Continuing the day’s general enthusiasm for the comic 2000 AD, I follow up my reinterpretation of Fiends of the Eastern Front with a summary of one of my other favourite strips, Black Hawk. Another one originally created by Gerry Finley-Day (this time with artist Alfonso Azpiri), it had originally run in a short-lived boys’ weekly called Tornado, which ended after 22 weeks to merge with its sister publication. Black Hawk was one of three strips which crossed over into the new comic, alongside comedy superhero Captain Klep and psychic teenager Wolfie Smith. None of them lasted very long, but Black Hawk left the most lasting impression. It also underwent the greatest change. The Black Hawk of Tornado is a Roman slave, whose incredible skill as a fighter (and his strange affinity with an almost mystical black hawk, which helps him out in extraordinary ways, so much so that he ends up being named after it, rather than being called by whatever his actual name is) leads to him becoming a respected centurion, in charge of his own battalion of criminals and outcasts. No sci-fi elements at all (if you don’t count the telepathic hawk). But at the end of Tornado No 22, he is suddenly stolen from the first century AD and beamed up to an alien arena in outer space, where the rest of his story plays out. And that’s where I started my summary. It looks like I didn’t much care for the Tornado version. I don’t remember that specifically, but I managed to hang onto a few of the original comics and found these cut-out coupons, still inside and not cut out at all:
TERM 2 The birth of the 1980s - Blake’s 7, Blondie and battles in space
Waen Shepherd 2 Waen’s heroic antics in the far-flung future of 2007 AD!
Black Hawk Profile
Black Hawk Profile
Christmas 1979 Can Waen last the night without opening his presents?
Great Space Battles Three mighty empires take their first steps into outer space
Ward’s 7 John Ward and his band of rebels fight the evil Federation
It looks like I almost put it in fifth place earlier in the comic’s run, before changing my mind and replacing it with another strip called The Angry Planet. Then a few weeks later, it doesn’t even trouble the list at all. Given that there were only six continuing strips in the comic, that basically means I put it last. The transmogrified sci-fi incarnation - now written by Alan Grant, with art by Massimo Belardinelli - was way more my cup of tea. It wasn’t anything to do with the quality of the writing. Thing is, I hated history - it bored me brainless - so I doubt I even read it properly. But the idea of this guy being transported into space and forced to fight aliens was something my eight-year-old me could truly get on board with. That and Bellardinelli’s extraordinary psychedelic art, which I always found deeply appealing. As for my write-up, it’s rubbish. The only reason I’ve published it here is because it proves how much I liked 2000 AD. And I really, really did. The more I read the stories I wrote around this time, the more I realise what an influence it was on the words I chose and the way I thought stories should be told. And it was during this period in 1980, covering Judge Death, The Judge Child, Fiends of the Eastern Front and Black Hawk, when it had its greatest hold over me.
INSPIRED BY…
Fiends of the Eastern Front Vampires, paraphrased from 2000 AD
Captain Carnivore Gary Shepherd is hunted down by a deadly flying meteor
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The Forgotten World John and Mick fall foul of some extreme potholing
TERM 2 The birth of the 1980s - Blake’s 7, Blondie and battles in space
Waen Shepherd 2 Waen’s heroic antics in the far-flung future of 2007 AD!
Black Hawk Profile
The Flame in the Desert An evil fire threatens the safety of the world
Black Hawk Profile
Continuing the day’s general enthusiasm for the comic 2000 AD, I follow up my reinterpretation of Fiends of the Eastern Front with a summary of one of my other favourite strips, Black Hawk. Another one originally created by Gerry Finley-Day (this time with artist Alfonso Azpiri), it had originally run in a short-lived boys’ weekly called Tornado, which ended after 22 weeks to merge with its sister publication. Black Hawk was one of three strips which crossed over into the new comic, alongside comedy superhero Captain Klep and psychic teenager Wolfie Smith. None of them lasted very long, but Black Hawk left the most lasting impression. It also underwent the greatest change. The Black Hawk of Tornado is a Roman slave, whose incredible skill as a fighter (and his strange affinity with an almost mystical black hawk, which helps him out in extraordinary ways, so much so that he ends up being named after it, rather than being called by whatever his actual name is) leads to him becoming a respected centurion, in charge of his own battalion of criminals and outcasts. No sci-fi elements at all (if you don’t count the telepathic hawk). But at the end of Tornado No 22, he is suddenly stolen from the first century AD and beamed up to an alien arena in outer space, where the rest of his story plays out. And that’s where I started my summary. It looks like I didn’t much care for the Tornado version. I don’t remember that specifically, but I managed to hang onto a few of the original comics and found these cut-out coupons, still inside and not cut out at all:
It looks like I almost put it in fifth place earlier in the comic’s run, before changing my mind and replacing it with another strip called The Angry Planet. Then a few weeks later, it doesn’t even trouble the list at all. Given that there were only six continuing strips in the comic, that basically means I put it last. The transmogrified sci-fi incarnation - now written by Alan Grant, with art by Massimo Belardinelli - was way more my cup of tea. It wasn’t anything to do with the quality of the writing. Thing is, I hated history - it bored me brainless - so I doubt I even read it properly. But the idea of this guy being transported into space and forced to fight aliens was something my eight-year-old me could truly get on board with. That and Bellardinelli’s extraordinary psychedelic art, which I always found deeply appealing. As for my write-up, it’s rubbish. The only reason I’ve published it here is because it proves how much I liked 2000 AD. And I really, really did. The more I read the stories I wrote around this time, the more I realise what an influence it was on the words I chose and the way I thought stories should be told. And it was during this period in 1980, covering Judge Death, The Judge Child, Fiends of the Eastern Front and Black Hawk, when it had its greatest hold over me.
Apeth Badly-spelt high-jinks with a purple gorilla from outer space!
Captain Carnivore Gary Shepherd is hunted down by a deadly flying meteor
Fiends of the Eastern Front Vampires, paraphrased from 2000 AD
HELP ME KEEP THIS WEBSITE ALIVE