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EAGLE-EYE, JUNIOR SPY

eagle_eye_cb_01 eagle_eye_cb_ann66 eagle_eye_cb_ann67
 
Full Name: Eagle-Eye
Series Name: Eagle-Eye, Junior Spy
Nationality: British
Organization: M.I.5 1/2
Occupation Agent

Creator: Leo Baxendale
Time Span: 1964 - 1966

ABOUT THE SERIES

Eagle Eye, Junior Spy, is an agent with M.I.5 1/2.

Going by numerical standards only, since we are not explicitly told otherwise, we must assume that this department in the British Intelligence system lies halfway between MI5 and MI6. What that itself means is anyone's guess.

Obviously we can deduce that his parents gave this individual a decent first and last name though what it is remains unknown though we do know that his grandfather is Colonel Thynne. As we do not know if he is on the paternal or maternal side, we cannot go any further.

What we do know is that this very diminutive individual, standing likely around 3' tall, is a brand new addition to the organization. This fact comes from our being able to watch his getting hired in the first recorded adventure.

Eagle Eye, dressed in what we will find is his customary white trenchcoat, crumpled black ?fedora?, and red shoes, drops by his grandfather's headquarters with the man's forgotten lunch asking for the umpteenth time if he can be a spy and yet again Gramps tells him an emphatic 'NO', complete with painting word on his bulbous nose in invisible ink (which we can read!). That is when Agent XY7 stumbles into the office with a knife in his back, axe in his head, hypodermic needle stuck in his nose, and bullet holes all around his waist. He drops onto the desk his report before dropping dead to the floor. That is when Gramps decides he needs an assistant.

Suddenly the short and rather goofy-looking fellow is enlisted into the service but only as an "unpaid temporary junior spy", codename "Eagle Eye". No training. No indoctrination. Luckily no paperwork to fill out. Just 'you are now part of the team' followed by an 'off you go' on the first assignment.

Throughout his explosive career, which I say because he is constantly being blasted from one place to another, Eagle Eye will go up against a very nasty and unpleasant fellow named 'Grimly Feendish', a very large, round, bald man prone to wear black except for an ever-present long thick red scarf tied around neck. Feendish is forever living up to his name as he always tries to find some way to take over the world and poor Eagle Eye is the man to stop him.

COMIC BOOKS, GRAPHIC NOVELS, AND MANGA

Number of Stories:8
First Appearance:1964
Last Appearance:1966

       In June of 1964, British publisher IPC launched a weekly publication aimed at young people. It was called WHAM! and it would last 187 issues before merging with a sister periodical named POW! in January 1968.
       In its inaugural issue this anthology magazine would have serialized stories about General Nitt and his Barmy Army, The Wacks, Kelpie the Boy Wizard, The Tiddlers - the kids from Canal Road School, Billy Binns and his Wonderful Specs, Danny Dare (Dan Dare's Number One Fan!), Biff (who will bash at anything), another pair of diminutive misfits named the Humbugs, a irritating Wild West hooligan called The Pest of the West, a perpetually dirty youngster needing rid of George's Germs, and a circus clown named Footsie.
       The cover of the magazine, the back one of which likely held the Footsie story, was in color. The whole of the insides was presented in black and white, except for the two pages of the first Eagle-Eye story which was in the center of the publication and in very bright colors. This would continue for some issues.


       According to Wikipedia, "Created by veteran cartoonist Leo Baxendale, Wham! was structured like a typical British comic in the mold of The Beano, but it was distinguished by "a racy and anarchic new breed" of humour that inspired later British strips. The initial success of Wham! prompted the creation of sister titles Smash! and Pow! with similar intent."
       Many of the characters presented in the first issue would last a long time. That is definitely the case for Eagle Eye who seemed to consistently find his weekly two page story segment in the center of this "juvenile", a term for these comicbooks, though somewhere along the line Eagle Eye lost his color and was black and white like the rest of the crew.


       By the way, while the nasty but fun nemesis for Eagle Eye, Grimly Feendish, was a villain out to take over the world, he proved popular enough to get his own serialized adventures in the pages of sister mag, Smash!


Note: as I have not been able to get hold of copies of all 185 issues of Wham! and because Eagle Eye's adventures span many issues, 2 pages each, I do not know exactly how many adventures there are. As I find out more, I will add them.

1 Trail of the Atomic Treacle Trail of the Atomic Treacle
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Leo Baxendale (writer & artist)
Copyright: 1964

Printed in Wham! #1-15, Jun. 20 - Oct. 10, 1964, with approx. 26 color and black&white pages.
Eagle-Eye is given his first assignment which is to head Doomsday Holiday Camp to find out about the plans to use atomic treacle. He will encounter the evil Grimly Feendish and take on his spooky minions and robots to stop the man from destroying the world.
Click here to read the story.

2 Wham! It's A Fight For Annual 1966 Wham! It's A Fight For Annual 1966
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Leo Baxendale (writer & artist)
Copyright: 1965

1st of 4 stories printed in Wham! Annual 1966 with 3 color pages and the Annual Cover being the 1st page.
The character from Wham! are having a fight to see who gets the new Annual first. Will it be Eagle-Eye and his Grandfather or everyone?
Click here to read the story.

3 Earth Water To Mars Earth Water To Mars
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Leo Baxendale (writer & artist)
Copyright: 1965

2nd of 4 stories printed in Wham! Annual 1966 with 2 color pages.
Grimly Feendish is back planning to send all water on Earth to Mars and Eagle-Eye must stop him with the help of Fred.
Click here to read the story.

4 Strange Things On The Matterhorn Strange Things On The Matterhorn
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Leo Baxendale (writer & artist)
Copyright: 1965

3rd of 4 stories printed in Wham! Annual 1966 with 4 color pages.
The evil mastermind Sundae plans to bring the world to its knees by turning all stone into food and Eagle-Eye is the last agent that can stop him.
Click here to read the story.

5 The Ring of Illicit Rug Smugglers The Ring of Illicit Rug Smugglers
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Leo Baxendale (writer & artist)
Copyright: 1965

4th of 4 stories printed in Wham! Annual 1966 with 2 color pages.
Eagle-Eye is given a new mission to find out about a ring of Eastern rug smugglers.
Click here to read the story.

6 Perilous Maritime Mission Perilous Maritime Mission
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Leo Baxendale (writer & artist)
Copyright: 1966

1st of 3 stories printed in Wham! Annual 1967 with 2 color pages.
Eagle-Eye and his grandfather Colonel Thynne have gone on a mission to find a treasure at sea.
Click here to read the story.

7 Tipping Earth Into Trafalgar Square Tipping Earth Into Trafalgar Square
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Leo Baxendale (writer & artist)
Copyright: 1966

2nd of 3 stories printed in Wham! Annual 1967 with 4 color pages.
Eagle-Eye is on the case to find out who is putting a large amount of dirt in the middle of Trafalgar Square. Will the mission be a gas?
Click here to read the story.

8 Afternoon At The Circus Afternoon At The Circus
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Leo Baxendale (writer & artist)
Copyright: 1966

3rd of 3 stories printed in Wham! Annual 1967 with 4 color pages.
Eagle-Eye and his grandfather Colonel Thynne go to the circus. What kind of mayhem will happen there?
Click here to read the story.

MY COMMENTS

The creator of Eagle Eye, as well as many of the characters who would appear in the pages of Wham!, Leo Baxendale, was famous for his much varied characters with their madcap antics. He was especially (to me) known for his outlandish traps that he would use to cause poor Eagle Eye trouble nearly every issue.

The adventures of Eagle Eye were silly fun for youngsters meant to capitalize on the spy craze while also giving kids a chuckle and show the inventiveness of Baxendale. Genius is a good adjective for his work because over fifty years later, they can still amuse!

As spy adventures, they do not get a good grade. As amusing diversions, they do.

GRADE

My Grade: C

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