Garth Ennis & Gary Erskine - Dan Dare (4 stars)

Garth Ennis & Gary Erskine - Dan Dare

(Virgin Comics)

SCI-FI ADVENTURE

Following cold on the heels of Grant Morrison and Rian Hughes’ controversial, and some might say ugly, early 90s update of Britain’s noblest comics hero, this seven-part revival from Richard Branson’s comics line, now repackaged in one hardback collection, takes a more affectionate, nostalgic line. It does come from the pen of Garth Ennis, though, and the celebrated Northern Irish writer of Preacher and The Boys is known to be a fan of a good old-fashioned war story.

So Space Fleet becomes the Royal Navy here, and much of the later action is staged like battleship warfare in space. Of course, no update of a classic character is complete without a bit of real world cynicism, and the story is tempered by Dare’s lack of faith in a double-talking government at the beginning and a succession of real tragedies throughout. More than just a cracking yarn, this fine mini-saga has plenty to say on the subject of heroism.

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