Reading ScaryDuck memories of 2000AD got me thinking back to the comics I used to read when I was a boy. The two that I remember most clearly are Warlord and Action.
Warlord was published in 1974 (when I was 7 years old) and was a war comic for boys, featuring Lord Peter Flint, codename Warlord. It was definitely the comic you had to read if you were a boy in those days. Somehow, I don’t think a comic consisting solely of war stories would be allowed now. There were free gifts attached to the cover, though all I can remember about those is codebooks for sending secret messages. Jim Wilkinson, Andrew Payling and I were all members of the Fireball Club, a “secret agent” club that was run through Warlord comic.
Action came out in 1976 and was much more controversial. It had ultra-violent stories like Hookjaw, about a shark with a harpoon sticking through its jaw, and Deathgame 1999, which was about a rollerball-like game. These were obviously influenced by the films “Jaws”, “Deathrace 2000” and “Rollerball”, which were in the cinemas around that time, but which young boys would be unable to see due to their “X” rating. Hookjaw was printed with blood shown in red ink, which made it even more exciting (and gory). Fabulous! Action got into trouble with WH Smith and Menzies later in 1976, due to the violence in the stories and was banned/suspended for 6 weeks, returning with much less violence. I think I lost interest at that point.
Reading up on these comics on the net, it would seem that Action was the predecessor for 2000AD with many of the same editors, writers and artists. I wasn’t fanatical about 2000AD, but enjoyed some of the stories. 2000AD is now owned by Rebellion a UK computer games company.