On this day, 1 September 1984: Eagle and Scream!
On this day, 1 September 1984 … Rather like Misty, but, with only 15 issues to its wonderful name, Scream! is one of those gems of the IPC comics range that one feels could have become as successful as 2000AD. But circumstances worked against this horror-themed title, whose creators included writers such as John Wagner, Alan Grant and Alan Moore, and artists Eric Bradbury, Jim Watson, Jesus Redondo and Jose Ortiz. The fifteenth and final standalone issue of Scream! appeared on 30 June 1984, although it was not heralded as such. An NUJ strike meant that the sixteenth issue was delayed (along with thirteen other IPC comics and magazines), but while 2000AD and others returned to the newsagents' shelves after a month or so, Scream! appeared to be lost for ever.
That is until this issue of Eagle appeared with a tiny Scream! logo occupying a couple of inches of its masthead. Despite the low-key merger, Scream! brought a lot of horrible goodness to Eagle. The latter publication must have picked up a lot of bemused new readers, as well as the continuation of the classic Monster saga and – best of all – The Thirteenth Floor, the ongoing tales of unassuming tower block Maxwell Tower, whose daily activities were monitored and regulated by a computer called Max. Bullies and ne’er-do-wells would be summoned, with or against their will, to the thirteenth floor of the building where Max would unleash their greatest nightmares upon them. In addition to being the star of a wonderful, long-running series, written by Wagner and Grant (under the pseudonym Ian Holland) and drawn by Ortiz, Max would eventually take over the fictional editorship of Eagle.
Eagle had by this stage reclaimed its status as one of the top brands in the IPC range. Since abandoning its initial photo-story format, the relaunched title provided consistently strong adventure fare, headlined by Dan Dare and Doomlord, and also featuring the likes of Wagner/John Burns boxing tale The Fists of Danny Pyke and the Scott Goodall/Eduardo Vanyo story The Brothers (which concluded in this issue – possibly prematurely to make a bit of room for the Scream! merger, as the ending does seem a little rushed).