Friday, 27 July 2012


Images copyright relevant owner

Here it is - the fabulous finale of FIREBALL XL5's encounter with the Snowmen of planet Uraniture, written by ALAN FENNELL, drawn by MIKE NOBLE, and originally published in TV CENTURY 21 #39, cover-dated October 16th, 2065.  As a six year old boy, I was utterly gripped by this adventure and couldn't wait until the next instalment - and it never failed to deliver in the action, excitement and suspense stakes.  Kids of the '50s may have had The EAGLE and DAN DARE, but, to be honest, I think they were short-changed in comparison to readers of TV21, which really was a comic of the 21st Century.

Stories from Eagle seem rather dated now (and have done for decades), but strips from the latter publication still hold up well today.  FRANK HAMPSON's Dan Dare tales can't disguise the obvious - they're a 1950's vision of what the future might be and it shows on every page.  However, the FIREBALL, STINGRAY and THUNDERBIRDS strips are still far ahead of their time in terms of craft and uniform designs, and are almost as fresh as the day they were created.

Well, that's what I think - feel free to disagree in the comments section.

For Part Five, click here.  For Part One, click here.


For all lovers of comics (particularly American ones), BARRY PEARL has a great site which can be accessed by clicking here.  Take a look - you're sure to love it!


Steven Thompson said...

I loved this. Thanx! Was a big FIREBALL fan as a child. In fact, I had the giant playkit that had the ship nearly as big as I was at the time and the "launcher" set that took up my whole room! All I have left is the instructions. :(

Kid said...

That playkit would be worth a small fortune these days. Hell, even the instructions might be worth something. I'd hang onto them. Thanks for commenting.

Anonymous said...

Obviously, I should have stored my Fireball XL5 play kit in a vault when I was six years old, instead of (gasp!) actually playing with it.

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