Independent publisher Hibernia‘s third collection in its The Fleetway Files series, a superb collection of strips featuring Captain Condor, written by Frank S. Pepper and the legendary 2000AD artist Brian Lewis, is available now, direct from the publisher.
“Captain Condor” was created by Frank S. Pepper along with Ron Forbes as weekly adventure comic Lion’s answer to Dan Dare, first appearing in Lion No.1, back in 1952. From 1961 to 1963, Frank was joined on the strip by the highly regarded comic artist, SF novel illustrator and animator Brian Lewis, whose work appeared throughout the 1950s to the 1970s. He’s perhaps best known his work on Eagle, Boys World and TV21, and working on “Dan Dare” for 2000AD and horror stories and covers for House of Hammer magazine.
Hibernia present Brian Lewis’ complete work on Captain Condor from Lion for the first time in this terrific collection, bringing his brilliant art to a whole new audience. The title is introduced by former comics editor Kelvin Gosnell, who worked with the artist at 2000AD and Starlord, and includes a print version of Andrew Darlington‘s terrific interview with writer Frank S. Pepper.
The team at Hibernia have again done a cracking restoration job on the pages featured in this 120-page collection, treating us to three three enjoyable SF-inspired romps, “The Push Button Planet“, “Slave Hunters from Outer Space” and “The Unseen Invaders“. All three stories are lent credibility by Lewis’ terrific draughtsmanship, adding to the drama of the tales.
The collection is a wonderful trip back to days of space opera writ large, Brian Lewis’ terrific visuals, albeit with some nods and homage to rival strip “Dan Dare”, simply standout. Indeed, it’s interesting to see how “Captain Condor” evolves during this run of stories; moving away from quite dense scripting, evocative of text-heavy story papers of the time, to tales led by strong visuals, the scripts letting the art tell the story. W
hether this was the result of the arrival of a new editor at Lion at the time, David Gregory, or the influence Lewis work had on readers, we’re unlikely to ever know, but these Captain Condor tales stand the test of time, and prove more than worthy of collection.
If you’re a fan of space opera and Brian Lewis, too, then you will definitely want to grab a copy of this smashing black and white collection. As with all Hibernia titles, these usually sell out fast so get a copy while you can.
• The Fleetway Files – Captain Condor is available only from comicsy.co.uk/hibernia | 120 pages | Perfect bound, black and white with a colour cover. £12.49, plus P&P | For the UK and Europe, please allow three weeks for delivery, and for the rest of the world, at least four weeks
• There is a very limited supply of the first two collection in the Fleetway Files series still available – Volume One, “The Angry Planet”, by Alan Hebden and Massimo Belardinelli and Volume Two, “The Indestructible Man” by Scott Goodall and Jesús Blasco – available here
This post was slightly updated on Wednesday 13th April 2022 to reflect the availability of the collection
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. 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 “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.