On this day, 8 March 1980: Battle Action
On this day, 8 March 1980 … Today marks the anniversary of the fifth birthday issue of Battle (and therefore of issue one itself, which I reviewed last year). Like so many editions of Battle Action from around this time, it’s another top-drawer cover, once again by the masterful Carlos Ezquerra (just how many stunning covers did he produce for Battle and 2000AD?) – dynamic, dramatic, pulpy and utterly in our faces. It’s a blockbuster movie poster of a cover, accurately capturing the passion and fervour of the comic at this time.
Battle had enjoyed a successful first half-decade and had developed from a comic telling stories primarily of honour and bravery in conflict into something more edgy, gritty and horrific. Charley’s War by Pat Mills and Joe Colquhoun played an important part in this process after it began its six-year run in January 1979, while longstanding popular heroes such as Johnny Red and The Sarge, and anti-heroes such as Rat Pack (look at that gloriously dirty Eric Bradbury art below) kept war-fascinated young readers thrilled week after week.