Sunday, 8 November 2015
Lion and Champion (1966)
One of the longest running boys comics, Lion, merged with a the short lived Champion comic in 1966. Oddly Champion was described as the "companion paper to Valiant" but was merged with a different title. The publishers did the same with Hurricane when it ceased publication and was subsumed by Tiger. I'd guess Lion was the one that needed a circulation boost at the time.
The first few issues elude me but I decided to pick this comic up from the issue dated 17th September 1966 as it had a cover that announced the return of the Phantom Viking. In a story line reminiscent of Marvel Comics Thor, Olaf Larsen found a helmet (rather than a hammer) which when place on his head gave him superpowers including flight. The mild mannered if not complete wimp of a teacher then went on to fight crime...on the seafront!
Also continuing in this issue was The Spider who beats the Android King with the help of fellow criminal The Exterminator and then decides to reform and fight crime much to the consternation of all his minions bar two and complete disbelief by the police.
The inevitable World War Two story featured Trelawney of the Guards who commits a minor mutiny to prevent being promoted to being an officer. And of course there's Robot Archie, this time wandering around the jungle in a boring machine fighting criminals escaping in a hover car. All futuristic stuff that must have wowed Britain's young readers back in those days before men landed on the moon.
Other strips included Code-name Barracuda an agent of the United Nations fighting one of those bizarrely named international organisations back in the sixties WAM (War Against Mankind). No idea either.
Zip Nolan, Mowser the aristocratic cat plus Texas Jack (a western story) fill out the issue.
Oh there's also the inevitable football story which I would have skipped over then and did so today.
Worthwhile reading, but Lion was one of the better British comics.