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Battle Annual Vol 1 4

Battle Picture Weekly was launched by IPC on March 8th 1975, and ran 673 unnumbered issues until January 23rd 1988. Principally the brainchild of Pat Mills (who would later go on to create such titles as Action and 2000 AD), 


it was a harder-edged contrast to rival publisher D.C. Thomson's more conservative war titles and featured an array of tough, no-nonsense characters such as D-Day Dawson (a soldier who, unknown to his comrades, had a piece of shrapnel lodged near his heart which could kill him at any time), Sgt. Rock (not the American character; this one was in the S.A.S) and air ace Johnny Red. Strips included Carlos Ezquerra's Rat Pack (about a commando unit made up of convicted criminals), Ian Kennedy's Custer's Stand, Major Eazy, Bootneck Boy, Darkie's MobJohn Wagner and Mike Western's HMS Nightshade, Wagner and Eric Bradbury's Joe Two Beans, Lofty's One-Man Luftwaffe and Day of the Eagle/Return of the Eagle.

Probably the most significant strip in the title though, was Pat Mills and Joe Colquhoun's classic World War I saga Charley's War, which began in issue #200 (6th January 1979). This groundbreaking anti-war saga gave a whole generation of comics readers an insight into the horrors of war.

On 23rd October 1976, Battle incorporated Valiant, and on 19th November 1977 it merged with Action to become Battle Action, bringing in the strip Hellman along the way. On 8th October 1983 a long running toy tie-in strip, Action Force began, running until 29th November 1986. From 24th January 1987, the title became Battle With Storm Force, the Storm Force strip having been created as a replacement for Action Force after IPC lost the licence for it. Later issues (after the mergers) featured a number of strips which diverged from the original all-war theme of the title, including One Eyed Jack, Truck Turpin, The Hunters and The Fists of Jimmy Chang. Battle was eventually cancelled in January 1988 and merged into Eagle. Battle Annuals were published from late 1975-late 1988, dated (as was customary) the following year in each case.