Britain’s classic comic space hero Dan Dare takes off once more this October in a new series from Titan Comics. The new update for the character is being written by comics veteran Peter Milligan and drawn by Alberto Fouche.
Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future originally took flight in The Eagle comics weekly in 1950 and ran until the late Sixties. It was produced by the late Frank Hampson and a team of artists in an elaborate studio system that utilised models of spaceships and locations, photography and film, for the creation of each installment. The strip spawned a massive merchandising operation, a newspaper strip, a radio serial on Radio Luxembourg, and various imitators.
The character got a punky makeover in the Seventies for the launch of 2000ad and Dare’s great-great grandson took the helm for a new version of The Eagle in the Eighties. That version of the comic eventually resurrected the original then gave him an Alien-inspired makeover.
Dare received a nihilistic post-script from Grant Morrison and Rian Hughes in the short lived Revolver, and a maudlin but promising reboot from Jeff Hawke creator Sydney Jordan for the Planet On Sunday newspaper (which promptly folded after the first issue).
A number of attempts to get Dare on the silver screen have fallen flat, but a 22 part cgi tv series ran in 2001. It improves as it goes on, but offers uneven fare. rather notoriously an advertising agency lost their contract with Mobile Oil after a Dare inspired campaign failed to generate new sales.
The initial story for the new comic sounds suspiciously like the tale told by Garth Ennis and Gary Erskine for a Virgin Comics series (reprinted by Dynamite).
“When an unknown alien vessel of biblical proportions arrives in the solar system and obliterates a moon of Saturn in a show of strength, Dare finds himself thrust back into a new adventure that threatens not just Earth – but all life in the entire universe!”
Titan’s Dan Dare is due October 11 with the inevitable flurry of variant covers. Will it make the local newsagent I wonder?