Archie's Angels was a strip in that grand British comics tradition of 'a bunch of kids sharing a mode of transport, around which adventures ensue', such as The Q-Bikes (Beano), Sammy Brewster's Ski-Board Squad (Buster), and of course Cheeky Weekly's own Skateboard Squad. Archie's Angels did stretch credulity somewhat, in that their chosen mode of transport was a set of antique miniature biplanes, and their parents seemed unconcerned as the Angels flew off into perilous situations.
The first Archie's Angels episode was a 3-pager, but all subsequent instalments ran to 2 pages.
At the end of the introductory episode, we see that a train carrying circus animals is about to hit a car stranded on a level crossing. The second episode commences with the resultant crash and consequent derailment. On hearing of the disaster (in which no-one was hurt, but the animals broke out), Archie heads off to get the Angels airborne in order to capture the errant circus beasts. As he watches his son head off to the barn where the team's planes are housed, Archie's dad shouts a warning, "Be careful, lad! Those brutes aren't half-tame zoo animals…they're highly dangerous!" I would have thought that uppermost in his mind would be the fact that his son and pals will soon be heading skyward without adult supervision.
In episode 5, just as it seems the gorilla has got Archie cornered, the rest of the Angels turn up and use their planes to force the gorilla into a nearby shed.
The air-aces then seek out the circus owner, who tells them that two Canadian bears are still unaccounted for. Unknown to anyone, the bears are approaching the local old people's home.
In the denouement, the Angels take to the air with a net slung between the planes (these are kids flying, remember!) and drop it on the marauding grizzlies. Expressing his gratitude to the team for recovering his animals, the circus owner gives the Angels free tickets to the circus. A bit stingy if you ask me, but the Angels seem to be enjoying themselves at the show in the final panel.
Archie and his team went on to have at least one more adventure during their original run in Whizzer and Chips, but the final episode to appear in Cheeky Weekly was in the 16 September 1978 issue, after a run of 6 weeks.
All the Angels episodes were drawn by the mighty Ron Turner, who I associate more with sci-fi hardware than old aeroplanes, but as ever Ron does a sterling job, with dynamic work on the train crash.
The first Angels instalment in Cheeky Weekly commenced with a banner above the title reading "This is what he saw" to tie the strip in with Cheeky's cinema visit on the preceding Interval page. The caption changed slightly the following week, to read "This is what they saw". None of the following episodes had captions, but the 'story so far' summary which appeared above the strip title when originally published was removed for the reprints. Presumably it was intended that the recap would be included in the Interval feature, as it had been while the James Bold series was running. However, the only Interval to have a story so far summary during the run of Archie's Angels was that in the 26 August 1978 issue. In the Interval in the comic dated 09 September 1978, it seems space was left in a speech balloon for a recap to be included, but the space is blank.
|Feature||First Appearance||Final Appearance||Total Issues||Total Issues Missed In Run||Page History|
|Feature||Artist||Number of Issues||First Appearance||Final Appearance|
|Archie's Angels||Ron Turner||6||12-Aug-1978||16-Sep-1978|
|Pages per Issue||Number of Issues|