SGAG Logo

Z.9

calling_z9_cb_t1mm calling_z9_cb_tswocdlm calling_z9_cb_satr calling_z9_cb_tph calling_z9_cb_tla calling_z9_cb_tmotms calling_z9_cb_omr calling_z9_cb_tldm calling_z9_cb_sabac calling_z9_cb_tmfb
 
Full Name: Alan Brady
Series Name: Calling Z.9
Nationality: British
Organization: British Secret Service
Occupation Agent

Creator: Unknown
Time Span: 1954 - 1959

ABOUT THE SERIES

Alan Brady is an agent with the British Secret Service.

"Calling Z.9" is the catchphrase most associated with this young but highly experienced and capable operative. Apparently sent out over the airways via likely a ham radio, this call would summon the man to appear at his Chief's headquarters for a briefing on yet another exciting and always dangerous assignment.

We learn immediately by both the image displayed at the beginning of each segment of his adventures and by the text often starting each mission that Brady, a blond-haired athletic man, is an "ace motorcycle racer". His fondness for the two-wheel mode of transport is made obvious on several occasions. Interestingly, though this was back over a half century ago, Brady was smart enough to routinely wear a helmet while riding, even when he was heading into situations where knives and guns and blunt instruments were readily available to those wanting to accost him.

     Throughout the numerous operations Brady was a part of, we learn a lot about his bravery and his audacity but we learn virtually nothing about his life before and during his adventures, outside of work. The lone exception is that he was an avid and successful racer on motorbikes and still retains a great love of them.

     Though the missions we are shown of this intrepid hero were presented in the 1950's, they all appear to take place prior to the Second World War, with the exception of one or more at the end of the sequence. In that instance(s), the year is 1939 and Brady has joined the elite Special Air Service (SAS). He holds the rank of Sergeant and uses his abilities gained as a Secret Service agent to handle dangerous missions behind enemy lines where capture meant certain death.

COMIC BOOKS, GRAPHIC NOVELS, AND MANGA

Number of Stories:10
First Appearance:1954
Last Appearance:1959

       TV Fun was a weekly British comic magazine put out by Amalgamated Press back in the 1950's. The publisher was already running two sister publications, Film Fun and Radio Fun, and with the growing success of the new medium, television, it made sense for a third.
       It ran under its name for 312 issues, September 19, 1953 to January 30, 1960. Sometime in 1954 two other magazines, Tip Top and Jingles, were merged into TV Fun and for a short time the title of the magazine was TV Fun, Tip Top and Jingles before reverting to its original name.
       Near the end of its run, the emphasis switched from a variety of adventure stories to romance and the name changed to TV Fun and Romance in Pictures but that was short-lived and a few months later that year the title changed to TV Fan. After its 312th issue, it was itself merged into the publication Valentine.


       TV Fun was an anthology serial publication. Each issue would hold a collection of different characters spread over a broad spectrum of genres. Each of these would have their stories told in small packets of 2-3 pages each issue.
       Some of the residents of this magazine were new graphic stories based on existing television shows, such as the American western, Wagon Train. Others were interestingly noted movie stars who were used as main characters thrust into adventures and mysteries, such as the beautiful and highly talented Sally Ann Howes as well as the singer and entertainer Pearl Carr.


       My access to issues of this magazine is sketchy therefore my knowledge of the exact times for the Calling Z.9 adventures is limited.
       The earliest issue I have with Z.9 in it is #56 (10/09/1954) and the story was already ongoing. It is possible that Z.9's history stretches to the beginning of the magazine. I just do not know yet.
       Similarly, the last issue I have found for Calling Z.9 was #283 (02/14/1959) and that adventure continued past that issue. Again, it is possible that Z.9's presence in the magazine lasted until the very end.
       Also not known but postulated is the length of each adventure. My feeling is that tales were serialized over 10-12 issues with usually 2, sometimes 3 pages, each issue. If this holds up, there could be as many as 30 adventures about this operative,
       I know for certain of 10 missions and those are described below.


Note: many of the later adventures had titles. Some of the earlier ones either did not or I have not found them so those titles in quotes are my inventions.

1 The Lorna Doone Mystery The Lorna Doone Mystery
Published by DC Thomson
Contributors: Henricus Farrugia (artist)
Copyright: 1954

Published in TV Fun starting before #56 and ending #59, 10/09/1954 - 10/30/1954.
Alan Brady is sent to "a lonely country mansion" to help in a mission involving a "horde of stolen jewels", a major clue for which is hidden in the pages of the book Lorne Doone.
Click here to read the story.

2 Sabotage At The Races Sabotage At The Races
Published by DC Thomson
Contributors: Henricus Farrugia (artist)
Copyright: 1954

Published in TV Fun starting #60 and ending after #60, 11/06/1954 - 11/06/1954.
Alan Brady, Z.9, has his promised vacation delayed when he is sent to the great car racing track at Brookstone where a major international contest is scheduled to be held that coming weekend. A string of unsolved, mysterious mishaps have occurred, making the manager of the facility fearing that "some foreign team is trying to put their rivals out of the running".
Click here to read the story.

3 The Limping Avenger The Limping Avenger
Published by DC Thomson
Contributors: Henricus Farrugia (artist)
Copyright: 1956

Published in TV Fun starting before #144 and ending after #148, 06/16/1956 - 07/14/1956.
Agent Z.9, Alan Brady, and his colleague Bill Harmon are dispatched to the country of Calabria where the Prime Minister of that nation, Count Melita, worries that "some mysterious people are plotting against him". Brady soon discovers a major player is a cloaked man sporting an obvious limp.
Click here to read the story.

4 The Secret Weapon of Count de la Melseau The Secret Weapon of Count de la Melseau
Published by DC Thomson
Contributors: Henricus Farrugia (artist)
Copyright: 1957

Published in TV Fun starting before #182 and ending after #182, 03/09/1957 - 03/09/1957.
This time teamed up with agent Chips Woods, Alan Brady, agent Z.9, is in France to learn who has stolen the plans for a deadly secret weapon. They soon discover that the sinister Count De la Melseau is the arch-villain.
Click here to read the story.

5 The Phantom Highlander The Phantom Highlander
Published by DC Thomson
Contributors: Henricus Farrugia (artist)
Copyright: 1957

Published in TV Fun starting before #188 and ending after #188, 04/20/1957 - 04/20/1957.
This mission takes the ever-ready agent Z.9, Alan Brady, heading north to Scotland where the townspeople around a village in the Highlands are fearing to venture out of their homes because of a phantom spotted periodically. Brady is certain that the spectre is really to hide some nefarious activity.
Click here to read the story.

6 The Strange Affair of The Man From Buldania The Strange Affair of The Man From Buldania
Published by DC Thomson
Contributors: Henricus Farrugia (artist)
Copyright: 1957

Published in TV Fun starting before #214 and ending after #219, 10/19/1957 - 11/23/1957.
Alan Brady is in the European nation of Buldania to help free from captivity the Princess Zena and a Baron Von Ludwin, two citizens of that country imprisoned by the Chief of Police, Georgi Dimitrov.
Click here to read the story.

7 The International Plot of the £10,000,000 Mystery The International Plot of the £10,000,000 Mystery
Published by DC Thomson
Contributors: Henricus Farrugia (artist)
Copyright: 1958

Published in TV Fun starting before #230 and ending after #237, 02/08/1958 - 03/29/1958.
Alan Brady, Z.9, is in France "to track down a gang of international crooks who are forging bank notes", near perfect forgeries now flooding all of Europe.
Click here to read the story.

8 The Strange Affair of Operation 'Moon Rocket' The Strange Affair of Operation 'Moon Rocket'
Published by DC Thomson
Contributors: Henricus Farrugia (artist)
Copyright: 1958

Published in TV Fun starting before #243 and ending after #252, 05/10/1958 - 07/12/1958.
Alan Brady is once again back in Scotland, this time a very remote section of the country where a team of scientists are working hard to send a rocket to the moon. Unfortunately, there is a traitor among the group and is Z.9's job to uncover the culprit.
Click here to read the story.

9 The Mystery of the Missing Stars The Mystery of the Missing Stars
Published by DC Thomson
Contributors: Henricus Farrugia (artist)
Copyright: 1958

Published in TV Fun starting before #260 and ending after #263, 09/06/1958 - 09/27/1958.
Before he fled his country, the Emperor of Irovia has given away several medallions known collectively as "The Star of Irovia". Now they are being stolen by someone and Alan Brady is put on the job of finding who. He learns that a secret paper with the Emperor's signature is thought to be inside one of the objects and someone really wants hold of it.
Click here to read the story.

10 S.A.S. Alan Brady - Air Commando S.A.S. Alan Brady - Air Commando
Published by DC Thomson
Contributors: Henricus Farrugia (artist)
Copyright: 1959

Published in TV Fun starting before #283 and ending after #283, 02/14/1959 - 02/14/1959.
Now a member of the elite Special Air Service fighting during WWII, Alan Brady is sent behind enemy lines with an expert safe-cracker, 'Jelly' Jones, to get hold of a cache of vital Nazi plans.
Click here to read the story.

MY COMMENTS

     I was too young for, and in the wrong country as well, this impressive series; impressive because, IMO, the storytelling was quite well done. The artwork is fantastic and a sincere pleasure to enjoy. The plots were intricate without being overdone and the mystery aspect of most were well executed. The space given to tell a decent story added a whole lot to how well they turned out.

     I really enjoyed these stories and will keep looking to fill in the numerous gaps so that I can have more tales of his adventures.

GRADE

My Grade: B

YOUR OPINIONS

Be the first to leave your own comments about this series.

Tell us what you think of the series. Give your grade and comments.

Your Grade:
Your Comments:

To give your opinion, you must be logged in.

Sign In

Register
Disclaimer
SpyGuysAndGals is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, and links with the Buy from Amazon button are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.