Sunday, February 21, 2016

Dan Dare 2000 AD

Dan Dare: 2000 AD
from Dan Dare 2000 AD, Rebellion (UK), November 2015

The inaugural issue of 2000 AD comics in February, 1977, not only signaled something new and exciting in the world of British comics, it also brought with it the revival of the beloved British sci-fi character Dan Dare.

Dare's adventures had ended in 1969 when the British boy's paper Eagle ceased publication. When IPC obtained the rights to the character, and Pat Mills was given the task of writing the plots for the weekly installments of 2000 AD, he decided that the 'rebooted' Dan Dare would have an edgier, punk-inspired personality, in keeping with the nihilistic state of mind of the UK in early '77.

The Dan Dare who appeared in Eagle was the personification of the Best of British: 

......bound by a sense of honour, never lied, and would rather die than break his word.

The Dan Dare who appeared in 2000 AD was far from the gentlemanly character of the Eagle days. He was an aggressive, trigger-happy, and not overly concerned with being honorable towards his opponents. The emphasis in the 2000 AD stories was on violent action with a high body count.....and deaths by disintegrator beam were rendered with much care and attention to detail.

Many fans were appalled by what Mills did with the character, but many 2000 AD readers loved the new version.

In an era in which aliens were depicted in US popular culture as mysterious, but beneficent creatures sent to save Mankind from his own perverse impulses towards self-destruction (Close Encounters of the Third Kind), it was refreshing to see Dan Dare sneer as he blasted alien scum to atoms.....!

In any event, in November 2015, UK publisher Rebellion released a hardbound compilation of the 2000 AD Dan Dare comics originally published during 1977 - 1979. I've posted scans of the inaugural episode from this compilation below.....featuring great artwork from Massimo Belardinelli, and an energetic story from Mills.

No comments: