A comic of two halves

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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.

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