Title: Combat Colin
Format: 40 pages American comic-sized Colour covers/black and white interiors
Credits: Written illustrated and lettered by Lew Stringer
The eighties! You couldn't avoid gun-totting heroes at the cinema back then and comics soon followed suit. Although Punisher had been created in the seventies it wasn't until the eighties that he got his own comic and he took off to major success in the age of Rambo, Commando and Die Hard. And in Britain we had… Combat Colin! Appearing in Marvel UK's Action Force and Transformers comics from 1987 through until 1991.
Lew Stringer's Colin is an endearing mix of those gritty action films and the suburban world of UK humour comics. Colin is a gun-crazed man who still lives with his parents in their semi-detached in Skegpool. In many ways it reminds me of the wonderful mix that classic Desperate Dan has between the wild west and Dundee.
Wearing a camouflage jacket, armed with tanks, rocket-launchers and grenades while rocking a bobble-hat and eating chips, Colin is a strangely loveable buffoon. Despite all the deadly weaponry he has a body-count somewhere between the A-Team and Rupert Bear. When Skegpool is under threat from supervillains like Doctor Nasty, Aunt Arctic or Cap'n Barnacle you better hope Colin and his side-kick Semi-Automatic Steve are home!
What I found most surprising about CC was how often I thought while reading it 'They'd never get away with that in kids comics nowadays!' (putting land-mines on a beach anyone?) Indeed the whole concept of a gun-obsessed nutter played for laughs would likely fly too close to the thought-police's red-lines these days. That having been said I wouldn't think twice about giving this to my own ten year-old (if I had one.)
More issues of Combat Colin are to follow reprinting the whole bullet-riddled saga.
With so many comic properties being adapted for the big screen at the moment, can it be long until a big budget Combat Colin movie hits the multiplex? I'm thinking James Corden for Colin.
Buy your own copy and do your own fantasy casting at: http://lewstringer.com/page7.htm
Reviewed by John A. Short