ticker_tait_cb_spike11 ticker_tait_cb_spike10 ticker_tait_cb_spike02 ticker_tait_cb_spike03 ticker_tait_cb_spike07_09 ticker_tait_cb_spike06 ticker_tait_cb_spike04_05 ticker_tait_cb_spike12_15 ticker_tait_cb_spike01
Full Name: Sinclair 'Ticker' Tait
Codename: Zombi Three
Nationality: British
Organization: Department C
Occupation Agent

Creator: Neville Wilson
Time Span: 1983 - 1983


Sinclair 'Ticker' Tait is an agent with British Intelligence.

That statement, though true, has two elements that require major explanation. One is his being an operative comes about because he is coerced in the worst way to become one, not because it is something he would have ever sought on his own. The other is that the nickname 'Ticker' is not one that is actually used except to reference the stories about his adventures but this alliterative title points out the way that Tait was forced to work for Department C.

'C' is the designation for the small branch of the Intelligence community as well as the identifier for the the extremely unpleasant, utterly heartless, and totally despicable individual who runs the division. Not only does 'C' force people to work for him literally on threat of death, he obviously enjoys the hold he has on them and when one falls victim to the 'or else' end of the threat he presents to them, he gleefully inquires, "Who's next?" Not a nice man at all.

The coercion for Tait came about when he collapses while taking part in a pentathlete event in an international athletic meet. In the hospital he is told that "must have picked up a mystery virus somewhere" as it "attacked and severely damaged [his] heart". The organ was beyond repair, he was told. Then a fellow named Rogers showed up from the government and offered "a mechanical heart - made of tungsten, titanium, and other alloys which we can substitute for your diseased heart with a simple operation. There is no risk". And there would be no charge! "It is enough that we will be helping British athletics."

The fact that the new heart can be set to explode inside his chest is not mentioned until after the surgery. He is also told that he must now work for the Department as an agent or die. And that when given a mission, he would be given a very short time frame to pull it off or his heart would go boom wherever he was. That is the kind of people he is now forced to work for, or die.

Prior to his run-in with the Department, Tait, a dark curly haired handsome man, had been an enlisted man in the Royal Marines, rising to the rank of sergeant before turning down an offered commission and leaving the service to take up athletics, his great love. Tait appears to be in his late 20's, in excellent shape (other than the sabotaged heart), and possessing fantastic reflexes and instincts. Add in the fact that the artificial heart, while being boobytrapped to give him immense pain at the push of a button or explosive death should that button be held too long, was also able to pump blood and needed oxygen far better than a normal heart. This gives him added energy and resistance to some drugs and gasses, which makes Tait a terrific, albeit unwilling, agent.

Interestingly, the designation/codename for Tait is a somewhat apt 'Zombi Three', appropriate because in paranormal lingo, a zombie is a person resurrected from the dead often forced to do the bidding of the one who brought them back.


Number of Stories:9
First Appearance:1983
Last Appearance:1983

     In 1983 renowned British publisher DC Thomson added to its extensive line of weekly and monthly publications with Spike, an action-adventure comic book geared for teen boys and young men. It was an anthology magazine with each issue consisting of a short graphic stories of war, sci-fi, sports, detective, supernatural, and espionage.

     The weekly magazine would last only 67 issues before being folded into a sister mag, Champ.

     One of the inaugural storylines was that of Ticker Tait. It would survive for the first 15 issues before disappearing.

1 'The New 'Recruit' Mission' 'The New 'Recruit' Mission'
Published by DC Thomson
Contributors: Neville Wilson (artist)
Copyright: 1983

Published in Spike #1, 01/22/1983.
The British agent known as Zombi Two had fallen into enemy hands. He did not fear the planned torture because he knew his time was out anyways. When his death, the leaders of Department C needed a new agent under their control. They found in Sinclair Tait who suffered a heart attack at a track & field meet.

2 'The Zombi Revenge Mission' 'The Zombi Revenge Mission'
Published by DC Thomson
Contributors: Neville Wilson (artist)
Copyright: 1983

Published in Spike #2, 01/29/1983.
After undergoing a period of intense training, Tait is given his first assignment. It is to head to Vienna to locate the four men who had captured Zombi Two. Despite his reluctance, Tait is told he will eliminate all four or die himself.

3 'The Former Nazi Mission' 'The Former Nazi Mission'
Published by DC Thomson
Contributors: Neville Wilson (artist)
Copyright: 1983

Published in Spike #3, 02/05/1983.
Ticker Tait is finally given a mission he can get behind - find a wealthy German named Mengler who is suspected of being a Nazi concentration camp official named Joachim Strick. To Tait's disgust, he learns that the desire of Department C is not to bring him to justice but to turn him to use is wealth for the agency.

4 'The List Of Agents Mission' 'The List Of Agents Mission'
Published by DC Thomson
Contributors: Neville Wilson (artist)
Copyright: 1983

Published in Spike #4-#5, 02/12/1983 - 02/19/1983.
Two Department C agents had stolen from a Trade Delegation in NYC a list of all Soviet agents in America. They were shot getting away, killed by mobsters working for "the biggest crime boss in New York", known only as The Man. The gangster wants to sell the list back to the Soviets for $100 million. Tait's job is to find the man, get the list, and 'execute him for his impertinence".

5 'The Defecting Scientist Mission' 'The Defecting Scientist Mission'
Published by DC Thomson
Contributors: Neville Wilson (artist)
Copyright: 1983

Published in Spike #6, 02/26/1983.
After a disastrous attempt to eliminate 'C', Tait is given his next mission which is to provide personal protection for a Soviet defecting electronics expert. The man is being sheltered on an estate guarded by Military Intelligence but Tait is there for the up-close guarding.

6 'The Hunt For Rogers Mission' 'The Hunt For Rogers Mission'
Published by DC Thomson
Contributors: Neville Wilson (artist)
Copyright: 1983

Published in Spike #7-#9, 03/05/1983 - 03/19/1983.
Tait had been given the task of stealing a top secret Soviet VSTOL aircraft. His reward after succeeding was a nasty 2-second pain-fest from Rogers to remind him not to get cocky. Tait now wants revenge on Rogers but before he can exact it, he sees Rogers kidnapped and flown away in a help. 'C' gives Tait 12 hours to find and rescue the man he hates so much, or die!

7 'The Traitorous Hero Mission' 'The Traitorous Hero Mission'
Published by DC Thomson
Contributors: Neville Wilson (artist)
Copyright: 1983

Published in Spike #10, 03/26/1983.
A British general is being honored around the country for being a major hero who had survived two years of captivity by the other side. Tait is ordered by Department C to eliminate him for being a brainwashed traitor.

8 'The Double Agent Elimination Mission' 'The Double Agent Elimination Mission'
Published by DC Thomson
Contributors: Neville Wilson (artist)
Copyright: 1983

Published in Spike #11, 04/02/1983.
A British double agent named Krubker has been captured inside the Soviet Union and is being held in the highly secure Tulenka Prison. Tait's mission is to sneak in and eliminate the man before he can talk.

9 'The Three Assassin Mission' 'The Three Assassin Mission'
Published by DC Thomson
Contributors: Neville Wilson (artist)
Copyright: 1983

Published in Spike #12-#15, 04/09/1983 - 04/30/1983.
The exiled Premier of the African nation of Zulabwe is living in the U.K. Three top assassins have been sent to England to find and eliminate the man. Department C is worried they will be successful on British soil so they want Tait to provide extra protection until he can be flown elsewhere.


Tait is a terrific though tragic agent. I got the impression after the first mission or two that he would actually enjoy his new forced job if he had better people to work for. Then again better people would not be zapping him now and then just to 'remind' him of his tenuous condition.

This comic series makes me wonder about the writer's attitude towards his bosses!

I was sorry to see that the series came to an end far sooner than the end of the magazine. I would have enjoyed a lot more of these exciting and quite interesting missions.


My Grade: B+


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