Monday 5 October 2015


From October 1987: A competition to win copies of the two very hard-to-find ACTION FORCE storybooks, published under the Marvel Books banner, by MARVEL UK: OPERATION RAGING RIVER and OPERATION STAR FLIGHT.

I didn't see either of these back-in-the-day (probably because I wasn't visiting the children's book department anymore) and I've never seen copies since. That probably makes them amongst the rarer M-UK publications... Albeit non-comics ones.

I've always assumed that these are rebadged versions of similar books, published by the US branch of Marvel Books (which did licensed tie-ins in a big way) as a G.I. JOE tie-in. Although I have no idea whether that is true. The left-hand "tea towel" version of Cobra Commander certainly looks more like something that would come from the States (Palitoy ignored that version of CC altogether when they held the UK license). 

There is, of course, no writer or artists credits here. It remains to be seen if the books themselves were credited.

Many people, including myself, hold the original Baron Ironblood era of AF in high regard but there's no doubt that Hasbro were able to leverage that previous success and the weight of the G.I. Joe franchise (Marvel strips, the animated show, the reworked TV adverts) to really reinvigorate the line. 

Unfortunately, the Marvel weekly only had a few more months to live and it shuttered, making way for the transatlantic monthly, early in the new year. 

1 comment:

  1. there were indeed usa versions which you can see here :

    and here:

    the artist and writer are also credited.

    I have fond memories of the uk action force mini-comics which can be seen here:

    in fact I still have them albeit in a rather tatty state.


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