Action Man (comics)

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Action Man Final Issue.JPG

Action Man was a UK comic series published by Panini Comics, based on the toy line of the same name. It ran for 138 issues between 1996 and 18 January 2006 before being surpassed by spin-off series Action Man: A.T.O.M.. The comic was originally published every month but this was later changed to every three weeks. The final editor was Ed Caruana.


The comic strip was the main feature for each issue. Initially, the stories in each issue featured little to no continuity between them. However, as the comic progressed, full story arcs would become more prominent. Many different characters were introduced over the comic's course. The comic always focused on Action Man's efforts to thwart the evil plans of his arch enemy, the mad scientist Dr.X, and his 'Council of Doom'. The first strip featured in the comic was named 'Into Action'. [1]

2003 arc[edit]

2003 introduced the fictional Island X, an X-shaped island which was the home of Dr.X and the Council of Doom. This would become the setting for many stories for years to come. The plot focused on Dr.X building a huge 'Death Ray' on Island X which he would use to destroy capital cities across the world unless he was made world leader. Action Man had to explore Island X in his quest to find the Doctor and they would have several confrontations before their final battle in issue 100. The outcome was shown in the following issue on a giant poster. A new villain named 'Antifreeze' was also introduced in this year.

2004 arc[edit]

2004 introduced two new Action Force team mates. Native American archer, Redwolf and the Australian extreme sportsman, Flynt.

The plot for this story arc centred on new villain 'No-Face' creating an army of 'X Robots', built in Dr.X's image, to spread terror across the world before later bringing Dr.X back to life as a cyborg. No-Face then kidnapped a scientist named Professor Moran to force him to make a mind control gas for Dr.X which would help him achieve his goal of taking over the world.

At first Professor Moran refused but Dr.X claimed he would blow up every capital city in Europe if he did not help him. The 2004 film Action Man: Robot Atak had a very similar plot to this story-arc.

X Missions (2005–06 arc)[edit]

The final story arc was called X Missions. This name featured on the cover of each issue, as well as on the boxes of the action figures released between 2005 and 2006.[2] The plot involved Dr.X harnessing animal DNA and using it to create a'Terror Toxin' chemical. He planned to use this on innocent people to turn them into an army of 'Toxic Troopers'. Some X Robots were also upgraded to become Toxic Robots which had large blades in place of their hands. Additionally, Action Man had to complete ten deadly missions that Dr.X had set out for him. A direct to VHS and DVD film named Action Man: X Missions - The Movie was also released in 2005.

Hasbro Universe (2016)[edit]


  • Mission Brief
  • Comic Strip
  • Colouring Page
  • Character profiles, features on past stories from the comic etc.
  • Competition-Often for the toy featured in the issue's strip. Other competition prizes included games and DVDs.
  • Puzzles
  • Posters-A giant pull-out poster in the centre of the comic and occasional back cover poster.
  • Letters Page-Had various names over the comics course including 'Gangrene's Gunk Mail', 'Antifreezes Cool Mail' and 'Dr X's Hate Mail'.


Panini Comics obtained the Marvel UK licence in 1995 and Marvel UK had previously published an Action Force comic. Then, in 1996, the first issue of Action Man was published with the Marvel logo on the cover [3] however, this was later removed after a few years. The comic ended in 2006 to be replaced by a spin-off, Action Man: A.T.O.M. comic. A.T.O.M. had also replaced the Action Man toy line and TV show.

Collected editions[edit]

In 2001, Egmont Books published a series of books each containing two strips from random issues of the comic, priced at £1.99 each.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]