Dan Dare

Comic Heroes - - Feature -

Per­haps the most fa­mous Bri­tish comic book char­ac­ter of them all – at least amongst those who don’t read comics – is Dan Dare, Pi­lot Of The Fu­ture, who starred in the fa­mous early ’50s Ea­gle comic, a multi-genre an­thol­ogy with a lib­eral Chris­tian bent.

Telling of a seem­ingly idyl­lic near fu­ture, where an RAFin­flu­enced Space Fleet keeps Earth safe from in­ter­stel­lar men­ace (no­tably that of the Treens from Venus), Dan Dare had two key strengths: sci­en­tific plau­si­bil­ity (Arthur C Clarke was an ad­vi­sor) and exquisitely de­tailed art­work. From the per­spec­tive of 2014, our three key he­roes – square-jawed but in­clu­sive Dan; gritty work­ing class comic re­lief Digby; and beau­ti­ful brainiac Pro­fes­sor Pe­abody – look like noth­ing so much as the teen wizard he­roes of one of the planet’s big­gest fan­tasy fran­chises, and in their time they were al­most as pop­u­lar too.

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