Combat Colin

Semi-Automatic Steve (left) and Combat Colin (right) flee the evil Father Christmas.

Combat Colin, occasionally titled Codename: Combat Colin, was a humour strip that originally ran in the pages of Marvel UK's weekly Action Force comic, spoofing military nuts in general. The strip was written and drawn by Lew Stringer and débuted in Action Force #5. After Action Force came to a close and was formerly merged into Transformers the strip transferred to that comic as well where it would remain even when Action Force was not in the title, lasting to the end of the series.

The strip started as just half a page in Action Force but after a few months its popularity earned it a full page each week. When it transferred to Transformers from #153 onwards the strip was initially half a page in colour but transformed into a full page black and white strip from issue #224, with the occasional colour strip. From issue #300 the strip was in full colour. For the final two issues of the comic the strip was given two pages.

The strip featured the adventures of bobble-hatted British military nut and bumbler Combat Colin, aided by his sidekick Semi-Automatic Steve as they fell afoul of both their own weaknesses and villains like Doctor Nasty, Aunt Arctic, Mad Prof, the Amazing Dave and Megabrain.

Profile: Combat Colin

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Colin was born a survivor. At birth the doctors ordered him to be shot but he survived.[1] For many years he claimed to have been obsessed with military matters since he was a baby,[1] but he would later admit that all this was a rouse. In fact he was a comic book geek into adulthood when an alien visited Earth and gave him both the Combat Trousers,[2] which have pockets that contain a gateway into another dimension allowing him to access all his weapons and equipment,[3] and a book about how to make weapons, only it was a second hand copy with some pages missing.[2] He continued to live with his parents into adulthood[4] but longed to join Action Force and applied several times only to be rejected each time.[1] After his application was rejected by Flint yet again Colin decided to instead form his own gang and advertised for partners, to which Semi-Automatic Steve eagerly replied and Colin's Gang was formed.[5] Together with Steve he had many adventures battling villains all over the world and even venturing into space and travelling through time. Despite their bumbling ways and penchant for saying "Ooer!" they somehow always managed to overcome the odds and return to their twin girlfriends, the Giggly Sisters.

Finally in 1992 after defeating his arch enemy Megabrain and dispatching his atoms across time, Colin decided it was time to hang up his weapons and retire to a life of peace and quiet. He and Steve threw out all their weapons but one of them turned out to be a nuclear warhead.[6] But this was not the end. Colin and Steve found the explosion threw them into the time vortex and they arrived in Blackpool in 1967. After defeating rampaging Russian robots,[7] Colin and Steve successfully converted a candy floss spinner into a time machine. However it took them home to the year 2000, eight years into their future.[8] Recently Colin teamed up with his old acquaintance Brickman.[9]


  • Originally, Lew Stringer proposed to call the character and strip Dimbo, but Action Force editor Richard Starkings suggested "Combat Colin", a name that would not date so quickly.[10]
  • As well as the odd direct reference to Action Force and later occasionally appearing in the world of the Transformers, Colin had some adventures involving other characters from the mainstream Marvel Universe. Spider-Man makes cameos in a number of strips, whilst Doctor Doom appeared in one two-part story. How this affects where Action Force fits into the overall scheme of the Marvel Universe is unclear.

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Unintelligence Profile in Action Force #30.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Transformers #289
  3. Transformers #288
  4. Action Force #5. Strip available online at Combat Colin - Webstrips: Colin's first ever appearance
  5. Action Force #12. Strip available online at Combat Colin - Webstrips: Steve's debut!
  6. Transformers #332
  7. "The Return of Combat Colin" in the 1997 Combat Colin Summer Special. Strip available online at Combat Colin - Webstrips: The Return of Combat Colin
  8. "Combat Colin in the 21st Century" in the Transforce 2000 convention magazine. Strip available online at Combat Colin - Webstrips: Combat Colin in the 21st Century
  9. Blimey! It's another blog about comics!: Combat Colin Returns!, Sunday, June 17, 2007
  10. Combat Colin website: Lew Stringer
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