Until recently I had no idea who Dan Dare was. I didn't grow up as a comics reader, but even if I had, the series began publication in England in 1950, well before I was even born. However, having now discovered it as an adult, it's safe to say that I would have loved as a kid were I, you know, actually alive. And into comics. In England.

That may sound like a lot of ifs, but Dan Dare is the kind of period-specific, pulpy sci-fi that would have fueled imaginations during a time when sending a man to the moon was still a lunatic flight of fancy, a time when traveling across an ocean was still revered as an awesome milestone for humanity, a time when basically all of the ideas in Frank Hampson's creation would have been at their most fantastic. The series focused on the adventures of the titular Dan Dare, the chief pilot for the Interplanet Space Fleet, as he explored the universe with his friends (and sometimes enemies).

The great sci-fi champs Titan Books have just published the latest entry to their hardback collections of Dan Dare comics, titled Safari in Space, which encompasses both the title volume and the Terra Nova runs from 1959. But don't worry if you're unfamiliar with the character, as I wise, because these library editions of the comics include not only easily digestible character biographies, but extensive background material to give the comics context in the scope of the series' nearly two-decade long publication.
categories Reviews, Sci-Fi