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VIC GUNN

lion_cb_694 lion_cb_645 lion_cb_ann66 lion_cb_621 lion_cb_707 lion_cb_687 lion_cb_671
 
Full Name: Vic Gunn
Nationality: British
Organization: British Secret Service
Occupation Agent

Creator: Geoff Campion
Time Span: 1964 - 1965

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Victor 'Vic' Gunn is an agent with British Intelligence.
       When we meet him, he is described as "ace undercover agent to the government". Exactly which department he worked for or to whom he answered is not stated but in the first adventure he notices, looking out the large windows in his luxurious West End flat, that a beacon light atop one of the skyscrapers had gone out. To Gunn it was "an urgent call to action" as he states that was the signal he was needed. Responding to the summons, Gunn arrives in his fancy sports car (driven by his servant, Barrel, whom he immediately sends away) as a drabby shop in a "dingy side street". Entering the facility, he steps into a telephone booth (remember those?) marked out-of-order, presses a button, and is given access to a section of the building no one knew about. It is in a windowless room in that section that he meets with his chief and is given his orders.
       Gunn is shown to be a tall, slender man likely in his late 30's with short light brown hair. By the scant look at his apartment it would appear he is with well off on his own or makes very good money. Certainly he has enough to be able to employ Jim Barrel, "a mighty muscled West Indian from Trinidad", who works as his manservant but is really his partner in his cases. Gunn is clearly the senior partner and the man who comes up with the plans but there is no denying that Barrel is a handy man to have around.
       Gunn keeps himself "at the peak of physical fitness" which is a very good thing since he is constantly being forced to engage in hand-to-hand combat with multiple opponents at the same time. For this reason, he and Barrel engage in sparring practice with each other whenever time permits. It is said in one adventure that Gunn "was a walking bag-of-tricks", carrying "all manner of innocently disguised gadgets in case of emergencies and was highly skilled in their use". One of those is a ring on his right index finger from which springs a needle with a small amount of knockout drug in it.
       Gunn will need all his skills and trick items when he and Barrel learn of power-hungry Baron Rudolph's plan to use a stolen weapon that can render large groups of people unconscious. Rudolph sees himself being the next Oliver Cromwell and wants the job of Dictator. He will succeed in getting it. That will leave Gunn to start a Resistance movement to oust the man.

NOVELLAS AND SHORT STORIES

Number of Stories:1
First Appearance:1965
Last Appearance:1965

       The lone text story about Vic Gunn was published in 1965, well after the launch of the graphic adventures and long after Vic Gunn took up his campaign against the Dictator of Britain but from reading the story, I feel the adventure pre-dates the Dictator Rudolph tales.


1 The Plot To Kill The Plot To Kill
Written by Geoff Campion
Copyright: 1965

The visiting president of Transbania is visiting London and rumor has it an attempt will be made on his life. Vic Gunn and his assistant, Barrel, have been given the job of stopping the would-be assassins.
Click here to read the story.

COMIC BOOKS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

Number of Stories:6
First Appearance:1964
Last Appearance:1965

       The graphic adventures of Vic Gunn consists of 6 storylines presented in the pages of Lion a popular British comic anthology that ran for several decades. The stories were told in 2 pages of panels in each issue .
       It could be considered that all six adventures were really just one long adventure as they all deal with the central theme of a British power-hungry man finding a way to usurp power and declare himself Dictator and then a large group of dedicated Resistance forces, of which Vic Gunn is a central figure, working to bring him down.
       However, the publisher and/or writer did separate them into six distinct partitions and named them accordingly so who am I to argue?


1 Britain In Chains Britain In Chains
Published by Fleetway Publications Ltd.
Contributors: Geoff Campion
Copyright: 1964

Published in Lion Comics #621-644 - 2 pages each for 48 pages - Vic Gunn's Chief send him to the castle home of Baron Rudolph to learn more of Rudolph's plans which involve the invention of a scientist named Klaus. Klaus's invention is a weapon meant for the government which uses sound to incapacitate large groups. Rudolph is going to use it to take command of the country.

2 Public Enemy No. 1 Public Enemy No. 1
Published by Fleetway Publications Ltd.
Contributors: Geoff Campion
Copyright: 1964

Published in Lion Comics #645-670 - 2 pages each for 48 pages - The actions of small resistance cells is causing no real harm to Dictator Rudolph's control but their ramifications are harming the regular populace, thus turning the people against the Resistance. Vic Gunn is sent by the exiled government in Canada to help consolidate the Resistance into a more powerful force able to make a big strike.

3 The Battle For Liverpool The Battle For Liverpool
Published by Fleetway Publications Ltd.
Contributors: Geoff Campion
Copyright: 1965

Published in Lion Comics #671-686 - 2 pages each for 32 pages - While most resistance in Britain has failed, that in Liverpool is going strong so now Emperor Rudolph is personally leading the forces to put it down. Vic Gunn sneaks into the area as a baggage handler on Rudolph's train to provide his expertise in helping them fight on.

4 Rebel Island Rebel Island
Published by Fleetway Publications Ltd.
Contributors: Geoff Campion
Copyright: 1965

Published in Lion Comics #687-693 - 2 pages each for 14 pages - To honor himself for his control of Britain, Emperor Rudolph has had constructed a gigantic statue of himself erected in Southampton. On nearby Isle of Wight, Vic Gunn and the Resistance is planning to bring it down.

5 Castle of Secrets Castle of Secrets
Published by Fleetway Publications Ltd.
Contributors: Geoff Campion
Copyright: 1965

Published in Lion Comics #694-705 - 2 pages each for 24 pages - Though he is in solid control of Britain, Emperor Rudolph is still up to something nasty shown by a good deal of highly secret activity going on in the Castle in Edinburgh. This activity attracts Vic Gunn.

6 The Battle For Britain The Battle For Britain
Published by Fleetway Publications Ltd.
Contributors: Geoff Campion
Copyright: 1965

Published in Lion Comics #707-738 - 2 pages each for 66 pages - Vic Gunn and Barrel convince the Resistance to make a final, full strength attack on Emperor Rudolph's forces to finally bring him down.

MY COMMENTS

       This is a combination of a war series (as in a civil war of sorts) and espionage work ala sabotage and insurrection. Gunn is a highly decoracted, experienced operative who sees his country heading into trouble with the new leadership and wants to do something about it. We learn very little more about the man except he is a determined an opponent as any despot could have nightmares about.
       The concept of a dictator wresting control is a scary one. Britain had already seen it happen once before with Oliver Cromwell but that was so long ago, it is a history book matter and no more. This new guy hearkens more to the Nazi tidal wave.
       While the author(s) did not devote any time to the personal life of Gunn, they definitely do not rush through things with Gunn's battles with the Baron. In my opinion, I would have been happier if they had sped it up a bit.

GRADE

My Grade: B-

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