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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you enjoyed Ministry of Space..
I am recent convert to Frank Hampson's Dan Dare, I only remember him from the 2000A.D resurrection.
Mr Ennis has the retired Dan Dare living the life of a hermit in the asteroid belt, the almost utopian world Frank Hampson (the man was a genius) turned to ashes. Dare is not embittered or overly cynical just very, very disappointed. Not to give away the story he...
Published on 26 Aug 2008 by P. Brooks

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Only half the story -- what a rip-off!
I read the original 6-part comic series a few years ago and, although it had a shaky start, I was eventually hooked by its depiction of the character. It's not Hampson's Dare, or the 2000AD re-invention, or even Hughes' political version. Ennis's Dan Dare encapsulates the relentlessly courageous spirit of Dan Dare.

I purchased this "collected edition" without...
Published on 26 Jun 2010 by Mr Stonky


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Only half the story -- what a rip-off!, 26 Jun 2010
By 
Mr Stonky (Lancashire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dan Dare Oversized HC (Hardcover)
I read the original 6-part comic series a few years ago and, although it had a shaky start, I was eventually hooked by its depiction of the character. It's not Hampson's Dare, or the 2000AD re-invention, or even Hughes' political version. Ennis's Dan Dare encapsulates the relentlessly courageous spirit of Dan Dare.

I purchased this "collected edition" without checking the small print and was horrified to find myself facing the phrase "to be continued..." -- it collects only issues 1-3 of the story! Why?!

To add insult to injury, there's no sign of 'part 2' wherever I look. Very disappointing.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you enjoyed Ministry of Space.., 26 Aug 2008
By 
P. Brooks "Peter Brooks" (Manchester, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dan Dare Oversized HC (Hardcover)
I am recent convert to Frank Hampson's Dan Dare, I only remember him from the 2000A.D resurrection.
Mr Ennis has the retired Dan Dare living the life of a hermit in the asteroid belt, the almost utopian world Frank Hampson (the man was a genius) turned to ashes. Dare is not embittered or overly cynical just very, very disappointed. Not to give away the story he answers the call to fight for "King and Country".
The Edition is the first three issues and I believe the full 13 are being collected in hardback edition, I for one have got this on pre-order.
Fist Class Artwork and Mr Ennis again writes a stormer.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is this Dan Dare? An over-hyped misappropriation..., 10 May 2009
This review is from: Dan Dare Oversized HC (Hardcover)
I'm a long time fan of all the various incarnations of Dan Dare and after EAGLE went belly-up nearly two decades ago I was of course thrilled to hear about this new take on Dan Dare.
But after just finishing Vol. 1 I can only say it's a huge let-down for fans who know and love Frank Hampson's Dan Dare. Seemingly going down the almost identical path REVOLVER did in 1990 when they attempted a similar dystopian revival with an old Dare and Digby coming back to bring down a Thatcherite / Fascistic government we now have a story involving many of these same elements.

Garth Ennis blasts in his introductory remarks "(Dare's) a British hero - an English hero, by God..." and speaking of Britain in WW2 "hanging on alone against the vastly superior Third Reich, while Soviet Russia gazed blankly at the horizon and FDR struggled to get America off its rear end - that's the kind of thing that can and should define a nation..." From this simplistic distillation Ennis misguidedly defines what he thinks is the essence of Dan Dare as some kind of resurrection of Britain's past (specifically, military) glory.

Yes - it could be argued that after WW2 with the UK slipping in international clout, Hampson seemed to want to redress that with his English-born hero leading a kind of RAF in space, and yes there has always been an element of the old Empire about Dan, with the stiff upper-lip and lantern-jaw. He's the epitome of the stereotypical English officer, noble, virtuous and kindly - replete with flying jacket - but Dan Dare was never a dewy-eyed patriot wallowing in a hologram of a mythical English village and correcting people on points of history (the Battle of Britain line is extremely unsubtle). One of his pet dogs is called "Bomber" - if this is a reference to "Bomber" Harris, also known as "Butcher" Harris then I'm afraid Ennis is starting to reveal his politics all too clearly.

Unfortunately there's a lot of jingoism and cliche in the script with a tedious and all-too-predictable political plotline that spends pages and pages on talking heads. Ennis is seemingly so hung up about the current real world political situation that he simply erases both the US and China from the narrative giving us a world dominated by the good ol' UK, "shoot at the whites of their eyes" dialogue (which even the old Dan Dare never inflicted upon us), PMs who don't know what the Battle of Britain was and a conclusion to this first part that is painfully derivative of Isandhlwana (rather than Waterloo which it references in the chapter title) and you've got one hell of a poor story so far.

Gary Erskine's art is broadly OK but often has poor attention to detail in more "minor" frames and is more American in his style than Hampsonesque. To my mind David Pugh from Eagle's last attempt at Dare is still one of the best re-interpreters of Hampson (although Hampson staff-artist, Don Harley is still going strong drawing classic Dan Dare in SPACESHIP AWAY magazine). Oddly, Dan never looks much older than in his mid to late -40s - which is way too young to be an irrelevant relic and Digby in both appearance and behaviour is nothing like his old self. For all of Ennis' trumpeting of "England! England!" (loudly from New York) it was less than amusing to see the Sar-major's stripes drawn by Erskine in the American manner on his helmet...

All of this begs the question as to who is this revival aimed at anyway? For new fans presumably who have never even heard of Dan Dare, there are too many aspects of the story which assume a certain background knowledge and the art and story will do little to draw them in. (Not to mention the fact it's a middle-aged protagonist!)

Despite the hype, for long-term fans of Dare this is no trip down memory lane. There is none of the visionary, optimistic imagery of the past - nothing to recapture the fun and adventure of those great tales on Phantos, Terra Nova, Venus and Mars. Space Fleet is gone (the dully re-imagined Royal Navy runs the spaceways), instead there's dreary and heavy handed anti-establishment politics, thoughtless dialogue, considerable violence (when the old series took extraordinary pains to not make Dan aggressive or a gun-toter)... Digby, once familiar to us all for his up-beat, homespun humour (and dreadful singing) is transformed into a world-weary philosopher with a Hemmingway beard...

Apparently it's Ennis's intention to relocate Dare to a dystopian SF cliche which is in fact only a thinly veiled swipe at our contemporary world. Why not try to bring back the optimism of the old EAGLE? Why does everything need to be "gritty" or "real" nowadays? Dare has never been about mirroring the starkness of the "real" world... It was a fantasy aimed at inspiring a generation to become excited about the possibilities of a prosperous, united Earth, of science, cosmopolitanism and space travel. If the real world has not caught up with Hampson's vision then that is our tragedy, not Dare's. To bring him into the cynical world-view of the 21st century and turning him into a maudlin recluse is frankly a betrayal of all that Hampson held dear.

I really hate to criticise but at this point I think Dan Dare is being badly misappropriated in this less-than subtle commentary on contemporary society and politics.
This is not to say I may not buy the following volumes but I genuinely hope it improves.
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Dan Dare Oversized HC by Garth Ennis (Hardcover - 7 May 2008)
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