Things are getting real busy now as we near Christmas and i may not have time to post again before then, so thought dig out a Christmas-themed cover comic.
Prog 44 then, and a brilliantly barmy cover it is, Kev O'Neil showing his forte - outrageous action, superbly executed.
Dredd's the only holiday-set tale, albiet up on the Moon, where he's serving his duty as Luna Marshall, and he's having to face an old enemy. Who's not exactly a threat - page one is the set-up,, its not until halfway down page two that Dredd speaks to him via Vid-phone, and the sap's arressted at top of page five. The last page and a half is given over to Walter showering Joe with pressies - and the old softie returning the favour with a tap for his Droid. Lovely, lovely stuff, which ends on Dredd actually smiling. Don't think there'll be anything like a repeat of such things again in the Prog
"Invasion" has truely stunning art by Mike Dorey. If "Action" had continued, wouldn't it have been great to see art like this in there?
Said it before and i'll say it again - pleeeease can we get the Dan Dare/Dave Gibbons tales collected and reprinted? Its SUCH great stuff and deserves to be out there on the shelves, garnering a new audience.
And while on great art, Belardinelli does it again on "Inferno". Really, could anyone else have done these characters justice?
A shortened "Aiee" from a Volgan, soon to be flattened by a circus tent (yes, really).
HURRAH!!!! What a Christmas treat - a 100%, all there "AIEEEE!" from a Star Slayer, stabbed by Dan Dare
Well, that's a let down - the next few issues of Lion & Thunder that i'd bought were right dull affairs, even Adam Eterno. Where's Black Max when you need him? At the 15th Dec issue though, a new tale begins, one i don't remember and have never seen written about anywhere:
"Sark The Sleeper" is unusual in that its a SF tale in this title, normally the nearest we get to it is the odd alien popping up to confound our heroes. Also unusual is how this first episode drops straight into the story - no formal introduction to the two characters and no place setting other than "It was unknown, unexplored territory - on all sides the jungle lay, evil and menacing." in the first box. Of course, this is intentional for the twist at the end of the three pages - the two medieval-appearing lads shelter from jungle beasties and find themselves in a laboratory and awaken "The Sleeper", a mythical God-like being to them, who turns out to be a regular joe who they've accidently woken up aftera thousand years in suspended animation. It jolly good stuff - very Twilight Zone, with a touch of Planet Of The Apes about it. And the arts nice too. No idea who's it by, but still nice:
At Number Six we have the annuals only stab at a superhero team - the Esper Commandos. Coming across as a mix of the X-Men and tellys The Champions (and pre-dating tellys Tomorrow People), it consists of folk (or "mental Freaks" as their boss so compassionatly calls them) who have certain mind powers - Crag Taylor with the ability to lift things with his mind, Slim Parker can read minds, Big John Slansky can transport himself with his mind and, in a classic example of how un-pc things were back then, "Goggles Grant" - who wears glasses. And can make folk see what he wants them to see:
Reading it now, its hard to see why i placed it as high as Six. Its a pretty duff tale, involving the rescue of a kidnapped nuclear scientist, but i'm thinking it was the art that held all the appeal. Guess this was my first exposure to the work of Enrique Badia Romero and i'd eventually be familair with his work on Modesty Blaise and AXA, but this was the start and i remember loving it and its another case of "fascinated by one panel in a tale" here - used to just look and look and look at Goggles impersonating a crab: