burma, forcing this kid to track down each member of the squad and butcher them one-by-one. As far as I can remember it was told through the kid's diary (I used to cut these diary 'entries' out and pasted them into a scrap book) and it was graphically violent.
If you can tell me the title of this long lost classic I'd be eternally grateful!

You've got me there Ken , my 'Warlord' collection is pretty skimpy these days ? Can anyone help ?
Hi Colonel,
Just checked out your website and it's cool remembering the greatest comic of my youth. Wondered if you could help me out though.
The Battle annual of 1980 carried the complete story of "The Day of the Eagle" and I was wondering if you could tell me if any of the later Annuals carried the full story of "The Eagle Must Die"?? These were two of the stories I really remember and would love to read "The Eagle Must Die" again.
Many thanks for such a great website

You know I don't have all the 'Battle' annuals sadly, but I bet one of our readers will be able to help !

Just found your website and it really took me back.
I got hooked on Battle/Action comics back in the 70s visiting my grandparents in Scotland when I was a kid. They faithfully mailed them to me for years after that, wish I had kept them but your site has brought back a whole lot of memories.
Great job, I’ve bookmarked your site and will be checking back often. Keep up the great work!!!!!
Thanks a million!
Graham Kirkwood
Ontario, Canada

Well I don't get to update the site as often as I'd like these days, but I'll try and do better now my little girl is a bit older!

Thank you so much for a great site , took me back . I read Battle and then stayed with Battle Action Force ,collected the whole set even when Action Force went off on it's own, wife made me give them to a charity shop (took up a lot of room). Wish I had kept them now that we have four children just to show them how comics should look like.
Any news on any of the stories being reprinted or up to be made into a film , as this is being done quite a lot now .
Thank you once more.
Scott & Debbie

Sadly still no word on any Graphic Novels, but keep your fingers crossed for the future.

Fab site! We're all agreed, Battle was the finest un-PC boys comic ever. Could it ever see light of day And what a loss it is too.
Charley's War should be made into an epic movie. Does anyone hold the rights?
Marco Sparko

A Charleys War movie ! Great idea.

You truly are a prince among men!
After finding my old annuals in the loft, I am on a comic nostalgia fest via the internet. And the one comic strip that really sticks out in my mind is "Darkie's Mob"! I was only 6 or 7 when Darkies Mob appeared and found it very gritty main memories are of the crazed soldier making crosses in the monsoon and the kamikaze death of Flyboy!
I was friends with the rugby star Martin Johnson at that age and we both read the war comics (read his interesting perspective on this in part one of his autobigraphy). Warlord came out first but I preferred the gritiness of Battle (it must have even influenced me in the spelling of my nickname!).
Count me in for the graphic novel.
Battle always seemed very cinematic - Major Eazy was basically Donald Sutherland and Rat Pack were the Dirty Dozen. Do you know whether any producers bought any film rights to the Battle stories?
Thanks for this site. Bless your days!

Yeh, nice nickname Charley.

Thought you might like to visit this, it’s a little something I’ve put together about a sadly neglected title, internet wise anyway.

any links would be appreciated, I’m going to put one up for your Battle site.
More Johnny Red please, I stopped getting battle action during the flying gun saga, and only found out from the Garth Ennis mail that he lost the Hurricane, and that Carlos Pino did the art for a while…..
They should collect it all…..

Cheers Moose, thats an excellent Action website you have there - great job! I've added the link to the front page.

Hello, hello,
Enjoyed your site very much- delighted to see so much interest in "Battle", one of my favourites as a kid and a big influence on my own work. Used to enjoy Darkie's Mob, Crazy Keller, Hellman, Cooley's Gun, the later Rat Pack stories, Death Squad, The Sarge... the list is endless, although some of the stuff was so good it deserves to be singled out. "The General Dies At Dawn" was a great little story- top John Cooper artwork and a certain wit and irony to the scripts that led me to suspect John Wagner was responsible, but the man himself tells me otherwise. Anyone know who did write them? "HMS Nightshade" was definitely his, of course- I remember enjoying it more than "Darkie" at the time, but I'm a sucker for ship stories. You mention the Douglas Reeman novels; John once told me that Alastair MacLean's "HMS Ulysses" was a big influence, which you can actually see if you give it a read (good stuff). Not much need be said about "Charley's War"- hands down the best strip in the comic, in British comics, probably in comics full stop. In fact, you can forget the "probably".
My favourite at the time (I was 8), though, would have to be "Johnny Red"- the one and only character I'd drop everything to write if I ever got the chance. I think the best ones ran from the beginning of Joe Colqhoun's tenure through the first couple of years of John Cooper's, round about where Johnny returns after faking his own death. Once the Falcons went back to Leningrad the stories seemed to lack their earlier intensity- there was still plenty of good stuff (The Gang of Seven, the attack on the Porcupine, the mission to rescue Yakob and some of the stuff at Kursk), but the strip wasn't always the must-read it had been.
In reply to the chap who's wondering about Ratov's disappearance, I seem to recall that he, Johnny and a bunch of British Fleet Air Arm pilots were ferrying fighters from a crippled aircraft carrier to Murmansk. Although Ratov was Johnny's gunner/navigator/dogsbody on the "Red Death" (the Mosquito that somehow never took off (ha...ha...ha...) as a replacement for Johnny's Hurricane), he couldn't have flown off the carrier with him- the fighters were all single-seaters, Johnny's being a Typhoon. I think there is a scene where they confer on or near the Typhoon, but Ratov was- or would have been- assigned one of the other aircraft to fly by himself.
Off they go, there's a bit of a dogfight with some German raiders on arrival at Murmansk, and in the chaos one of the FAA pilots makes a break for it. He's in the shit for some cock-up he's made earlier, and he figures he'll disappear into Russia rather than face the music. Johnny goes after him, and it's not long afterwards that John Cooper hands over to Carlos Pino. Ratov is never heard from again, so we can assume he sensibly sits out the war somewhere nice and quiet. The appalling thing is that this is all from memory, I don't have the actual issues in front of me.
Anyhow, as I say, I thoroughly enjoyed visiting your site and the resultant trip down memory lane. I'll pop back in from time to time and see what's new.
All the best- Garth Ennis

Er, wow, I can't believe I've had an email from Garth Ennis. I'm gonna have to go and lie down. I'm a big fan of his work - especially the excellent 'Preacher' series and the 'War Stories' one-offs. Any 'Battle' fan would I think enjoy his 'Nightingale' War Story for instance.

And here's a letter Garth wrote to 'Battle' back in the day...

Stumbled across your site whilst trying to purchase old copies of the Battle. It brought back lots of memories, I have tried explaining to my son how good a comic the Battle was, I used to have to wrestle the copy off of my Dad as he was a secret fan as well. My favourite characters were Boot Neck Boy, and Rat Pack.
I was also a big fan of the Victor and was given a huge collection of back copies from my Uncle.
Keep up the good work,
Dave Mac.

Thanks Dave

Great to see my beloved boyhood comics again. Keep it up. How about some artwork from Invasion 1984 ? - a great strip. Cheers from the land of Oz.

I think Invasion was a strip from the early 2000AD ?
Hang on, a missive from 'Bonemachine' on the 2000ADonline messageboard corrects me on this :-
"You're wrong about the 'Invasion: 1984' answer - it was definitely a different story to the 'Invasion' that ran in 2000AD.
I think it appeared just before 'Battle' became 'Battle Action Force'. Had Eric Bradbury artwork - with the skull faced aliens in the Samurai-like armour."

Hi - great web site !!
I have been searching for the 'Charley's War' graphic novels for years until I found them on ebay at crazy prices - £100 or more and I still haven't bought them!! When are the publishers going to get their act together and reprint the whole lot in book form ? I for one would buy them (even if i had to face the wrath of the wife) - as a lot of us 30 + now want to relive the fun times we had as kids.
Keep up the good work
Stephen - from Malta

Cheers for the kind words Stephen - rumour has it that Charleys War will be reprinted as a series of Graphic Novels starting in 2004. More details as I get them !

Great website!
Made me regret leaving behind all my old comics when i moved house a few years ago (doing a runner on a landlord and couldn't take everything ya see...)
Do you remember a character called "Union Jack" Jackson? He was a British soldier fighting with the US Marines so far as I remember, but I am not too sure which comic he appeared in...
Fighting Mann brought back some memories, I spent hours copying panels from that strip when I was but small... anyway, keep up the good work!

Thanks Adam, Union Jack Jackson featured in Battle's contemporary (and rival) comic - Warlord.

Searching for info on Charley's War, I stumbled across your website and what a great job you've done.
I read the Darkie's Mob reprint run in Battle in the early 80's and it was definitely one of the best strips. I somehow managed, though, not to get the very last edition and never found out what happened in the end. And now I've just learned it's all been reprinted in the 2000AD Megazine and I've missed that too. Oh, well.
Thanks for the memories
Robert Hagan
Derry, N Ireland

Ah well Robert, maybe they'll be a graphic novel version one day..

Stumbled over your website after searching again for Charley's War... It's great to be taken back down memory lane like that.
My brother and I had to have a bath every Sunday and afterwards were rewarded with 'comics and sweets' - The Beano, Battle and Look-in, and some cheap market sweets. I had an Action Man just like my brother and loved Charley's War and Johnny Red. We used to hang my Barbie with the Action Men (charming, kids are, eh!). While other girls were prannying about with their My Little Ponies, I was hanging upside-down from trees firing an imaginary Sten at imaginary foes.
I was nuts about 'the war' and always played Germans. I built a Messerschmidt ME109 and a Stuka from Airfix kits. My stock German is still "Schnell! Schnell! Feur, ein Englander! Die, you English Schweinhunt!" despite the fact that I now work in a European office dealing with German contracts all day every day :-)
Later on after Battle Action Force ended, we became 2000AD fans, and I moved onto Rogue Trooper, Strontium Dog, ABC Warriors and Mean Team. And boy, did I have a crush on Danny Franks from Bad Company II! Seeing a pic of 'The Sarge' made me realise that to this day, men in combats flip my switches. Is it any surprise I grew up to marry a biker who wears combats?
Top stuff, Colonel Marbles, keep it up! Love it to bits. :-)))

Cheers Han - nice to know that girls enjoyed Battle too !

Wow I am impressed,
I found you site while surfing and you took me back to a time when the dark side of a childs imagination was encouraged rather than suppressed. Although I was a fan of both Action & 2000 AD, I remember that “Battle” was superb. Both of my older brothers who were in their 20’s also could wait to read each weeks edition. The quality of the stories, humour and superb illustrations, made this an extremely well thought though publication. I know have three sons of my own and wish there was something of this quality I could allow them to read. It seems as though the do gooders believe that violence should be censored, at least in the printed word, although it seems its OK on a play station.
I would like to comment on what I believe are some major omissions from your site. D-Day Dawson. A platoon Sergeant who took a bullet on D-Day but went back to his men as they needed his leadership. I vaguely remember that he had a corporal (Whitley ?) who he thought needed him
There was also "Joe two Beans" a Native American in the Marine Core although I cant remember his Buddies name.
One of my Favorites was "Hold Hill 101" a similar story to Darkies Mob although set in North Africa. A Platoon of British troops who had to hold an insignificant hill against a fanatical enemy
"Loot" a Coward and a thief who heard about a stash of gold and suddenly became a hero.
On the back page there was often some Historical event or a Weapon system described, including HMS Sheffield one week.
I consider that this comic was superb, it was historically accurate and did nothing to glorify war. The artwork was as good as anything out of the States.
Good luck with this site I intend to be a regular visitor.

Thanks Steve - I'll put something up on D-Day Dawson when I get some time (pretty scarce at the moment!).
And your right - Hold Hill 109 was a great strip !

Hi Colonel
Just came across your fantastic site as I discovered it reading the latest issue of the Judge Dredd Megazine which was running a history of Battle comic which I just had to pick up to read about my favourite comic ever.
I bought Battle when every week, even at times I was told to stop buying comics at a young age but I kept coming back to it. All my issues were binned. I could never keep my comics and I've made sure I held onto them now when I started reading 2000AD.
Just wanted to say what a fantastic site you have put together. As well as that, Neil Emery's Charley's War site is also fantastic. One of the reasons, I visted both sites is because Charley's War is my favourite Battle series ever. I loved all the other classics like Rat Pack, Major Eazy, D-Day Dawson.
Now, if only somebody would put all those issues together and release them in the form of graphic novels, they should sell like hot cakes. Marvel in America do that for all their older comics and put them together in bound volumes.
Does anybody know who owns the rights to the old strips now? Do Rebellion have access to all the old strips? They must do, if they are reprinting them in the Megazine. I'm just dying to have Charley's War collected as I would love to read it all over again.
Thanks again for putting together such a great site. It really does bring back the memories.

Hi Paul,
thanks for your kind words. As far as I know, Rebellion (owners of 2000AD & the Megazine) will be collecting 'Charley's War' in a series of Graphic Novels, but they probably won't start coming out until next year, in the mean time some of CW will be reprinted in the Meg, starting in September. Fantastic !

Hi there,
I can't believe I found a site devoted to "Battle" - I had a blast reading them as a kid in Newcastle ( I had the newsagent reserve a copy of Warlord every week, and if there wasn't a Warlord available I used to get Battle).
A good friend liked Battle and I liked Warlord, but as we were both poor 14 year olds , we used to trade our collections every 6 months or so to catch up!
Here is how I found your site BTW, there is a Flight Simulator called " IL2: Forgotten Battles" - it deals with the eastern front in WW2, and someone just made a "Johnny Red" campaign for it.
If you play flight sims, the game is well worth checking out, maybe you could post the info on your site for other fans to try out ?
Robert T Wilson
PS. bring on the Nina pics! "Stalins Blood!"
PPS. I loved the VC's comic strip, was that in 2000AD?

Hi Robert - thanks for your mail and the news of the 'Johnny Red' game ! Alas I don't get much time these days to update the site, but I'll try to get more Johnny Red (and Nina Petrova) up soon!
The VC's were indeed in 2000AD and excellent they were too. They've been in it recently with some new stories btw.

A wonderful experience and one this thirty something really enjoyed. Not only am I buying 2000AD Megazine and catching up with old Battle reprints but a website with lots of memory jogging images.
Love you guys

Aw shucks Gary ! ;o)

Hi m8 ,
just a message to say what an excellent site , I was taken back to those hazy days of Johnny Red and Darkie's Mob , and many more , please keep up the very good work , and I was a Warlord agent with one of those plastic wallet things , oh boy how I nagged my mum to send off the money , lol .
Now I hoped you being the man to ask perhaps you could help me .I remember a series of stories in Battle concerning the Vietnam War , but I cannot recall the character ? I always remember the excellent graphic cartoon style and was always impressed by artwork involved and followed the story week by week .Since I have been forced into adulthood I now collect Vietnam memorabilia and have since recalled how very good and actually fairly realistic it was for the time , even explaining about the native tribesmen who helped scout against the V.C. and were in the strip at times . Could you please refresh my memory please and let me out of my misery and let me know the name of the cartoon strip ? Also if possible could you please let me know from which issues it ran and when it finished . I would like to get a hold of a few of the comics with that story in .I know you must be busy , but I hope you can help a fellow fan , my very best regards for the site , keep up the fantastic work I am going to spread the word amongst my old friends ok ,
cheerz mate ,
paul a. collins

I think the strip you are thinking of was called 'Fighting Mann', which started in the 16th July 1980 issue and ran thru a good chunk of the 1981 issues if I recall - sorry I can't give exact dates. It was writtten by Alan Hebden and drawn by the great Cam Kennedy, an artist who was soon to become a mainstay of 2000AD to the present day!
"In 1967, while attacking a North Vietnamese Army (NVA) gun nest, flight leader Walter Mann had orders to destroy it, and destroy it he did. However, the NVA launched a missile attack on Mann's aircraft to which he responded by out-manoeuvering it. Just as it was safe to fly on, we see a picture on Mann in shocked disbelief at what confronted him. One month later, and after many unsuccessful searches for Mann's aircraft, the USAF sent a letter to Mann's father stating that his son has been classed as, 'Missing - Believed Deserted'. Colonel Mann is livid and sets of for Vietnam to solve the mystery using all the contacts he'd established when he was Military Adviser To The Army Of Republic Of Vietnam during 1961-1963."

I was an avid Battle reader from the late Seventies until its eventual demise as Battle Storm Force or whatever it was. Battle was special because it came out on a Wednesday. It was a mid-week treat that had a full day to itself, unlike 2000AD, Roy of the Rovers, and Tiger which had to fight for my attention on Friday afternoons or Saturday mornings. My favourite stories were The Sarge, Major Eazy, and of course Charley’s War. When I was about eight Charley joined the clay-kickers and I spent a whole week worrying about what happened when he and his comrades (Budgie and Grogan?) became trapped in that tunnel.
I’ve been enjoying the rerun of Darkie’s Mob in Judge Dredd Megazine (I can still remember the final frame of the last episode!), and so I thought I’d see what there was about Battle on the web. Congratulations on an excellent site! I'll definitely be back for another tour of duty soon.
One thing that has been bothering me lately... whatever happened to Sailor Small? As I recall, the cliffhanger in the penultimate episode had him falling overboard (or diving into the sea, or something), but for some reason, I missed the final episode. Can anyone fill me in on how the story ended?
Keep up the good work!

Cheers Seb, I'm missing the end of 'Sailor Small' but if I'll let you know when ebay is kind to me...

Good site.
Wish there was a bit more on The Sarge though as it was one of my favourites when I was younger. Nobody seems to remember it as well as Darkies Mob but there was a similar heroic feel to the story as familiar members of the section were killed off (Specky, Bully Bates, Lover Boy, Mutt & Jeff, Frank the Yank etc). I'm only talking about the Mike Western era here though as it did return with a less appropriate artist. Anyone know who the writer was?
I think there was a general theme to Battle were you could never be sure that the main characters would survive. The Eagle, Darkie, D Day Dawson & Panzer G Man for instance were all killed off as were countless others no doubt. This didn't really happen in Warlord to any great extent as they tended to keep most of their heroes alive (unless anyone can think of notable exceptions). This is not meant as a criticism of Warlord as I hold it in the same regard as Battle (and without it there probably wouldn't have been a Battle).
Toodle pip for now

Yes you're right about them killing off the heroes - wouldnt happen these days I'm sure !

What a can of worms has been opened here,eh?
I was an avid reader of Warlord & would like to share some memories with you. The strips I remember are Code-Name Warlord, Union Jack Jackson, Kampfgruppe Falken, Drake of E-Boat Alley, Roughneck Rogers, Sergeant Rayker & Cassidy. I was a Warlord secret Agent, but I must admit in my town I was A solitary agent! I remember the small brown wallet they gave you with code-breaking details inside. I also remember plastic model kit reviews every week from such manufacturers as Matchbox, Airfix, Hasegawa, Revell, Frog, Monogram & Heller.
During school I remember completely stealing the Sergeant Rayker storyline & Passing it off as my own, getting top marks in English! I have a few annuals somewhere, but all I can find at the moment is a Warlord Summer Special from 1982 (36p!) Which has An Escape From Colditz Dice game on the rear cover.
If ever Warlord or Battle strips see re-prints in Graphic Novel form they would sell like hot cakes, especially if given the correct treatment. I urge a monthly re-print of just war tales to be released..with free stickers!!
Darren Cooksey (aged 33 & three quarters).

Ah Drake of E-boat Alley ! Now that was classic stuff. My favourite was an early story called 'The Phantom Flyer'. Does anyone remember 'Spider Wells', the First World War pilot ?

I was a Warlord agent too. I think I was also in the Airfix Modellers Club in Battle but it didnt have quite the same prestige - Dick Emery was no match for Peter Flint !
The Phantom Flyer was the one with a discharged pilot stealing a downed Spitfire/Hurricane and then operating it out of a nearby farm with a very long field as a runway. I think this was one of Warlords best airplane stories as I wasnt too fussed on the likes of Braddock etc.
Also just to clarify one of the earlier e-mails the story about a group of schoolkids shot down on the way to Australia was called "The Boys of Terror Island" and not the Mice of Tobruk - they were 4 schoolkids left behind when the Germans took over Tobruk.
I also enjoyed UJJ, Iron Annie,Kamfegruppe Falken etc. We are in danger of turning this into a Warlord page though.
Also on a related subject I see some of the Sven Hassel books are being re-released this month. I have never read any of these so I can't vouch for quality but they were quite big in the 70's. They are all about a German penal battalion serving on the Russian Front and I will probably pick one up out of curiousity. I am expecting something along the lines of Sharpe crossed with Kampfegruppe Falken. Anyone read any of the Sven Hassel books?

Sven Hassel ! I read loads of his books as a teenager ("Wheels Of Terror!"). Great stories - do check them out. Actually the later Battle story 'Death Squad' (see pic down the page) was a complete rip-off of the Hassel books.

Superb idea!
I used to love reading Battle when I was a kid - I simply couldn't wait for each new issue to come out!
In fact I've still got them up in the loft (get them down every now and again to remind myself how wonderful they were!) Children these days have missed out on a special era in comics, with everything now being so sanitised and regulated.
Good luck with the site! and send my regards to the Colonel!

Matt Woods
(Aged 38)

Cheers Matt. I havent been able to do the volume of updates etc I would have liked recently, but hopefully I'll get down to it in the next few months.

A wonderful site and one that took me back to a time when the world was black and white. I'd forgotten about 'Johnny Red' and the 'Rat Pack'.
I've started buying 'Judge Dredd/2000AD' monthly for the Battle reprints. I'm 37 and as a kid was nuts about comics - that is coming back.
Top marks. Pure quality.
Please please dig up some 'Dredger'!

Oh yes 'Dredger' ! Originally in the Action comic I think. I'll see what I can do..

First up I'm not a comic collector, I read them when I was a kid back in the Seventies, but that was then. I 'grew up' and left all that behind me!
However, recently I've come across some stuff about the Burma Campaign, (I can't even remember now what I was reading or where I was reading it), and as I read something from my childhood came back to me. It was Darkie's Mob. This memory came back so fast and alarmingly that it pushed everything else out. So over the last week I've been found sitting quietely in corners with huge grins on my face as I recall snippets of Cap'n Darkie here and there from the recesses of my mind! My wife says I 'look like the happy moron with that grin on your face'!
Anyways, I could take it no more so I powered up the PC and did a google search for Battle Comic Darkie and lo and behold Google brought me to you! Your web site has been wonderful and to find that Darkie's Mob is being reprinted just made me so happy! So I got out the yellow pages found a comic book shop in Oxford and have ordered the Judge Dredd Megazines from January to present! However, it's not enough so I went to Ebay to try to find the Battle Comics for the period 14.08.76 - 18.06.77. Not one, not a single one for sale on Ebay. Can you tell me where I might find a collection of Battle comics that cover this period and what price I might likely pay for them? I need the original colourt art work, the racial slurs, I want it all! I hope you can help?
BTW I was a Warlord agent! As I recall his name was Flint and his arch enemy was Schaeffer or something like that. Or maybe I'm way off now. Over Forty, the memory is not quite as good as it was! Wasn't there some form of wings on either side of the Warlord logo?
Pete Mallett

Hi Pete,
thanks for your comments - its great to know that people like the site etc - makes all the hassle worthwhile. My situation was very like yours around 18 months ago - remembering Darkie after 20-odd years and looking for something online about him - and finding nothing !! I couldnt believe it and so the site was born in an attempt just to jog peoples memories. As for the original comics, the only thing I can suggest is to keep on trying ebay regularly - they do crop up every now and again. I paid about a £1 an issue for my copies, but prices seem to have been on the up lately ! Sorry I can't be of any more help.

Just dropped into the site, this brings back so many memories, of reading 'Battle' and 'Warlord', and what was the comic with Flint in it? I think it was a spin off of Warlord though I could be wrong!??!!
Anyway have just put some copies of 'Battle Action' on Ebay, I think its time for some one else to enjoy this great comic.

Great site, have booked marked it and will make regular returns!!
Well done

Cheers Chris. Lord Peter Flint was a regular in 'Warlord'.

Just surfing around the Web when I came across your excellent site.
What memories!!
I remember becoming an avid reader of Battle when it was first published in the mid seventies and I loved it from the off! I seem to recall that it was the only thing I would read from cover to cover, which seemed to upset at least a couple of my teachers at school!! Well, the curriculum was rather boring at the time!
I don't know if you are interested by this but I have a Battle board game which was constructed from certain pages of the comic during this time. All the cards and counters are there as well and I was wondering if this was worth something today??
Many thanks for bringing back such happy memories!!

Simon B.

To be honest Simon I think the complete comics would be more valuable than the game, but I'm no expert on comic valuations ! Stick it on ebay and see what you get...

Hey Colonel,
Turns out I came across the site a while back, I just didn't recognise it when I visited yesterday - you've been real busy.
I like the idea of scanning in the full stories. "The Team That Went To War" was one I've never come across before, I showed it to the lads at work ( I work at a computer games company) who are a tough crowd to please and they loved it...kneecappings, brutal torture, Jerry getting the end he deserves, they don't make 'em like that anymore.
Keep up the good work.

Thanks Phil. Obviously there are fairly major copyright issues with reproducing whole strips -so I'm trying to keep in everyone's good books by keeping them as purely tasters to encourage people to ask for reprints !

Thanks for putting up a great site!
It's nice to see some British artists getting some recognition. I'm working on a site myself . For a start it'll just have scans of full pages of artwork. I'm concentrating on Joe Colquhoun, Geoff Campion and Mike Western at the moment.
I've got a sizeable annual collection and a smallish stash of comics from the sixties and seventies. Mainly Lions Tigers and Valiants. Ah yes, HMS Nightshade.
It's interesting that you should mention the change of style in the artwork in that strip.
The change in style did put me off when I was a kid (I'm in my late 30's now) and I could never 'get into' the strip.
I have a sneaking suspicion that it was Ron Tiner who finished the pages off.
He drew "Springheeled Jack" in the Hotspur or Victor. I also remember a Major Eazy (b+w, set in Germany just at the end of the war) strip in a Battle annual by him.
I think it's a little unkind to say that "another artist of a lesser calibre inked the final pages."
Every artist has a unique style and it is hard to emulate other peoples work.
It'd be cool to see some Warlord strips on your site. I always enjoyed 'Kampfgruppe Falcon' (the adventures of a German penal company). I thought that the art on that strip was outstanding. Quite realistic. I don't know who drew it. There are a lot of artists who worked at DC Thompson who deserve some credit.
Thanks for taking the time to make such an enjoyable site! Regards.

Yeh my comments on the inker were pretty harsh & I'll amend them when I get a moment. Anyway I look forward to seeing your site !
Below by happy chance is a new drawing from Mike Western of 'The Sarge'. It was drawn for the cover of the excellent '80's 'Eagle' fanzine, 'The Eagle Flies Again'. If you want a copy, email here.

I've just stumbled across this site, and several back issues of Battle on E Bay. I've been after back issues for the best part of 20 years. Nobody seemed to know of its existence. I collected Battle from issue 1 to about mid 82 when I left school. Sadly (only joking !!) issues like girls, beer and stock car racing then came to the fore and Battle had to go. Well I'm now married with two kids, the beer belly has got to stop growing. Stock car racing however is a way of life !!
Charleys War, Johnny Red, Darkie's Mob, D Day Dawson, The Eagle, Rat Pack etc etc, memories are made of this.
Thank you.

No thank you for taking the trouble to send your mail ! Makes it all worth while.

Well that is fantastic news re the reprints.
I tell my son tales of Darkies Mob at bedtime - he's 6 now, and a chance for him to immerse himself into the actual strip is welcomed...(maybe he will leave computer alone so i can have a go!).
Well done for all your work, keep it up.
I'll have to get myself to the newsagent and order a copy. - Jojimbo

Hope those 'Megazine' reprints bring back happy memories Jo !

Nice to see someone remembers Battle..!
I still have a boxful of them in my loft issue 1 onwards (dunno how many.. loads though!)
Best story was Day of the Eagle or whatever it was with Mike Nelson - ah nostalgia - must while a few hours away flicking through them.
Hey wouldn't it be nice if I had time to scan them all and pdf them up.....!
Huge undertaking though!
Any ideas if they're worth anything ;-)

Issues of Battle seem to be going for around £1-£2 these days.

Found out about your web address after reading the reprint of DARKIES MOB in 2000AD. Excellent site.
If any readers are in the Manchester area, the Empire Exchange just off Piccadilly on Newton St has a number of Battles (random selection 1980- early 83) going for £2 each if anyone is interested.

Thanks for the tip David

My Dear Colonel
What a delight to find you after much vain searching a year or so ago for Battle on the internet. I am particularly obsessed with Charley's War, but just wanted to echo your thoughts on Major Eazy's resemblance to the late very great James Coburn. Clearly he is modeled on his performance as Corporal Kurt Steiner in arguably the best war film of all time - Sam Peckinpah's "Cross of Iron" (or is it "Carry on England" with Patrick Mower?). Cross of Iron displays that rare quality in war films (Paths of Glory included) where the moral man who refuses promotion witnesses all his superiors fuck each other over for medals, glory or pussy. Great stuff.
Keep it up old man.
Roger Drew VC, DFC, EYC, Blazin' Squad.

Cheers Drew, yep its time I dug out some of my old videos and watched 'Cross Of Iron' and 'The Magnificent Seven' all over again. James Coburn RIP.

Just thanking you for a great site.
I'm another 30 year old with fond memories of the British comics of the 70's and early 80's. I'd love to see loads of additions to the site but totally understand that 'real life' gets in the way! Still, I wish someone would do an Action site - if I knew how I'd give it a go my self. An interview with Gerry Finlay Day would be great, also does anyone know much about Jack Adrian (not sure if he actually contributed to Battle, but he did some great stuff for Action) I've got about the first 3 years worth of Battle and most of the original run of Action (before it was given the chop and brought back as a pale imitation of itself) but, like everyone else here and on the brilliant Charlies War site, I'd love to see some of those great stories reprinted.
Paul Harrison

Thanks Paul - you'll be as glad as I am the Megazine is reprinting 'Battle' stuff then !

Dear Col.,
I am 31 soon and as a kid remember the joys of 'Cooley's Gun', 'Johnny Red', 'Fighting Mann' et al. I would like to relive those memories and be able to introduce my nephews to the world of comics, and thus I am interested in buying some 2000AD style 'Chronicles' of these characters. Are they available still, and if so, where?
Tom Erskine

I'm afraid there are no 'graphic novel' collections of the old 'Battle' strips Tom. That's part of the reason this site exists - to try to convince some publishers to reprint this classic stuff !

Hi Colonel,
what a great interview you did with ('Battle' editor) Dave Hunt.
More like this please.
Ian Ward

Ta Ian - maybe I'll try to get in contact with writer Gerry Finley-Day next.

Dear Colonel
Love the 'Battle' site - it's great!
Looking through my old Battles (I have the last 250 or so) I noticed an oddity in the 'Johnny Red' strip. In (I believe) the last episode to be drawn by John Cooper, Johnny and his occasionally amusing sidekick Ratov get into their plane to fly back to Russia....and in the next episode Johnny arrives there on his own. Ratov has simply disappeared and is never mentioned again!!! Does anyone know how this came about - even if there was a change of writer, it's a pretty glaring editorial oversight!!!!!
Anyway, keep up the good work with the site!
Chris Matterface

Thanks for that Chris - I don't have a lot of the later issues sadly - have to do more hunting on ebay!

Dear Colonel,
Well, what can I say? Publishing COMIC BITS I try to cover all aspects of British Golden and Silver Ages comics but there's only so much you can do in 60+pp!
This site is GREAT. The subjects it looks at (hey, plenty of stuck up would-be comic critics slam BATTLE as 'junk') are great pieces of nostalgia and it was good to see someone remembered JOHNNY RED'S girl !
I'm recommending the site in my mag and to others I write to. All I can say is continue with the great work.
Terry Hooper

Wow cheers for that - if you are interested to find out more about old UK comics then Terry's fanzine COMIC BITS is a great place to start. And thanks to him as well for letting me use his Mike Western and John Cooper interviews on this site.

Dear Colonel,
Tears of joy and wonderful memories when I found your site!
I was a child again as I clicked my way thru your site.
THANK YOU Please keep putting up the art and pages - more full pages - please...heh.

And now I have a request - perhaps you can help - I have been reading and drawing (copying their drawings) War Picture Library comics, since I was a kid, and have always marvelled at the drawings and the styles that graced their pages- one artist in particular - his name is Jorge Molitern - given to me by Vic at this site
What I was wanting to find out was how this artist went about creating his art. I would dearly love to see some pencils - an interview - anything - I've been searching for years and this is the closest I've got!
I've attached a couple of images for your reference - any help much appreciated.
Thanks once again for great effort - keep going!

I'm really sorry Mike I can't help you there - but does anyone out there know of the artist ? If so please contact me and I'll let Mike know !

Hi Colonel,
Great update with 'Johnny Red'.
What a fantastic strip that was, though I seem to remember thinking as the series went on ''how can one guy survive the perils of war this long''...a bit like 'D-Day Dawson'. Speaking of whom, any plans for a Dawson page?

'D-Day Dawson' will get his own page at some point, including the truly tragic final episode where the great man tops himself by walking into the sea before the bullet lodged next to his heart kills him !


I just stumbled on this site and it made me feel about 10 again. Now 33, I had forgotten how much I enjoyed the BATTLE comics (I loved Warlord too). 'Major Eazy' was my fave as well as 'Johnny Red'. I remember being really touched when 'Darkie's Mob' ended.
There was a board game too if I remember made up from pull-outs in several weeks when you could take to part of one of the Characters and they were different colours ? 'Crazy Keller' had a cool jeep with two big fuck off machine guns on the back and the 'Rat Pack' were a nasty bunch. 'El Mestizo' had about four pistols and a bolas which he used a lot.
These magazines are so un-PC it is brilliant can you imagine them being on sale today they would be 'top shelf' . Great memories!

Donner end Blitzen, Himmel, Have a grenade!

I must check out my mums loft when I next visit!

Angus Smith

Thanks Angus - I just wish they'd re-print some of these old stories - they'd sell like hot-cakes to us nostalgic thirty- somethings who should know better !

Hi Colonel,
checked out the new Battle website and had me revelling in nostalgia.
I really must get up in the roof and re-read this great part of UK comics history.
I remember waking up early at 7am to rush down to the letter box on a Thursday when this weeks Battle would flop through the letter box.
Rebellion should be encouraged to get the rights to republish these strips, as well as Action ( any thought on a web site for this fantastic title? ). I'm sure it would sell to all us 30 something fans.
One last note, come on Mr. Wagner give us Judge Eazy, would his attitude drive Dredd crazy or what!

Yeh an 'Action' site is possible, but I'm afraid I've got my hands full here with 'Battle' at the moment. All things in time...

Great Site.
I think anyone who read Battle each week and is of a certain age, (I was also 10 reading Darkies Mob) has an unspoken bond!
Well maybe that's a bit strong but the stories and the art were so excellent it made great impressions on a young mind. I didn't realise how strong it was until about 3 years ago. I had forgotten the great comics I read as a kid until I was working at the convention 'Memorabilia' and we were next to a comic dealer. He had a big fat box full of 'Battle's' and I was dipping in during quiet moments for a quick read. The memories came flooding back. Johnny Red over Stalingrad, how could I have forgotten. I was mentally debating whether to buy them when a 30something Punk Rocker bought the lot! Judging by the Iron Cosses on his leather jacket he had also been affected by 'Battle'!
Anyway, the damage done by this great comic is apparent in how I make my living, I own North Star, a company making pewter WW2 figures. I am starting a new line called 'Projekt X' which will feature Sci-Fi figures of a WW2 nature, all heavily influenced by comic and computer game characters. No doubt 'Battle' will play it's part. Thanks for reading.
Nick Eyre

Love the site but where's 'Johnny Red' (only up to 1979 though) and 'Hellman Of Hammer Force', two all time classics?

Fair point Phil - but I've only got one pair of hands ! The 'Johnny Red' has now been started and 'Hellman' will follow as soon as I get the chance.

Just wanted to say thanks for a top web site - and a big thanks for the link to 'Charleys War' site. I loved 'Darkie's Mob' but my favourite was Charley Bourne. I still have a number of the old comics and also a few of the Battle Action Force when it started to re-run 'Charley's War'. I would love it if we could get someone to republish the whole story! Sign me up for any campaigns!
'Charley's War' lead to a life long obsession with WW1 - especially when I 'discovered' my Great Grandfathers medals and postcards. I have been involved in produced a WW1 'mod' for a WW2 computer game and run a WW1 Website with the mod plus book reviews and other items of interest -

Keep up the good work!

That's a nice site you have there Tim ! Thanks for the kind words and for mailing me - it makes the hard work(?) worthwhile when you get some feedback!

Hi mate,

I was just surfing and came upon the site while enquiring on 'Panzer-G-Man'. I really would like to get the set of strips, complete... ie the whole of 'Darkie's Mob' etc, in a volume - is there such a thing?

'Fraid not Jimmy :o( Maybe one day .....

I am now 36,and my boyhood was comics, remember 'Warlord' too?

Sure do ! Maybe I'll do something on that too one day - remember Union Jack Jackson ?

'Darkie's Mob' was the ultimate favourite... I collected every single episode, removed them from the comic and kept them in a folder...Hell I even painted my toy soldiers to look like them. I had about 32 - I think that was the whole of the Mob (except for Flyboy) when Darkie turned up.

When I moved out of my mums in '86-'87 they were mislaid !

I also had 'Johnny Red','Panzer-G-Man' and 'Charley's War' 'til WW2, after that it was motor bikes. Lost them all, ah well..
I'm at present modding 'Medal of Honour Allied Assault'' preparing for the SDK (software development kit) as I'm gonna do a story in serial a 'Panzer-G-Man' thing. Thats why the interest, after all these years, sigh

Keep up the good work...AAAAIIIEEEE DAAAAKKKEEEE!!!

Take care,

(P.S. Remember Johnny Red's bird...Nina Petrova? What a dish).

I'm rather afraid I do Jimmy - in fact here she is to say hi....

nina petrova

Here's an interesting point from an ex-Tharg, no less!


Good site. It might interest you to know that Wagner - being the ecologically minded individual he is ;-) - recycled the plot of Darkie's Mob for the Wilderlands Judge Dredd mega-epic,


published in 1994 as a crossover between the Megazine and 2000 AD, with Dredd as Darkie. Progs 903-915 and Meg 2.63-68, IIRC.


David Bishop

You know I hadn't thought of that before.

Let's hope the rumours about some Battle stories being reprinted come true!
I've just bought some old Battle Action comics for the sake of nostalgia and could not believe how good some of the stories were.
My personal favourite was Charley's War by Pat Mills and now 18 years later the story seems even better. The art work is some of the best I've seen. There is no way I can afford to buy all the old comics, so come on and let's get some of these classic stories reprinted.

Great site by the way.



Thanks for that Paul! Make sure to check Neil Emery's 'Charleys War' fansite.

Excellent site ~ I've bookmarked it for future ref !!

I too have managed to get hold of a few Battle Comics - I've got the first 5 in the run, and the last 5 (if you want any scans then please let me know )


Yeh, make sure to check back every now and again, 'cos I'm always tinkering away and adding new stuff!

Just a quick E Mail to website!
Long Live "Darkie's Mob!"

Shorty's Diary

Just checked your site out again....great stuff! When is 'Johnny Red' gonna make an appearance? Until 'Charley's War', this was without doubt Battle's best strip (very closely followed in my opinion by 'Rat Pack', 'Major Eazy', 'Darkie's Mob' & 'Crazy Keller'......a virtual 'Major Eazy' rip off!) Anyone remember 'D-Day Dawson' from the early issues? I used to think "Warlord" was a good comic......then "Battle" appeared! 'Union Jack Jackson' anybody? Speaking of Warlord, does anybody remember a story about a group of schoolboys on their way to Australia, got shot down & waged their own war against the Japs on a jungle island? Any idea what it was called?

NEWS JUST IN ! Apparently 'Its called "The Mice of Tobruk" as far as I can remember!' says a loyal reader.

There was also a story about an RAF pilot who flew with the RAAF in New Guinea??? Or how about "Hunter.....his arrows mean death!"???????
"Warlord" or "Battle"???????? Kids today have nothing like this, WHY? Becouse they have the internet thats why!!!!
Anyway, I think its time for my medication
Splundig vur Thrigg.........damn wrong comic!

Craigy B


If you look closely you may have notice the name 'Alec Trench' on one of the grave crosses in a pic on the John Wagner interview page. It seems that the name was part of a running joke between Wagner and another future 2000AD writer and artist, Alan Grant. This explanation appeared recently on the 2000AD message board..

Alec Trench first appeared in a very early {2000AD strip} 'Future Shock', as a totally untalented writer whose work was constantly being rejected by Tharg from his Command Module at the top of King's Reach Tower!
He definitely did jump off a bridge with his typewriter; I seem to recall that he was picked up by a passing spaceship where he was tortured by alien nasties, for some reason or other. Can anyone else help me out here? I suspect he was killed but got resurrected as a zombie in a subsequent sequel Future Shock. Not sure. Anyone?
Anyway, somehow or other I found out that Alec Trench was an early pseudonym of Alan Grant's, and was able to ask him at a convention where the name came from.
According to Mr Grant, he first used the pseudonym when he was a journalist way back in the mists of time, working on a regional Scottish newspaper. Because nothing ever happened where he lived, he used to make up mad stories; the example he told me involved a Nazi U-Boat being washed up on the local beach during the War. Then he'd go and interview the local pensioners about it, and more often than not they'd say "Oh yes, I remember that..." and elaborate on the tale. Et voila! One interesting story for the paper, as told to the reporter by the locals. a mad and twisted way.
Of course, he could have been bullsh*tting me.

That's a pretty strange story dude !

I remember one called 'Hellman of Hammer Force' from the same period that had some good stuff in it. There was also another one which I can't remember the name of but was drawn by an artist called Pat Wright which I thought was fantastically well drawn (and also very violent) for it's time.

Yeh that would be the Secret Agent 'Eagle' Stories I think.

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