Weekly Comic-Strip Serials Listing
Here is a complete listing of all the weekly "Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future" stories that appeared in the original EAGLE from 1950 to 1969, together with a brief plot synopsis for each one. The list was transcribed by me (with minor modifications and corrections) from Norman Wright's original list that appeared in The Dan Dare Dossier, by Norman Wright and Mike Higgs, which was published in 1990 by Hawk Books to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Dan Dare and The Mekon.
To help you more easily identify them, stories featuring The Mekon are tagged with a miniature image of him:
Following the list is a short summary of Dan's and The Mekon's weekly adventures after the original EAGLE's run ended, including details of the 2002 "Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future" CGI cartoon TV series. Some free multimedia, including an MP3 download and a RealPlayer movie, is also included there for your enjoyment...
WARNING: Plot spoilers follow!
"PILOT OF THE FUTURE"
(This was the first ever appearance of Dan Dare, The Mekon, Digby and the rest of the cast of characters. It is 1996 in the Dan Dare universe. It is 1950 in the real world.)
Dan Dare, Digby, Sir Hubert Guest, Professor Jocelyn Peabody, Hank Hogan and Pierre Lafayette journey to Venus hoping to find a new source of food supplies for an over-populated and starving Earth, and to discover what happened to the "Kingfisher" spaceship after it was mysteriously destroyed during the first human attempt to reach Venus. They encounter the friendly Therons in the southern hemisphere, and the evil, warlike Mekon and his Treens in the north. After many adventures and battles Dan defeats The Mekon and prevents the Treens from conquering Earth. The Mekon escapes, however. During the story Dan had befriended Sondar, "the only good Treen" as Dan put it, and after The Mekon's defeat Sondar becomes Governor of the Treens in an attempt to bring about a permanent peace. As recognition for all his help he presents Dan with the "Anastasia", a super-advanced spaceship.
The Earth is approached by a gigantic meteor inhabited and controlled by strange bee-like creatures intent on stripping the world of all its vegetation. Dan and Co eventually manage to lure it away from Earth and destroy it in deep space, but in so doing they are sent shooting out of control towards Mercury.
After crash-landing on Mercury, Dan and Co are rescued by the strange inhabitants of the planet and taken to one of their underground cities. Dan discovers that The Mekon, together with some of the Treens who had escaped from Venus with him, has taken over the planet and enslaved the Mercurians. Dan again overcomes his arch-enemy, but, as usual, The Mekon manages to escape.
Dan Dare is to take part in an expedition to Saturn to investigate the origin of strange miniature spacecraft, nicknamed "Black Cats" by Spacefleet. The expedition is to be led by a scientist named Blasco. Blasco turns out to be a traitor working for an alien named Vora who is the despotic ruler of all Saturnia, and who intends to take over the Earth with Blasco as his puppet ruler. After many adventures on a number of Saturn's moons, Dan manages to foil the plot with the help of Tharl, leader of the Saturnian underground resistance.
Steve Valiant, "Flamer" Spry and "Groupie" investigate the radio silence of Space Station XQY. The station has been taken over by Treen followers of The Mekon, and "Flamer", Steve and "Groupie" are all captured and held hostage. The Mekon will spare their lives only if Dan Dare will surrender himself. Dan agrees to the bargain and sets off, unknowingly carrying Digby as a stowaway. As usual the day is saved by Dan with the help of the others. During the encounter ex-RAF type "Groupie" nearly loses his moustache, an appendage of which he is very fond!
Lero, a being from the planet Cryptos, travels five light-years to Earth to seek the aid of Spacefleet. His peaceful home planet is being mercilessly persecuted by the dreaded Phants, and he hopes that Earth war-strategy can help defeat them. Dan, Digby, "Flamer" Spry and Lex O'Malley accompany Lero back to Cryptos.
A direct continuation from the previous story. Dan encounters the Phants and their malevolent "god" Orak. He discovers that the Phants' violent, warlike nature is caused by the food-capsules they eat that are controlled by Orak. After a long series of adventures, the Phant food diet is changed to that of the peaceful Crypts and their "god" is revealed as nothing more than a robot-computer. At the end of the story Dan and Co find out that they have been away from the Earth for far longer than they realised. The "momentary" blackout that they had all experienced at the start of the journey from Earth to Cryptos had, in reality, lasted almost five years. By the time they return back home ten years will have passed! During the story Digby had encountered Stripey, a small elephant-like Cryptosian creature. Stripey became Digby's loyal pet, helping in the defeat of the Phants. He accompanies Digby on the journey back to Earth.
On their return to Earth Dan and Co find London deserted, and it is not long before they find out that The Mekon has, in the years they have been away from the Solar System, completely taken over! He has enslaved the Earth, and has set up all sorts of inhuman "scientific" experiments to test his various theories. He is aided in his despotic rule by his army of vicious robots who destroy any opposition. Dan discovers that the robots are controlled via a large space station and sets out to destroy it. Back on Earth the rest of Dan's crew fight to destroy the rest of the robots. Eventually Dan destroys the space station, but he is forced to abandon ship and in so doing is injured. Sir Hubert goes to his rescue in the Anastasia but is attacked by Treen fighters
A short story recounting how the Anastasia is saved from the silicon mass in the flame-belt of Venus where it crash-landed after the rescue of Dan and the attack by Treen fighters at the end of the previous story.
Radio and television transmissions are being disrupted throughout the Solar System by an unknown force. Spaceships are disappearing. After a rocket ship carrying Sir Hubert goes missing, Dan and Co set out to discover what has happened to it. They find a fleet of huge alien craft containing peaceful aquatic creatures called Cosmobes. The Cosmobes are fleeing from another aquatic race, the warlike Pescods. The Pescods bring with them a deadly weapon in the form of the "Crimson Death", a cloud of red vapour that destroys all metals on contact. Attempts to destroy the Pescods' pursuing fleet fail, and they dive into the Earth's ocean and begin to build themselves a city. Fortunately for Earth the Pescods' settlement is on top of the submerged volcano Krakatoa, and when it erupts due to seismic disturbances from the pesky Pescods, they are all destroyed.
While taking a well-earned rest on the uninhabited island of Maraku in the southern hemisphere of Venus, Dan, Digby and "Flamer" are kidnapped. The same fate befalls Lex, Sir Hubert and Professor Peabody who are enjoying their leave in the north of Venus. They are all taken to the secret base of Galileo McHoo who then persuades them to accompany him on a mission to far-off Terra Nova in search of Dan's long-lost father, who disappeared years before while on an expedition to the planet. They set out in the huge Galactic Galleon spaceship, which easily outpaces the pursuing Spacefleet ships.
(It was during this story that Frank Hampson, the creator of Dan Dare, left the series.)
Arriving at Terra Nova, Dan, Digby and Sir Hubert set out in the Anastasia to explore the unknown planet. They are immediately captured by some of the inhabitants and taken to a city called Pax. After their failure to return to the Galactic Galleon, Lex, "Flamer" and Professor Peabody go in search of them. They in turn are captured by huge man-eating ant-like creatures called Nagrabs. In the nick of time they are rescued by Dan. Later the party discovers that Dan's father set off on a voyage across the unexplored ocean and was never seen again.
To discover the fate of his father, Dan attempts to simulate his ocean voyage. Lex, in an inflatable raft, follows the ocean currents, while Dan and Digby follow from above in the Anastasia. Lex is captured by a band of fierce warriors and taken off. Dan learns from Calo, a friendly native, that his friend has been captured by an evil tribe called the Gaz. He is also told that the Gaz killed his father many years before while he was helping Calo's people to overthrow them. Dan takes up the fight and eventually the tyrant Grandax, the leader of the Gaz, is killed and Lex rescued. Now that the fate of Dan's father is known, Dan and Co return home.
While on a test flight Nimbus One, a prototype spaceship, goes missing. Using a giant radar the ship is tracked near Jupiter, and Dan and Co go to investigate. Survivors tell them of being attacked by aliens. The aliens have their base on one of Jupiter's moons, and after a series of battles the alien mother ship is destroyed by Dan in Nimbus Two. Nimbus One is discovered intact on one of Jupiter's moons.
Dan and Digby are carrying out a reconnaissance mission over a newly discovered planet when their craft is forced down by the inhabitants, the Zylans, who want to use the pair to help bring civilization to a nearby planet named Vort. Having completed their mission the pair are given a super-fast Zylan ship (the "Zylbat") to return to their base. On their return they find the base deserted and a message telling them that the rest of the expedition have returned to Earth to deal with a problem that has developed on the Mother planet.
Dan and Digby return to the Solar System in the Zylan spaceship. They are warned to decrease their speed and watch in disbelief as a ship, travelling at speed to warn them, crashes in the middle of seemingly empty space as if hitting something solid. When they reach Earth they are told that the density of gas clouds in the Solar System has drastically increased, and as a consequence all space travel has come to a virtual standstill. The source of the trouble is eventually traced to a gigantic space station, where The Mekon is up to his evil tricks again. After the usual battles and close scrapes the space station is captured; but not before The Mekon has time to make good his escape yet again!
While flying in the Zylan ship, Dan and Digby are accidentally rendered unconscious by a leak of the gas used by the Zylans to induce deep sleep during long space voyages. When the pair awake they find themselves close to a strange, metallic-surfaced planet. They go down to explore and find all of the inhabitants to be apparently hypnotised. The pair are captured and marooned on another planet with similar victims. They manage to escape in a ship captured from their guards, and help the inhabitants of the "Platinum Planet" to overthrow the tyrant, Astorat the Great, who holds them under his evil spell. The rebellion is successful and Dan and Digby prepare to return to Earth.
Dan and Digby find a deserted world when they return to Earth. They discover a factory called "Earth Reclamation Ltd," and are told that the entire population of the Earth has been moved to Mars following a plague. Dan and Digby are suspicious of the factory's director, a man named Malvol, and they discover that he, like so many before him, has designs on becoming dictator of the Earth. Needless to say, Dan and Digby are able to put paid to his scheme and save the world yet again.
The plant-life on Earth begins to grow at an alarming rate. The extra growth appears to be connected with a new satellite that was sent up into space to study cosmic rays. Dan, Digby and Professor Grainger fly to the satellite to investigate and find it damaged by signals from a distant planet where the plant-life rules supreme. Dan and Co find themselves caught up in a "harvesting" spaceship from the planet that sucks them up together with other raw materials. Once on the planet they teach its humanoid life-forms how to master the plants, thus ending the threat to Earth.
An evil scientist, Van Malus, is being sought by a fleet of alien spaceships that cause havoc in the course of their search. He is eventually located in a funfair in Blackpool, where he has a secret base. He is eventually killed and the aliens, satisfied that the "Evil One" is no more, return to their home planet.
A cargo of highly unstable solvent being transported from Mars explodes and the spaceship carrying it crashes to Earth. The resultant intense fire is unquenchable and begins to spread, destroying everything in its path. Dan and Digby go to Mars to find out more about the mysterious cargo. An antidote is found, but is itself very unstable. Eventually Dan and Digby manage to bring it back to Earth and the fireball is destroyed.
Spiders living and breeding on a comet passing through the Solar System are intent on taking over the Earth. Their webs can destroy almost anything that touches them. When the great white webs are found all over the world, Dan is sent to the Moon to investigate. Some of the spiders stowaway on his ship and are brought back to Earth and begin to spread all over and around Spacefleet H.Q. They pose an even greater threat by their ability to exert mental control over certain personnel. Dan, Digby and Space Cadet Young, who first discovered the webs, decide to destroy the comet and thus put an end to the spiders' breeding ground. Unbeknown to the spacemen, two rockets with atomic warheads have been dispatched to the comet. Cadet Young manages to destroy the warheads and thus saves Dan and Digby, who in turn are able to lay explosives and destroy the comet. Their breeding ground gone, the spiders are soon overcome and life, once more, returns to normal at Spacefleet H.Q.
A new "dark star" and its attendant planet are discovered, and Spacefleet investigate. The expedition is led by an incompetent officer named Captain Egon who causes his spaceship to crash into the planet. Dan and Digby go to the rescue and find that Egon and his crew have been taken prisoner by some of the inhabitants of the planet. Dan rescues the prisoners, but Captain Egon is killed saving the crew from an alien who has managed to get on board.
While testing a new experimental faster-than-light spaceship, the "Tempus Frangit", Dan and Digby land on a mysterious changing world where they encounter the alien Xel. Xel intends to steal Dan's ship to make his get-away from the planet. After many adventures and battles against the Stollites, who are under Xel's influence, Dan takes off. He does not know however that Xel has stowed-away on the Tempus Frangit!
Dan, Digby and the stowaway Xel encounter a strange "Wandering World" on the edge of the Solar System. They go to explore and become cut off from their ship. They discover that the world is being controlled by The Mekon who, with the aid of Xel, tries to capture Dan's spaceship. The two "baddies" fall out with each other though, and eventually Xel escapes in The Mekon's spaceship. Dan and Digby are both captured by the world's inhabitants, known as Navs, but manage to escape and reach their spaceship. They begin their journey back to Earth with an injured Xel, and The Mekon, their prisoners!
Once back on Earth, The Mekon is put in a top-security prison and Xel is put in hospital to recover from the burns he received in the previous story. However, he escapes from the hospital and starts a rebellion amongst the teenagers of London. The rebels are eventually cornered by Dan and Digby at the top of the Post Office Tower. Xel is not a pleasant character and his followers are beginning to find him worse than the society they are rebelling against. The rebellion collapses and Xel is taken prisoner again.
The Mekon escapes from his high-security prison, and in the space-clipper "Magenta" he heads for Venus where he causes much mischief using a ray that makes the Treens commit suicide. The Mekon is once more trying to conquer the Solar System, and this time he enlists the help of a mysterious group known as the "Last Three". Dan and Digby follow and the Last Three are all eventually destroyed, the final one by The Mekon himself who thinks he has been betrayed by them. The Mekon appears to fall to his death in the final battle.
An enormous metal mushroom grows from a missile that lands in London. The Mekon is at work again and threatens destruction if his demands are not met. Eventually the satellite from which The Mekon is controlling the mushroom is destroyed by Dan and Digby.
Xel rears his savage head again in this story. With the help of The Mekon he has captured Sir Hubert and uses him as a hostage while he prepares to invade Earth from his base on Triton, one of the moons of Neptune. The Mekon, meanwhile, prepares to launch his invasion of Venus. Dan and Digby discover the twin plots and after being captured, they escape and return to Earth in a stolen spaceship to warn Spacefleet of the impending invasions. With the aid of the Therons, Xel and The Mekon are defeated.
Dan and Digby go to investigate a mysterious radiation emanating from Lapri, one of two planets orbiting the star Vega. They encounter the friendly Trons and the enslaving Vendals who use a ray projector to emit the "Singing Scourge" and hold their peaceful neighbours in bondage. Dan leads a successful revolt against the Vendals and then returns to Earth, taking with him the secret of the ray that will allow new forms of energy to be developed.
F.I.S.T., a terror organisation led by Laslo Romanov, disrupts food supplies coming to Earth from Venus. The organisation demands the Moon as its price for allowing the food supplies to come through unharmed. The World Government gives in to the demands, but plans to capture the FIST forces on their way to the Moon. Things go slightly wrong however and Dan's craft is damaged and spins towards the Earth, where it crashes into the craft in which Laslo Romanov is making his get-away. Romanov is killed and without their leader the FIST operatives are soon overcome.
The Verans from Jupiter seek the aid of the Earth to help them fight off Pittar invaders. After many adventures the Pittars catch colds - literally - and flee the planet to escape what is to them a deadly disease. The story ends with Dan Dare being appointed Spacefleet Controller.
Reprint of the serial that originally appeared in Vol. 5, No. 22 to Vol. 6, No. 18.
(This was the last ever new Dan Dare story to appear in the 1950's and 60's EAGLE.)
A short serial concerning supposed aliens in the Aegean Sea. They turn out to be naval personnel carrying out top-secret experiments.
Reprint of the serial that originally appeared in Vol. 6, No. 19 to Vol. 6, No. 47.
Reprint of the serial that originally appeared in Vol. 6, No. 48 to Vol. 8, No. 7.
The original EAGLE ended at this point (1969), when it was merged with its former rival LION. Two more earlier Dan Dare stories were reprinted in LION - "REIGN OF THE ROBOTS" and "THE PHANTOM FLEET" - and then that was it from the gallant Space Colonel and his Evil Foe for quite some time.
( As an interesting aside, there was a daily Dan Dare radio series on Radio Luxembourg which ran during part of the original EAGLEís run, from 1951 to 1956. The Mekon featured in some of the stories. There was also a specially-commissioned weekly Dan Dare serial - "MISSION TO THE STARS" - which ran in the PEOPLE Sunday newspaper between April and October 1964, but The Mekon didnít feature in this story. )
It wasn't until 1977, with the launch of the 2000AD comic, that Dan Dare once more appeared in weekly comic-strip stories. It was a very different Dan Dare though - he had apparently suffered near-fatal injuries in a battle with The Mekon some time after the original stories ended, and was put into suspended animation for over one hundred years until medical advances made it possible to resurrect him. When he was finally brought back, Dan was a much tougher and meaner character, nothing like his clean-cut "stiff upper-lipped" former self. None of his old crew were around either (not surprisingly after all that time), their places being taken by a bunch of "heavies" instead. The Mekon was still around however, causing chaos as usual! This series of stories lasted until 1979 when "Judge Dredd" took over as the comic's lead character.
In 1982 a new version of EAGLE was launched, and another new version of Dan Dare appeared. He was the great, great grandson of the original. Once again The Mekon (who, in the very first story of the series, escaped from a meteor cryo-prison he had been put into after his final defeat by the original Dan Dare) was the main "bad guy" to feature in this Dan Dare's many weekly adventures. By a strange coincidence, a descendant of the original Digby became this Dan's loyal companion. This series of stories continued until 1989. The first story is reprinted in full in this site, and you can view it by clicking on this link: Return of The Mekon
In 1989 the original Dan Dare and The Mekon returned to the new EAGLE, in a series of new stories featuring all the original cast of characters and hardware. This lasted until 1991 when the comic became a monthly publication featuring reprints of earlier stories. The new EAGLE's run finally came to an end in 1993.
In 1990 (Dan Dare's 40th Anniversary year) a new monthly eight-part Dan Dare serial appeared in REVOLVER magazine, and then in CRISIS as Revolver only lasted for seven issues. This highly politicised story also featured the original Dan Dare and The Mekon (plus many of the other original characters), but with Dan now in his retirement years.
( As another interesting aside, also in 1990 the BBC
produced a four-part weekly Dan Dare radio serial that aired on Radio
4 initially. It was based on the first ever story from 1950/51 in which
Dan first encountered The Mekon.
Place your mouse over this text to hear a Windows Media Audio Clip from
the series of The Mekon talking (26.8 KB, 8 seconds). You can actually
listen to the whole of the fourth and final episode here by clicking
on the following link - it is in MP3 audio format, is 6.71 MB in size,
and has a running time of 29:20 minutes: BBC
Radio 4 Series - Episode 4
In 1996 a newly-launched Sunday newspaper (THE PLANET ON SUNDAY) ran a new story featuring the original Dan Dare, illustrated by Sidney Jordan (the artist that for around 20 years, from the 1950's to the 1970's, drew the EXPRESS newspaper's "Jeff Hawke" science-fiction comic-strip series), but sadly the paper only lasted for one issue and thus the story was never completed.
In 2002 there was a weekly "Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future" CGI cartoon TV series, consisting of 13 stories split into two parts across a total of 26 episodes. The Mekon featured in some of the stories. Digby, Sir Hubert Guest, Professor Peabody, Hank Hogan, Pierre Lafayette, Stripey, the "Anastasia" and the "Kingfisher" also featured. Click on the following link to find out more about the TV series - including an episode listing and the lyrics to Elton John's closing title song, plus playable MPEG movie clips and MP3 music - at one of DanDare.org.uk's "sister" sites, Dan-Dare.net: Dan Dare TV Series
Between November 2007 and July 2008 Virgin Comics produced a seven-part Dan Dare comic which also featured The Mekon as well as Digby and Professor Peabody.
For a detailed and illustrated profile of all the major characters that featured in the original 1950's and 60's "Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future" stories, go to my "1950's and 60's Who's Who" page.
To see a detailed and illustrated profile of all the major characters from the 2002 TV series, go to my "2002 TV Series Who's Who" page.
For more detailed information on the Treens, including how they evolved on Venus and how they created The Mekon, go to my pages about "The Treen Dynasty".
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