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.
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.
'Starlord' First Issue 1978
of Free Gifts)
'Strontium Dog' First
Issue - 1985
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.