08th Dec2017

‘Dan Dare #3′ Review (Titan Comics)

by Dean Fuller

Written by Peter Milligan | Art by Alberto Foche | Published by Titan Comics

Dan_Dare_3_Cover-A

If you’re still here for issue 3 then , like me, you’ve been enjoying Peter Milligan’s re-imagining of Dan Dare and his world. Some of the changes have been very slight, just a tweak here, an update there, but the biggest one is The Mekon being on the side of the angels. Apparently. I’m still not sure there isn’t some big master-plan endgame here, but for the time being The Mekon is helping Dan Dare, despite being imprisoned.

Dan needs help as he, Digby and Professor Peabody, while investigating the mysterious huge battleship that has attacked one of Saturn’s moons, come under attack themselves. Seems the ship is from the Treen Imperium, previously ruled by a certain Mekon, and is not taking prisoners. It takes the intervention of a warrior princess, Au Taween, to help save Dan’s ship, the Anastasia, and they crash land on Proteus, a moon world. Despite his colleagues reservations about her, Dan is rather smitten by Au Taween, and the two cook up a rather mad plan to board the Treen ship and take control of it. Takes one gung-ho fighter to know one I guess.

The good news is it doesn’t take long before our team manage to get aboard, the bad news is the ship is so vast and huge they have no idea where to go next. Time to use some of those monthly minutes and give The Mekon a ring. After tearing himself away from his marrows, The Mekon helps guide them to the flight deck which, unsurprisingly is full of Treen. Just as Au Taween is about to engage in a suicidal firefight, Dan comes to his senses and realises he has been letting his passion for fighting a foe override any common sense. He has put his friends at risk, something he now regrets, and he now sees Au Taween’s passion as more destructive than anything else.

The Mekon again assists from afar by helping them download a virus that affects only Treen, and causing the Treen to evacuate the ship. Ship secured. That’s not enough for Au Taween, who starts destroying the fleeing Treen escape ships. This is too much for Dan, who knocks out Au Taween, as her hatred of the Treen is clearly stronger than any other emotion. Not quite the soul mate Dan assumed when they first met. Still, job done. Kind of. The bad news, because of course there is always bad news, is that the virus that that should have only affected Treen has also infected Dan and his crew. In what is starting to look just a little too convenient, the only one able to save them is, three guesses, The Mekon. He must be on the up, right?

Milligan keeps the cat and mouse game concerning The Mekon going throughout the issue. Is he really good? Just pretending? Did he deliberately infect Dan and crew so that he would be thanked for saving them? Who knows. Milligan is clearly having fun with this book, and I’m guessing we have a few more twists and turns yet. Again the simple, clean lines of Albert Foche’s art, with nice clear layouts on every page make the perfect accompaniment to Milligan’s writing. There is a sort of timelessness to the art, always a positive with science fiction stuff. I think Foche has worked hard to combine the classic style of the Dan Dare strip with his own style, giving the best of both worlds. Looks good.

Although the smart money is on The Mekon only pretending to be a good guy, Milligan’s subtle writing has been so good you really are not completely sure. It’s not easy being green, after all.

May be next issue will reveal all…or maybe not. As long as Milligan and Foche maintain this level of fun though, I’ll be staying for the long haul.

***½  3.5/5

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