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2000AD and Eagle merger - could it have worked? 
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At the time of the 'new' Eagle's demise, I was surprised that it didn't merge with 2000AD. It wasn't as if mergers were not happening at the time (see http://www.comicsuk.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5893 thread) and I don't think Rebellion had purchased the title yet.

To me Eagle was no different to Tornado though possibly 2000AD was already starting to focus on the older reader.

Anyway, I think it could have been an interesting merger. Two strips I can think of straight away (and were my favourites) could have been transferred and possibly even benefitted from the move.

Dan Dare. Tharg could have given it a retro 1950s feel with the likes of David Pugh, Chris Weston and of course Don Harley drawing the strip. It could have been the first(?) stylised strip that 2000AD did.

Doomlord. This character could have been developed further to easily fit into the line up of 2000AD characters though I would have suggested that Eric Bradbury still drew it.

Luckily Dan Dare was eventually picked up by Spaceship Away but the others just faded away...

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Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:58 am
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I think so. Although Eagle was largely reprint by that time, with Charley's War and MACH 1.

At the moment (actually I was about to post this as a new thread), I'm reading a bunch of Eagles. I got the first batch but then gave up comics largely. Then read the end lot. So it is interesting reading some new boys adventure thrills from the mid-80s.

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Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:15 am
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...Also, I think Eagle became a monthly title towards the end. Has a monthly comic ever merged with a weekly one?

It was pretty clear that Eagle and 2000AD had very different editorial styles, with the former (as well as the short-lived Wildcat which came from the same stable) being much more in keeping with the traditional Fleetway/IPC model.

Having said that I would have loved to see Battle merge with 2000AD in 1988. If nothing else it would have allowed Pat Mills to become reunited with the world of 'Charley's War'. Just imagine Judge Dredd on the Somme in pursuit of a time-travelling criminal from the future! (with Carlos Ezquerra replacing the late Joe Colquhoun as artist)

- Phil Rushton


Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:47 am
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I don't think Eagle being a monthly at the time would have really mattered.

Of course, one thing I just thought of is if the 2000AD/Eagle merger had happened, it would have given Tharg access to the IPC archives (Adam Eterno, Spellbinder, Robot Archie, Mytek,etc...). Yep I know that he did use a couple anyway (Robot Archive in Zenith, a reimagining of Kelly's Eye in 2000AD Action Special, etc...) but anyway.

2000AD and Battle would have been an interesting merger. Apart from Charley's War joining the ranks (though he did for a while in Judge Dredd Megazine), there were other characters. How about a Judge Dredd/Major Eazy crossover? Or a Strontium Dog/Rat Pack where Rat Pack is timeslipped into Johnny's present where they have to survive?

Do wish that someone would buy the old IPC characters from DC Comics and possibly republish their adventures in graphic novel form or to bring them out of retirement altogether.

Question: Could Battle have survived if it had kept to its Picture Weekly format rather going all Storm Force? Possibly if it had, it could have grown a loyal readership similar to 2000AD and Commando?

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Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:36 pm
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SID wrote:

Question: Could Battle have survived if it had kept to its Picture Weekly format rather going all Storm Force? Possibly if it had, it could have grown a loyal readership similar to 2000AD and Commando?


Probably not, considering it moved away from its original format because sales were falling.


Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:52 pm
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Lew Stringer wrote:
SID wrote:

Question: Could Battle have survived if it had kept to its Picture Weekly format rather going all Storm Force? Possibly if it had, it could have grown a loyal readership similar to 2000AD and Commando?


Probably not, considering it moved away from its original format because sales were falling.


I knew you would say that, Lew. ;) Since sales is normally the driving force for why a comic would change its approach.

So let me ask this: Was the Picture Weekly format the most successful format compared to -Action, Action Force and Storm Force formats?

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Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:07 pm
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SID wrote:
Lew Stringer wrote:
SID wrote:

Question: Could Battle have survived if it had kept to its Picture Weekly format rather going all Storm Force? Possibly if it had, it could have grown a loyal readership similar to 2000AD and Commando?


Probably not, considering it moved away from its original format because sales were falling.


I knew you would say that, Lew. ;) Since sales is normally the driving force for why a comic would change its approach.

So let me ask this: Was the Picture Weekly format the most successful format compared to -Action, Action Force and Storm Force formats?


It probably was initially, but returning to that format wouldn't mean the sales would jump up again. New readers didn't have the same interest in serialised WW2 stories as Battle's original readership did.

Likewise if Eagle was republished in the same format as it was originally it wouldn't sell a million copies like it did in 1950.


Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:38 pm
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That's the pesky thing about readers. As soon as you work out the perfect formula for what they like, they grow up and get replaced by a completely different bunch of kids! :)

- Phil R.


Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:49 pm
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philcom55 wrote:
That's the pesky thing about readers. As soon as you work out the perfect formula for what they like, they grow up and get replaced by a completely different bunch of kids! :)
- Phil R.

Lew Stringer wrote:
SID wrote:
So let me ask this: Was the Picture Weekly format the most successful format compared to -Action, Action Force and Storm Force formats?

It probably was initially, but returning to that format wouldn't mean the sales would jump up again. New readers didn't have the same interest in serialised WW2 stories as Battle's original readership did.

Likewise if Eagle was republished in the same format as it was originally it wouldn't sell a million copies like it did in 1950.

Bah! Comics would be thriving if it wasn't for those pesky kids. :P

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Sun Mar 23, 2014 4:01 pm
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I wonder if a new monthly Battle would work? I could see it outselling the Megazine with Wagner/Mills + others in new and reprinted strips. More for the adults than kids of course. But I enjoyed Battle more than the currently existing Commando (which I still buy) and could see a wider appeal than the Dredd-verse.

Can't say I think it's a possibility but fun to consider.

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Sun Mar 23, 2014 4:12 pm
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I should think if the "proper" Dan Dare had gone over to 2000AD, he'd be quite a different character now (perhaps still going, with the 50's stories totally forgotten), and Spaceship Away would never have happened... no thanks!

Death Wish and 13th Floor would have been different propositions, though. Even in 1985, the guy from Death Wish was seeing ghosts... he could perhaps have become almost a superhero, with the ghosts seeing things and telling him afterwards. 13th Floor would no doubt have been "updated" with a load of "ethically aware" stories about Max punishing the running dogs of the capitalist USA in his department store, and then being put into a deprived tower block where he'd gruesomely "off" bailiffs and rapists.

As for a Battle / 2000AD merger, no doubt there would have been inevitable crossovers, but they could also have added in WW2-era science fiction / fantasy concepts, such as the conspiracy theories about the Nazis building flying saucers, and Hitler having a magic spear that makes him indestructible. One of the stories could have moved into the cold war, and had weird Soviet experiments with poltergeists loyal to communism, and so on.

Of course, these days they could be running the Battle characters in 2000AD as "straight" war stories with no science fiction. Though, of course, "updated", with characters melodramatically screaming "NNNOOOOOO!" at the sky, in a speech bubble with a red outline around it. Just like in real wars.

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Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:21 pm
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felneymike wrote:
I should think if the "proper" Dan Dare had gone over to 2000AD, he'd be quite a different character now (perhaps still going, with the 50's stories totally forgotten), and Spaceship Away would never have happened... no thanks!

I agree that Dan may have mutated from his 1950s origins if he did move to 2000AD. You could already see it in new Eagle. Dan was becoming more muscle bound and quite happy to use his pet ram gun. Even Peabody had a bit of make-over. There was even a possibility of a budding romance between the two. Now for me, I liked the new Dan and it would have been interested how the stories would have developed.

However, back to your original point, felneymike. I believe that if Dan did change that much then there would still be demand for the original version and so Spaceship Away would still come about.

starscape wrote:
I wonder if a new monthly Battle would work? I could see it outselling the Megazine with Wagner/Mills + others in new and reprinted strips. More for the adults than kids of course. But I enjoyed Battle more than the currently existing Commando (which I still buy) and could see a wider appeal than the Dredd-verse. Can't say I think it's a possibility but fun to consider.

Not a fan when Battle when it first came out, I would be interested in getting a revamped version today. So can I place an order at your newsagents, starscape? :)

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Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:47 am
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I'd hope to bring out my version of a historical Battle/Commando comic this year (called Warspite) but just can't get the time.

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Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:12 am
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Doomlord is really the only story for Eagle that could have made the transition, around 1990 2000ad was starting to chase the Graphic Novel sales, while the Eagle was still pretty traditional, even the revamped Dare, with (excelent) art by David Pugh, it was miles form 2000AD.

The problem with revamped Dare's is that there is no continuity, lurch from Trad Dare to punk Dare to future Dare, back to Trad Dare to punk Trad Dare. All having their good points, the 2000ad version having fantastic artwork and the initial new Eagle version has great writing and artwork.
Dredd form 1977 is vastly different to Dredd of now, but there is a line of change that makes sense.

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Bah! Comics would be thriving if it wasn't for those pesky kids. :P
Brilliant!

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Sat Mar 29, 2014 2:28 am
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David McDonald wrote:
Doomlord is really the only story for Eagle that could have made the transition


Beg to differ!

How about...

    Detective Zed
    Computer Warrior
    Thirteenth Floor
    Bloodfang (vs Flesh!)
    Manix (vs MACH One/Zero!)

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Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:26 am
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