Monday, June 18, 2007

Reprint This! 2. The Angry Planet

Reprint This! is a new, periodic feature where I will talk about some out-of-print comic book gems that are not available in collected form for readers to enjoy. You might consider it a companion to my Weekly Comics Hype, which is taking a short summer vacation, except while that's preaching to a potential audience, this is hoping to let rights owners know that, yes, readers are out here, and we'd like to buy the things we can't get at this time!

Despite such an enormous variety of books available these days, and genuine efforts to present the material in reasonably-priced, archival volumes, there are still countless fabulous series from the US, Britain and Japan which are overdue for new editions. I've selected two dozen titles which should be on bookshelves, but at this time are not.

One missing gem is THE ANGRY PLANET by Alan Hebden and the late Massimo Belardinelli. This is a fabulous science fiction serial where the Martian-born children of the first colonists of that planet struggle for their independence from the corporation which controls Mars.

The Angry Planet appeared in the 22 issues of the 1979 anthology Tornado. It's among the best things Hebden wrote (although we'll see him again in a later installment), just cracking from episode to episode with a brisk pace and fabulous ideas. Belardinelli got to run riot with bizarre backgrounds and mile-deep canyons and cool future-tech which gets blown up beautifully.

The story's only about 90 pages long in total, and the rights are probably held by Rebellion. Despite the fond memories of fans, it, like everything in Tornado, is a pretty obscure title, and so this might be a dark horse candidate for a repeat run in collected form.

On the other hand, one of the unfortunate side effects of Belardinelli's recent passing is a renewed interest in his work from creators and older fans. Rebellion could certainly do worse than to program a 2000 AD Extreme Edition containing the whole series. Certainly, a bookshelf version would be preferable, but just getting it back in the public eye would be the main thing. So how about it, Rebellion?

(Originally posted June 18, 2007, 09:23 at

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