Dan Dare has a long tradition of reprint in other languages, so it’s no surprise, perhaps, to discover that the early adventures of the Eagle character had an outing in two volumes in German in the late 1980s – Dan Dare, Raumschiffpilot, collecting the “Voyage to Venus” storyline and a second volume collecting “The Red Moon Mystery” (“Das Geheimnis des Roten Mondes”) and “Marooned on Mercury”. (“Gestrandet auf Merkur”).
Both published by Salleck Publications, they’re still available direct from the publisher.
These collections are, however, far from being the last Eagle-related title published in Germany. In 2015, Bildschriftenverlag Hannover released Jesus von Nazareth – Sein mutiger Weg – a German edition of Frank Hampson’s powerful, humanist take on the story of Jesus, published in Eagle as Road of Courage.
“Palestine around the year 30 AD,” the promotional copy reads, in perhaps the one of the most action thriller descriptions of the story of the founder of the Christian church you’ve ever read.
“The Romans rule with a heavy hand. The Jewish population of the Roman provinces of Judea and Galilee are groaning under the taxes that they must pay. The chosen people hope for the appearance of Christ, from whom they hope for salvation and liberation. The radical Zealots, in particular, repeatedly lean against the occupiers by force of arms.
“As the charismatic Galilean wandering preacher Jesus of Nazareth gains more and more supporters, the insurgents try to win him over. But the man from Galilee goes his own way…”
Jesus von Nazareth is just one title from Bildschriftenverlag Hannover, whose sister company BSV re-publish Classics Illustrated in Germany. The project is one of several from Eckhard Friedrich, founder of the Verlage Comic Club Hannover and Bildschriftenverlag Hannover, who’s trying to bring works by well-known comic artists not previously published in Germany, such as Don Lawrence, Frank Frazetta and Frank Hampson. (He’s re-publishing work from other European countries too, including Geronimo, first published by Galaor Verlag, and The Don Lawrence Westerns, featuring two Western stories by Don Lawrence in one volume, Wells Fargo and Pony Express, published here in the UK in Zip, Swift and Sun late 1950s to mid 60s.
German strips are also of interest to Eckhard, who has a massive collection of comics assembled over decades. Bildschriftenverlag Hannover launched back in 2012 by re-publishing the intriguingly-titled Spione der anderen Erde (Spies of the Other Earth), published in the newspaper BILD in the 1950s.
Road of Courage, in English – and new Dan Dare collections
Road of Courage was last published in English by Titan Books in 2010, a volume I edited that was to have led to further biblical collections, sadly not realised.
Titan, alongside its new Dan Dare tale He Who Dares by Peter Milligan and Alberto Foche, recently re-launched their English language Dan Dare collections. Mission of the Earthmen was released last year, with The Earth Stealers out in March 2018.
In Mission, whilst on a mission to explore a distant galaxy, Dan and Digby set out in a scout ship and are forced to crash land on the planet Zyl by a race of scientifically advanced beings called the Zylans. They are currently at war with the inhabitants of the planet Vort, a war-like, barbarian race and need warriors to help them defeat their enemies. Their choice of Dare and Digby brings a most unexpected conclusion to their plans of planter domination.
In Earth Stealers, Dan Dare and Digby, awaken, after an unknown number of years, from deep-space hibernation to find themselves lost and adrift in an unknown region and orbiting a mysterious planet, seemingly made of platinum. Now our two plucky heroes must free an enslaved race of aliens and fight to return to their home world, although what they discover there remains a terrible mystery…
• Buy Dan Dare-related books from amazon.co.uk (suing this link helps support downthetubes)
With thanks to Richard Sheaf, who has a feature on European publications of Road of Courage here on his Boys Adventure Blog