Monday, 17 October 2016

Code Name: Warlord



We never really read the British war weeklies back in the '70's, only occasionally picking one up if we'd got through every superhero book that month and still needed a comic fix.
But every once in a while I'd get a copy of Warlord, mainly for it's title strip Code Name: Warlord.
To wartime Britain, Lord Peter Flint is the epitome of upper class toffness, a despised conscientious objector who spends his time squandering the family fortune and making servant girls pregnant rather than fighting for his country.
Of course, that's all a cover and Flint is actually Britain's greatest secret agent, skilled in just about every way there is to kill a man or blow something up.
So he's basically Roger Moore as James Bond with a splash of The Scarlet Pimpernel or Zorro, and the nearest thing to a superhero the war comic's had.
He was also the head of his own fan club and ran the letters pages, extorting boys to join up as Warlord Agents, so how he also found the time to attend all those society soirees is beyond me.
Code Name: Warlord is, like Dredger, like MACH 1, like all the best British heroes, far too busy cramming as much action into every episode to bother with nancy stuff like characterization or nuance, which is of course what you paid for when you picked up a boys' paper called Warlord.
It's fun to note that Flint is one of the few upper class British comic heroes, normally we like our characters from the wrong end of the tracks, but y'know, for a toff he was cool.
Here's an early adventure that recaps the premise for those who came in late:








And here's Flint up against his arch-nemesis, the boo-hiss Nazi Major Adolph Gruber, the first episode here being by, I reckon, the late great Brian Lewis:

















7 comments:

  1. Sounds like you weren't a Warlord secret agent yourself then, Pete? You know, the plastic wallet thing with code book that you could send off for...? It was the only way to decode the secret messages on the letters page.

    Speak for yourself about not buying the war comics regularly - I must have read hundreds of 'em. Even so, reading this now is sort of excruciating... I still can't believe you actually posted it.

    I suppose you'll have to follow up at some point with Fireball from Bullet, who was trained by Lord Peter Flint if I recall correctly...

    -sean

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  2. Yes, looks like Brian Lewis' gorgeous linework to me as well!

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  3. Hey, I still like Code Name: Warlord, Sean, and like I've always said, it's the good, the bad, the strange and the indifferent on this blog anyway.
    Plus, it's Brian Lewis! I've got a Sweeney annual with Lewis doing Regan & Carter by the way, anyone wanna see that?

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  4. Course yer 'ave ter post it you slag!
    (No offence intended - been watching the late night Sweeney reruns recently and couldn't resist. I'm sure you understand)

    -sean

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  5. Get yer trahsers on, yer nicked!

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  6. Who's the artist on the last set? He looks like George Wunder, the same sort of inking, but it's probably someone imitating him.

    The reason British comics back then never put the artists' names, was that they employed many foreigners and would later have trouble with the syndicates for not employing British talent.

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  7. I don't know the name, I must admit, so that's me bowing in front of your superior knowledge, sir.

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