2000AD Sci-Fi Special 1978

There’s no snappy tag-line on this cover, just a Kev O’Neill piccy of a reptilian cowboy shooting a robot dropping a bag full o’ groats. It does have a brief list of what’s inside: Judge Dredd – good; Mach Zero – hopefully good; Dan Dare – as we saw in previous non-prog stories – jury’s out until we’ve read it; Mach 1 – same as Dare; Rick Random – ? One of those stands out…

Uh-oh – the cover isn’t allowed to stand on its own – it has to have a back-story to accompany it – didn’t Tharg learn his lesson from the Supercover Sagas? Despite a good pun (Butch Cathoderay) and a not so good one (the Sundroid Kid) the story can be safely skipped (despite the reptilian cowboy and the robot on the cover, the short story talks about two robots). If the story came first at least it inspired Kev to create that cover – if the other way around, at least it only takes up half a page. Sorry, Rick Preston!

The Dare story is written and drawn by Gary Leach, so at least the artwork should be good. The story is better than has appeared in other non-prog stories (and some of the weekly stories) and the artwork stands up well next to Belardinelli and Gibbons. It’s not quite the Leach we’ll later see on V.C.s Marvelman and Warpsmith, but it’s much better than the agency artwork we’ve seen so much. The story is set on Mars and takes place sometime between the Biogs story and the Legion of Lost Worlds story, after Dare has been reinstated by S.A.S.A. It does remind me slightly of the Alan Moore ABC Warriors story, which is also set on Mars, though *spoiler* this scientist survives!

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2000AD Summer Special Supercomic

SupercomicA nice Kevin O’Neill cover opens up the first non-weekly publication from the House of Tharg, depicting some sort of war robot with a back-mounted flamethrower.  Nice piece and totally unrelated to anything of the regular strips appearing within the pages of the first Sci-Fi Special (not that it’s called a Sci-Fi special for this first summer).  Cover price is 30p, compared to the usual 8p, and tough luck, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Asteroid Belt and Saturn – there’s no Galactic Groat price, so presumably (unlike the weekly Prog) it wasn’t available outside of Earth’s atmosphere.

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