Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Did you read Dan Dare?

Dan Dare was a "pilot of the future" in the comic, The Eagle, which I used to read as a boy. His sidekick was Digby and his enemy was a green alien with an enormous head, who used to hover around on a metal saucer, called The Mekon.

I was reading about him on Wikipedia and was hugely amused by this account of a version of the character as depicted in an "edgy" eighties comic called Revolver. (Well, 1990, but the spirit is pure eighties.) I find it hilarious because it is such a perfect example of nineteen-eighties left-wing anti-everything nihilism, and the fact that comics at this time began to take themselves Very Very Seriously.

In 1990, a strip entitled Dare, written by Grant Morrison and drawn by Rian Hughes, was serialised in Revolver. It presented bleak and cynical characters and was a not-too-subtle satire of 1980s British politics. Spacefleet had been privatised, the Treens were subjected to racist abuse in urban ghettos, Digby was unemployed, Professor Peabody committed suicide, and Dare's mentor Sir Hubert Guest betrayed Dare to the Mekon and his quisling British Prime Minister, Gloria Munday (whose appearance and demeanour appear modelled on Margaret Thatcher.) Ultimately, Dare destroys London, the Mekon and himself through a smuggled nuclear weapon.

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