Thursday, June 11, 2009

Charlton Notebook: Space: 1999 #1

I've had this book for quite a while and wasn't very impressed when I first read it. I revisited it last night, as I was in the mood for something different, and mid-70s Charlton is always a little different. I liked it much more the second time around. The main weakness is that Nicola Cuti crammed so much into a single issue - the whole lunar explosion is covered in a handful of pages and that kind of underplays the drama of the 311 survivors on Moonbase Alpha. There's a ton of heavy dialogue that takes a while to process. We quickly move to the search for a new world and the first candidate is an odd one, populate by Neanderthalish humanoids and Cthulu-inspired slug masters. It ends on a strange pseudo-cliffhanger that seems to lack drama - as I got the feelings the slugs were trying to trap the Earthlings - but I guess they were just playing host. Don't get me wrong - it's actually a very entertaining read as Joe Staton's lively layouts keep things hopping along. His character and creature designs are also strong - giving the strip a lot more life than existed on the TV screen.

4 comments:

Blair said...

Just bought this (and number two) recently - wondered when you'd get round to reviewing it! I loved Space 1999 (TV) as a kid.Any idea how long the run (comics) was??
As ever - fantastic site!

Scott M said...

Thanks Blair!

The comic lasted 7 issues - John Byrne and Pat Boyette came aboard on later issues. I really want a copy of #6 with the cover with the helmet floating away.

Andrew Wahl said...

Joe Staton’s Charlton work is underrated. I’m quite fond of his early stuff (for example, his art on DC’s Showcase #100 was excellent), but felt he went off in a too-cartoony direction in later years.

Atomic said...

There was also a b/w magazine series featuring both painted cover and wash interior art by Gray Morrow.
(The cover art was also used for licensing by ITC!)

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