Tuesday 27 June 2017


From January 1983: the first installment of the weekly STAR FLEET strip, published in LOOK-IN.

The strip ran for 32 weeks, reflecting the lifespan of the 24-part TV show which had debuted on ITV the previous October (the day before STAR WARS had its TV premiere... making it a big STARLOGGED weekend).

The series has - unusually - pretty much a single story arc divided into an episodic format.  It is probably not worth trying to figure out where the Look-In strips fit into that extended adventure.

The art is by British comics - and Look-In - mainstay Mike Noble, who first entered the business in the early 1950s.  He's well known for his work on assorted Gerry Anderson-based strips and, from 1970, the British STAR TREK strips.  In the following decades he kept busy with Look-In's numerous TV adaptations (TIMESLIP, THE ADVENTURES OF BLACK BEAUTY, KUNG FU, THE TOMORROW PEOPLE, SPACE: 1999, THE MAN FRM ATLANTIS, THE FAMOUS FIVE, ROBIN OF SHERWOOD and others)

The series (known as X-BOMBER in its native Japan) has been out on DVD for a few years now and is well worth revisiting.  The puppets are more clunky than you remember and the effects are old school (no motion control CSO shenanigins herein) but the drama is surprisingly intense for a kids show (regular characters die) and the plots engaging enough.  And you can't beat the nostalgia burst.  The DVD comes with a small booklet which reproduces some - but, I think, not all, of these Look-In strips.  A nice bonus feature.

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