Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Century 21 : Classic Comic Strips From The Worlds Of Gerry Anderson (1) : Adventure In The 21st Century

Pure childhood nostalgia : the amazing TV series of Gerry Anderson like Thunderbirds and Stingray. TV21 was a comic off-shoot of the amazing universe his team created and this is the first collection of comic strips from that comic of the late 60s and early 70s which i personally never read before though i do have an old Thunderbirds annual somewhere...

The stories are fast paced and exciting though lack depth somewhat. The bad guys always seem to manage to pull out a secret underground base out of nowhere. The likeness of the characters also varies which makes it a bit confusing sometimes to tell who is who, though of course the characters were puppets. When an artist went too far to make their drawings match the puppet it looked a little odd. So basically you can't win. These are just minor niggles though, the stories are an amazing thrill ride. Just read them as you would when you were 12.

Freed of the restraints of puppets the comics show a lot more physical action by the characters than on TV of course. Characters get into fist fights, fall down mountains or even get tied to ballistic missiles as in the case of Lady Penelope (sure i dreamed of that once - when a boy i hasten to add). The futuristic toys are still there too of course and this is where the true nostalgia hits me. Nostalgia for an age when the future was impossibly exciting and positive. These are comics written before the Oil Shock of course.

The Century 21 future doesn't have economic and environmental collapse, religious fundamentalism or resource depletion. Instead it has hypersonic nuclear powered airliners, cities in the stars and Lady Penelope in her pink Rolls-Royce.

Originally published on my Take A Clean Sheet Of Paper comics blog.

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