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MIKE NELSON

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Full Name: Mike Nelson
Codename: The Eagle
Nationality: British
Organization: S.O.E.
Occupation Agent

Creator: Unknown
Time Span: 1975 - 1981

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Mike Nelson is an agent with the S.O.E.
       That acronym stands for the Special Operations Executive, a British World War II organization formed in 1940 out of three previously existing espionage groups, Department EH, the SIS (aka MI6), and Department GS(R). It was the order of Winston Churchill that these often rivalous bureaus be melded into one and as a result of this directive, it was sometimes called "Churchill's Secret Army". Another whimsical though not at all inaccurate, it earned the nickname "Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare".
       The latter definitely fits the kind of group which would employ someone of Nelson's skillset and demeanor. Nelson is more than once referred to as an extremely cold and heartless person and he proves it on a regular basis. His hatred for the Nazis is tremendous and his determination to get the job done legendary, though only through the codename of 'Eagle'. Other than that designation, he maintains his true identity well under wraps, showing all who meet him that he has no personal life outside his desire to bring down the Third Reich.
       As a weapon to unleash behind enemy lines, especially in his first mission as designation 'Eagle' which is to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Nelson is relentless. He is also extremely well trained, being an expert with all manners of armaments. This includes his Indian wrist dagger, which he can apparently unconnect, turn around, and hurl with great accuracy, all while having a pistol pointed at him by a very willing shooter. But it is behind the sniper rifle that his real skill comes through.
       Then there is his abilities with languages, be it French, Spanish, or, most importantly, German. He can speak it well enough to be able to impersonate German officers on several occasions, all without arousing any suspicion.
       We know very little about Nelson's life before the War and it is pretty obvious that this athletic, lean man of reddish-brown hair is no one you would want against you.

       The exact creator(s) of the Mike Nelson series has not come to light yet. The industrious fellow spy-fan who has been providing all the information on this series for me has learned that the magazine was the creation of five people: Pat Mills, John Wagner, Gerry Finley-Day, Dave Hunt, Doug Church.
       It is probably that one or more of these creative souls came up with the idea of Mr. Nelson.

NOVELLAS AND SHORT STORIES

Number of Stories:1
First Appearance:1976
Last Appearance:1976

1 The Return of the Eagle The Return of the Eagle
Written by Gerry Finley-Day
Copyright: 1976

Found in Battle Picture Weekly Summer Special 1976 by Gerry Finley-Day with drawings by Patrick Wright. A Coward's Crash-Landing Leads Top Agent Mike Nelson into A Deadly Adventure! Nelson has a mission to destroy a German atomic heavy-water plant in Norway. Can The Eagle pull it off with the plastic explosives he has or another way.

COMIC BOOKS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

Number of Stories:3
First Appearance:1975
Last Appearance:1976

       Mike Nelson (The Eagle) first appeared in the British Comics Magazine called Battle Picture Weekly, published and printed weekly by IPC Magazines. There appears to be 3 types of comic stories as follows:
1. Episodic - In 5 or more issues with 3 or 4 pages in each. This type is presented in episodes as if it were a movie serial with an overall plot thoughout. Below all episodes (installments) are noted.
2. Limited - In 2 to 4 issues with at least 4 pages in each. This type is presented in parts as if it were a mini-series. Below all parts are noted.
3. Special - In only 1 issue and most likely under 10 pages. This type is like a one-shot special giving the whole comic story.


1 Day of the Eagle Day of the Eagle
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Barrie Mitchell (artist), Eric Hebden (writer), Patrick Wright (artist)
Copyright: 03/08/1975 - 05/24/1975

Printed in Issues No. 1 thru No. 12 (12 issues) of Battle Picture Weekly. This comic story is set during World War II and it unfolded as follows;
Episode 1-1 (No. 1) - Codename: Eagle - 3 pages (2 color and 1 black & white).
Meet Mike Nelson - Britain's Deadliest Secret Agent! Nelson steal plans from Germans in Normandy and returns to London. There he gets his new mission to kill Hitler!
Episode 1-2 (No. 2) - The Gestapo Trap - 4 black & white pages.
Agent Mike Nelson - With The War's Most Important Mission! Nelson is flown to occupied France and dropped. French Resistance helps him and he boards a train to Munich. Yet another agent at Gestapo headquarter cracks and tells all. Will the Eagle make it to Munich aboard the train or get caught?
Episode 1-3 (No. 3) - Evading The Germans - 3 black & white pages.
The German Close In - Can Mike Nelson Break Out? Mike Nelson (The Eagle) has to avoid the German that are after him and try to find a way to Munich fast.
Episode 1-4 (No. 4) - Target Adolf Hitler! - 3 black & white pages.
Will Mike Nelson complete the most vital mission of the war? The Eagle Closes On His Target! Has Kleiber clipped the wings of The Eagle or will he finally put a bullet in Hitler? The suspense and mystery deepens!
Episode 1-5 (No. 5) - Is The Fuhrer Dead? - 3 black & white pages.
The Assassin Has Struck - But There's A Shock In Store! The Eagle Has Challenged The Very Might Of Germany! Mike Nelson thinks he has killed Hitler, but a double has been used and The Eagle must still carry out his mission and escape if he can.
Episode 1-6 (No. 6) - In Gestapo Hands - 3 black & white pages.
The Eagle Is sentenced to death by Hitler! Mike Nelson (The Eagle) has been caught and will face death in Berlin. If he can get away, he still must carry-out the mission given him.
Episode 1-7 (No. 7) - Have You Seen This Man? - 3 black & white pages.
The Gestapo Manhunt Closes In On The "Eagle"! Nelson escaped and now the Gestapo are after him again. Can he eluded them to finish him mission and is it foretold in the star?
Episode 1-8 (No. 8) - A Second Chance At Hitler - 3 black & white pages.
Mike Nelson has fooled Hitler into believing he is his Astrologer. Can he kill the Fuhrer? But, the Gestapo is still after him. Will he be caught by them again or die? Is this the end of The Eagle?
Episode 1-9 (No. 9) - Is The Eagle Dead? - 3 black & white pages.
Adolf Hitler Gloats Over Mike Nelson's Dead Body! Nelson is believed dead by all. But is he? No and his mission to kill Hitler goes on.
Episode 1-10 (No.10) - New Weapon, Another Chance! - 3 black & white pages.
Armed With A New Weapon - Eagle Closes in On His Target! Nelson is again hunting Hitler, but now it's in the Black Valley of Bavaria. Something is going on there! But what? Will Nelson get caught yet again?
Episode 1-11 (No.11) - Hitler And The Bomb - 3 black & white pages. Is The Eagle's Cover About To Be Blown? Mike Nelson (The Eagle) has enter the German testing area and readies himself to kill Hitler. But, there's a great atomic blast. Has Nelson died in the fallout? Not a chance, but radiation is not a good for anyone.
Episode 1-12 (No.12) - Between Two Evils - 3 black & white pages. Nelson Has Witnessed The Most Terrible Weapon Of Mankind! The Eagle must choose to kill Hitler or the scientist that could help the Germans win the war.
Conclusion - Hitler is still alive though German atomic program is stalled. But, has Nelson truly died? This comic story ends with a total of 37 pages, enough for a whole comic book if it had been printed as such.
Note: This comic story was reprinted in the Battle Picture Weekly Annual 1980 some 5 years after its first printings. This time it was abridged to 24 pages and put into only 2 parts.

2 The Death's Head Dossier The Death's Head Dossier
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Geoff Campion (artist), Robert Ede (writer)
Copyright: 05/31/1975 - 08/09/1975

Printed in Issues No. 13 thru No. 23 (11 issues) of Battle Picture Weekly. Again the comic story is set during World War II and unfolds as follows:
Preface (No. 13) - Advertisement - 1 black & white page.
Did Mike Nelson Really Die? Find out for sure!
Episode 2-1 (No. 14) - Secret Agent Mike Nelson Is Back! - 4 black & white pages.
Britain's Top Wartime Agent Mike Nelson Returns. Two prisoners are exchanged on the border of Germany and Switzerland, one of them is Mike Nelson. On the journey back in London he tells how he survived. Nelson recovers and is given a new mission, that of going after the Nazi Death Head Unit somewhere in England.
Episode 2-2 (No. 15) - A British General Must Die - 3 black & white pages.
Nelson Cracks A Code And A General Seems Certain To Die! General Best is to be killed and Nelson has a plan to save him and get the Death's Head Unit out into the open. Will his plan work?
Episode 2-3 (No. 16) - Nelson The Nazi? - 3 black & white pages.
Nelson Joins The Nazis - At Large In Britain! Nelson takes the place of an assassin he killed. Torpedo Warheads are to be taken and Nelson must make sure they're not used.
Episode 2-4 (No. 17) - The Death's Head Commandos - 3 black & white pages.
Caught In The Path Of A Speeding Lorry! The Judd Steelworks is to be destroyed and Mike Nelson must stop it. Has he lost his cover and do they know who he is?
Episode 2-5 (No. 18) - Assassins For The Eagle - 3 black & white pages.
Mike's Cover Is Blown - His Assassination Has Been Fixed! Nelson is to be killed, but ends up killing the two after him. Then he discovers a possible traitor. What will happen next!
Episode 2-6 (No. 19) - Nelson Vs. Forster - 3 black & white pages.
Nelson Come Face To Face With A Traitor! Colonel Forster is the traitor and Nelson must do whatever he can to stop him and assume his identity.
Episode 2-7 (No. 20) - Death From Nazis - 3 black & white pages.
Nelson Faces Death From Nazis Based In Britain! Nelson is caught and questioned, but gets away. He then sees a Prisoner of War Camp for Germans. Is it the base of The Death's Head Group and where are the tanks they stole? Also how many other British Officers have become traitors and will Nelson make it out of the camp alive?
Episode 2-8 (No. 21) - Operation Totenkopf - 3 black & white pages.
Can Mike smash the Germans' plan in time? A deadly plan was being hatched in a British prison camp! The German prisoners (last of The Death's Head Group) plan to use the tanks they stole to killer top Allied officers at a nearby gathering.
Episode 2-9 (No. 22) - Preventing A Massacre - 3 black & white pages.
Can Mike Nelson prevent a massacre by Nazi fanatics? The Death's Head Group are attacking the brass of the Allied Forces and it is up to Nelson to stop them. Will he be able to stop a massacre?
Episode 2-10 (No. 23) - Saved By Top Agent - 3 black & white pages.
Nelson Race Against Time To Prevent A Brutal Massacre! Only one tank is left after Nelson's attach on The Death's Head Group. The Top Allied Brass plan to take a train, so Nelson must save them from the remaining tank of course. Finely a victory for Nelson!
Conclusion: Nelson saves the top brass and the country. The Death's Head Dossier is closed for good thanks to him. Yes, again another comic story that could have made a whole comic book itself with 32 pages in total.
Note: This comic story was reprinted in Battle Picture Weekly Annual 1981 around 5 years after it's first printing. It was minus the ad, had only 30 pages and was told in 2 parts. Yet all text and art was used.

3 Mike Nelson - Secret Agent Mike Nelson - Secret Agent
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Patrick Wright (artist), Gerry Finley-Day (writer)
Copyright: 08/1975

From Battle Picture Weekly Summer Special 1975 - the whole story in 4 black & white pages. Nelson kills and then poses as SS Colonel Weike in Greece. He flies to Crete as the Colonel to rescue Georges Zappas, the head of the guerrilla fighter on the island.

4 Return of the Eagle Return of the Eagle
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Various (writers & artists)
Copyright: 08/23/1975 - 02/14/1976

Printed in Issues No. 25 thru No. 50 (26 issues) of Battle Picture Weekly. WWII continues as this Mike Nelson episodic story unfolds.
Episode 3-1 (No. 25) - Orders To Kill - 4 black & white pages.
Mike Nelson Returns To Germany - With Orders To Kill! Nelson parachutes into Germany and walks 2 hours to Berlin. He has orders to eliminate an S.S. General named Maximilian Von Rittermann. Will he succeed? Read and find out!
Episode 3-2 (No. 26) - Assassinate A German Admiral - 4 black & white pages.
Nelson Strikes In The Middle Of A U-Boat Victory Celebration! Nelson's target is a German Admiral named Bausch. He must execute the Admiral and get away. Will Nelson's mission be a success? Read, See and Know!
Episode 3-3 (No. 27) - Target British Traitor - 4 black & white pages. Britain's Top Agent - Loose In Germany With Orders To Kill. Nelson decides that his next victim should be a Lord John Wagleigh that is English and does radio broadcasts on a station in Berlin. Will the Eagle get the traitor? The answer goes out as bad news over the airways.
Episode 3-4 (No. 28) - Doctor To Die - 3 black & white pages. The "Eagle" Visits A Nazi Concentration Camp - As A Prisoner! Nelson enters a German Prison Camp to kill a mad German doctor. Can he get away with this bold assassination? Only a bullet for medicine can tell the tale!
Episode 3-5 (No. 29) - The Show Must Go On! - 4 black & white pages. The "Eagle" Strikes In The Middle Of A German Opera! Nelson's mark this time is Herr Gabler who is the Head of Counter Espionage in occupied Countries. What is the Eagle's performance? Nelson's applause comes from his gun and the mark falls to his death! Another enemy dead, Nelson escapes the theater and catches a train.
Episode 3-6 (No. 30) - The Breakfast Hit - 3 black & white pages.
Nelson's prey is in Western France. He is General Gessler, the Chief of Gestapo and the Eagle will ice him in a restaurant at breakfast time. Will the motorcycle Nelson takes help him get away?
Episode 3-7 (No. 31) - Hangman of Linge - 4 black & white pages.
The Eagle Serves A Death Warrant On The Hangman Of Linge! Nelson is sent to to shoot a hangman named Hitzen, but gets caught and lynched instead from a light pole. Yet will the Eagle survive to get his mark and escape? You can count on it thanks to a friend!
Episode 3-8 (No. 32) - Duel to the Death - 4 black & white pages.
A Duel To The Death For Secret Agent Mike Nelson! The Eagle's next victim is the Prussian aristocrat, Count Erich Von Altburg. They duel to the death with swords and Nelson makes his men believe he is an agent of the Gestapo.
Episode 3-9 (No. 33) - The Death Chair - 4 black & white pages.
Will The Eagle Break Under Vicious Nazi Torture? Nelson saves a Russian agent from an electric chair and takes his place to take out Herr Baumann. Will Herr Baumann rest in peace after getting fried?
Episode 3-10 (No. 34) - Death Drop - 3 black & white pages.
Eagle risks a death-drop to find his next target. Nelson's next target is skiing in the Bavarian Alps, so he drops in to get him. His target is Gruppenfurrer Otto Dekker, but can he take him out on the slopes.
Episode 3-11 (No. 35) - Secret Papers - 4 black & white pages.
Orders From London - Find The Killer Spy With Secret Papers! A German agent named Hoffman has killed someone with secret papers. So, Nelson must find and kill Hoffman to get the paper himself.
Episode 3-12 (No. 36) - Top Secret Weapon Trial - 4 black & white pages.
The Eagle strikes during a Top Secret German Weapon Trial! Russian Prisoners are used in the test of a new remote control device for the German Panzer Tank. Nelson has ordered to kill Professor Linz and discredit his remote-control device.
Episode 3-13 (No. 37) - Eagle Vs Kondor - 3 black & white pages.
The British Secret Agent In A Deadly Shoot-Out! Posing as a scarecrow the Eagle finds his next target on a shooting range in the Black Forest. Nelson has to fight with everyone on the range to get his man. But will the Eagle or Kondor win?
Episode 3-14 (No. 38) - The German Death Line - 3 black & white pages.
Britain's Top Agent Strikes On A German Death Line. Mike Nelson's mission is to stop at all costs Nazi rail boss Karl Sleicher and his train of death in Eastern Germany.
Episode 3-15 (No. 39) - Save German Generals - 3 black & white pages.
Hitler and the Nazi High Command are killing all Officers that they think are traitors. The Eagle is send to save some of them still alive.
Episode 3-16 (No. 40) - Kill The Eagle Or Die - 3 black & white pages.
Mike Nelson assassinates Colonel Meyer and the Colonel's nephew vows to kill him. Will the kid get his chance?
Episode 3-17 (No. 41) - The Traitorous Police Chief - 4 black & white pages.
Deadly Action With Britain's Number One Secret Agent! A Dutch Police Chief is a Nazi lover and a traitor to his country and countrymen. Nelson has orders to Kidnap this Police Chief and hand him over to the Resistance.
Episode 3-18 (No. 42) - The Prisoners' Helper - 4 black & white pages.
Eagle On A Mission Of Revenge To Help Tortured Prisoners! Nelson is sent to rescue some prisoners in Eastern Germany and get rid of a Herr Brecht.
Episode 3-19 (No. 43) - Trap of Opportunity - 4 black & white pages.
General-Major Kleiber Sets A Cunning Trap For Mike Nelson! But will the Eagle fall for it or will he get his mark, a German named Grenz?
Episode 3-20 (No. 44) - Two For The Price Of One - 3 black & white pages.
Britain's Top Agent Strikes - On Hitler's Birthday! A French Resistance group called Maquis need the help of Mike Nelson to catch a traitor. But thing are not what they seem, because there are really two traitors.
Episode 3-21 (No. 45) - Eliminated K Nineteen - 3 black & white pages.
A German Agent known only as 'K Nineteen' leaves his mark at British seaports. Mike Nelson, aka The Eagle is give orders to finish off the German Spy called K Nineteen as quickly as possible.

5 Night of the Eagle Night of the Eagle
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Robert Ede (writer)
Copyright: 02/21/1976 - 03/06/1976

Printed in Issues No. 51 thru No. 53 (3 issues) of Battle Picture Weekly. Will night give Mike Nelson cover and keep him safer.
Part 1 (No. 51) - 4 black & white pages - Britain's Deadliest Agent In A Thrilling New Spy Adventure. Nelson stops a train with a van to photograph German plans for the Russian Front. Then takes them to Russian Agents and discovers a German General who wishes to defect and who has the Atlantic Wall Defense Plans the British want. Yet has the Gestapo set a trap for The Eagle and the traitor General?
Part 2 (No. 52) - 4 black & white pages - Agent Mike Nelson In A Night Of Blazing Suspense! Now aboard a train for Paris Nelson must meet with the traitor General to get the plans he need. But, the Gestapo is bound to get in the way. With the plans stolen and the General dead The Eagle must follow the man who took them. Then Nelson discovers the other man is American O.S.S. and after the plans as well. Yet, the American doesn't has the same plans Nelson needs. Has he failed and was it the wrong General?
Part 3 (No. 53) - 4 black & white pages - A Dramatic Climax To Mike Nelson's Daring Mission! Nelson boards the train again with the help of the O.S.S. Agent. The Eagle finely meets the true traitor General and discovers the plan were sent ahead to Paris. In Paris he get the suitcase with the plans and gets away from the Germans with help from the same O.S.S. Agent.
Conclusion: Mike Nelson with the Atlantic Wall Defense Plans believes British and American lives will be saved. His mission has succeeded. This story ends after only 12 pages.

6 The Eagle Flies East The Eagle Flies East
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Chris Lowder (writer), Patrick Wright (artist)
Copyright: 03/20/1976 - 08/07/1976

Printed in Issues No. 55 thru No. 75 (21 issues) of Battle Picture Weekly. Mike Nelson goes to Asia. But will his luck be better?

7 The Eagle Must Die The Eagle Must Die
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Chris Lowder (writer), Patrick Wright (artist)
Copyright: 08/14/1976 - 10/16/1976

Printed in Issues No. 76 thru No. 85 (10 issues) of Battle Picture Weekly. The enemies of the Eagle want him dead. Will Mike Nelson survive?

GAMES

Number of Games:1
First Appearance:1975
Last Appearance:1975

1 You Are A Spy! You Are A Spy!
IPC Magazines
Copyright: 1975

Published in Battle Picture Weekly No. 27 and printed on page 27. The Germans are interrogating Mike Nelson (The Eagle) for being a spy. See how well you can answer these question from your spy knowledge to find out if you could be a 1st Class Spy.

ODDS & ENDS

Number of Items:2
First Appearance:1975
Last Appearance:1981

1 Be A Battle Spy! Be A Battle Spy!
Message & ID Card
IPC Magazines
Copyright: 1975

Published in Battle Picture Weekly #37 and printed on the inside of the back cover. Mike Nelson wants others to have a chance at being a S.O.E. agent with their every own ID Card. This was most likely the idea of Gerry Finley-Day and Patrick Wright.

2 Mike Nelson's Top Secret Code World Mike Nelson's Top Secret Code World
Message Coding
IPC Magazines
Copyright: 1981

Published in Battle Picture Weekly Annual 1981 and printed on page 81. Mike Nelson give the readers lessons in code writing. This page was most likely written by Gerry Finley-Day and illustrated by Patrick Wright.

MY COMMENTS

       This series started off, to me, as a new take on the Rogue Male (Geoffrey Household) adventure idea, the concept that one daring resolute individual could find his way into the capital of the Third Reich and by removing the head of the viper, end the danger. Obviously he would not be successful but it could and does make for some exciting action.
       The writers were left, then, with the question of what to do with the character once that mission was over. They came up with not one but several new and exciting assignments, each a bit different than the others. I especially liked the fact that some are "quick and dirty" tasks while others are long, drawn out one with lots of twists. Variety is vital in any series and this changing from one type to another is a good way of providing it.

GRADE

My Grade: B

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