Battle Action is back, with Garth Ennis leading the charge. Following up on 2022’s Battle Action special, ComicBook.com can reveal Rebellion’s plans for a five-issue Battle Action miniseries in 2023. Ennis (Preacher, The Boys) will write a story in each issue, backed by additional stories from talents including John Wagner (Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog), Dan Abnett (Guardians of the Galaxy, Warhammer 40k), Torunn Grønbekk (Thor, Star Wars), Rob Williams (Suicide Squad, Judge Dredd), John Higgins (Watchmen, Judge Dredd) and Chris Burnham (Batman Incorporated, Unstoppable Doom Patrol), each putting new spins on characters introduced in stories from Battle Picture Weekly and Action.
The first issue of the new Battle Action series lands on May 31st, available at comic stores, and online through the 2000 AD and Treasury of British Comics webshops. The World War Two ace Johnny Red will return to action, and John Wagner, who co-created Battle Picture Weekly, will pen a new “HMS Nightshade” story, which he co-created with artist Mike Western in 1979. The series follows a Royal Navy warship protecting Allied shipping vessels from U-Boats.
Keith Burns provides covers for the series, and alternate cover editions will be available in the 2000 AD and Treasury webshops. Future issues will feature new installments of “Crazy Keller,” “D-Day Dawson,” “Dredger,” “Major Eazy,” “Hellman of Hammer Force,” and “Nina Patrova and The Angels of Death.”
“So it looks like my cunning plan worked, and there will indeed be more Battle Action,” Ennis says in a statement. “I’m delighted to welcome writers Rob Williams, Torunn Grønbekk, Dan Abnett and in particular original Battle creator John Wagner on board for the new series, alongside ten (count them) fantastic artists – some returning from last year’s special, some newcomers to our noble endeavor. Having John produce the first ‘HMS Nightshade’ script in forty years is the icing on the cake.”
Editor Oliver Pickles adds, “The Battle Action special last year was a huge success for us, so it’s a delight to be able to return to these classic titles. We have a really first class line-up of creators who don’t just understand the legacy of these characters but how to bring them forward in new and exciting ways.”
Writers/editors Pat Mills and John Wagner created Battle Picture Weekly in 1975, kicking off a new movement in British comics full of grit, anti-heroes, and oddballs. That energy would carry over when Mills created Action in 1976 and 2000 AD in 1977. The new Battle Action mini-series is named after the title given to the magazine when Battle Picture Weekly merged with Action in 1977.
Battle Action #1 goes on sale on May 31st. Check out the preview art below.