charlton_nick_cb_adv3 charlton_nick_cb_adv1
Full Name: Nick Charlton
Nationality: British
Organization: British Secret Service
Occupation Agent

Creator: Bob Wilkin
Time Span: 1948 - 1948


Nick Charlton is an agent with the British Secret Service.

In the very small limited amount of adventures we are privileged to follow, we do not know a great deal about this man but we can glean a bit more.

We are told straight out in the first recorded case we have that "on being demobbed from the military, Captain Nick Charlton, M.C. gets bord with city life and yearns for action. With the aid of Spud Murphy, his ex-army batman, he decides to operate as a Secret Agent." We have to assume that meant that he applied to and was accepted by some branch of the British Intelligence community since in that adventure, a woman with vital information knows enough to head to his private apartment to seek help on a matter of national security.

Charlton is shown to be a man of athletic, slim build likely in his late 20s or early 30s. In the aftermath of the Second World War and the calming of hostilities, leading of course into the Cold War, men who would normally have made a career in the military were finding themselves again as civilians as the British government chose to greatly downsize the armed forces. Even someone who had won the prestigious Military Cross, at the time the second highest medal for 'gallantry' on the battlefield, is subject to a 'thanks for the service and goodbye'. By the way, we are not told exactly which branch of the military Charlton served but it was likely the Army as they and the Royal Air Force were most likely to have still made use of 'batman' for officers (the Royal Navy would have called them stewards).

Soon after, this man of action who is suddenly devoid of such a challenge discovered he was bored with nothing to do. Since no mention of a day job is given and we learn that he is still employing his former batman, Spud, we can make the assumption that Charlton is reasonably wealthy from likely an inheritance (there is no mention anywhere of any title of nobility).

It being unlikely that this experienced man would have just come upon the notion of doing secret agent work out of the blue, it is possible that he had been approached as a viable candidate for Intelligence work and decided it was interesting enough to do it. Spud obviously went along with the notion. There is no mention whether anyone asked the resourceful pet of Charlton, the shepherd Rover.


Number of Stories:2
First Appearance:1948
Last Appearance:1948

The very short run of this comicbook was apparently five issues in length.

The first and the third issues under the banner of Secret Service Series were definitely Nick Charlton tales. The fourth and fifth were not, dealing with a reporter named Headline Halliday.

The second issue is in doubt. It could be a Charlton mission since it is written that there were others he was involved in. However, it could also be a Halliday tale since there is reference to a preceding adventure about 'The Wreckers'. Still researching...

There appears to have been a sixth issue but who was in it, Charlton or Halliday or someone else, is unknown.

1 Jet Plane Raiders Jet Plane Raiders
Published by The Hotspur Publishing Co. Ltd.
Contributors: Bob Wilkin (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1948

Published in Secret Service Series #1, 1948.
The arrival at his apartment in the late night of a woman desperate for his help, Nick Charlton and his aide, Spud, learn immediately the seriousness of the new mission by the fact that the woman is shot and wounded trying to bring them into the case. The matter will be revealed to deal with, according to the title, jet plane thieves.
Click here to read the story.

2 The Crime Syndicate The Crime Syndicate
Published by The Hotspur Publishing Co. Ltd.
Contributors: Bob Wilkin (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1948

Published in Secret Service Series #3, 1948.
A criminal organization specializing in kidnapping for ransom, and the extortion racket to avoid being so taken, has struck, killing an MP. When a wealthy banker receives a payment demand, he appeals to Nick Charlton for assistance.
Click here to read the story.


These very short issues with each adventure being five pages long and the remainder of the thin publication having short one-page comedic tales, did not last long and after reading what little is still available online, I can see why. There is not very much for the intended audience, teenage boys and young men, to grab onto and want more. Certainly having read the small amount I did, I had no such yearning.

The artwork is reminiscent of the sort produced a decade before (though I admit to being no expert). I - who can draw nothing recognizable - was not impressed.


My Grade: C+


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