In Pictures: Early Warlord comic Free Gifts

Willoughby Hurrell, who runs The Comic Collector service via eBay, has kindly shared images of every single issue of the weekly comic Warlord that included a free gift, from Issue 1 – 122.

Published by DC Thomson, in all, Warlord ran for 627 issues, launching in 1974, with the first issue cover dated published weekly in the United Kingdom 28th September 1974 and the last 27th September 1986, when it was merged with Victor. DC Thomson continued to publish Warlord summer specials after the merger, ending in 1991.

It’s fair to say the success of the title, which often included free gifts such as replica military badges and plastic model warplanes, inspired IPC to publish Battle Action Weekly, and provided a strong template for other 1970s boys adventure comics.

For the next four years after the comic’s demise the publishers produced summer specials, ending in 1991.

The cover for Warlord #1, cover dated 28th September 1974 by Carlos Cruz, an edited version of a panel, of Union Jack Jackson’s pal O’Bannion, that would appear in Warlord Issue 4

Popular characters and stories included Union Jack Jackson, Spider Wells, Bomber Braddock and Wingless Wonder, and, of course, “Codename Warlord”, starring undercover World War Two secret agent Lord Peter Flint, revived in Commando in 2019.

The Commando Issue 5255: Home of Heroes: Codename Warlord Wraparound Cover by Ian Kennedy, released in August 2019

After another more contemporarystyled title, Bullet was added to the comic, it featured that publication’s main story “Fireball” – a secret agent who was Lord Peter Flint’s nephew.

The Comic Collector specialises in vintage British comics, from the obvious Beano, Dandy and 2000AD to the lesser known Bullet, Nutty and Magic, offering a range of British comic items on a regular basis. The auctions each start with a 99p start bid and no reserve.

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The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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