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The Battle/Battle;Action/Battle; Action Force

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  • The Battle/Battle;Action/Battle; Action Force

    My favourite of the 80s comics, slightly grittier and harder edged than the Victor and Warlord but lacking the nastier and subversive edge of 2000AD, Action and the relaunched Eagle. It was the war comic for the more mature boy and concentrated purely on war stories rather than sport, horror, crime or socially realistic stuff.
    Charley's War-utterly epic account of a young boy enduring the horror of the trenches in WW1, not sparing the reader the reality of the nightmare for a moment. Also cool that we had the story of Charley's brother in the RFC and cousin in the RN at the Battle of the Falklands so all aspects were covered. Surely with the centenary coming up it deserves a reprint?
    Johnny Red-wonderful story of a disgraced RAF pilot finding redemption flying for the Russians in WW2. Normally in any story based on the Russian front you'd have a German hero albeit one at odds with the Nazis.
    The Sarge; terrific tale of a grizzled Great War veteran leading his infantry section throughout WW2 (although as a Sergeant surely he should have commanded a platoon?). Super realisitc and gritty, guys would join the unit, you'd get to know them for a few issues then they'd be killed or wounded, I remember actually crying when some bought it.
    HMS Nightshade; a potent mix of The Cruel Sea and In Which We Serve following a corvette through WW2, told through the perspective of a grandfather relating the tale to his grandson (which my grandfather did and many boys of my generation must also have experienced). Unsparing in portraying the harsh realities of war, one character surviving a horrific ordeal at sea only to return to port and find his wife has been killed in an air raid, another imprisoned after fleeing the ship in cowardnice. In the final story they're celebrating VE day when the ship hits a mine killing almost the entire crew.
    Invasion 1984; terrific alien invasion story that you really get the idea was cut short to make room for Action Force, sort of a combination of War of the Worlds, V and Independence Day.
    Action Force; Blood for the Baron! The UN's own armed forces Z-force (infantry) SAS force, Q-force (navy) and Space Force take on the might of Baron Ironblood and his terrorist army. A tie in with the toy line but great stuff, I remember in one annual they gave a background to The Baron portraying him as the disgraced son of a Swiss diplomat whose family motto (found on numerous shells which fell on American positions towards the end of the Vietnam War) was 'Suingo Ferris', Our Blood is of Iron. Then they changed it to Cobra (whose leader was a failed car salesman!) and it became all American and rather rubbish.
    Night of the Jackal; South American revolutionaries hijack a British destroyer and use it to attempt a coup. Really great stuff and not all that far fetched.
    They tried to introduce Storm Force after Action Force went over to Marvel but it never really worked. I think Johnny Red and Charley's war may have survived on the Eagle?

  • #2
    Re: The Battle/Battle;Action/Battle; Action Force

    Two links I hope you'll enjoy


    • #3
      Re: The Battle/Battle;Action/Battle; Action Force

      Originally posted by NostalgiaGuy View Post
      Cool thanks


      • #4
        Huge Battle fan back in the day. I have the first 200 issues in a box upstairs as well as scans of them courtesy of an old Yahoo group. My favourite stories were Darkies Mob, Invasion 1984, The Team That Went To War and Cold Steele. A few of the strips have been released as standalone books. Darkie's Mob and Invasion 1984 among them. The seemingly complete Charley's War, El Mestizo and Death Squad also. Two books entitled The Best of Battle are out and have stories that I consider far from the best. Wardog, Fighting Mann and H.M.S Nightshade.
        Two memories that will stay with me forever. Running down to the newsagent one evening to get my copy of Battle and getting home only to read the very last episodes of Merrill's Marauders and Cold Steele. A rather better memory was going to a Summer Fete and finding four copies of early Battle comics I'd not read. Remember when you could find comics at fetes and buy them for a penny each?