We perhaps look down on these sort of modern comic magazines because we see them as being less than those we read as children - less stories, more colour pictures filling up the pages, and the titles somehow prostituting themselves with the lure of at least one gift every single issue. My young nephew gets Doctor Who Adventures and I do make a point of looking at it when I get the chance and, like so many other old Doctor Who Weekly readers, I don't think much of it. But then it isn’t aimed at me, it is aimed at him and he likes it.
What to us is the traditional British weekly comic full of picture strips with speech balloons really only gained its dominance after the Second World War and in particular in the early Fifties. Before that what we would think of as the weekly British adventure comics were the story papers. They had pages upon pages of text stories with a couple of spot illustrations per story, and maybe a couple of pages of comic strip to break up the monotony of the solid text. Even the more visual humour titles had text stories in them.
I wonder if back in 1950 there were long standing readers of Amalgamated Press' The Champion or D C Thomson's The Hotspur story papers who looked at the new titles appearing on the newsagent's racks and despaired about this new picture strip format? After all a copy of The Champion with all its text would take quite some time to read through. The copy of a picture strip comic that may be physically larger and be on sale for the same price would just not take as long to read. Time-wise, they provided less entertainment for the same money.
Could it be that the older readers of The Champion, which in 1950 had been in existence for 28 years with characters like footballer Danny Roberts or pilot Rockfist Rogan, looked at the first copy of The Eagle which cost the same amount, three old pence, and wondered why anyone would be taken in by the gloss and colour and some bloke with dodgy eyebrows called Dan Dare?