Creator Jay Lowe has chosen a personal and truly British favourite for our challenge to reinvent great British Comic Characters (detail below), given that Nigel Kneale’s Professor Bernard Quatermass wasn’t created for comics – but he has appeared in print.
“I’ve taken a few liabilities with the biography,” he says. “That great ‘Thing from Outer Space’ MacGuffin from The Quatermass Experiment remains though, as does his dapper dress code.
Professor Bernard Quatermass
Created by Nigel Kneale
First Featured in Dez Skinn’s House of Hammer issue 8, adapted from the Val Guest movie version and illustrated by Brian Lewis and later by David Lloyd
Born 1969 – Whitechapel, London, England
Profession – Professor of Astrophysics
Siblings – Younger Sister – Bethany Quatermass
Spouse – Lilith Quatermass (Deceased)
Children – None
Controversially awarded the top position at the government funded British Asteroid Group, little is known about Professor Bernard Quatermass, although thanks to a now iconic tabloid photo the loss of his wife more than a decade earlier in the London terror attacks is a well documented fact. The photo’s caption simply reads “His courage and determination couldn’t save her”.
Quatermass’ appointment to the British Asteroid Group (or B.A.G) soon pays dividends, silencing his detractors and critics and exceeding all expectations. Calculating a cost effective model to send a manned mining vessel into space Quatermass secures the government funding required to take his work to the next step.
From the project’s base of operations at an unused airport in Kent, Quatermass not only succeeds in orchestrating the launch and landing of the vessel but his Three-Man space mining crew also extract unique ore from the not too distant space rock.
A historic nine month mission, seemingly successful as-well-as potentially lucrative; an endevour that’s attracted the world’s attention but, as the vessel nears orbit it becomes increasingly apparent that something’s not right.
When the huge mining ship vastly overshoots its entry point crash-landing in London destroying the cities iconic Camden Town area, ending the lives of hundreds, the nations feelings quickly turn from awe and admiration to grief and anger.
At the core of the destruction, once the raging infernos that surround it have been extinguished, the vessel’s re-entry capsule is discovered unscathed. even more astonishingly is that there’s a faint tap, tap, tap coming from inside.
Britain and the world’s media need answers, answers they expect Quatermass to provide.
On the other side of that fifty centimeter re-entry capsule’s titanium door awaits the answer. Fortunately for Bernard he may be the only one capable of opening this can of worms.
The world is about to learn that we’re not alone, the world is about to witness the mettle of Bernard Quatermass.
Great British Comic Characters Reinvented Competition
For our latest competition we want you to give us your “New Look” to a classic British comic character of your choice, be it Black Max, Doomlord, Steel Claw, The Spider or I-Spy. No decade is off limits, no character – apart from Dan Dare, who we’ve already done.
• Please send your entries to the downthetubes at email@example.com – no high res files, ideally 1600 pixel width at least and no web links. Entries must be received by 12 noon on Thursday 26th November 2015. Please also include a brief bio and relevant web links to your own work with your entry. Good luck! As usual, the prize will be a random book or comic from our archive!
• Jay has what he calls a ‘sporadic’ web site – The Ancient Canterbury Gentlemen’s Club – where he offers free and almost free design to start-up businesses, charities, clubs etc. It also includes some short stories
• Back in 2009, Bill Storie and I unsuccessfully pitched a Quatermass strip to Nigel Kneale’s estate. You can see the sample page here