Strontium Dog was one of 2000 AD's major series, second only to Judge Dredd, and 10 year old boys like me ate up the fast n' loose pulp sci-fi story lines, with Johnny Alpha squaring off against space pirates, alien brains, Harryhausen-style monsters, maniacal omnipotent computers, and even Satan himself. The writing was at times rather cheesy, like the inclusion of the metal-eating fur-ball alien sidekick known as the Gronk, but the series' outrageous levels of violence and the occasional mind-bending story, like Alpha time-travelling back to 1945 Berlin to arrest Adolf Hitler, made Strontium Dog a firm favourite. Incidentally, the production team that made the excellent 2013 fan short Judge Minty are currently in pre-production on a Strontium Dog film. Watch this space earthlings...
Thursday, 2 October 2014
Every Dog has its day
I must be still in a Spaghetti Western mood after Compañeros at the weekend... Last night I was fumbling around looking for something to read and picked up Rebellion's first volume of Strontium Dog reprints from early issues of 2000 AD (and its predecessor Star Lord). Strontium Dog follows the adventures of bounty hunter Johnny Alpha as he travels the spaceways in pursuit of murderers, thieves, gangsters, and other inter-galactic trash with a price on its head. I'd wager that Strontium Dog writers John Wagner and Alan Grant had the Leone's Dollar films in mind when developing the series, much of it takes place in a ravaged, post-apocalyptic 22nd century Britain or on far flung worlds which resemble the arid, dusty plains of an Italian Western, while the character of Johnny Alpha has a Man With No Name flavor - cynical, laconic, an expert gunslinger, and forever the doomed outsider due to his radioactive, mutant genes. In addition the series' chief artist, Carlos Ezquerra gave Alpha a get-up as memorable as Eastwood's poncho and cigars, with Alpha equipped with a large armored shoulder pad, and a helmet when removed revealing a shock of black hair, chiseled face, broken nose and a distinct Roman look.