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On this day, 31 March 1979: Tornado

On this day, 31 March 1979: Tornado

You hear some far-fetched rumours in life, but few more ridiculous than that one doing the rounds about artistic legend and former comics laureate Dave Gibbons playing the part of Tornado's welly-wearing superhero editor, Big E. Some people don't read their editorial pages properly: the fourteenth page of the second issue or Tornado clearly reveals that the true identity of Big E was the office's resident 'physical and mental weakling' Percy Pilbeam. Look at that photo of Percy below (between feminist icon Samantha Stevens and attention deficit disordered Billy Preston): the resemblance is fairly obvious when you see it.

Not that being Big E really seemed to be that great a deal. He had the superhuman capacity to beat the London traffic on his daily commute, and, in the opinion of Tharg himself, to make Tornado a worthy companion to 2000AD. But he seems to have been defined less by what he could do than what he couldn't be arsed to: 'I won't tell you more here, since details appear later in this issue', 'Despite my super strength and amazing mental powers the task of producing Tornado is more than even I can manage', 'I wish I had time to fly around delivering Tornado to your door, but as I spend 24 hours a day producing your comic, it is best if you get your copy from the newsagent'. Well cheers, Big E! If only we knew that you were really occupied producing mind-blowing, seminal and utterly zarjaz artwork elsewhere, such as Dan Dare and Harlem Heroes for 2000AD and The Iron Legion for Doctor Who Weekly, we might have a little more respect for you today.

Still, Tornado was a pretty good comic regardless. Its heroes-themed stories included Victor Drago, The Mind of Wolfie Smith, Angry Planet, The Tale of Benkei, Wagner's Walk and Captain Klep - all seen below - and, in later issues, Storm, Black Hawk and The Lawless Touch.

 Victor Drago: Bill Henry (writer), Mike Dorey (artist)

Victor Drago: Bill Henry (writer), Mike Dorey (artist)

 Victor Drago: Bill Henry (writer), Mike Dorey (artist)

Victor Drago: Bill Henry (writer), Mike Dorey (artist)

 The Mind of Wolfie Smith: Tom Tully (writer), Vicent Vaño (artist)

The Mind of Wolfie Smith: Tom Tully (writer), Vicent Vaño (artist)

 The Mind of Wolfie Smith: Tom Tully (writer), Vicent Vaño (artist)

The Mind of Wolfie Smith: Tom Tully (writer), Vicent Vaño (artist)

 Angry Planet: Alan Hebden (writer), Massimo Belardinelli (artist)

Angry Planet: Alan Hebden (writer), Massimo Belardinelli (artist)

 Angry Planet: Alan Hebden (writer), Massimo Belardinelli (artist)

Angry Planet: Alan Hebden (writer), Massimo Belardinelli (artist)

 Angry Planet: Alan Hebden (writer), Massimo Belardinelli (artist)

Angry Planet: Alan Hebden (writer), Massimo Belardinelli (artist)

 Triple T: The Tale of Benkei: Steve Moore (writer), Musquera (artist)

Triple T: The Tale of Benkei: Steve Moore (writer), Musquera (artist)

 Triple T: The Tale of Benkei: Steve Moore (writer), Musquera (artist)

Triple T: The Tale of Benkei: Steve Moore (writer), Musquera (artist)

 Wagner’s Walk: ‘R. E. Wright’ (pseudonym – writer unknown), Lozano (artist)

Wagner’s Walk: ‘R. E. Wright’ (pseudonym – writer unknown), Lozano (artist)

 Wagner’s Walk: ‘R. E. Wright’ (pseudonym – writer unknown), Lozano (artist)

Wagner’s Walk: ‘R. E. Wright’ (pseudonym – writer unknown), Lozano (artist)

 Wagner’s Walk: ‘R. E. Wright’ (pseudonym – writer unknown), Lozano (artist)

Wagner’s Walk: ‘R. E. Wright’ (pseudonym – writer unknown), Lozano (artist)

 Captain Klep: Dave Angus and Nick Laundau (writers), Kevin O’Neill (artist)

Captain Klep: Dave Angus and Nick Laundau (writers), Kevin O’Neill (artist)

 Captain Klep: Dave Angus and Nick Laundau (writers), Kevin O’Neill (artist)

Captain Klep: Dave Angus and Nick Laundau (writers), Kevin O’Neill (artist)

On this day, 1 April 1989: Whizzer and Chips

On this day, 1 April 1989: Whizzer and Chips

On this day, 30 March 1985: Whoopee!

On this day, 30 March 1985: Whoopee!