See The Hornet issue 98, 24th July 1965 to issue 103, 28th August, 1965. Six episodes.

Writer:- The Hornet editorial team? Artist:-Yaroslav Horak.

Main cast:- Ex-policeman John Bright; Misterio, a circus mind reader and Darli, a make-up artist (issue 103 only).

Time period:- 1960's Britain, 20th Century.

This series tells the story of the adventures of ex-Scotland Yard policeman John Bright who is framed by Mr. Big (a criminal genius), for a crime he did not commit. (Bright had been too efficient in curbing Mr. Big's nefarious activities). Having served his time in prison, Bright now free, is keen to gain his revenge and put Mr. Big and his gang behind bars.

And this he does with the help of Misterio, a circus mind reader. Using his brains as well as his brawn, Bright sets traps for the criminals and once they have been captured, he leaves a bent copper at the scene of the crime as his calling sign, for the Police to find. In prison Bright had spent his time strenghtening his hands, he uses his thumb and forefinger to bend penny coins. Not a man to be trifed with.

No longer a policeman, Bright doesn't have to follow the rule book. So he's quite happy to rough up or intimidate the bad guys. Although there is no question of Bright overstepping the mark and taking the law into his own hands. Misterio, provides diversions and advice, but stays clear of any fisticuffs.

Each week Bright and Misterio, put Mr. Big's henchmen behind bars. The showdown with Mr. Big begins when Misterio is kidnapped. Bright and Darli (a circus make-up artist), easily trail the kidnappers to a big house. Bright is suspicious and sensing a trap, traps the kidnappers instead. Darli using his make-up skills, makes up the unconscious Misterio to look as though he is dead. Bright then scares one of the kidnappers into thinking he has killed Misterio. The scared criminal talks and Bright alerting the police sets out to capture Mr. Big.

The final confrontation takes place in Mr. Big's study. Appropriately, Bright uses a bent copper coin as a diversion, which gives him time to knockout the criminal genius. Bright is reinstated in the police force. (Misterio is last seen still lying on the floor unconscious and looking dead, thanks to the make-up!)

The title 'The Bent Copper', has two meanings:-

a) A 'copper' is a slang term for a policeman in the UK. Hence if a policeman has broken the law he is known as a 'bent copper' and

b) A copper coin in the 1960's refers to a bronze coloured one penny piece. Bright leaves a bent copper coin with every crook he captures, to be found by the Police.

I think the artwork is by Yaroslav Horak, the style is similar to the work the artist did on the daily newspaper James Bond strips. Horak may have drawn 'The One Pip Wonder' and several stand alone stories for The Hornet. Please see the Artist Identify page for further information.

Bank of England Museum The Museum is housed in the Bank of England, London and is well worth a visit. Learning about banknotes might sound a very dry subject, but its one of the most interesting museums I've been to. Learn about the Bank's history, how banknotes are engraved, security measures and lots more. The highlight of the visit is the chance to handle a gold bar, under tight security of course!

The following story is from The Hornet issue 99.

Artist Yaroslav Horak. © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd Artist Yaroslav Horak. © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd Artist Yaroslav Horak. © D.C. Thomson Co. Ltd

© Adrian Banfield, 2008.