The Q-Bikes / The Q-Karts
Membership: Q1 - Johnny Masters; Q2 - Billy Brown; Q3 - Alfie Thomas; Q4 - Tom Steptoe; Q5 - Judy Baxter; Q6 - Buzz Taylor.
Purpose: To fight crime
Base of Operations: Wrexton, U.K.
First Appearance: Beano (DC Thomson, 1963-70)
History: The Q-Bikes were a group of school friends who came from the village of Wrexton. All of them took place in the annual children's cycle race, which Johnny Master's was winning, when they witnessed the robbery of local farmer, Mr Jolly. They pursued the criminal's van on their bikes, travelling cross country to overtake it, and by moving a roadworks sign diverted the crooks into a dead end. Between them the group were able to overwhelm the two thieves, and in gratitude for the return of his savings, Mr Jolly gave them a reward. Inspired by their adventure, the "six expert young cyclists " used the reward to by themselves radio transmitters and crash helmets and "formed a junior flying squad". The five original members were eventually joined by Q6, Buzz Taylor.
After several adventures the Q-Bikes were invited to spend a few weeks in Australia by Alfie's (Q3) scientist father, who was going to work for a while on a rocket base in the outback. A mix-up at the Antipodean end meant that the wrong crate was unloaded, and instead of their bikes, the gang was given a crate full of powered go-karts for the duration of their stay down under, becoming the Q-Karts.
Comments: Created by Andy Hutton.
The bikers were all skilled riders, who kept in touch via helmet radios and carried high powered water rifles that could knock people over.
There was also a Q7, the team's pet dog.
As well as their runs in Beano, the Q-Bikes reappeared in Buddy.
During their run the Q-Bikes encountered four boys in Penzance, Cornwall, who called themselves the Z-Bikes, in homage to them. The two groups became friends. (The Z-Bikes first appeared in Beano #1282 in February 1967).
When Grant Morrison devastated the Beano universe in Zenith, we see the remains of the "Z-Riders," his equivalent of the Q-Bikes.
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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