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!