15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 20 November 2012
I can't be entirely objective about this volume, as I was commissioned to produce the cover art, which was both a privilege and a challenge, given the content of the book!
As you'll read in the other reviews, the quality of the actual book itself is of a noticeably higher standard than its predecessors; heavier paper stock makes the images that much crisper, which shows off the attention to detail that both the artists who drew these magnificent strips and the restoration team's who remastered them put in. This is the first of the series I have in hardback, which gives it a much more luxurious feel, and though I know some wish it was also available in softback (it isn't and won't be, as far as I know) I'm beginning to wish I had the rest in hardback too.
The art and storytelling is the main point of this, though, and this is yet another fine example of the work of some of the greatest UK illustrators ever to work in comics. Bellamy's work is stunning as usual, and my own favourite, the marvellous Mike Noble, is very well represented here, with his later Fireball XL5, Captain Scarlet and Zero X stories being masterclasses in quality illustration, let alone comic-strip art. For those interested, at the time of writing, Mike is retired from strip art but still occasionally drawing into his early 80s; I had the honour of meeting this delightful and modest man and presenting him with a copy of this volume, which he was very pleased with, as anyone who buys a copy should be too!
See - I told you this was a biased review!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
I thought we'd seen the last of these with volume four, but thanks to Mr Bentley's dedication and a new publishing company we hadn't.
So let me take you back to a time when summers were warmer, "Curly Wurlys" were longer and comics were certainly better.
List of contents with a brief synopsis, no spoilers.
All strips colour unless where stated.
Most of these stories are from TV21's later period - eg more b&w pages then the previous volumes.
Thunderbirds - artist Frank Bellamy - The Eye of Jupiter - In the Brazilian jungle lurks an alien, with a touch of death!
Zero X - artist Mike Noble - Lost on Mars - Due to the freakish martian weather the M.E.V is marooned on the surface.
Captain Scarlet - artist Mike Noble - Foothold - colour and B&W - The martian capital Kahra is the target for a Mysteron attack.
UFO - artist Gerry Haylock - Too old at 32 - A moonbase interceptor pilot has something to prove.
Thunderbirds - artist Frank Bellamy - The Space Mirror - A heat beam starts melting the polar sea.
Zero X - artist prologue Mike Noble main story Jim Watson - A World of Deadly Particles - The Zero X crew start to change.
Captain Scarlet - artist Mike Noble - Robot Challenge - colour and B&W - It's not just the Mysterons that Scarlet has to fight this time.
UFO - artist Brian Lewis - Ghost ship - B&W - Carlin finds more then he bargained for on an old ship.
Fireball XL5 - artist Mike Noble - Space Membrane - Zodiac has a fight on his hands with a race of terrifying aliens. (This is the only real classic in this volume.)
Thunderbirds - artist Don Harley - The Crexus Creature - B&W - Something has happened aboard a Earth probe returning to Earth.
Zero X - artist Jim Watson - The End of the World - the Zero X crew encounter aliens, but are they friendly?
Captain Scarlet - artist Keith Watson - B&W - Return of the Rock Snakes - Scarlet gets to grips with the indigenous martians
Thunderbirds - artist Frank Bellamy - The Barracuda Awaits - The International rescue team get involved in a alien power struggle.
For all those new to the artwork of TV21, you are in for a pleasant surprise, the quality is superb, and at least five years ahead of anything Marvel and DC were doing at the time.
Are these along with the Dalek strip from TV21 the best comic strips ever?,......yes.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 4 November 2012
After getting the first four volumes of 'Century 21' I was expecting good things from the next. Had to wait a long time but it seems all the waiting was worth it. This new volume is simply brilliant and the production values from the new publishing company make the book look absolutely wonderful. Can't reccomend this enough!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 February 2013
Way back in the sixties I used to look forward to my Century 21 comic every week and this series of books has brought back some great memories. I must admit that I preferred the earlier volumes in this series as I remembered some of the strips as though I read them yesterday. The strips in this book were not so memorable to me but I still enjoyed them.
The quality of the book is excellent, better than the previous volumes, and I would highly recommend it to any Gerry Anderson fan.
on 13 April 2015
The first of these volumes I have owned in hardback and well worth the extra. Like many who owned all of the previous volumes in softback, I was waiting for this volume to appear in softback, but apparently the new publisher has no such plans. Now, having actually held this luxurious volume in my hands, I am wishing I had the previous volumes in hardback as well.
Superb quality, using a heavier paper stock and, once again, excellent, vibrant reproductions of the original artwork. This time the content extends beyond TV21 to include some strips from Countdown comic as well. Another bonus is revealed when removing the dust jacket from the book, as Lee Sullivan's beautiful cover rendering of Thunderbird 3 is embossed in gold into the cloth binding of the book (see attached photo).
One thing of note; the previous volumes are numbered 1 to 4 but this volume carries no such number. I wonder could this be the start of a new run in hardback only? Fingers crossed...
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 9 November 2011
Having bought all the others in this series so far (and enjoyed them immensely), I was looking for a similar standard.
However, it's even better than the previous books, possibly as a result of moving to a new publishing house prepared to sink money into even higher production values for their titles.
Comes highly recommended, very good value for money.