In Review: The Leopard from Lime Street Volume Two

The Leopard from Lime Street Volume TwoThe next book from the Treasury of British Comics sees the return of Buster comic’s The Leopard from Lime Street, with Volume Two of the strips collecting his adventures published between June 1977 and 1978.

The “UK’s answer to Spider-Man” returns in the second collection of this long lost classic from the hugely popular and long running Buster comic. After being scratched by a radioactive leopard, Billy Farmer discovered that he had somehow developed the powers of the mighty jungle cat.

Unfortunately for Billy, life is getting tougher for Selbridge’s premier crime-fighter. The criminals are getting tougher, his the local newspaper editor is out for his blood and now his new leopard skin costume is turning him into a savage beast!

To make matters worse, Debra Stevens, a girl from his school suspects his true identity! Is this the end for the Leopard from Lime Street…?

The Leopard from Lime Street - 1977 - Sample Page

The Leopard from Lime Street - 1977 - Sample Page

The Leopard from Lime Street - 1977 - Sample Page

The opening episode of “The Leopard from Lime Street” from the second collection of stories from Rebellion Publishing

With script by Tom Tully and art by two of Britain’s finest comic artists, Mike Western and Eric Bradbury, this is another terrific collection of stories, with Billy’s home life far from the easier time Spider-Man ever had thanks to an abusive Uncle. It’s no wonder he’s plagued by nightmares… not to mention being chased by the police, captured as the Leopard by a circus to be a new act, and while out and about as his alter ego, pursued by a teenage girl determined to discover his secret identity.

(If I had one criticism of these enjoyable stories, it’s that this plot thread is wrapped rather a little too soon and neatly, but Debra does crop again in later stories yet to be collected, so we haven’t seen the last of her).

Tully offers a humorous take on superheroes, originally published in the all-ages Buster, but unlike American super-powered characters of the 1970s there’s very definitely a darker tone to Billy’s character, one that lands him in trouble with friends and foes on more than one occasion. But we get an eco-warrior tale in the mix, too – over a decade before Free Willy hit cinema screens – as Billy tries to save a leopard from being shot; and when he buys an old leopard skin as a replacement costume for his tattered old one, the tale takes a really grim turn… but I won’t spoil what happens here!

During the period these strips were running Buster merged with Monster Fun, so it’s perhaps no wonder this volume’s finale sees Billy investigating reports  of a Frankenstein-type monster haunting an old cinema. With deft storytelling, Tully gives us a tremendous epic to round off the collection, a story with plenty of twists that borrow with aplomb from 1950s British film capers but deliver them in a great story.

Leopard from Lime Street was always going to be  a popular choice for collection by Rebellion, and this second volume doesn’t disappoint, with Western and Bradbury pulling out the stops to deliver all the action the strip deserves.

The Leopard from Lime Street Volume Two by Tom Tully (Writer) Mike Western, Eric Bradbury (Artists) collects stories published from Buster cover dated 18th June 1977 to 15th July 1978 | 184 Pages | On Sale 13th June 2019 (UK) | ISBN: 9781781086780 | Diamond Previews Ordering Code for Comic Shops: APR191913

• A Limited Edition Hardback of The Leopard from Lime Street Volume Two is available from the Rebellion Web Shop here | And Volume One in the same format here

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Buster and The Leopard from Lime Street © Rebellion Publishing Ltd

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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