LION UK COMIC 28TH NOVEMBER 1964 THE HAND OF THE ZAR
One of the great long running British comics, full of good strips and characters
PUBLIC ENEMY NO 1
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CONDITION : GENERALLY VERY GOOD, SOME ISSUES MINOR COVER SOILING MINOR TEARS RUSTED STAPLES / STAPLE STAIN, MINOR TEARS .
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Lion was first published on 23 February 1952, and was a weekly boys’ adventure comic designed to compete with Eagle, the popular weekly comic that had introduced Dan Dare. Lion‘s first issue contained a mix of text stories and comic strips; its flagship story was Captain Condor – Space Ship Pilot, a science fiction adventure in the Dan Dare mould. The premiere issue also contained the first adventure of Robot Archie (called The Jungle Robot in early adventures) who would go on to become one of the title’s most popular characters. The most popular story was Paddy Payne written by Val Holding and drawn by Joe Colquhoun. Reg “Skipper” Clarke ran the letters feature.
Editor Bernard Smith was always proud to say that he had the latest issue of Lion delivered to Buckingham Palace every Friday, the young Prince Charles being an avid reader. In 1960, Prince Charles was 11 years old.
By the 1960s Lion had settled into being one of the most popular British weekly titles of the time. It began to feature an increasing number of anti-hero characters such as The Spider and The Sludge (who would later battle Robot Archie in his own strip).
Lion merged with several other comics during its life, including Eagle in 1969 and Thunder in 1971. But by the early 1970s sales were slipping, and in 1974 it was merged with Valiant. Several strips continued in Valiant, but that title merged with Battle Picture Weekly in 1976.
In 2005 many of IPC’s characters, including several from Lion, were featured in a mini-series called Albion published by the WildStorm imprint of DC Comics.
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