If you enjoy UK comics you probably have a great affection for Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future.
Originally created by Frank Hampson for the Eagle in 1950 the character has had a resurgence of late. In October he returns to comics in a new series, published by Titan Comics, by writer Peter Milligan and artist Alberto Fouche.
Of course the classic character has never been away with new 50’s style strips in the quarterly ‘Spaceship Away’. The original series from Eagle has also been reprinted in Titan handback books which, after a brief hiatus, begins again with ‘Mission of the Earthman’ in October. Second hand versions of these titles are very expensive and a reprint or cheaper softcover copies would be welcome. Dare has also appeared in one off publications including an autobiography, a diary and even a Haynes Starfleet Operations Manual.
All this Dan Dare activity has been on the back of a highly successful Big Finish audio series. Two sets of adventures are currently available and can be purchased online here.
Dan has been reimagined many times before. 2000AD recently reprinted two volumes of their Dan Dare from 1977, with covers by Dave Gibbons and Ian Kennedy, which appeared in the galaxy’s greatest comic from issue 1. The story of his reappearance in 2000AD is also covered in books by Steve MacManus, Pat Mills and David Bishop and Karl Stock.
The grandson of Dan Dare appeared in the new ‘Eagle’, revived in 1985, the story of which can be found in Barrie Tomlinson’s new book ‘Comic Book Hero’. Eagle was cancelled in 1994 but in 1990 had also appeared again in the adult title ‘Revolver’ in a strip by Grant Morrison and Rian Hughes. It was only ten years ago, in 2007, when we got a new comic strip version of Dan Dare by Garth Ennis and Garry Erskine in a title produced by Richard Branson’s Virgin imprint.
Outwith the comics there has been talk of a TV series or film for years – but nothing as yet, except for 26 episodes of the computer generated Dan Dare Pilot of the Future by Netter Digital.
At Comics Flix Towers we are really looking forward to seeing more from Dan Dare, Digby and the Mekon and if you want to catch up on the rest of your Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future history there is a handy seven minute documentary here on YouTube.