The John Steel Files is out now from all good stockists and online from the Treasury of British Comics!
Collecting two classic John Steel stories from the golden age of spy fiction, both feature stunning art from legendary artist Luis Bermejo (Creepy, Vampirella). ComicScene think this is one of the surprising finds of 2020.
Re-presented for a modern audience, these never-before-reprinted comics have been coloured by breakout colourist Pippa Bowland (2000 AD) and will feature a brand new cover by V. V. Glass (The Last Witch).
The 128-page comic book special features the stories ‘Bullets in the Sun’ (from Thriller Picture Library #371), where a British MP turns to his old WWII comrade, John Steel, after being blackmailed by sinister forces to keep him quiet about an international double-cross; and in ‘Play It Cool’ (Thriller Picture Library #379), while investigating the disappearance of Senator Harding’s son in France, Steel discovers a link to what seems to be a murder on the streets of Paris!
Originally a secret service agent during World War II, Steel first appeared in Super Detective Picture Library #157 in September 1959 and became a regular in the pages of the publisher Fleetway’s popular Thriller Picture Library from November 1960, a line of 64-page digest-sized black and white comic books that ran serialized stories, usually consisting of two comic panels per page.
Steel’s exploits helped make Thriller Picture Library one of the best-selling titles on the newsstand and it featured a variety of war, spy, and detective heroes such as ‘Battler Britton’, ‘Spy 13’, and ‘Dogfight Dixon’.
Bermejo took over the series in 1960 and may have influenced the decision in early 1961 to transplant Steel from World War Two into the Jazz Age. Gone were his spying exploits in favour of life as a private detective.
Influenced by the contemporary sophistication of the early James Bond novels, Steel found himself in a world of jazz cafes and shady deals. This switch was reflected in the title of Steel’s stories too – this collection will feature the classics ‘Play it Cool’ and ‘Bullets in the Sun’.
Luis Bermejo Royo’s diverse career spanned Spanish, British, and American comic book industries and his style is instantly recognisable on series such as Adventures of the FBI, Apache, Tarzan, John Steel, Johnny Future, Vampirella, Captain Thunder, and his adaptations of Lord of the Rings and books by Isaac Asimov and Raymond Chandler. He passed away on 12 December 2015.