In Review: The Complete Comet Jet Ace Logan

Fleetway Comics Archives: COMPLETE JET-ACE LOGAN (Limited Edition) - Cover

If you’re a fan of the original Dan Dare of Eagle fame, you’ll know that in the 1950s he wasn’t the only British space hero on the news stands. Others included “Jeff Hawke” in the Daily Express, Captain Condor, appearing in Lion, and Jet-Ace Logan in The Comet.

It’s the latter space hero who’s the focus of Fleetway Comics Archives: Complete Comet Jet-Ace Logan, just published by Book Palace Books as a massive 376 page hardback Limited Edition, featuring fast-paced SF adventure largely written by David Motton, among others, drawn by John Gillatt and Geoff Campion.

Now in his nineties, novelist David Motton, who told downthetubes he was absolutely thrilled to receive a copy of this new collection on publication, also scripted Jet-Ace Logan stories for Thriller Picture Library — namely “Times Five”, “Seven Went To Sirius,” and “Ten Days To Doom”. He also penned some later “Dan Dare” stories, and wrote for Commando.

Comics writer David Motton with a copy of Fleetway Comics Archives: Complete Jet-Ace Logan (Limited Edition). Photo: Tom Atkins
David Motton. Photo: Ismay How. Used with kind permission

“Jet-Ace Logan”, created by Mike Butterworth, first appeared in The Comet No. 426 September 1956 with art by Geoff Campion who drew the first three stories. John Gillatt took over the art from No. 474 and continued honing his brilliant pen and ink artwork until the last issue of Comet in October 1959, the strip surviving the to move to Tiger by way of merger. By then, Gillatt’s artwork had become some of the finest and exciting comic strip art in British comics.

Offering derring-do in outer space and across space-time – here are some classic British SF comics, collected, in a smashing and carefully restored package.

Here are some sample spreads, slide to view. The entire collection is black and white – do note the spot colour strips on the cover, as originally published, are not reproduced in colour inside.

  • Fleetway Comics Archives: COMPLETE JET-ACE LOGAN (Limited Edition) - Sample Spread
  • Fleetway Comics Archives: COMPLETE JET-ACE LOGAN (Limited Edition) - Sample Spread
  • Fleetway Comics Archives: COMPLETE JET-ACE LOGAN (Limited Edition) - Sample Spread
  • Fleetway Comics Archives: COMPLETE JET-ACE LOGAN (Limited Edition) - Sample Spread
  • Fleetway Comics Archives: COMPLETE JET-ACE LOGAN (Limited Edition) - Sample Spread
  • Fleetway Comics Archives: COMPLETE JET-ACE LOGAN (Limited Edition) - Sample Spread
  • Fleetway Comics Archives: COMPLETE JET-ACE LOGAN (Limited Edition) - Sample Spread

Fast-paced, well told stories, admittedly a little impacted by awareness of the incorrect knowledge of other planets in the solar system (just like “Dan Dare”), centre on space pilot Jet-Ace Logan. Logan is a member of the still-in-existence RAF of the future, pitted each week in The Comet against evil aliens intent on invading, or destroying Earth, some not just from space but another time, too; and plenty of dastardly space pirates. Fortunately, none prove no match for Jet-Ace, who, although often belittled by his superior officer, Flight Lieutenant Cobb, proves more than capable of winning the day with a mix of humour and true grit.

As you’d expect from a boys adventure comic of the day, there are, inevitably, a lot of “shoot the alien first, ask questions later” style stories, packed with action, with great art. But along the way, we’re also treated to some high concept tales, too – intriguing time travel stories and some quirky, fun stuff, too, throughout this strip’s long and enjoyable run.

Perhaps under appreciated by the strip’s young readers of the time is the way David Motton regularly captures an obvious sense of camaraderie between the major characters such as his regular co-pilot, Plum-Duff Charteris.

Post-war, you get the impression the strip draws on an awareness of how RAF crews, and servicemen together, behaved, their different personalities writ large here. This adds another layer to the stories, sometimes missing from other space hero strips of the time, Motton taking inspiration, perhaps, from rival strip “Dan Dare”, which, as mentioned, he would later write.

Modern readers should be aware that in early stories there’s some scenes and attitudes thankfully consigned to history by most of us, but, later, stereotypes are very much dispatched, such as a story where Logan believes his Eskimo allies are unlikely to understand English, only to be confounded by meeting their chief, a college educated scholar. This the kind of asWelcome asides, alongside a beautifully realised strip, packaged in a massive book that, yes, comes with a £45 price tag, but, boy, do you get bang for your buck!

John Freeman

Fleetway Comics Archives: Complete Comet Jet-Ace Logan (Limited Edition) is available to order here

Writers: Mike Butterworth, David Motton
Artists: Geoff Campion, John Gillat
Publisher: Book Palace Books, October 2023
Number of pages: 376
Format: Hard Cover; Black & White illustrations
Size: 9″ x 11″ (216mm x 280mm)
ISBN: 9781913548469

Read our interview with David Motton, first published in 2011, here

The Uninvited Death by David Motton

Buy David Motton’s novel, The Uninvited Death (AmazonUK Affiliate Link)

Levellers Press published Commando and Dan Dare writer David Motton’s long-awaited murder mystery novel, The Uninvited Death in 2020. Set in and around a market town in East Anglia, a man is found stabbed to death in a hotel car park whilst a wedding reception is taking place.

In a series of tales we learn how the victim had affected the lives of the guests and others at the wedding. Who had come to hate him enough to kill him? 

Read our appreciation of John Gillatt on downthetubes here

Categories: British Comics, British Comics - Collections, Classic British Comics, Comics, Features, Reviews

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Discover more from

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading