The tendency of British comics to reprint (often under slightly modified names) older strips causes no end of confusion. Here's a breakdown of the various cases I know about (which have nearly given me a breakdown when trying to catalogue things!).
The first case I know of is Waldo the Wonder Man. This character was apparently revamped as both Marko the Miracle Man and Norman Conquest. In both cases some of Waldo's original stories were reworked to make new adventures for these characters. However they can be considered distinct individuals - Waldo ended up as a "gentleman crook", a foe of Nelson Lee. Marko was a bloodthirsty villain and foe of Dixon Hawke for his entire run, while Norman Conquest was a good guy, a private adventurer. Waldo also spawned a "spin-off" series about his son, Waldo the Wonder Boy.
Black Sapper meanwhile began as a villain in the Rover in the 1920's, before eventually becoming a hero much later in the Hotspur. But the character remained otherwise much the same, allowing us to treat this as a continuation, rather than a new version.
Invisible Dick first appeared in text stories in the Rover in 1922, before transferring to strip form in the Dandy in 1937. I have no reason to consider the character had been altered in the transition, and so he has one entry for this. However the 1960's version in Sparky had been considerably updated, with a new origin. As such he gets an entry of his own.
Pansy Potter, the Strong Man's daughter started in the Beano. A very different looking version turned up in the Sparky about a decade after she left the Beano, but while she was drawn differently, the character remained much the same, so again, this is just a continuation (and so only needs one entry).
The same is true of Peter Piper, originally from Magic (1939) and then later looking very different in Sparky over thirty years later. No matter the visual style, there is nothing to suggest this is a different version from the original.
Thunderbolt Jaxon on the other hand wasn't redrawn when he appeared as Johnny Samson in Buster, merely re-lettered to change the name. Although the two characters are called different names, they are substantially the same character. In spite of this, I intend to give Johnny Samson a separate (but brief) entry.
Jack Flash who appeared in the Beano in the 1940's and 50's looks very different from the one who turned up in the Nutty in the 1980's. But other than his costume, nothing suggests he is a different character. Arguably the two versions might deserve separate entries, but until I have more information on both, I'm going to cover them with one, and treat it as a continuation. However, Jackie Flash, from 1973 Mandy, is a new character based on the old, and as such gets an entry of her own.
The Iron Fish which appeared in Beano from the 1940's to the late 1960's is not the same strip as The Iron Fish which appeared in Buddy, as the leads of the two strips are different people, and the setting has moved too. Best bet is that the Buddy strip is the story of the next person to inherit the bizarre submarine and so I've treated one as a continuation of the other, giving them separate but connected entries.
Dan Dare next - he started in Eagle in the 1950's. After his original strip finished in the early seventies, he was revived for 2000 A.D. in 1977. But the version of the character that appeared in that comic, intended to be seen as a continuation of the original, was so different as to warrant a separate entry. Then the 2000 A.D. strip ended mid-story, as a new Eagle comic was launched. The Dan Dare who appeared in that comic was meant to be a descendant of the original (and will eventually get an entry of his own), but then the original version returned. When Eagle folded, another, radically changed version turned up in Revolver (which I choose to mostly ignore), and now there is a new, CGI version on Saturday mornings. At the moment, the first two are the only ones with entries.
Meanwhile Mick Anglo gave us Marvelman, surely the hero with the most convoluted origins and legacy of all. He and his partners were a direct rip-off of American character Captain Marvel, himself accused of being a Superman rip-off. He lasted to the 1960's, but then was revived in the 1980's, a totally revamped Alan Moore version but nonetheless intended to be a continuation of the original strip, which to add to the confusion would eventually be retitled Miracleman when it made it across the Atlantic. In spite of all this, I'm putting all the variations in one entry - it's intended to be one character, whatever the decade, whatever the name.
But it's not over yet, because Mick Anglo redrew the original Marvelman strips in the early 1960's, and renamed the character Captain Miracle. Since he was meant to be considered a different character, he has his own entry.
Meanwhile another Miracle Man, which I thought was unrelated to Mick Anglo's errant creation, is in fact a retitled Spanish strip, Super Hombre. I've recently been informed that Super Hombre may well have been created by Mick Anglo specifically for that market (never one to waste a good superhero design, he basically reused Marvelman again), and then the strip was resold back to its country of origin! Miracle Man gets an entry of his own in the British section - but I am aware that this potentially means I should add King Kong le Robot (the British Mytek the Mighty) to the French section. Oh well, consistency be damned!
Jack O'Justice appeared in the Valiant - but he started as redrawn Dick Turpin and Claude Duval strips. However he eventually got his own, original adventures, and so gained a legitimacy of his own. Just to muddy the waters a little, he was eventually replaced in the comic by his own modern-day descendant, Jack Justice (who at least wasn't a reprint of anyone else).
Cursitor Doom was an original character when he first appeared in 1969. But when he was reprinted in America, they called him Amadeus Wolf, which I've now been told might have had something to do with not actually having the rights to do reprints in the first place. Strictly speaking if I'm giving Johnny Samson an entry distinct from Thunderbolt Jaxon, I should eventually do the same for Amadeus Wolf (and one day I might, if I can lay my hands on an example of his strip).
Black Hawk in the Hotspur meanwhile gained a new lease of life as Scarlet Hawk, also in Hotspur, which just involved a relettering of his stories. In spite of this, the reader is meant to think they are different characters, so Scarlet Hawk gets his own entry.
Billy the Cat started in the Beano, but an updated version appeared in Buddy in the early 1980's. Since the strip didn't do anything to contradict the original version, I consider this a continuation of the character, a few years older than he was in the Beano.
The Phantom of Cursitor Marsh turned up in Hurricane. I'm informed that this was a reprint strip from another title, but which one is unknown, as is whether the character was renamed or not.
The Black Avenger also appeared in Hurricane. In his case he was a reprint of Billy the Kid from Sun. Since the historical Billy the Kid in no way resembles the Black Avenger, I don't really feel the need to give him an entry (much the same way I feel regarding Jack O'Justice and his historical basis Dick Turpin).
Meanwhile we have a strange case when we come to Marcus Britannicus. He turned up in both Buster and Valiant, in one teamed with his descendant Mike Kane, in the other his descendant Mark Keen. The Valiant strip was a reprint of the Buster one, but in both strips the ghostly centurion was called the same. So I have decided he only warrants one entry.
The Toys of Doom strip in Buster (with the Toymaker) was reprinted as Threat of the Toymaker (with Dr Droll) in Smash and then again (with at least some new artwork) as The Terror Toys (with the Terror Toymaker) in Jackpot, with one last reprint of the original strip, back at home in Buster but under the title of The Terror Toys in 1986. Then a new story was created as a continuation as the Toys of Doom (with Nick Jardine, great-grandson of the the Toymaker) in EAGLE in 1989. Confused? You will be.
Spring-Heeled Jackson appeared in both Hornet and Hotspur in the 1970's but although his costume was very different in one strip from the other, the guy inside remained the same, so either one is a straight reprint or a continuation of the other.
The last case of messing around with characters like this that I am aware of was perpetrated in 2000 A.D. with their popular Rogue Trooper character, who they attempted to revamp and relaunch. But eventually they did reveal that one character was the successor of the other, so each version gets their own entry.
And that's it for now. I'm just glad that I'm only covering the superhero type characters - if I'd had to keep track of all the rest (like Sexton Blake becoming Jeff Craig and Victor Drago, to give just one last example) then I'd have gone insane!
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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