Dan Dare
Dan Dare: The Double Headed Eagle
Medium: comic
Year: 1954
Keywords: Dan Dare, SF, rubbish
Writer: John Myers
Artist: Donald Harley
Country: UK
Format: 8 pages, Eagle Annual Number 3
Website category: Comics UK
Review date: 19 July 2021
dan dare
Well, that was garbage. Lovely painted art, though.
It's just wrong, starting with the dialogue. It's so simple that it sometimes feels simplistic. Would Dan like to ferry his nephew to an International Olympiad sports event on Venus? Dan's answer: "Gosh! Would I!" This story reminds one the hard way of one's expectations of the writing quality in this era's Dan Dare, by jarring you with an Enid Blyton near-parody of it.
The Mekon's trying to bomb a sport event. Lots of important people will be watching, yes, but it still feels as if he's slumming. Sondar's got wind of this, though.
SONDAR: "One of our Treen mechanics has just died after an accident. Before he died, he revealed a plot to destroy all the VIPs at the stadium. Despite extensive search, no trace of foul play can be discovered."
DAN DARE: "It's fantastic. Do you believe it?"
SONDAR: "We must investigate, o colonel. We cannot take any chances."
SIR HUBERT, WHO'S CLEARLY HAD HIS BRAIN REMOVED: "The chap was probably delirious. The games can't be stopped without cause."
There's also an evil Treen who gets sweaty and scared, even though they're emotionless.
Dan Dare finds out the truth, then has a race against time to get the news across in time. Today, this feels so dated that it almost breaks the story. It would have looked normal to anyone in the 1950s, of course, and I'm reminded of the difficulties James Bond had in getting information to MI6 in From Russia With Love. The story's setting is, though, the 21st century. It's a higher-tech version of us, basically... and no one has the internet, a phone, a modem, or anything else like that. Also, Dan has an avoidable accident for the sake of artificial tension.
I quite like the story role of Digby and his Aunt Anastasia, but ultimately the only good thing here is the artwork. That's everything you'd expect from Dan Dare, with a particularly nice painting of Sir Hubert and assorted Easter Eggs for the fans, e.g. cameo Venusians. Otherwise, though, don't bother with this.