Dan Dare Rogue Planet
Frank Hampson & Don Harley
Purists might be shocked by the news that Dan Dare is to return in a new series written by Preacher’s iconoclastic author Garth Ennis, yet no update could surely go further than Grant Morrison and Rian Hughes’ Dare, which saw our despairing hero sodomised by the Mekon at its conclusion. Putting that image aside, let’s console ourselves with this classic blast from Dan’s triumphant Eagle past.
Frank Hampson, the series’ creator, is rightly seen as a great-godfather of British comics, and this epic series demonstrates why. Each two-page episode might seem rather trite by today’s standards, with Biro-shaped rocket ships, stilted tally-ho dialogue and cute alien companions (although none as annoying as Dan’s hapless mate Digby). Yet the detailed and stylised full-colour art is way ahead of its time – this was the 50s, after all – and Hampson’s unrelenting imagination, week-on-week, wasn’t matched until 2000AD’s 80s heyday.