A few weeks ago my good friend (and podcast co-host!) Robbie McGuire gifted me a cool little comic. Now I’m not a comic guy but this one is definitely in my wheelhouse. Robbie gave me a copy of ‘Super Soldiers of the SAS’, which was printed as a part of the ‘Battle Action Force’ series of comics that published in the mid-1980s.

From what I can tell from a little research ‘Super Soldiers of the SAS’ wasn’t part of the normal run of the Battle Action Force comics and isn’t dated, it seems to have been an additional side publication giving more of a look at the SAS and its history.

Front cover of ‘Super Soldiers of the SAS’ (Photo: Matthew Moss)

The Battle Action Force comics were launched in the summer of 1983 and was a partnership between IPC’s long running ‘Battle’ comic (launched in 1975) and UK toy company Palitoy to advertise and tie in with Palitoy’s new Action Force. The Action Force toys were themselves a smaller 3¾” spin off from the larger Action Man figures. Palitoy launched the Action Force toys in 1982 and these included ‘SAS Trooper’ and ‘SAS Frogman’ and overtime a whole SAS team was sold.

‘Super Soldiers of the SAS’ came at the height of SAS mania in the wake of the Iranian Embassy Siege (1980) and the Falklands War (1982). The comic is brilliantly illustrated and gives a brief history of the SAS and their role. With illustrations of the Iranian Embassy Siege, Malaya, the Falklands War and operations in Oman. There’s some nice mentions of known SAS personnel including Sgt Gordon Turnbull who was awarded the Military Medal in 1957 and Captain Gavin Hamilton who was killed during the Falklands War and awarded the Military Cross.

There’s a section on ‘weapons of the SAS’ featuring an AR-18, an L7 GPMG, MP5 and Browning Hi-Power the comic then outlines some of the SAS’s special skills and other equipment including Pink Panther Land Rovers and stun grenades. Then right at the very back is a two page section n the SBS, who were never featured in the Action Force toy range but is a great inclusion here picturing them infiltrating ashore from a canoe equipped with a suppressed Sterling Mk6.

All in all a cool little comic and I can definitely see how it would have captured a little boy’s imagination back in the mid-1980s.

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The History of Action Force, Bloodforthebaron.com, (source)

Looking back at Battle Action Force, Downthetubes.net, (source)