Thursday, 12 June 2008

2000AD's Dan Dare

This version of the fella has almost universally been villified but i really can't see why.

Sure, he's nothing like the original, but i'm guessing he was never meant to. 2000AD was launched off the back of Action and they knew their target audience sure wasn't those that read the Eagle.

So, in both titles, we got gritty action from gritty heroes. And Dare was no different at all, if anything the Belardinelli version of the character could've been redrawn as Dredd or John Probe and the tale would've to read alright.

As i've said before, it was Massimo's brilliant design work of the Biogs that made Dare the best strip for me from the off.

He was slowly nudged out by Dredd, until that is Dave Gibbons came on board as artist and the story arc of the Lost Worlds saga began.

How i loved it.

The clunkiness of the Flying Fortess, the excellent Eagle scout craft (complete with comic logo. A nice touch. Gibbons?), Hitman, having page on on the cover and some brilliant story ideas along with some brilliant art.

Here's a classic from 25 March 1978. Only 3 months from the cut-off of my 10 year parameter for this Blog, but what a great way to start to finish things.


Danny Dare said...

I must say I agree with you that the 2000AD version of Dan Dare was excellent in its own way, a real product of its time (the first Star Wars movie must have been a big influence on the later stories - it and 2000AD both launched in fabulous '77, when I was 9 years old). Both the Belardinelli and Gibbons renditions were highly enjoyable, with artwork in both instances that was far better than anything else around at that time. It was 2000AD's Dan Dare that got me interested in the original Frank Hampson version, eventually leading to a certain well-know website group all about the character in all his incarnations. :-) Great blog by the way!

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, I agree with you entirely.
I loved the 2000AD Dan Dare. My dad bought me 2000AD Prog 9 from the newsagent when I was 7 and I was hooked for 2 years and still now. Belardenelli's Biogs and Hollow World strips were divine. Eat your heart out Eagle lovers. The 2000AD version of Dan Dare rocked! I loved the Doomsday Machine and the apocolyptic ending.
Its such a shame that Dan Dare never returned to 2000AD as promised by Tharg the Liar! I wrote loads of letters to 2000AD as a child asking when DD was returning. They never even replied! It actually caused a childood depression. So as I draw I completing a 6 part story of what actually happened to the 2000AD version of Dan Dare. I have completed 12 pages (2 episodes of artwork) in Gibbons style. It is entitled Journey Through Time. Dare goes back in time with Sondar to stop him being badly injured at the orbital power station that subsequently caused his suspended animation. In doing so the new Dan Dare would of not existed and the old Dan Dare wakes up complaining of an extraordinary dream.

Brian said...

I loved the 2000ad Dan Dare too - partcularly the later "Servant of Evil" saga. Would have loved to have seen that one rounded off.

Brian said...

P.S. You can read what was planned for the 2000ad Dan Dare here: