To the Victors the Spoils

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Action Man Prologue
ActionManPrologue regcvr.jpg
"To the Victors the Spoils"
Published in ROM #0
First published May 7, 2016
Written by John Barber
Art by Chris Evenhuis
Colors by John-Paul Bove
Letters by Shawn Lee
Edits by Carlos Guzman

Action Man makes the ultimate sacrifice.

Synopsis[edit]

In SIS Headquarters, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom panics about Doctor X having activated a doomsday device that threatens to destroy the world, but Pauline Bestley, director of the Action Man Programme, assures her superior that Action Man has the situation under control, having broken into the villain's lair.

In Doctor X's lair under the Thames, Action Man picks up Ian Noble, one of his support crew who infiltrated the evil doctor's organization. They make their way to the doomsday device, a reactor housed in a rocket. While Ian is distracted with explaining the danger of the reactor overloading, Action Man locks himself into the rocket to get the impeding explosion away from Earth. Despite Ian's protestations, Action Man takes off, but not before passing the mantle on to the young man. The rocket explodes safely away from the United Kingdom, and Ian climbs out of the missile silo to an adoring crowd.

Action Man is dead. Long live Action Man.

Featured characters[edit]

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Quotes[edit]

"Thank God. Who's in there — S.A.S.? M.I.5? S.F.S.G.? How many men are in the squad?"
"Squad? I'm sorry, Prime Minister... but who said anything about a squad?"

—The Prime Minister has his expectations corrected by Bestley.


"Ian, it's a good way to go out. And a good world to stand on guard for. I'm happy. Hope you're happy, too."

Action Man's last words

Notes[edit]

  • This prologue story was originally printed as a backup strip in the Free Comic Book Day 2016 ROM #0 issue, and was subsequently reprinted in Action Man #1.

Action Man references[edit]

  • The mooks that Action Man fights on the way to reaching Ian are based on the X-Bots from the 1990s Action Man toyline.

Real world references[edit]

  • The prologue is named after the 1950 debut novel of the same name by Colin MacInnes; subsequent Action Man issues would continue this trend.
  • The Prime Minister spits out a number of special forces organizations (S.A.S., M.I.5, and S.F.S.G.), which are all real portions of the British government and military.
  • Action Man is mentioned to be a member of Mensa, a real organization for high-IQ people.
  • Let's just get it out there—Action Man's last words are a homage to David Bowie's "Ashes to Ashes", a song in which "I'm happy, hope you're happy too" is described as "a message from the Action Man".

Covers (1)[edit]