From February 1987 the British arm of Marvel Comics began publishing Action Force, a 24 page weekly comic that combined relettered reprints of the US G.I. Joe with British originated strips, fact files and humour strips, in the same vein as their existing successful Transformers comic.
Transformers was also used to promote the Action Force comic three times, with a special back-up strip in issues #99-#102 (reprinting "Improvisation on a Theme" from G.I. Joe #44) promoting the new title, a mini-comic free in issue #122 and finally a cross-over in Transformers #125 and Action Force #24 - #27 entitled "Ancient Relics!" Conversely the US G.I. Joe and the Transformers was not reprinted at this time, as the reprints of G.I. Joe were too far behind those of Transformers for the story to make sense.
The originated stories featured Action Force as being based in Europe and led in the field by Flint (here given the name David Faireborn and being from Lincoln in the UK) under the command of Trent.
For the UK comic it was rewritten and relettered so that now both were visiting the US team. Such changes make it hard to fit the original Action Force stories into the US comic's continuity. Additionally after the weekly title folded the reprints would become more and more G.I. Joe in all but name and eventually even that would change.
To take a look at any of the 50 issues, pick your issue below or go to the Action Force Cover Gallery:
28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50
After fifty issues the Action Force title came to a close. As was the standard practice in the British comics market at the time the title was nominally merged with Transformers, which now had the cover title Transformers and Action Force or GI Joe The Action Force from issue #153 onwards.
In practice the effect was that the G.I. Joe reprints now took over the back-up strip slot in Transformers on a permanent basis, although the Action Force comedy strip Combat Colin replaced the existing Transformers comedy strip Robo-Capers.
Action Force would take two brief breaks from Transformers, between issues #183 & #190 and again between #213 & #219, on each occasion being replaced by Visionaries.
At issue #306 G.I. Joe the Action Force was dropped from the title altogether.
Separate Action Force annuals and specials were also released by Marvel UK from 1987 onwards, with the title changing in line with that of the toyline. In addition there was a weekly comic launched in autumn 1989 called The Incredible Hulk Presents which contained further amended reprints of the G.I. Joe strips. It lasted just twelve issues.
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