Publisher: IPC

Format: Weekly anthology

First Issue: 18th September 1965

Last Issue: 18th June 1966; 40 issues

Absorbed: None

Absorbed into: Look and Learn

Strips: The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire, Treasure Island, King Solomon's Mines, Allan Quatermain, Moby Dick, Britons Never, Never, Never Shall Be Slaves, Space Cadet, The Adventures of Macbeth, Rob Riley; Rip Solar, Interplanetary Investigator; Around the World in Eighty Days, Blood on the Prairie, The Range Rider (prose), Dan Dakota

Comments: Ranger was a boy's adventure comic launched by Fleetway on 18th September 1965. Its most notable strip, which long outlasted Ranger itself, was The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire (later just The Trigan Empire) by Mike Butterworth and Don Lawrence, but it also featured strips based on classic novels such as Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, H. Rider Haggard's King Solomon's Mines and Allan Quatermain, Herman Melville's Moby Dick, reprints of Asterix under the name Britons Never, Never, Never Shall Be Slaves (with the stories relocated to Britain, and the characters Asterix and Obelix turned into the Britons Beric and "the Son of Boadicea"), plus original strips such as Geoff Campion's Space Cadet. The title cancelled after 40 issues, merging with Look and Learn. Two Ranger Books were also published, annuals by another name.

Bear Alley Books have released a detailed book about Ranger, covering both its history and its stories in painstaking detail. I heartily recommend it.

The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire

Robert Louis Stevenson's classic tale, adapted by Mike Butterworth and painted by John Miller Watt. A collected edition is available from Bear Alley Books - highly recommended!

Space Cadet: In 2805A.D., Britain's Royal Space Force makes her the queen of space, and Jason January is a third year "Ranger" class cadet at the Royal Space Force Academy. He is hated by his cowardly bully of a classmate Tom Bolt, but his real foe is space pirate Hercules Canute, and the agents of the warlike planet Tarsen.

The Adventures of Macbeth

Rob Riley is the son of Merchant Navy captain Michael Riley, and is in Form 2B at Westhaven School in coastal Westhaven-Upon-Sea. His best friend is Hamilton M'Bongo Thompson.

Rob's best friend Ham. It's worth noting him, because this was 1965, and almost every other depiction of black characters I've encountered from this era are horrible stereotypes. But here's Ham, a realistic looking human with no dodgy speech patterns.

His father's even depicted as an educated professional man. Someone being depicted as "normal" shouldn't be noteworthy - it should have been the norm. But it wasn't in mid-1960s British comics, so it's good to see that there were at least a few cases of black characters that don't make you cringe when come across them. The artist, btw, was Jesus Blasco.

Rip Solar - a renamed reprint of Captain Condor from Lion.

King Solomon's Mines, adapted by Mike Butterworth and illustrated by Mike Hubble. A beautiful strip, it's been collected by Bear Alley Books, and is well worth checking out.

Allan Quatermain

Blood on the Prairie by Paul Wellman depicted the history of Native Americans vs. the invading white man, and for the era was surprisingly even handed, making it clear that the palefaces were guilty of breaking promises to respect Native territories.

The Range Rider: A text tale with illustrations by Don Lawrence. Young Jimmy Stannard (middle, white shirt) is the rightful heir to a fortune of gold hidden in a desert waterhole, but crooks in the lawless town of Benton seek to beat him to finding it. Luckily for Jimmy, he is aided by his friend, the gunslinger and range rider Fargo (right).

Sherrif Dan Dakota

Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days

Britons Never, Never, Never Shall Be Slaves reprinted Asterix and the Big Fight, but renamed the characters and moved their village to Britain. Not the first time this was done for a U.K. comic. The story ran the entire run of Ranger, and continued, now adapting Asterix and Cleopatra under the title In the Days of Good Queen Cleo, after the merger with Look and Learn. The druid Panoramix became Doric.

Moby Dick

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