Created by Bill Storie, scripts and various iterations by John Freeman
In the 22nd century it was finally accepted that the Earth was dying due to a combination of factors including global warming, breakdown of the ozone layer, depletion of natural resources and a recent “flipping” of the planet’s magnetic fields which will leave the surface open to the solar winds – as scientists now believe happened on Mars.
In response, a global conglomerate funded the construction of the ARK, a city-sized space ship in which is stored genetic samples of all life on Earth, together with the brightest and best of the population – 100,000 of them – all cryogenically frozen. The plan was to launch the ship into a vast elliptical orbit beyond the solar system, in search of a new habitable planet to colonise.
It is now the 24th century. The Ark is at the end of a 200 year journey, having found a new homeworld for its precious cargo, and is heading back to Earth in order to collect more survivors and transport them to the new world. They have sent a scout ship ahead – THE ARMSTRONG – a military-style ship, about the size of an aircraft carrier.
Her mission is one of reconnaissance – to check the status of Earth and report back to the ARK where decisions will be made about the next stage of the programme.
As the story opens we join the crew of the Armstrong, entering the Solar System on a heading for Earth.
Where You Can Read Ex Astris…
Ex Astris in Spaceship Away
Ex Astris featured in Issues 16-18 of the Dan Dare-inspired comics magazine Spaceship Away
Published three times a year, this full colour, glossy magazine started out as a way to get a newly created 1950’s ‘old Eagle’ style Dan Dare strip story (Drawn by Keith Watson and Don Harley) in print, along with how it was done. The magazine has grown from 24 to 48 pages a time, and is now moving sideways into other science fiction.
“Spaceship Away is evolving all the time,” says former editor Rod Barzilay, “and there are more new things already in the pipeline.”
A version of Ex Astris was previously published by ROK Comics, the mobile comics site.
Ex Astris: Homecoming was published on the old MyEBook platform – an all-new adventure set on the ravaged Earth of Ex Astris that was also part of an all-star line up to Bulletproof Comics Issue 2 published in 2009 by British indie publisher Bulletproof Comics.
Also in the 80-page issue were strips from creators such as Dave Hailwood & Tony Suleri, Jim Alexander & Jon Haward; Bulent Yusef & Dave Thomson; Alan Grant & Alan Burrows; and many others.