Category Archives: eagle comic

Michael Jackson was also in British Kids comics – as Doomlord! (1988)

Being ubiquitous, Michael Jackson even managed to infiltrate the UK comics scene in the 1980s. It’s true – here he is in issue 391 of the (then) newly merged Eagle and Battle comic (February 1988).

That’s Bad. Meaning Good.

I take no credit for the original scan – I am grateful to the rather nice blog below for that;

http://ukcomicsarefun.blogspot.com/

Post-Apocalypse XIII – First appearance of ‘The Tower King’ in Eagle comic (1982)

Well, I am not sure if anyone out there in the blogosphere has done this before, so here it is, the first installment of The Tower King, a magnificent post-apocalyptic romp that appeared in the first few issues of the relaunched Eagle comic of 1982. Written by Alan Hebden, who also wrote ‘Angry Planet’ for Tornado comic, and illustrated by the Spanish artist Ortiz, this gem ran for the first 24 issues of the Eagle comic mark II. I have written before about The Tower King – see here, but in that post I publish the final chapter of the story, so probably best to read this first!

What I love about this, re-reading it again, is the economy of the writing and furious pacing – we quickly learn about why the Earth is plunged into chaos, and see the horror of the immediate aftermath in Britain. We are then introduced to the impressive Mick Tempest, decked out in chain mail (Society had been plunged into a Middle-Ages style existence following the complete absence of Electricity, and that is the only explanation for the look and feel of the art, and that is good enough for me – on with the action!) surveying a shattered London from his vantage point. We quickly get introduced to some fiendish mutants known as the tube rats, because they live underground (the London Underground, aka the Tube) and they look like Rats. Tempest then shows his prowess by engaging in combat with these terrors, and the issue ends with a magnificent Mad Max style cliffhanger, with a customised Battle Steam Engine (how Steam Punk is that?) approaching, just like Papagella and his fuel-hungry hordes approached the refinery in Mad Max 2. You can only imagine what hostil intent this old Steam Engine brings, a neat perversion on the established wisdom that this mode of transport is generally benign. To be honest, you will find out as I plan to show the second installment soon. Enjoy – The Tower King, part One.

Great British Comic Strips Part I – ‘The House of Daemon’ (Eagle, 1982-83)

Following on from my ‘Tower King’ article, we go back again to the early days of the relaunched Eagle comic, and after the conclusion of ‘The Tower King‘, the following weeks issue saw the arrival of another illustrated strip, again rendered by Spanish artist Jose Oritz. Entitled ‘The House of Daemon’, it was written by 2000AD stalwarts John Wagner & Alan Grant (best known for Judge Dredd). Running for 5 months from issue no.25 (September 11, 1982) to issue no.47 (February 12, 1983), this was a creepy and bizarre horror tale, one of the best Eagle produced.

The story of a dream house that becomes possessed by an evil spirit, its nightmarish and dreamlike qualities were vividly brought to life by Oritz, a gifted artist who really could depict evil very well. The evil spirit (the ‘Daemon’ of the title) traps the architect who designed the house (Elliot Aldrich) and his wife (Cassandra – who the house was built for) and they are left at the mercy of his demented plans. As ‘Daemon’ has the ability to transfer the rooms in the house into his own evil creations, the strip takes off an all sorts of tangents. For example, the kitchen became a recreation of the Vietnam conflict, with the punishing environment being labelled ‘Hells Kitchen’ by the GIs fighting within it. Their enemy are labelled ‘The Gimps’, a creation of Daemon. They are seen in the page scan below carrying a door across ‘Hells Kitchen’;

All sorts of horrors awaited those trapped in the house, and death lurked around every corner as the dimensions of the rooms bent to the will of ‘daemon’ to become wide open spaces or dark, tiny & claustrophobic areas, all filled with terror, such as these huge caterpillar-type creatures ;

Over the course of the story, Cassandra, the architects wife and one of the main recipients of the malevolent Daemons’ evil, was revealed to have psychic powers. This empowered the embattled prisoners of Daemon, enabling them to fight back, by overcoming their fear of the environments Daemon created, showing them up for the mind-altering games that they were.

Eventually Daemon is revealed as a powerful dark sorcerer from the 26th century. He is, in that future, effectively imprisoned in the ‘House of Daemon’ by 3 wizards from that same future, who combine their powers to keep him incarcerated. This all becomes apparent when Cassandra locates the 3 wizards in the lounge, part of which is a ‘sanctuary’ for them, protected from Daemons evil.

Daemon, despite his jailing, has managed to go back 500 years and his evil intent is to torture and imprison those in his future jail. At the stories conclusion, they
track down Daemon to the attic, where a surprise awaits them – those thought killed by Daemon are actually alive, all part of Daemons mind games and reality altering powers. The physical form of Daemon is poisoned by Cassandra, and the modern day prisoners of his evil plans manage to escape. finally, Elliot Aldrich and his building firm proceed to surround the house with high brick walls, to keep unwitting visitors away, and to isolate Daemon until reality and time catches up with him in the 26th Century.

As if inspired by this strip, Grant & Wagner went on to create another dwelling-based Horror strip within a year when ‘The Thirteenth Floor‘ debuted in ‘Scream‘, and fittingly, ended up at Eagle when the former title merged with the latter. It went on to become another of Eagles most popular strips.

I remember ‘House of Daemon’ being, like The Tower King, a great read and better than a lot of the stuff that 2000AD was publishing at the time. ‘House of Daemon’ would have been a great addition to ‘Scream’ comic as well, but as it is it rankls amongst the very best that Eagle offered. Also, like ‘The Tower King’, I do not believe this has been reprinted. I think its time someone put these 2 titles together in some sort of trade paperback. They’d have my business for sure.

Links!!

Wiki entry

Brief forum discussion on this strip and ‘The Tower King’