Dan Dare
Dan Dare: Space Race
Medium: comic
Year: 1958
Keywords: Dan Dare, SF, rubbish
Country: UK
Format: 8 pages, Eagle Annual No.7
Website category: Comics UK
Review date: 2 August 2021
dan dare
It's quite fun, especially if you're amused by nuclear-level stupidity in comics, but it never shows us the space race itself.
I love its villains' names. Doctor Madog and his assistant Krutz. (Madog is a Welsh name, but... mad dog! Magog!) Madog is a heavy bald bloke with Villain Spectacles and a shamelessly over-the-top goal. "This will bring my plan for all power nearer completion."
"Soon you will be Earth's mightiest!"
He's made figurines of everyone who's entering a race, like Borusa in The Five Doctors. He hands them out as presents. I wonder whether these figurines are bombs or not? Furthermore, Flamer overhears the baddies talking about it as they wander away, which is hilarious. They're in Space Fleet Headquarters. Save your gloating until you're in private, okay?
Flamer spies on them, because these eight-page annual stories are the perfect vehicle for giving the child character something to do. The baddies catch him... AND DON'T KILL HIM. I was flabbergasted. What? Why not? Come on, guys, earn your villain credentials. Waste of a golden opportunity.
Madog has "moonweed capsules" that brainwash you. A Luna transport pilot says he's had gaps in his memory since he was drafted to Madog's outfit. Anyway, the whole thing's the expected jolly nonsense, but I liked Digby's surprise at the end and Dan's honourable response to it. They try to warn Madog! "I've directed space-flight control to call up XI5 and tell Madog he's riding with death in the cockpit."
But no, he's too eager to press that button. WHOOMPH.
Is it good? Snort, choke, no. Is it fun? Yeah, sure. I love Madog's villainous fat toad character design and those Treens joining in a Christmas sing-song. It's good for a laugh.