Des Shaw, editor of the impressive Dan Dare A4 magazine Spaceship Away has been in touch to show us dummies of the covers of the three issues that are due in 2012. Dare fans looking at them will see that this year there is a theme to the issues.
In addition to the new full colour Dan Dare and reprinted Garth and Journey Into Space strips, Spaceship Away will continue its usual selection of articles on different aspects of Dan Dare and Eagle comic but, in 2012, it is planned that each of the three issues will feature something on the first three Dan Dare stories that ran in Eagle in the early 1950s.
For Issue 26, due in March, it will be Voyage To Venus, the first Dan Dare story that began in Eagle Volume 1 Number 1 in April 1950 which took Dan and his colleagues to Venus and their fateful first meeting with the Mekon.
Issue 27, in July, will cover the second story The Red Moon Mystery set on Mars which began in Eagle in October 1952, while issue 28, due in November, will feature the third story Marooned On Mercury which began in June 1952.
The cover of each issue features a new painting by original 1950s Dan Dare artist Don Harley featuring a scene from each of the three stories, an "extra frame" if you like. The Voyage To Venus image shows Space Fleet Controller Sir Hubert Guest giving the order to send a rescue ship to Venus that effectively set in motion the entire Dan Dare saga. The image from The Red Moon Mystery is Dan saying good-bye to his archaeologist uncle Ivor who is working at the remains of the long gone Martian civilisation, while the image from Marooned On Mercury shows the point in the story when Dan and his friends see a Mercurian out of its protective armour for the first time.
The first of these themed issues, number 26, will include an exclusive interview with playwright Tom Kelly, the writer and lyricist of 2003's Dan Dare The Musical, which adapted the Voyage To Venus story for the stage.
Spaceship Away is available at selected British comics shops and directly from the Spaceship Away website. The cover price for the 2012 issues is £7.95 each which includes UK postage if ordering from the website. An annual subscription for the three issues is £21.50 for UK residents and non-UK subscriptions are available from the website.
The Spaceship Away website, which includes ordering details for the 2012 issues as well as back issues and binders, is here.