Tuesday, 24 October 2017


Images copyright relevant owner

What's significant about this FIREBALL XL5 page from TV CENTURY #21 #105, Criv-ite chums?  It's the first time that The DALEKS hadn't featured on the back cover, their strip having ended the week before, with issue #104.  To be honest, I thought that TV21 was never quite as good as it had been with The Daleks, and it must've been around the same time that original editor ALAN FENNELL left the comic for pastures new.

MIKE NOBLE drew the Fireball page, as well as 2 interior pages of ZERO X (the first instalment of the strip I believe), so that was a full 3 pages in one issue, no mean feat considering how detailed his artwork was.  Again, to be honest, I never warmed to Zero X, despite the great artwork, seeing it as just a reworked, inferior version of Fireball XL5, which I much preferred.  Hard to believe though, considering how polished a magazine TV21 yet was, that this was probably the beginning of its decline, though regular, committed readers were probably unaware of that fact at the time.

What's your view, frantic ones?  Do you think the comic was still a force to be reckoned with on the newsagents' counters, or were things for you never quite the same again?  Feel free to record your views for posterity in our recently much-neglected comments section.


Dave S said...

This is a title that I am too young to remember, but have always had a curiosity about - it looks like the kind of thing I'd have enjoyed and I do remember older relatives speaking about it in reverential tones.

Also, the art on that Fireball XL5 page is GORGEOUS!

Phil S said...

I'm finally at the Zero X reprint section of the tv 21 hardcover stories and yes. It's a bit confusing since readers are going to go- who is this? I haven't seen it on tv. And - hey this is just like Fireball Xl5. Why are they doing This strip if it's not on tv and just like a previous one?

Kid said...

You should take a look through the blog at some of Mike Noble's 2 page Fireball XL5 strips, DS (if you haven't already seen them) - you'll love 'em. The very first ones by Graham Coton are also worth a look.


I think that was my problem with the strip at the time, PS - I hadn't seen the movie, so I didn't know how they fitted into the worlds of Gerry Anderson. It just seemed like an XL5 imitation.

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