Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Meltdown Man progs 178 - 181

Meltdown Man
by Alan Hebden (story) 
and Massimo Belardinelli (art)
from 2000 AD, Progs 178 - 181
September 1980 - October 1980

'Meltdown Man' debuted in issue 178 (September 20, 1980) of 2000 AD. Created by the writer of Harry 20 on the High Rock, writer Alan Hebden, and illustrated by Massimo Belardinelli, the series ran for 50 issues, ending in August, 1981 (issue 227).

The series' premise borrowed somewhat from The Planet of the Apes: Nick Stone, a soldier in Britain's elite SAS unit, is on duty in a 'small kingdom' in the Persian Gulf. Stone has the misfortune to be caught in a nuclear blast and somehow teleported to another dimension, landing on a planet populated by Manimals called 'Yujees'

The Yujees are ruled by their human overlord, an amoral aristocrat named Leeshar. Stone's willingness to accept the Manimals as 'people' sets him against Leeshar and guarantees a steady stream of frenetic adventures throughout the run of 'Meltdown Man'.

Like other 2000 AD comics during the early 80s, Hebden's writing for 'Meltdown Man' centered on action and satiric humor, and avoided the constipated, self-indulgent scripting that dominated American comics of the same era. 

Massimo Belardinelli, who did an outstanding job providing the artwork for 2000 AD's 'Dan Dare' strips of the late 70s, was perfectly suited for illustrating 'Meltdown'.

The entire 1980 - 1981 run of the series has recently been reprinted in a trade paperback (below) from 2000 AD. It's available at your usual online retailers.

Posted below are the first four episodes of 'Meltdown Man'. 

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