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|First appearance||Action Force #5 (1987)|
|Created by||Lew Stringer|
Combat Colin appeared as a back-up humour strip in Action Force comic in the 1980s. Stringer had a back-up story, Robocapers in The Transformers and was asked if he could come up with something similar for Action Force and he came up with a story about a character who was originally named Dumbo when he submitted it.
The story then moved over to The Transformers comic for a popular run. After editorial changes dropped humour material from Marvel UK's comics in 1991, Marvel UK gave Lew Stringer the rights to Combat Colin and he revived the character in several small-press titles and fanzines, including a Combat Colin Special with new material.
Colin has recently reappeared as a supporting character in the Brickman back-up strips for Image Comics' Elephantmen series. His final appearance to date will be in the Brickman strip in Elephantmen No.24, Feb 2010.
Fictional character biography
Colin Doobrey-Smiff, otherwise known as Combat Colin wanted to be a war hero, but even the army thought he was too thick for them; instead, he lived with his Mum and Dad in a suburban English neighbourhood. In the beginning, the strips were simplistic complete slapstick half-page stories. As time progressed, the strip's popularity enabled it to become a full pager. Here, Stringer was allowed to develop the character in a series of two to six part serials. Colin also acquired an assistant, Semi-Automatic Steve, and a host of supporting characters including their girlfriends The Giggly Sisters and a catalogue of recurring villains such as Madprof, Dr Nasty, and Megabrain.
A fan of The Prisoner television series, Stringer often added references to the TV show in the strip, most blatantly when Combat Colin found himself in "The Place of No Return"; a village resembling Portmeirion in the TV series. Trapped in the Village, Colin discovered it to be a place where old comic characters (Stringer's comedy back-up characters for Marvel UK) were "retired" to. Starting a revolt, Colin led his fellow heroes to escape.
In the final issue of Marvel UK's Transformers series, Combat Colin fought a final battle against Megabrain. Afterwards, he and Steve threw away all their weapons to live a life of pacifism - unfortunately, one of those weapons was a nuclear bomb and they were seemingly killed. A new story Stringer produced for a one-off mini-comic revealed that the nuclear bomb had thrown the heroes back in time to Blackpool in 1967. Brand new Combat Colin strips have recently appeared in the digital comic Aces Weekly. An ongoing Combat Colin comic, reprinting the 1980s strips, is planned to be published by Stringer in 2017.
"The Place of No Return" has recently been reprinted as "Village of the Doomed" in the book Brickman Begins!.
- Combat Colin at the Comic Book DB