With the recent resurgence of Dan Dare though the use of computer graphics, fans have been swarming to regain touches of nostalgia either through the modern cartoon or, perhaps more commonly, by obtaining these re-releases of the original pages that appeared in The Eagle. Following a classic adventure with Dare facing off against the Mekon in his own indomitable style and whilst this offering from April 1950 may still appear dated to the modern reader it's a huge influence on the whole Brit explosion of the 80/90's that took us across the world including influencing modern names such as Moore.
If you're short for that gem for either Christmas or even for a special birthday this hardback will present you with something special then make sure you pick up some dib dabs, or flying saucers and present those with this book to the older Sci-Fi fan in your life. I did that to my Dad when I lent it to him and to see his face transferred back to the cheeky one that stares back at me in the old black and white photo's of the fifties and you've got that something special that really is priceless.
This is the eleventh book in the series of Dan Dare reprints from Titan Books. Dan and his friends have successfully defeated his old nemesis the Mekon, recovered Anastasia, and settled into the boring old routine again. But life is not that simple because two lots of warring aquatic Aliens invade from outer space.
Additional extras include an 'Introduction' by Jeff Wayne, 'The Life and Work of Frank Bellamy' by Paul Holder (Frank Bellamy was my favourite artist out of all those who worked on Eagle), a 'Who's Who in Dan Dare' for those too young to have enjoyed it first time round, and a Dan Dare Christmas story from the Eagle Annual 5 (1956) 'Operation Plum Pudding'. All the books also include a 'Checklist' of all the main Dan Dare stories, when they were published, who they were written by, and which artists were involved.
The Phantom Fleet set was originally published in Eagle from 25/4/1958 (Vol 9, no 17), to 27/12/1958 (Vol 9, no 52). The print quality and colour fidelity is excellent, and my only remaining wish is that the pages could have been as big as the old 1950s Eagle page was. As it is older eyes need glasses to read the smaller lettering and appreciate all the superb detail of the drawing.
This is a definite trip down memory lane for the sixty-year-olds among us, and I was reminded also of many of the surrounding happenings at the time I first read these particular stories. So I found it was a very welcome 2012 Christmas present.
on 23 December 2009
As per usual, and, from a purely personal point of view, this is thoroughly enjoyable and brings back many happy memories from my school days, when we were able to read the Eagle comic. Thank you for this series of books.
This is one of my favourite stories from the Dan Dare back catalogue. It is set in space, on a space station, which is where Dan Dare is at his strongest. The drawings are still being produced by Frank Hampson, which means they are full of detail with the characters consistently portrayed. The story is taut and flows smoothly, subject only to the requirement to end each week on a cliffhanger so that the reader buys next week's issue.
This is the fifth Dan Dare adventure and the seventh of the Titan facsimile books (they split 'two of the larger stories into two books each). 'Prisoners of Space' ran from 28 May 1954 to 6 May 1955, so almost a year.
The story brings in two new younger characters, 'Flamer' Spry and Steve Valiant. The former obviously struck a chord with the readers and remained a pivotal character but Valiant was too much a mini-Dan-Dare to survive as a major character in his own right. Their arch enemy, the Mekon, is once again plotting against the Earth, this time from a space station. The plot-line twists and turns until everything is very tidily wrapped up a year later.
The Titan books are smaller than their Hawk equivalents, so the pages are scaled down. However they are well put together, firmly bound and printed on heavy paper. The print quality is good, though the end-product is driven by the quality of the original comics from which they were copied. But that's how it was for the original purchases of the 'Eagle'. It's all part of recreating the look and feel of the original adventures.
The presentation of the adventure is consistent throughout: the Eagle masthead on the left of the page with a major picture to grab the attention on the right. Then another 15 of so smaller illustrations across the two pages to carry the story forward.
This adventure contains, for me, one of the most iconic of the major illustrations: the 29 October 1954 edition with 'Dan Dare calling' as the speech bubble.
This is five-star, good old-fashioned, stiff-upper-lip fun for boys who have grown older without growing up. Enjoy!