Dan Dare appreciation


Aug 13, 2020
Any fans of Dan Dare here?

I think it's a shame how overlooked it is. At one point it was one of the most popular genre comic series of all time.

It had a premise that was decades ahead of its time. Long before Star Trek it showed us a future where things had worked out for us. All the races of the world lived together in peace, technology had improved and we were living in peace with other alien species.

It was fairly progressive for its era, with Dan's leading scientist being a woman. There were also many black supporting characters too, such as the first serial where it's a black man that leads the attack on the Mekon's base.

It's best period for me was the Frank Hampson era of the 50s and the 2000 AD series which though not faithful, was great fun in its own right. I haven't a chance to get the 80s stuff though I must admit. (I'm only 29, so sadly I missed the original mainstream Dan Dare series when they were first out.)
Saw the animated tv series , not a bad series. Never read the comic though.

I rather surprised it hans't been adapted for the big screen.
Dan Dare is great and Frank Hampson was an amazing artist. The early Dan Dare stories are superb, and the fact that they're a bit kitsch and dated doesn't detract from the sheer skill and effort that went into them. It was something of an inspiration for my own book, Space Captain Smith. I particularly like the bit where the treens land in the middle of a cricket match. Great stuff.
Back in the nineties, I was a member of the SF&F Book Club and collected a series of Dan Dare collected stories and the Dan Dare Fact Files. They were pretty good. Entertaining and very English.

There was also something called "Tales of the Trigan Empire".
I must have read this at the time....

My Dad has a copy of an Eagle comic book of balsa wood models. My favourite was the model of Dan Dare's space ship that you fitted to a line stretched down the garden, there was a small gap in the model in the rear of the ship where you placed a small 'rocket' engine lit the touch paper and stood back as your model shot down the garden.
There have been several distinct iterations of Dare; 'mine' was from the Eagle comic of the 80s although I do appreciate the style of the '50s Dan. It's also nice to see a thoroughly British space hero as opposed to the usual all-American heroes.
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