Somewhere out there in cyberspace is an interview with Peter Milligan where he debates the futility in trying to recreate the Eagle’s flagship comic strip, Dan Dare. Part of me wants to yatter on about the ambition of such a strip, part concedes the point that Frank Hampson’s Pilot of the Future was a product of a bygone age. Previous revivals have gone off the rails in some decidedly bizarre directions. Even the successful ones have pissed off purists.
Some light spoilers follow:
Anyway, in Titan Comics Dan Dare 1, Milligan has delivered the first chapter of an entertaining tale. And that is its strength. It’s informed by the perils of getting what you wish for. There are some wry nods to previous Dare revivals and Milligan borrows a trope from a Garth Ennis Nick Fury. There’s a touch of satire over current affairs and a debate on nature versus nurture with an attempt to redeem the Mekon.
I’m less convinced by the art from Alberto Foche. It still seems like a different comic, but his Mekon is kind of creepy if not cold and calculating. I really don’t like the space hostess look they’ve lumbered on Peabody.
The comic isn’t beholden to previous continuities, but Flamer Spry seems to have grown and is working as an assistant to Sir Hubert Guest. Hank Hogan seems to be floating around, but no sign of Pierre. And Digby gets married, which made me wonder what happened to the first Mrs Digby? I mean, given what we know about Dig’s shore leave hobbies, that’s going to mean at least another ten kids by the new millennium. Ey up, nowt else to do in Wigan except take Hacker for a walk.
The story starts with the Mekon being imprisoned and Dare, not quite walking the talk, getting the fidgets in this new peaceful solar system. He’s just desperate for some new calamity to get the adrenaline flowing. As I said, be careful what you wish for.
Looking forward to issue two.