4 Days to Battle Action: meet Dredger!

4th June 2022

Featuring seven brand new stories written by Garth Ennis – the mind behind The Boys, Preacher, and war comics such as The Stringbags and Sara – the 96-page hardcover anthology captures the spirit and action of the merger of the groundbreaking Battle and Action comics in the 1970s.

Behind the cover by Andy Clarke (Batman and Robin) and Dylan Teague (Madi), Ennis is joined by artists Mike Dorey (Ro-Busters), John Higgins (Watchmen), Keith Burns (Ladybird Expert series), PJ Holden (The Stringbags), Patrick Goddard (Judge Dredd), Chris Burnham (Batman) and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen artist Kevin O’Neill.

As we approach D-Day, we shall introduce you to the legendary Battle Action characters who are back in action for this landmark book! Written by Garth Ennis with art by John Higgins, co-colours by Sally Jane Hurst, and letters by Rob Steen - today we take our first foray into strips from Action with the brutal secret agent Dredger!

Very much a man of his time - a time lucky to have survived the man - Dredger works for the government, tackling threats foreign, domestic, military, criminal or just plain deranged (which anyone having a pop at this guy has to be to begin with). Few if any of his assailants survive the experience.

Created by Pat Mills, Gerry Finley-Day and artist Horacio Altuna, with little in the way of a past and not much to say for himself, Dredger usually gets on with the killing and relies on his partner, Breed, to do any talking necessary. Actually, scratch that - Breed’s dead too.

Dirty Harry meets The Ipcress File by way of The Sweeny, this was Action’s take on the tough guy loner tendency that was so prevalent in 1970s fiction. Dredger was initially employed by the shadowy D.I.6, with the more refined Breed acting as his foil; the move to Battle saw Breed blown up by a car bomb and Dredger recruited by S.I.S., whose roots were in Britain’s military rather than the intelligence services.

Although Dredger himself became marginally chattier and the strip’s violence slightly less sanguinary, the action itself was no less intense. John Cooper’s arrival as regular artist made the Battle Action incarnation of Dredger a highly enjoyable read.

So don’t pull your punches - get the Battle Action Special, out on 8 June from all good comic book stores and the 2000 AD and Treasury of British Comics webshops, and from September from all good book stores and major online retailers.