When the President’s mistress is kidnapped by Ninjas, only one team can save her… STRIKE TEAM: CODE NAME: DIAMOND FORCE!
Strike Team: Code Name: Diamond Force is a comic book adaptation of a lost action movie from the early 80s. Story by Michael Tanner (Junior Braves of the Apocalypse) and art by Lukasz Kowalszuk (Knock-off Wars).
In 1981, comic publisher “Bad New World Comics” (best known for edgier ‘underground comix’) acquired the rights to an unreleased action film by Italian director Primo Fumenti. Wanting to ride the wave of popular film to comic adaptations like “Star Wars,” “For Your Eyes Only” and “Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo,” Bad New World hoped to breakthrough into the mainstream marketplace.
Although largely unknown in the US, Fumenti was famed internationally for his action and exploitation movies shot primarily in the Philippines between 1977 and 1981. During this period, he made over forty-seven films. These movies are absolute classics of the grindhouse cinema, with titles like “The Kung-Fu Decimator,” “Bone Smuggler,” “The Machine Gun Jungle,” and “Madame Wu and the Triad of Pain,”
Fumenti (or simply Primo to those he worked with) created a catalog of work that was impressive and beloved by those that had the good fortune to see them in theaters or broadcast on Filipino and Hong Kong television. Sadly, nearly all are believed lost or in formats no longer playable on today’s technology.
Somehow Bad New World Comics got connected to Fumenti’s team and everyone was convinced that the movie would be a breakthrough hit. Originally they thought it would hit mass appeal on the strength of the “robot” character DIX–kids loved robots…Even though this wasn’t a kids movie. The movie also had new and interesting villains that were unknown to Western audiences… these were masked martial artists called ”Ninjas.”
The two groups came to terms and Bad New World Comics was going to put out an official comic book adaptation of the “Strike Team: Code Name: Diamond Force” movie.
Then things went bad…. A typhoon devastated the Philippines, which caused shooting delays which caused the budget to skyrocket. Fumenti then lost funding and eventually the distribution deal fell apart. While the film was completed, other than a brief run at the State Theater in Manila and it showing up randomly on local television a few years later, “Strike Team: Code Name: Diamond Force” was lost and forgotten.
Bad New World Comics was left with thousands of copies of a comic for a movie that no one had heard of or would get to see. Mysteriously those comics were all destroyed in a fire…and then Bad New World Comics folded.
The saddest thing is that shortly after everything fell apart, Fumenti was proven correct when another classic of exploitation cinema would be released that same year, “Enter the Ninja.” This marked the start of ‘Ninja Fever’ which took over the world and is still with us today.
But what is “Strike Team: Code Name: Diamond Force” actually about? Diamond Force is made up of Duncan Winchell, a mercenary, Billy Chop-San, a karate master, Sizzle St. Sear, a lady cop and DIX their robot. When the Moon Ninja Master and his Night Ninjas kidnap the President’s mistress, they are the only ones who an save her.