On this day, 19 February 1983: Eagle
On this day, 19 February 1983 … there was Big News indeed for all readers of the new Eagle, and this time it was properly great news. The following week would see a re-vamp of the comic, the introduction of a few (admittedly rather shaky) 3D elements and most importantly three new strips (Scorpio, The Fifth Horseman and Crowe Street Comp) all of which were drawn by hand – the first significant step towards the end of Eagle’s unfondly remembered photo-stories. Only three photo-stories would continue into next week’s issue (Doomlord, Manix and Jake’s Patrol). It seems fairly clear that the photographic approach that had been one of the key identifying factors of Eagle’s relaunch the previous year had not been a huge success, and as things turned out they would be phased out completely by the autumn. They do represent a remarkable and memorable episode in IPC comics history, however, and are generally amusing to review.
Suitably, this is the last issue to feature a photographic cover, although it appears to look more like Sherlock Holmes being attacked by a cyclops cyborg than Sgt. Streetwise on the receiving end of a welding torch. Elsewhere in the comic, robotic secret agent Manix gets a golf driver across the back of his neck, adolescent fantasy strip The Invisible Boy takes the inevitable dive of a storyline set in a school swimming pool, Jake’s Platoon looks lower-rent than Dad’s Army in the barn of a supposed Normandy farmhouse and The Collector tells the story of a coastguard lost in a haunted mist (the reproduction of figures wandering around in the fog was so poor that my interest hasn't held long enough to be able to tell you what happened to him). More happily, the comic is graced on its centre pages and back cover by more superb Ian Kennedy work on Dan Dare, which is worth the cover price alone.