For years, we passed up UK science-fiction hero Dan Dare because of his terrible name. Big mistake! But, some scans of his early adventures in 2000AD really floored us. Fantastic space art full of raging aliens cranks the awesome-meter into the red. Dan Dare has the interesting points-of-view and dramatic panel layouts chock-full of action that typify the 2000AD classics.
If you know of a collected edition that features these 2000AD tales, we would love to hear from you. We can’t find one! Many artists and writers, including Pat Mills, Dave Gibbons, and Massimo Bellardinelli worked on Dan at 2000AD. We will share with you a few of the scans we found from these late 1970s stories.
A more vintage take on Dan Dare “The Pilot of the Future” awaits readers in a series of Titan Books reprints collecting early Frank Hampson tales in the 1950s and 60s. Readers wanting a more contemporary take on Dan might enjoy the Dan Dare by Garth Ennis Omnibus, Ennis being well-known for his work on Preacher, The Boys, and Punisher.
IDW began publishing a Rogue Trooper series this year. This character, like Judge Dredd, comes from the pages of UK comics magazine 2000AD. Co-created by Dave Gibbons, the original Rogue Trooper blended war comics with science-fiction. The G.I.’s of Rogue Trooper were not “Government Issue” but laboratory-spawned “Genetic Infantrymen” designed to withstand the harsh and toxic environments of an utterly poisoned Nu-Earth. Readers in the States may recognize Rogue Trooper from the video game of the same name, although the comics have never truly penetrated the mainstream here.
Our gallery today features parts one through four of the “Major Magnam” story – short enough that you can easily enjoy all of it, but long enough to give you a good idea of the vibe of this series. We also included some full-color covers from 2000AD featuring Rogue Trooper. Artist Brett Ewins, one of several to provide top-notch work on Rogue Trooper, dramatically illustrates this deliciously dark script by Gerry Finley-Day.
Collector’s Guide: You can enjoy the Rogue Trooper classics in two paperback volumes that, together, come to about 800 pages: Rogue Trooper Tales of Nu-Earth 1 and Tales of Nu-Earth 2. You can also enjoy the first issue free, courtesy of the BBC.
Audiences in the States may know 2000AD as the UK magazine that spawned Judge Dredd. Our readers know we love 2000AD for the dinosaur series Flesh, the violent time-traveling fantasy of writer Pat Mills. Artist Dave Gibbons may not be a household word, but the American film industry made more people aware of the most famous book he drew: Watchmen. Our gallery today features another of Pat Mills’ brilliant ideas: the Harlem Heroes.
Dave Gibbons drew the Harlem Heroes, of which we share with you the first fifty pages or so. Tom Tully’s script delivers action and heroism at a breakneck pace. The Harlem Heroes play a futuristic game called Aeroball, and the series blends an outrageous dose of science-fiction themes with sports in a barrage of non-stop conflict. When one of your team members is a brain in a vat, what else can you expect?
These second-hand scans we found years ago while looking for images from Flesh leave something to be desired, but they give a good impression of the awesomeness of this little-known series. If you want a high-quality reproduction of the complete series, you can buy the collected Harlem Heroes on Amazon. Also know that the UK’s version of Amazon has three informative reviews of Harlem Heroes that do not appear on the States’ version of Amazon.
Well, what are you waiting for? Let’s play aeroball!