Cadman, The Fighting Coward - a strip from The Victor

A work in progress page.

The image of Cadman on the left is by Mike Dorey from the Victor issue 1509. Copyright D.C. Thomson.

See The Victor -

Writer:- The Victor editorial team. Artist:- Mike Dorey.

Main cast:- Lieutenant (later Captain) Gerald Cadman, Private (later Corporal, then Sergeant) Tom Smith.

Time period:- First World War through to the 1930's rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party.

The inside back cover of the 1992 Victor annual published a short fact file about Cadman.






The characterís name Cadman is a play on words. ĎCadí means a dishonourable man, a scoundrel. While Ďmaní is self explanatory. Thus the characterís name also explains the type of person he is. This is not an uncommon theme with comic characters.

Unfortunately, whilst the reader is aware of Cadmanís deficiencies, those he comes into contact with donít, except for his batman, Tom Smith. (A batman in this sense refers to an officerís servant in the British armed forces). Smith is only to aware of his officerís cowardice and his greed for money and riches, but he canít tell anyone the truth. This is because Cadman usually has some sort of hold over Smith. For example, Cadman is prepared to say that a mistake he has made is in fact his batman's fault. In the early part of the Twentieth century a British officerís word would be taken as truthful, whereas an enlisted manís word wouldnít always be believed. This was the situation that Smith found himself in many times over the various series.

Those readers who are familiar with George MacDonaldís Flashman novels, will probably recognise similarities between the two characters.

For someone who hates war and fighting Cadman spends a lot of his time either in the trenches, riding over the ground on a horse or inside a tank or flying a plane in the skies above. Not content with that, Cadman and Smith also get embroiled in the fighting in the Austrian / Italian Alps and in the deserts of North Africa. His adventures donít end with the First World War, as Cadman and Smith are recruited to work for the British Secret Service in Germany prior to the start of the Second World War. (You canít help feeling that the British Security Services must have been scrapping the bottom of the barrel by getting Cadman to work for them)!

So how does a coward and a charlatan survive all the fighting and win a Victoria Cross medal? How does Cadman get out of tight situations for example, fighting the Black Baron in the skies over the Western Front in one to one combat? Lady Luck or good fortune does tend to smile on him. So when he trips up or does something accidentally, everyone sees his heroic side. Itís only Smith who knows that whatever Cadman has done was done accidentally.

Although, there are occasions, when Cadman does prove to be 'brave'. Although, this is only when he is likely to be found out or heís in danger of losing something of value. He is also ruthless and will happily kill in order to prevent his cowardice or money making schemes being discovered by senior officers.

Sadly, I have no idea who wrote the scripts for this series, it would be interesting to find out. The artist though for many of the strips was Mike Dorey. The artist would later go on to draw episodes of Rogue Trooper and other strips for the British sci-fi comic 2000AD.

The Cadman series was a hit for the Victor in the Seventies. And along with other new characters such as Chell Puddock, Cecil - the stone age man, Saul Sanders and other characters proved that the Victor, could still produce new popular characters well into itís second decade and beyond.

We first meet Cadman in the summer of 1914, when he is a Lieutenant in the Prince Rupert's Horse Regiment, better known as the Fighting 43rd. In the course of this first series, Cadman (with Smith's assistance) kills a German spy, defends a vital bridge by reversing a car across it and into a squad of German soldiers (accidentally naturally). Other noteable 'heroic' acts on Cadman's part include trying to scare a French lady out of her chateau and then making arrangements to sell her wine to a London club. The series also covers Cadman's adventures in Gallipoli where he is promoted to the rank of Captain after saving an Australian soldier from drowning.

The following adventures of Cadman are from issues 625, 627, 630, 638 and 1509. Cadman and Smith's first appearance was in issue 625.

Artist Dorey. © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd Artist Dorey. © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd Artist Dorey. © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd Artist Dorey. © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd

Artist Dorey. © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd Artist Dorey. © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd Artist Dorey. © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd

Artist Dorey. © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd Artist Dorey. © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd Artist Dorey. © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd

Artist Dorey. © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd Artist Dorey. © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd Artist Dorey. © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd

Artist Dorey. © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd Artist Dorey. © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd Artist Dorey. © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd

© Adrian Banfield, 2010.