Star Lord No 11: ‘My brain is a time-bomb – programmed to DESTROY ALL HUMAN LIFE’

In general I’ve not been doing any research on each prog or issue, partially because books such as Thrill-Power Overload and The Mighty One exist but mainly because I have about three thousand comics (progs, megs, Starlords, Tornados, Crisises, annuals, specials and the rest) to read for this blog already, without adding to the reading material. For this I tried to find out who the uncredited cover artist was. I found out that Ramon Sola had been responsible for a couple of the more fantasy-oriented painted covers previously, Brian Bolland guested on issue 2, Ron Embleton on 6, Brian Lewis on 8 and Graham Cotton on 9 and 10. Nobody seems to know who did this Mind Wars cover though, which has an airbrush effect.

This is the episode of Mind Wars that has Ian Gibson join Jesus Redondo on art duties, though I can’t work out which bits are done by Gibson – there’s the odd touch every now and then that looks like it could be by Gibson but whether he was drawing panels, pages or handling pencils or inking duties I can’t tell. Story-wise, the twins are controlling Doctor Varn and force him to send a cobalt fusion bomb into the sun. The voice of Tilman snaps Ardeni out of the trance, but the Jugla control of her brother is too great and she is forced to kill him, but too late to stop the cobalt sun. The sun explodes but seemingly without too much effort she manages to unexplode it. More importantly than stopping the sun exploding, she reverses the control the Jugla have of her and becomes the first human to catch a glimpse of the Jugla homeworld.

The next page greets us with “Hail, Star Troopers” – no starfax or stargrams in sight this week, just the lead in to this weeks Future-Shock-style story.

Good Morning, Sheldon, I Love You! is brought to us by T.B. Grover (John Wagner) and Jose Casanovas and concerns a computer-controlled house. Obviously, any 2000AD readers who saw Computel, The Robot Wars or Elvis the Killer Car will have a good idea how that‘s going to turn out, though even the currently-running Ritz Space Hotel story will have an inkling. In this case a man deserts his wife and family for trivial reasons and is shown an automated house which has been programmed to fall in love with its owner. This works fine for Sheldon until a power cut causes a few problems for the computer. Seemingly all it takes for Sheldon to want to leave the otherwise luxurious house is one morning of cold water and broken eggs. His big mistake was to tell an all-powerful computer which was in love with him that he was leaving it and that he was going to switch it off…

Speaking of the currently running Ritz Space Hotel story – in Ro-Busters the (fake) robot revolt has begun. I think Pat Mills may have seen Star Wars by this point, as there’s an exchange between two robots: “He doesn’t like you at all!” “We don’t like you, either!” Other than that, there are a few vignettes of robots killing humans, Ro-Jaws attempting to warn Quartz again and the reprogrammed/brainwashed Hammerstein finally catches up with his partner. After a page of hammering,  ½ Tough manages to knock some sense into the war droid with a lucky blow to the head. Too late, as Ro-Jaws is dead, the episode ending with the classic Dredd carrying the body of Rico pose (also written by Mills).

Interestingly (to me, at least) Time-Quake begins with that space Aztec attack on Metropolis One – the bit I find interesting there is that the name of the city of the 27th century has the same styling as Mega-City One. This story is created by I. Mennel and Salinas, presumably agency creators – I don’t recognise either name from Dredd. Blocker temporarily escapes execution though is quickly re-caught but nemontemi arrives – a five-day cessation of ritual sacrifice while the Aztecs await signs from the gods. Just at that moment, a starship appears shining a bright light on one of the pyramids, which fades to reveal a spaceport. It isn’t just Blocker who thinks this is a little unusual, and Blocker’s strange appearance leads them to believe that he is in the service of the gods. Vinda and Suzi arrive but far from saving Blocker put him in a situation where he is to throw himself into a volcano in the hope that he will reappear. It’s presented as a cliff-hanger, but we know he can skip forward or backward in time, so it’s not much of one!

The backpage has a few photos of what I presume is a large-scale model of a laser platform. I say large-scale as the foliage around it looks close to full size. The model is ‘designed and built by Captain Martin Bowen’ but I haven’t been able to discover who that is.

Grailpage: I’ll go for the Mind Wars cover by a mystery artist – there’s going to be a few more Starlord covers in the same style (and so presumably by the same person).

Grailquote: Pat Mills, ½ Tough: “Now I know how Ro-Jaws got his name… he never stops jawing!”

3 thoughts on “Star Lord No 11: ‘My brain is a time-bomb – programmed to DESTROY ALL HUMAN LIFE’

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