Space Ace Volume 4 - Cover

In Review: Ron Turner’s “Space Ace” Volume 4

Space Ace Volume 4 - Cover

 

Out: Now

Publisher: John Lawrence
Originally published by Atlas Publishing & Distributing Co. Ltd

The Title: A chance to read the much-sought after story “The Island Universe”, first published some 60 years ago – Ron Turner‘s first Space Ace story, serialised over a period of six months. The volume features a beautifully restored and coloured version of the tale pitting Space Ace against aliens who literally steal the Earth with all headings, repetetive continuity and re-cap boxes removed to present a smoothly, flowing, 24-page story, lovingly restored and re-lettered by John Ridgway.

The volume also includes the short story ” The Raiders from Space” and a further interview with the late Ron Turner, conducted by editor and agent John Lawrence.

The Review: As I’ve previously noted in my review of the first Space Ace collection, Ron Turner wasn’t the first artist to work on the space-faring hero who first appeared in Lone Star but later gained his own title in the 1950s, published by Atlas. But this stunning representation of the first Space Ace story he wrote and drew simply confirms what an impact his work must have had when it first appeared, offering a crazy but beautifully told space opera story, complete with evil aliens, outlandish ideas, more than compensated for by terrific art.

Although copies of Space Ace, and some later issues of  Lone Star, are frequently turning up on ebay, copies which contain this lead story “The Island Universe” are rarer than hen’s teeth and haven’t been seen for more than 60 years. It’s clear from John’s editorial that he’s unsure how regular readers and fans of Ron’s work will react to this presentation of a longer tale in one issue but for me, it’s a great idea.

John Ridgway, as ever, has restored the tale with skill and obvious love for the original. The work that’s gone into this issue is all for the good, for both fans of Ron’s work and, hopefully, a new modern audience, who might find one of the number of plugs for the title online and give it a try.

The story’s concept – aliens stealing an entire planet – is completely bonkers (and I thought the same thing when Russell T.Davies had the Daleks steal the Earth in Doctor Who, too), but you expect to leave your brain at the door when reading many SF comics of this period. Even the science and engineering of such renowned 1950s strips as “Dan Dare” doesn’t stand up to modern scrutiny for very long. But I’m more than happy to forgive that when you’re treated to such a beautifully drawn romp, as square -jawed heroes take on all the universe can throw at them – and win.

The shorter tale in this volume – “Raiders from Space” is equally fun, and a story that you could see transferring to a Saturday morning TV show with ease, crammed with inventively-designed space ships and edge of the seat moments as Space Ace gets involved in a race against time to recover vital tech that maintain’s a satellite’s orbit.

Overall, this is another triumph behind the Space Ace restoration project and, once again, if you’re a fan of Ron Turner’s work then this latest release is a must. To further tempt you, check out some of the sample pages below, kindly provided by John Lawrence.

• Ron Turner’s Space Ace Volume 4 costs £8.95 (UK) or £14.00 (overseas) including postage and is available via PayPal to spaceace.54@virginmedia.com or cheque or postal order to John Lawrence, 39 Carterweys, Dunstable, Bedfordshire LU5 4RB

• Read our review of Space Ace Volume One

• Read our review of Space Ace Volume Two

• Read our review of Space Ace Volume Three

• Read our review of Space Ace Volume Four

• Read our review of Space Ace Volume Five

• Read Our “Sneak Peek” of Space Ace Volume Six

• Read our review of Space Ace Volume Seven

• Read our review of Space Ace Volume Eight

• Read our review of Space Ace Volume Nine

Read our review of Space Ace Volume 10

Read our review of Space Ace Volume 11

Web Links

Ron Turner Cover Collection

• If you’re a fan of Ron Turner’s work then you may be interested in a collection of all six of Ron’s Tit-Bits SF Library comics, which have recently been re-published in one 400-page volume. Issue One was first published way back in 1953. Copies can be obtained for £16.50 plus £3.50 P+P from Bryon Whitworth, 2 Glen Cottages, Glen Farm, Red Lion Street, Earby, Barnoldswick, Lancashire BB18 6RH. Payment accepted by cheque (payable to Bryon) or PapPal to user218763ATaol.com (replace AT with @). Non UK orders, please contact Bryon for costs

Space-Ace-V4-S-01

 

Space-Ace-V4-S-02

 

Space-Ace-V4-S-03

 

Space-Ace-V4-S-04

 

Space-Ace-V4-S-05

Published by

Avatar

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.

One thought on “In Review: Ron Turner’s “Space Ace” Volume 4

Let us know what you think about this story

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.