ROK OF THE REDS
A comic of two halves
released OUT NOW! Publisher BHP Comics
Writers John Wagner, alan Grant Artist dan Cornwell
Originally developed in the ’90s for an anthology that never happened, there’s a retro feel to Rok Of The Reds that would have seemed old-fashioned even 20 years ago.
Credited to both John Wagner and Alan Grant, the script is actually solely the handiwork of the former, who’s expanded but hardly updated the initial treatment that he devised with his one-time regular writing partner.
It centres on bad boy footballer Kyle Dixon, whose fortunes are transformed after he’s possessed by renegade alien Rok of Arkadi. This somewhat dour extraterrestrial evokes the malevolent spirit of Wagner and Grant’s Eagle stalwart Doomlord, although so far the body count is nowhere near as high.
Halfway through the six-issue run, Wagner is still keeping us guessing about Rok’s motives, as he forms a bond with his landlord’s young son as well as enhancing Kyle’s silky skills on the pitch.
With newcomer Dan Cornwell proving equally adept at illustrating frenetic football action as he is at spectacular scenes of intergalactic destruction, Rok Of The Reds should appeal to both sci-fi and sports fans alike – so unlike with your favourite team, you really cannot lose. Stephen Jewell
In 1985 Wagner and Grant also wrote Dan Harker’s War, a strip about football hooliganism for Roy Of The Rovers.
At half-time there’s a Doctor Who clip.