One Mad Dog


[Doctor Who Classics Omnibus Vol 1] – (Pat Mills, John Wagner, Dave Gibbons, Steve Moore, Grant Morrison, John Ridgeway, Steve Parkhouse)

This Doctor Who collected edition is set for the most part in the Tom Baker era and it is  written and illustrated by some very big names in British comics.  The writing is witty  and intelligent and the art is of a high standard throughout.  I believe these stories were originally published in B/W and they have been updated in Color for this edition.  Charlie Kirchoff has done a excellent job of coloring  and it looks like they were always supposed to be this way.

I particularly enjoyed the Pat Mills/John Wagner written episodes “City of The Dammed”  and “Dogs of Doom” both of which had a very 2000AD feel to them.  “Dragons Claw”  and “Dreamer of  Death” written by Steve Moore were also great stories. I felt that the one shot stories didn’t really have time to breathe and were not quite as good as the multi part arcs.  Each story followed a familiar formula where the doctor is pitted against seemingly insurmountable odds and by cunning, guile and jelly babies he always seems to save the day (well nearly always). All the stories had a very British Comics feel to them.

This Collected edition Contains:

  • “Doctor Who and the Iron Legion” written by Pat Mills and John Wagner with art by Dave Gibbons.
  • “City Of The Dammed” written by Pat Mills and John Wagner with art by Dave Gibbons.
  • “Timeslip”  with art and story by Paul Neary
  • “Doctor Who and the Time Beast” written by Pat Mills and John Wagner with art by Dave Gibbons.
  • “Doctor Who and the Dogs of Doom” written by Pat Mills and John Wagner with art by Dave Gibbons.
  • “Doctor Who and the Time Witch”  written by Steve Moore with art by Dave Gibbons.
  • “Dragons Claw” written by Steve Moore with art by Dave Gibbons.
  • “The Collector” written by Steve Moore with art by Dave Gibbons.
  • “Dreamer of Death”  written by Steve Moore with art by Dave Gibbons.
  • “Changes*” written by Grant Morrison with art by John Ridgeway.
  • “Culture Shock**” written by Grant Morrison with art by Bryan Hitch.
  • “The World Shapers” written by Grant Morrison with art by John Ridgeway.
  • “The Life Bringer” written by Steve Moore with art by Dave Gibbons.
  • “War of The Worlds”  written by Steve Moore with art by Dave Gibbons.
  • “Spider God” written by Steve Moore with art by Dave Gibbons.
  • “The Deal”  written by Steve Parkhouse with art by Dave Gibbons.
  • “End of The Line”  written by Steve Parkhouse with art by Dave Gibbons.
  • “Free-Fall Warriors” written by Steve Parkhouse with art by Dave Gibbons.

* Colin Baker.
** Sylvester McCoy.

This is a great book for fans of classic era doctor who and British Sci-Fi comics in general. The book is a nice convenient size and is printed on good quality glossy paper stock. If you are a Tom Baker era Doctor Who fan you should enjoy this book. [ISBN-13: 978-1600106224] 7/10.



[The Best Of Battle] – (Various)

I never read “Battle” when I was a kid and read their rival “Warlord” instead. It looks like I  really missed out on some great stories and this book provides a taste of what I missed.  I enjoyed all the stories in this book and they capture the cream of British war comics admirably. The Black and white artwork is excellent throughout and even the B/W  printed versions of the color strips look good.  The only strip that I had read before was pat Mill’s excellent “Charley’s War”.

My only real criticism is that because they included so many different stories it meant that all you got was a short taster of each.  It was annoying for instance that theyonly included 3 out of 6 episodes of “Hold Hill 109”.  I hope they will produce some “Complete” versions in the future.

Included in this collection:

  • “D-Day Dawson” written by Gerry Finley Day and Ron Carpenter with art by Colin page.
  • “Day of The Eagle” written by Eric Hebden with art by Pat Wright.
  • “The Bootneck Boy” written by Gerry Finley Day and Ian MacDonald with art by Giralt.
  • “Rat Pack” written written by Gerry Finley Day with art by Carlos Ezquerra.
  • “Major Easy” written by Alan Hebden with art by Carlos Ezquerra.
  • “Fighter From the Sky” written by Gerry Finley Day with art by Geoff Campion.
  • “Hold Hill 109″  written by Steve MacManus” with art by Jim Watson.
  • “Darkies Mob”  written by John Wagner with art by Mike Western.
  • “Panzer G-Man” written by Gerry Finley Day with art by Geoff Campion.
  • “Johnny Red” written by Tom Tully with art by Joe Colquhoun.
  • “Joe Two Beans” written by John Wagner and art by Eric Bradbury.
  • “The Sarge” written by Gerry Finley Day with art by Mike Western
  • “The Early Adventures of Hellman of Hammer Force”  written by Gerry Finley Day with art by Mike Western.
  • “Crazy Keller” written by Alan Hebden with art by Eric Bradbury.
  • The General Dies At Dawn” written by Gerry Finley Day with art by John Cooper.
  • “Charley’s war” written by Pat Mills with art by Joe Colquhoun.
  • “Fighting Mann” written by Alan Hebden with art by Cam Kennedy.
  • “Death Squad” written by Mark Andrew with art by Eric Bradbury.

This book is highly recommended as an introduction to the golden era of British war comics. [ISBN-13: 978-1848560253]. 9/10



[Robo-Hunter – The Droid Files Vol.2] – (John Wagner, Alan Grant, Ian Gibson, Peter Hogan, Rian Hughes, John Smith, Chris Weston, Simon Jacob)

The first collected edition of Robo-Hunter included some of my favorite comic strips of all time. The ones included in this second volume were all new to me and seem to be a bit of a mixed bag. This book contains 6 arcs most of them written by Alan Grant and John Wagner. The stuff that wasn’t written and illustrated by them is not up to the same standard as book 1.

“Football Crazy” first appeared in 2000 AD progs 283 to 288. Not a great story this one unless you are a mad football fan.  I found the whole thing to be a bit predictable and pointless. Great artwork by Ian Gibson though.

“Play It Again Sam” first appeared in 2000 AD progs 292 to 307. The story is actually pretty good and Ian Gibson’s artwork is first rate but I found it incredibly annoying to read. It is set up like a rock opera where the dialogue is all sung. I am sure this is a pretty novel concept but it really didn’t work for me.

“The Slaying of Slade” first appeared in 2000 AD progs 312 to 330.  When reading this as part of a collected edition the first thing that strikes you about this story arc is that the level of detail in Ian Gibson’s art has been toned right down. It must have been a cost cutting exercise but it is still really good. This story is classic Robo-Hunter and is right up there with the likes of “Day of The Droids” or “Verdus”.

“Sam’s Last Case”  first appeared in 2000 AD progs 331 to 334. Its a short story but a funny one,  as Hoagy and Carlos attempt to get fat old Sam to come out of retirement. As always, Great art by Ian Gibson.

“Farewell My Billions” first appeared in 2000 AD progs 435 to 443. This story is a satisfying conclusion to the Alan Grant and John Wagner written and Ian Gibson illustrated Robohunter saga.  This is a very well written story with all the classic Robo-Hunter elements. Great art by Ian Gibson.

“Winnegan’s Wake” first appeared in 2000 AD progs 852-854 although it looks like it comes from the Beano.  Horrible child like artwork, virtually illegible lettering and poor dialog.  This is a very poor story indeed and Rian Hughes artwork is definitely not to my liking. I would hate to think this was someones introduction to robohunter.

“Metrobolis” first appeared in 2000 AD progs 904-911 and features the childlike artwork of Rian Hughes. The art is better than in “Winnegan’s Wake” but it is still very sub par and still would look more at home in the Beano or Dandy. At least in this story they have a decent letterer.  Peter Hogan actually puts together an interesting story this time but the dialog and interaction between Hoagy, Carlos and Sam is not a patch on Wagner and Grant’s work.

There are also some one shot stories in the collection that are not bad. “War Of The Noses” by Peter Hogan and illustrated by Rian Hughes, “Something For the Weekend”  by John Smith and Illustrated by Chris Weston, “Slade Runner” by Peter Hogan and illustrated by Rian Hughes and “Fax and Deductions” by Peter Hogan and illustrated by Simon Jacob. Weston and Jacobs artwork take Robo-Hunter in an altogether more modern comic style and look like they were originally in full color. The black and white reproduction here doesn’t really do them justice.

Three arc’s in this book would deserve  9/10 but the overall score of this book is dragged down by the other stuff especially the strips illustrated by  Rian Huges.  [ISBN 978-1-906735-43-2]. 7/10



[Robo-Hunter: The Droid Files Vol. 1] – (John Wagner, Alan Grant, Ian Gibson, Jose Luis Ferrer)
August 5, 2010, 10:18 am
Filed under: 2000AD, 9 stars, Alan Grant, Ian Gibson, John Wagner, Jose Luis Ferrer, Robo-Hunter

Robo-Hunter is my favorite comic character of all time. This collected edition was a real treat for me as it includes story arcs that I have never read before. The first story arc “Verdus” is fantastic and has all the great hallmarks of the series. I cant believe I have never read this . The second story is One of my all time favorites in the shape of “Day of the Droids” . The final stories are based in “Brit City” and include “The Beast of Black Heart Manor”, “The Filby Case” and “The Killing Of Kid” and they are really good. I wish they would do a deluxe version in color but even in its original black and white Ian Gibson’s artwork is a real treat.

“Verdus”  was originally published in 2000 AD progs 76 to 82 & 100 t0 112 with artwork by Ian Gibson and Jose Luis Ferrer and script by John Wagner . it seems 2000 AD were unhappy with Ferrer’s artwork and got Ian Gibson to redraw some of it and retouch other bits. There is an interesting explanation here on Gibson’s website.

“Day of the Droids” was originally published in 2000 AD progs 152 to 174 with artwork by Ian Gibson and script by John Wagner.

“The Beast of Black Heart Manor” was originally published in 2000 AD progs 259 to 265 with artwork by Ian Gibson and script by Alan Grant.

“The Filby Case” was originally published in 2000 AD progs 266 to 272 with artwork by Ian Gibson and script by Alan Grant.

“The Killing Of Kid” was originally published in 2000 AD progs 275 to 281 with artwork by Ian Gibson and script by Alan Grant.

This collected Edition is a  great example of  2000 AD at its finest.   [ISBN-13: 978-1906735210] . 9/10



[Robo-Hunter: Day of the Droids] – (John Wagner, Alan Grant, Ian Gibson)
April 21, 2010, 6:12 am
Filed under: 9 stars, Alan Grant, Ian Gibson, John Wagner, Robo-Hunter
This is my favorite comic book story of all time. The excellent writing and great artwork still feels as fresh as when I first read it back in 2000AD. A Milestone British comic. [ISBN-13: 978-1904265351]. 9/10