Last year’s Garth Ennis-helmed Battle Action special, which saw the vintage British war comic anthology return for the first time in 34 years, has proved popular enough for Rebellion to give the title another go as a five-issue monthly miniseries starting May 31, 2023.
2000 AD Brand Manager Michael Molcher said,
“We’re proud to announce that following the huge success of 2022’s Battle Action special, bestselling writer Garth Ennis returns to once again reintroduce and reinvigorate the legendary British comics combo in a new series.”
Editor Oliver Pickles added,
“The Battle Action special last year was a huge success for us, so it’s a delight to be able to return to these classic titles. We have a really first-class line-up of creators who don’t just understand the legacy of these characters but how to bring them forward in new and exciting ways.”
The original Battle Action was a 1977 merger of two IPC-published British comics anthology titles, the war comic Battle Picture Weekly (which began in 1975) with the short-lived and highly controversial Action (begun 1976). The merger helped elevate the new title – renamed Battle Action – into a fan favourite. It went through several subsequent name changes from 1981 before its eventual cancellation in 1988. Battle Picture Weekly was developed and co-created by Pat Mills and John Wagner. Action was created by Mills.
The format of each issue of the new Battle Action miniseries will see two stories reviving different classic properties from the original run of the title. The opening story of each issue will be written by Ennis with the second story written by a host of different writers including original Battle Picture Weekly co-creator Wagner, Dan Abnett, Rob Williams, and Torunn Grønbekk. Wagner will be returning to one of the series he co-created alongside artist Mike Western for Battle Picture Weekly way back in 1979 – HMS Nightshade.
The interior art lineup will include Chris Burnham, Keith Burns, Dan Cornwell, Mike Dorey, Henry Flint, Patrick Goddard, John Higgins, PJ Holden, Staz Johnson, and Phil Winslade.
“So it looks like my cunning plan worked, and there will indeed be more Battle Action. I’m delighted to welcome writers Rob Williams, Torunn Grønbekk, Dan Abnett and in particular original Battle creator John Wagner on board for the new series, alongside ten (count them) fantastic artists – some returning from last year’s special, some newcomers to our noble endeavour. Having John produce the first HMS Nightshade script in forty years is the icing on the cake.”
The first issue of the new Battle Action miniseries will debut May 31 in comic shops as well as physically and digitally via 2000 AD (and the Treasury of British Comics) own webshop and app. The series will be available to order from the Diamond Distribution Previews catalogue. Each 32-page issue will feature covers by award-winning artist Keith Burns.
The lineup for the series:
Issue 1 (31 May)
- JOHNNY RED by Garth Ennis and Keith Burns
- HMS NIGHTSHADE by John Wagner and Dan Cornwell
Issue 2 (28 June)
- CRAZY KELLER by Garth Ennis and Chris Burnham
- D-DAY DAWSON by Dan Abnett and Phil Winslade
Issue 3 (26 July)
- DREDGER by Garth Ennis and John Higgins
- MAJOR EAZY by Rob Williams and Henry Flint
Issue 4 (30 August)
- COOLEY’S GUN by Garth Ennis and Staz Johnson
- DEATH SQUAD by Rob Williams and PJ Holden
Issue 5 (27 September)
- HELLMAN OF HAMMER FORCE by Garth Ennis and Mike Dorey
- NINA PETROVA AND THE ANGELS OF DEATH by Torunn Grønbekk and Patrick Goddard
And here is a preview of one of the interior stories:
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