Hibernia Comics first Fleetway Files-branded collection, The Angry Planet, written by Alan Hebden with art by Massimo Belardinelli, is on sale now – and selling fast.
Something a lost classic, “The Angry Planet” is collected from the pages of the short-lived weekly adventure comic Tornado and has never been reprinted until now, kicking off The Fleetway Files series in style.
Tornado (originally titled Heroes until a last-minute name change dictated by IPC management) was launched as a companion to 2000AD and was designed to be a mixed-content adventure comic.
It included strips that spanned genres and time periods like “Blackhawk”, “Captain Klep”, “Victor Drago” (the detective Sexton Blake in all but name, thanks to a copyright issue) and “The Mind of Wolfie Smith”. It was not to last however – and Tornado merged into 2000AD after just 22 issues.
“The Angry Planet” featured in all 22 issues, but unlike “Wolfie Smith” and “Blackhawk”, it concluded in the pages of Tornado.
A sequel titled “Mars Force” was planned, which was to be set 50 years after the end of “The Angry Planet” – and Belardinelli drew several pages which featured a new set of characters, designed by Brian Bolland. Sadly, it never materialised.
“The Angry Planet” touches on themes such as resource scarcity and corporate control that remain relevant today, but at heart it’s a rollercoaster sci-fi tale about rebellion. So, be ready to dive straight in and be blown away by Alan Hebden’s usual hard-nosed characters and dynamic script complemented cover to cover with Massimo Belardinelli’s astonishing artwork, as you join the first-generation Martians and their efforts to overthrow the dastardly Mars Inc.!
Priced £10.49, The Angry Planet is available now from the Hibernia Comics web store now.
“Designer Richard Pearce did some really sterling work on the artwork,” enthuses publisher David McDonald of Hibernia’s first Fleetway Files title, “especially on the colour spreads.
“Cost dictated that the spreads would be in black and white, but I wasn’t satisfied to put them out in greyscale,” David tells. “It would be a disservice to Massimo’s artwork.
“So he removed the colour and restored the artwork to the original black and white of the original art – and it really brought out the detail of Massimo’s lines.”
As we previously reported, The Fleetway Files is a new series from Hibernia in association with The Treasury of British Comics, which aims to present the very best of Fleetway comics and build into an unmissable collection.
“The idea to do a series under a brand sprang from a comment from downthetubes publisher John Freeman,” David reveals.
“The winged Fleetway logo was always a symbol of quality for me, and Rebellion gave the thumbs up to use it.
“Richard ran with the idea, and created dozens of logos and cover layouts until he settled on the one used, and to be honest, it’s one of the most striking and original covers designs I have seen in a long time.
Coming soon is a collection of “The Indestructible Man” from 1960s comic JAG, drawn by Jesus Blasco (perhaps best known for his work on “The Steel Claw” for Valiant), and Hibernia have kindly shared this advance Work in Progress cover, to give us an early hint of how the series will continue.
I think downthetubes readers will agree, The Angry Planet, the first collection looks great. We’re very much looking forward to seeing how this series progresses!
• The Angry Planet | £10.49 | Perfect bound, softcover 90 pages, colour cover B&W internals | Available to buy from www.comicsy.co.uk/hibernia
Be aware that some Hibernia titles sell out very quickly
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.