(2009) John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra, Rebellion, £13.99, trdpbk, ?? pp, ISBN 978-1-906-73503-6
In the late 22nd century Johnny Alpha is a Strontium Dog, a mutant from nuclear fallout who does the only reasonably-paid job a mutant can do, a bounty hunter. Equipped with some high-tech devices and helped by fellow mutants, he tracks down the criminal scum of the Galaxy. His adventures are chronicled in the weekly British comic 2000AD (and before that in 1978/9 in Starburst). This graphic collection contains five stories in full colour from 2000 to 2008.
The stories in this collection are representative of Alpha's adventures and also feature his comrade Wulf: a Viking from one of Johnny Alpha's earliest adventures in history. (Alas there is no Gronk – the alien medic who helped Johnny and Wulf – but maybe Rebellion will produce a Gronk collection sometime?).
The title story of the collection relates to the strip's long-running back-story arc – though detailed knowledge of this is not necessary to enjoy the adventure. The mutant underground (mutants are persecuted remember) has kidnapped King Clarke The Second and the British Government want Alpha to get him back. Finding himself working for the 'norms', Johnny has to go into the mutant ghetto and confront some aspects of his past.
Needless to say, this collection is a must for devotees of 2000AD and especially new followers who have only been following the adventures for a few years. That the collection's artist, Carlos Ezequerra, was the one who drew Strontium Dog back at the beginning only makes this more of an essential read for those into British comics SF.
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