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2000AD or Starlord? 
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Well it's 2000AD's birthday today and it is 36 years old.

Now almost 35 years ago, there was another Sci-Fi comic on the block called Starlord. Unfortunately, it got a severe case of "Exciting News Inside" and was merged with 2000AD.

Was that the best decision? From what I read, it was possibly Starlord that was the more popular. This may have been brought up before but what the heck! ;)

So how many of you would have preferred it the other way round so that it was Starlord that was the one to survive?

Your votes and any explanations please.

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Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:45 pm
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Starlord was a much higher quality comic, in terms of production. Some of the stories had started to waiver after the intial 12 issues. Drafting in the best of 2000AD to a higher quality production would have been terrific.

Better still would have been the original plan. Make Starlord a more mature sci-fi monthly comic, keeping 2000AD as it is. I really think we could have seen far more from Starlord in that case. Maybe even running until today.

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Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:41 pm
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My choice is 2000AD.

Although I agree that Starlord was a higher quality comic paper-wise, I wouldn't agree it was better story or artwork wise. Don't get me wrong I thought the stories were good but I thought 2000AD was slightly ahead in the imagination stakes. Even so there wasn't a lot in it and Starlord certainly didn't deserve to be one of these '22 issue wonders' created just to be merged with another just to boost that comic's readership.

At least merging the two together created a better comic.

The Tornado merger on the other hand, I couldn't see the point. None of its strips made any impact even short term. I liked what they did with Blackhawk but he only lasted one series.

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Last edited by SID on Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:06 am
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I enjoyed Tornado tremendously. There was a lot of opposition about merging it into 2000AD as it didn't seem to fit. And it didn't. Black-Hawk was awful when it merged. Here was a hard-hitting story with racism at it's centre. Next, a comedy sci-fi strip.

The only strip that could have gone in was the excellent Angry Planet. But it was a traditional boys comic, not sci-fi. It's like merging Tom and Jerry into Maus. There's some connection but that doesn't mean a merger.

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Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:06 am
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I did think that the first few issues of Starlord were better than the first few issues of 2000AD (which I didn't really rate at all); by the time of the merger, however, 2000AD was at an all-time high, while Starlord was already in decline. To my mind Ro-busters and Strontium Dog benefitted enormously from their relocation, while I was relieved to see the once-promising Timequake put out of its misery.

Another reason for my fond memories of the merged 2000AD & Starlord was the high quality paper it adopted from Prog.110 (only to switch back to the worst stuff imaginable after it was forced to swallow Tornado!). Shame about 'Super Dan Dare' and Disaster 1990 though. :(

- Phil Rushton


Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:40 am
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TIMEQUAKE was a superior story offering from STARLORD in my view....as good as anything in 2000 AD from the same period-----this one still holds up today..it has the lot..high-ranking Nazis on the run, ruling the future, and unleashing futuristic Nazi weaponry!

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Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:47 am
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I loved the original Timequake episodes by Chris Lowder and Ian Kennedy, but it suffered badly when Magallanes Salinas took over the art and the loss of Lowder himself was terminal imho.

As you say Rab, it could and should have been a real contender...!

In fact, thinking about it, I reckon that Starlord would have worked much better as a monthly. The real problem for both titles at that point was a lack of writers who could keep up with the standard set by Mills and Wagner. The need to fill two comics every week meant that the available talent was being spread much too thin, resulting in too much substandard 'filler' material by the likes of Gerry Finlay-Day and Tom Tully (an excellent scripter in his day but not really suited to the new paradigm). Of course things improved with the addition of Alan Grant (and, for a time, Alan Moore) but I reckon this is a problem that has continued to hold 2000AD back right up to the present day. To my mind somebody like Robbie Morrison is just the modern equivalent of Finlay-Day.

It's a long-standing problem with comics that, while the artwork has always tended to receive the lion's share of critical attention, good artists seem to be ten-a-penny - whereas really outstanding scripters are worth their weight in gold!

- Phil R.


Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:03 am
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philcom55 wrote:
In fact, thinking about it, I reckon that Starlord would have worked much better as a monthly.


That was the original plan, until management changed their minds. Also, Tornado may have been more successful if it had followed its original course too. (The title was to be Heroes for one thing.)

I thoroughly recommend the book Beyond 2000 for its excellent coverage of this era at IPC. Available here:
http://www.comicsy.co.uk/hibernia/


Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:17 pm
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I recently bought a copy but haven't had chance to read it yet. With a recommendation like that I'll definitely do so as soon as possible!

- Phil R.


Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:10 pm
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To me Starlord as a monthly could have been the success that Crisis and Revolver tried to achieve. In fact I would prefer it to Judge Dredd Megazine.

My favourite stories were:

Strontium Dog
Time Quake - I really enjoyed the stories and loved the interplay between Blocker and Suzi.
Planet of the Damned - Great premise and start (loved the ab-humans) but then fizzled out.
Ro-Busters

Tornado was okay but to me nothing really stood out. I quite liked Blackhawk but preferred the version in 2000AD though could have married up the two strips better.

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Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:24 pm
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I recall thinking that Starlord was far superior to 2AD at the time but a look at progs from that period proves me wrong; A return to the decent covers, 64's UFO cover has the same date as Starlord 1 + Cursed Earth hitting it's stride and those classic Mach Zero, Inferno and Ant Wars covers. We were truly spoilt in the summer of '78.


Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:56 pm
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philcom55 wrote:
I did think that the first few issues of Starlord were better than the first few issues of 2000AD (which I didn't really rate at all); by the time of the merger, however, 2000AD was at an all-time high, while Starlord was already in decline. To my mind Ro-busters and Strontium Dog benefitted enormously from their relocation, while I was relieved to see the once-promising Timequake put out of its misery.
- Phil Rushton
Actually, Timequake returned for a brief run in 2000AD a little later.

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Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:54 am
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I disagree that Starlord was superior to 2000AD at any time. True, Starlord was produced on better paper and you did have a few gems like Strontium Dog and Ro-Buster (I also liked Timequake but there you go) but to me, the comic didn't measure up to the likes of Judge Dredd, Flesh, Invasion, Dan Dare, MACH 1 and Harlem Heroes. Some of which still exists today. Even of the two Starlord strips that did survive, Ro-Busters had a heavy make-over (including name).

If on the day, someone gave me copies of the first issues of both comics and gave me a choice of which one to keep; 2000AD would have won hands down.

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Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:21 pm
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"This Town ain't big enough for the both of us" as the old Sparks' song went. IPC never gave us another war comic to outgun Battle, so why did they pitch a format to lock horns with 2000 ad? At the time of Starlord's demise, wasn't it a fifty-fifty between the titles as regards who would claim the lead title? With hindsight, Tharg thankfully won out. Had Starlord taken dominance, I believe that it would have been buried alongside Eagle(not to mention: Victor and Roy of the Rovers) in the early nineties. In someway, the tag "2000 ad" carried the title through very choppy waters. For many British publications, the late eighties and nineties was a bloodbath. 2000 ad wobbled but, somehow, persevered. I'm pretty certain that Starlord wouldn't have survived. Long live 2000 ad!


Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:32 am
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SID wrote:
I disagree that Starlord was superior to 2000AD at any time. True, Starlord was produced on better paper and you did have a few gems like Strontium Dog and Ro-Buster (I also liked Timequake but there you go) but to me, the comic didn't measure up to the likes of Judge Dredd, Flesh, Invasion, Dan Dare, MACH 1 and Harlem Heroes. Some of which still exists today. Even of the two Starlord strips that did survive, Ro-Busters had a heavy make-over (including name).
Not really true. ABC Warriors and Ro-Busters are two very different series, and Ro-Busters was popular, which is why it kept coming back in 2000AD Annuals in the eighties. I'd also have to say that Mind Wars, Timequake and Planet of the Damned were far better strips than Invasion, MACH One, Harlem Heroes or much of 2000AD's Dan Dare.

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Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:50 am
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