Lost Comics: Garry Leach’s Warpsmith

Published On September 29, 2012 | By Richard Bruton | Comics

(Back cover “clean version” of Garry Leach’s Warpsmith front cover to Warrior #10, 1983. Warpsmith © Garry Leach)

More stuff I found when looking for Miracleman stuff following the post a few weeks back. I found lots of Marvelman / Miracleman stuff, and more importantly for here, loads of Garry Leach’s Warpsmith comics.

Okay, I say loads. There were never loads of the Warpsmiths, but what little there is is hugely important, great quality and absolutely gorgeous.

Warpsmiths, if you ddn’t know, and frankly why should you, it’s a very old tale, were an ancient alien race of teleporters, capable of “warping” huge distances. Or, as Alan Moore put it:

“Yet, when they brag amongst themselves, the cats and snakes and sheets of lightning use one ultimate comparison, albeit sparingly. Fast as a Warpsmith.”

Fast as a warpsmith. Wonderful imagery, wonderful words.

The Warpsmiths themselves were created by a very young Alan Moore, and subsequently worked up into fully formed characters by Moore and Garry Leach for Warrior magazine, where they appeared in Marvelman and their own Warpsmith strips. According to reports, Leach was gifted ownership complete by Moore, and subsequently allowed their use in Miracleman, where they become an important part of the final Olympus storyline. When Garry Leach started the A1 anthology in ’89, he and Moore brought the Warpsmiths back. And that’s about it. A short but important history. Lost to time now.

Except…. there’s this thing called the Internet. And it’s wonderful for keeping old stuff alive and available. So here’s the cover to that A1 story, and a couple of warpsmith pages/panels, and if you want to read the whole thing, it’s right here at the Savage Tales blog.

(A1 Volume 1 Issue 1, 1989, featuring The Warpsmiths © Garry Leach)

In fact the Savage Tales blog is rather a rich vein for Warpsmith stuff, and other rare Alan Moore stuff. It has the complete Marvelman lost strip from the Warrior #4 / Warrior Summer Special with art by Steve Dillon that Moore later condensed and reworked for Miracleman.

And then it also has the Warpsmith “Cold War, Cold Warrior” story by Moore and Leach that originally appeared in Warrior #9 & 10 (both 1983). This story was reprinted in the Quality Comics Axel Pressbutton #2 (1984) when Dez Skinn started repackaging some of the Warrior material, in colour, for the US.

Cold War, Cold Warrior is a near perfect story, brilliantly done, out there sci-fi stuff, and beautifully drawn by Leach. And God bless the Internet, I’ve just read it again for the first time in years. In a just, perfect world I’d have the lot in glorious hardcover, but for now, God bless The Internet….

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About The Author

Richard Bruton

– Started in comics retail aged 16 at Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham. Now located in Yorkshire, he’s written for the Forbidden Planet International Blog since 2007. Specialising in UK Comics and All-Ages comics, Richard’s day job in a primary school allowed him to build the best children’s graphic novel library in the country.

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