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John Steed and Cathy Gale in 'The Runaway Brain' instalment of The Avengers newspaper strip.

The Avengers, the ITV/ABC/Thames TV series featuring suave spy John Steed (Patrick MacNee) and his various companions, has been adapted to comics numerous times.

  • The first, a 7-page strip entitled "The Drug Pedlar" featuring Steed and his first companion, Dr. David Keel, appeared in the TV Crimebusters Annual of 1962.
  • The next was a strip that ran in the TV listings magazines Look Westward and The Viewer in 1963, and TV Post and The Manchester Evening News and Chronicle in 1964. There were four stories, 'Epidemic of Terror', 'Quest for a Queen', 'Operation Harem' and 'The Runaway Brain', featuring Steed and Cathy Gale (the character played by Honor Blackman). These stories ran over a number of weeks, varying in length from publication to publication depending on how they were presented. The first acknowledged publication date is September 14th 1963 when the initial instalment of 'Epidemic of Terror' was printed in Look Westward and The Viewer. Only one strip, 'Quest for a Queen', contained any credit for writer or artist, and this gave a writer's credit to John Malcolm.
  • Another Avengers strip appeared in TV Comic from 1965-66, starring steed and Emma Peel (Diana Rigg) and drawn by Pat Williams.
  • A prequel, "The Growing-Up of Emma Peel", ran in June in 1966, concurrently with the TV Comic strip, and featured Emma Knight, as she was then called, in her teens.
  • Another Avengers strip ran in Diana in 1966-67, drawn by Emilio Frejo and Juan Gonzalez Alacrojo.
  • A 1966 episode of the TV series, "The Winged Avenger", featured a villain who was a comics artist. His drawings were provided by Frank Bellamy.
  • In 1967 a sixty-eight page Avengers comic was published by Thorpe & Porter, featuring Steed and Mrs Peel in four sixteen-page stories, drawn by Mick Anglo and Mick Austin.
  • Atlas Publications published three Avengers annuals, for 1967, 1968 and 1969, featuring comic strips (drawn by John Stokes) and text stories featuring Steed with Emma Peel and Tara King (Linda Thorson).
  • The strip returned to TV Comic in 1968, featuring Steed and Tara King, drawn by Tom Kerr and John Canning, and ran until 1972.
  • There were two New Avengers annuals for 1977 and 1978, starring Steed with Purdey (Joanna Lumley) and Gambit (Gareth Hunt), drawn by John Bolton and Pierre Le Goff.
  • In the USA, Eclipse Comics published a three-issue miniseries called Steed and Mrs Peel, written by Grant Morrison and Anne Caufield and drawn by Ian Gibson, in 1990-92. This was reprinted in six issues by BOOM! Studios in 2012, who went on to publish further stories written by Mark Waid.
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill has made unofficial usage of certain Avengers characters. The Black Dossier features a character who is clearly meant to be a younger Emma Peel (for copyright reasons she is referred to as Emma Night - in the television series her maiden name was given as "Knight").[1] An elderly version of this character reappears in Century: 2009, along with cameos from Steed's previous female companions.[2] Meanwhile, the primary antagonist in Century: 1969 is Cosmo Gallion (spelt "Kosmo Gallion"), a supernatural villain from the Avengers episode "Warlock"; the comic's version of Gallion is based partly around the real-life occultist Karl Germer, and the story reveals that he is actually one of multiple identities adopted by the body-hopping magician Oliver Haddo.[3]


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