On this day, 13 June 1987: Eagle
On this day, 13 June 1987 … It’s back to the Eagle today, four years on from the issue I looked at on Saturday. This is a couple of years after its takeover of Tiger, but a year before it merged with Battle, and the comic’s in good shape – all hand-drawn art by this stage, and some of IPC’s very best artists at that: Carlos Ezquerra, Mike Western, Eric Bradbury, Jose Ortiz, Carlos Cruz, Eduardo Vanyo, Robin Smith and Ramon Sola are all here (although the latter only in reprint from early 2000AD, as MACH 1 meets his predecessor/successor MACH Zero). With John Wagner, Alan Grant, Barrie Tomlinson, Alan Hebden and Steve MacManus on scripts, this Eagle is soaring.
As with Tornado nearly a decade previously, the line-up of Eagle in 1987 predominantly follows an ‘action heroes’ theme, with only one story – Survival, which in this episode has a The Walking Dead feel to it – based around an ensemble cast rather than a single lead. Death Wish’s Blake Edmonds is on the trail of Dracula, Doomlord leaves his young wards in the care of African mountain gorillas as he prepares to battle his evil son Enok, and Dan Dare defends the Space NHS from an attack of the Mekon with the help of Zapper Lawrence, a twentieth-century computer-whizzkid who seems to be filling the role of the original Dan Dare’s Flamer Spry. The story roster is completed by a couple of heroes working outside the law – ex-KGB agent Comrade Bronski and masked crimefighter Avenger – and the long-running Computer Warrior in which Bobby Patterson and a young John Major must fight their way through games selected by the Computer Sexist Warlord.