First Issue: 13th May 1978
Last Issue: 7th October 1978
Copyright: IPC Magazines
The first issue of Starlord was dated 13th May 1978 and came with a free gift of a Starlord Trooper badge. The Starlord Trooper badge was introduced in six different versions, which were 'Tank Commander', 'Skateboard Strike Force', 'Mek War Controller Robot Regiment', 'Laser Specialist', 'Time Warden' and 'Pilot'. Starlord was produced using high quality paper and cost twelve pence, which at the time was 40 to 50% more expensive than its competitors. Starlord only lasted 22 issues but it was 22 issues of pure quality, not only its luxurious paper but also its fantastic stories.
'Starlord' Comic Free Gifts
The first story to appear in Starlord was “Planet of the Damned” written by R.E Wright . The story was about a Trans-Atlantic Tri-Star airplane that encountered turbulence whilst flying through the area of ocean known as the “Bermuda Triangle”. The Bermuda Triangle is famous throughout history for the disappearance of aircraft and ships. When the plane crash-lands the passengers soon realise that they haven't crash landed on Earth. Luckily the passengers meet up with "Bos'un Jake Flint of the brig Gallentine" who had found himself on the Planet of the Damned some 150 years earlier. The passengers quickly place themselves under his leadership. On the planet nothing is as it first seems, the local inhabitants Ab-humans spit acid even the rain is acid. Flint tries to help the passengers negotiate a course to Sanctuary whilst battling with other local inhabitants such as the crazy "Charlie's Angels" and a U-Boat captain who was still fighting the Second World War.
One of the best stories in Starlord was undoubtedly Time Quake which was scripted by Jack Adrian with the artwork of Ian Kennedy. Time Quake told the story of James Blocker, who as a tramp steamer captain had inadvertently caused the end of the world and the Great Fire of London, in that order. The eloquently spoken Blocker, whose one liners included “chew knuckles sunshine” and “t’riffic”, had illegally transported an assassin called Kemal Azwan. Azwan assassinated key players involved in Middle East peace talks. The resultant failure of the peace talks led to a nuclear war that destroyed civilisation. Azwan had been paid by the "Droons" to start the nuclear war. The Droons were a race of beings from the Rigel system who didn't like the fact that in the 40th century, the Human Race was the greatest power in the universe. The Droons plan was to destroy mankind in the late 20th century.
Blocker was saved seconds from death by members of Time-Control, who took him 85 millions years into the past to a Time-Control Sub Station. Members of Time-Control included Temporal Substation Controller Harl Vinda from the 38th Century, Suzi Cho – Princess of the 32nd century Haniken Empire, Quexalcholmec (who apparently enjoyed the odd drink) – pure strain Aztec and centurion Marcus Geladius.
Unknown to Blocker at the time, travelling 85 million years back in time meant that he would never be able to live in his own time period for more than 6 months and would therefore have to join Time-Control. A fact which didn't impress Blocker too much. Blocker eventually defeated the Droons. Blocker's other adventures included stopping Martin Boreman from changing the result of the Second World War.
The last issue of Starlord appeared 7th October 1978 due to its merger with 2000AD in program 86 on 14th October 1978. A number of stories successfully made the transition from Starlord to 2000AD. One of the most famous of which is "Strontium Dog". Strontium Dog, who appeared in the first issue of Starlord, was the story of Johnny Alpha and his assistant "Wulf".
With eyes that emit alpha waves Johnny Alpha is the most feared search and destroy agent in the galaxy. The initials S and D for search and destroy became the basis for the nickname of 'Strontium Dog'.
Johnny's body had been warped from birth by a shower of Strontium 90, a radioactive isotope that is present after a nuclear explosion. The isotope can be absorbed into the human body leaving mutations. Johnny Alpha was left with mutations that gave him powerful alpha rays, which are a type of X-Ray vision. However, because of their mutant status and appearance the 'Strontium Dogs' were shunned by society and found it difficult to get employment except for the jobs that were beneath the 'norms' such as search and destroy agents.
With an array of weapons and gadgetry including a 'Time Drougue' which enabled him to turn back time long enough to question a dead fugitive, Johnny Alpha struck fear into the hearts of fugitives and criminals throughout the galaxy.
Johnny Alpha was ably accompanied by his friend Wulf Sternhammer, a Viking warrior, who bad been brought forward into the future by Johnny after saving Wulf's life. Script was by T.B Grover with artwork by Carlos Ezquerra.
Other stories in Starlord included "Ro-Busters" by Pat Mills and Carlos Pino and "Mind Wars" by Hebdon and Redondo. Robusters was another story which made a successful transition to 2000AD.