Dan Dare: The Man from Nowhere

Mega City Book Club celebrates landmark 100th podcast with a Dan Dare flashback

Mega City Book Club Episode 100The long-running Mega City Book Club podcast, primarily devoted to the collected editions of 2000AD stories, celebrates its milestone one hundredth episode with a look back at the Dragon’s Dream collection of Dan Dare: The Man from Nowhere, published back in 1979.

Mega City Book Club guest Simon Belmont did a lot of research before coming on the show to talk about Dan Dare: Man from Nowhere... can you spot all the Easter eggs?
Mega City Book Club guest Simon Belmont did a lot of research before coming on the show to talk about Dan Dare: Man from Nowhere… can you spot all the Easter eggs?

Host Eamonn Clarke is joined by his guest from the Mega City Book Club’s very first episode, Simon Belmont, to discuss this classic adventure of Dan Dare, in a prestige edition that included an introduction from Kit Pedler, the co-creator of the Cybermen in Doctor Who.

The Dragon’s Dream “Dan Dare: Man from Nowhere” collection
The Dragon’s Dream “Dan Dare: Man from Nowhere” collection

In the story, a mysterious spaceship appears near Earth, apparently from nowhere, and astonished boffins conclude that it must have broken the light barrier even as it splashes down in the Pacific! As Colonel Dare, ‘Flamer’ Spry, Digby and undersea ace Lex O’Malley search for the ship underwater, an escape pod launches, crashing in Brazil and its occupant has a desperate plea for help — in English!

Colonel Dare and his crew prepare to journey to a strange new world — faster than the speed of light!

A page of art from the “Dan Dare: Man from Nowhere” saga spanning a trilogy of stories, first published in Eagle
A page of art from the “Dan Dare: Man from Nowhere” saga spanning a trilogy of stories, first published in Eagle

Written by Alan Stranks, his first regular Dan Dare story for Eagle, “The Man from Nowhere” begins a trilogy of stories that saw the creative team behind the original Dan Dare, led by Frank Hampson, at their height.

Published in 1979, The Man From Nowhere was the first landmark collection of Dan Dare from Dragon’s Dream, and Frank Hampson and Don Harley returned to the character, redrawing the first frame of each episode, Hampson pencilling the illustrations and Harley colouring and inking the rest.

A redrawn opening panel of “Dan Dare: Man from Nowhere” with art by Frank Hampson and Don Harley, work done for the Dragon’s Dream Collection
Redrawn opening panels for the story “Dan Dare: Man from Nowhere” with art by Frank Hampson and Don Harley, work done for the Dragon’s Dream Collection
A redrawn opening panel of “Dan Dare: Man from Nowhere” with art by Frank Hampson and Don Harley, work done for the Dragon’s Dream Collection
Redrawn opening panels of “Dan Dare: Man from Nowhere” with art by Frank Hampson and Don Harley, work done for the Dragon’s Dream Collection

The story has also been collected by Hawk Books and Titan Books, but for me, buying that collection back in 1979, I can recall being blown away by the Incredible art and scope of the story, just as, I’m sure, were readers of the strip when it was first published, who had to wait, on tenterhooks, to see how the story would play out over weeks in their favourite comic.

Longtime Dan Dare Simon Belmont, with a Mekon cartoon drawn by Lew Stringer. Photo: Lew Stringer
Longtime Dan Dare Simon Belmont, with a Mekon cartoon drawn by Lew Stringer. Photo: Lew Stringer

“Huge thanks to all my guests and contributors so far and please stay tuned for the next 100 episodes,” says Eamonn.

You can listen to the Mega City Book Club Podcast Episode 100 here | You can find a list of episodes so far and all the upcoming books on the Podcast’s Facebook page, and follow the podcast on Twitter @MCBCpodcast, and on Instagram @mega_city_book_club, or email Eamonn comments and suggestions to MCBCpodcast@gmail.com

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John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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