Dan Dare: Marooned on Mercury

Frank Hampson, Author . Titan $19.95 (96p) ISBN 978-1-84023-847-1

While not well known in the U.S., Dan Dare was the most important comic for a generation of British kids, having run through the 1950s and '60s in England. Dan Dare is a good-natured space pilot and hero; this volume contains the entire "Marooned on Mercury" adventure, as Dan and his gang, believed dead, are trapped on Mercury and captured by rock creatures. The story is old-fashioned wordy fun, not unlike science fiction movies of the time. It was serialized weekly in two-page installments, so the action can seem a bit stilted at times, and it is certainly too much to absorb in a single sitting. The series is best known for its artwork: lusciously painted visuals rendered by artist Hampson and a variety of assistants. Hampson designed a believable future—not too sleek, not too dingy, but rather a subtly different version of the present. Hampson's paintings are meticulous and colorful, but elegant and restrained. No bodice-ripping scenes or out of control monsters appear in the strips; everything has a certain modesty about it, including Hampson's precise brushwork. Dan Dare is a fun, lively artifact from mid-century England, and its artwork and attitude are worth a second (and third) look. (Apr. 30)

Reviewed on: 03/28/2005
Release date: 04/01/2005
Genre: Fiction
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