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BARRACUDA

 
Full Name: Barracuda
Series Name: Code Name - Barracuda
Nationality: British
Organization: United Nations
Occupation Agent

Creator: Unknown
Time Span: 1966 - 1968

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Barracuda is an agent with U.N. Intelligence.
       That is, obviously, not the agent's real name but since we never learn any other moniker, including whatever one he was born with, it is the best we can do. Even his closest friends call him Barracuda, which is also his codename, so he is not likely to be offended if we use it. Speaking of names, it is quite common to see his adventures described as being that of "Codename: Barracuda".
       I put his department as being "Intelligence" but really he works for the United Nations in general. I narrowed it down because his missions are that of a generalized troubleshooter but more often directed against very bad people or organizations and someone has to be making those distinctions, hence putting him in a department.
       Barracuda does not routinely work alone. He has as his partner a bald headed freakishly strong bruiser named Frollo (no last name known). While Barracuda is essentially the senior partner, their closeness and friendship puts them on equal footing. Since they have worked for quite a while before we meet them in their first recorded adventure, that cohesiveness is already firmly established.
       Though there could be any number of bad guys to warrant calling in a pair like Barracuda and Frollo, the principle nasty organization to take up a good deal of their efforts is War Against Mankind, or WAM. That name really shows how evil the group is because their goal is really to wipe out civilization as we know it. Luckily for us, Barracuda and Frollo prove over and over just how good they are.
       Also playing a major role as nemesis to the pair is King Cobra, a genius who also possess superhuman strength and a wicked imagination and a fantastic mastery of disguises, one time even taking the place of a Presidential candidate and winning! Luckily, Barracuda was able to prove the deception and save the day.

COMIC BOOKS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

Number of Stories:23
First Appearance:1966
Last Appearance:1968

       In the pages of newly combined Lion and Champion British comicbook magazine in the Fall of 1966 we are first introduced to the ruggedly handsome face (and physique) of Barracuda. The adventures, usually consisting of a dozen or more pages, spanned the issues with 2 or 3 pages per release. The publication came out every Saturday which meant it would take usually a month or more for the entire tale to be told.
       Just 4 months after the serialization of adventures began in LaC, the publisher, Fleetway Publishing, came out with a new line of magazine, A Fleetway SUPER Library, which had several sub-lines to it. One of those sub-lines was the SECRET AGENT Series. Two issues were released each month for over a year, one of the issues being about a different agent, Johnny Nero and the other being about Barracuda.
       While the LaC stories were jam-packed with exciting panels, usually 3 rows of 2 or 3 each, the SAS issues had two large panels, one on top of the other, per page. It all pretty much worked out the same, though, with LaC having 12+ pages per adventure and SAS having 60+ pages.

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MY COMMENTS

       This comicbook spy series is a hoot and a half. I really like straight-laced Barracuda, though he could have given us a real name after all these adventures. Frollo is even better being not as afraid to let his hair down (okay, bad joke 'cause he's bald).
       The plots are terrific with some seriously bad bad guys, especially King Kobra. The dialogue is realistic. The action nearly constant. The artwork is fantastic. I have become a huge fan of black and white artwork where shading plays such a key role.
       I am still missing a few of the stories. I will always be on the hunt cause I want more.

GRADE

My Grade: B

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