Friday 7 September 2012


Here's a fantastic slice of late seventies comics sic-fi: BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and THE MICRONAUTS... in the same comic.  Only the addition of a ROM SPACEKNIGHT reprint could make this the perfect comic.

STAR HEROES WINTER SPECIAL was published under the Dez Skinn regime and marked the first time the British outpost had issued Winter one-shots (following a clutch of Summer Specials earlier in the year).

It's notable for three things:
1. The first British reprints of Marvel's Battlestar TV tie-in.  Marvel's adaptation of SAGA OF A STAR WORLD (aka the Battlestar Faux Feature) had reached British shores through imports of the US editions in Super Special, Treasury and paperback formats.

2.  The Battlestar strip, reprinted from US issues 4-5, adapted the TV adventure LOST PLANET OF THE GODS.  Although aired in the US in September 1978, it didn't reach UK screens (specifically the London region) for another year.

3.  Skinn used Marvel's one-shot specials as pilots for possible new ongoing titles.  This one was clearly deemed a success as STAR HEROES POCKET BOOK, with the same line-up, was part of the first wave of Pocket Books the following summer.

Skinn has said, in subsequent articles, that he was underwhelmed by Battlestar and didn't think it stood much chance of replicating the runaway success of STAR WARS.  Faced with a dearth of suitable back-up strips for the pages of the ravenous STAR WARS WEEKLY, Skinn planned to run the Battlestar strip there, until outside forces (ahem) intervened.  George Lucas and 20th Century Fox were embroiled in a copyright dispute with Universal over the (undeniable) similarities between their respective space franchises.  In such a climate, running Battlestar in a Star Wars comic was not a smart move.

With that plan nixed, and believing Battlestar wasn't strong enough to fly solo, Skinn created Star Heroes and bundled in The Micronauts, hitherto a Star Wars back-up.

Universal's licensing people, apparently not grasping the term "exclusive", also gave British weekly LOOK-IN the green light to start running a regular Battlestar strip almost simultaneously.  Both were hampered by the no-show of the TV series itself (held back by the studio to maximise income from the Battlestar movies in overseas markets) until September 1980.

BTW: the cover flash "and lots more" is somewhat spurious... there's nothing else!

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