Thunderbirds Volume Five (graphic novel review).

Last year, Egmont released a large volume containing ‘Thunderbirds’ stories This year, they have split these further eighteen stories over five softcover volumes, with ‘Thunderbirds Volume Five’ being the last of five. Only the first story is drawn by Frank Bellamy, with the remaining two, contrary to the opening credits, by John Cooper and mostly written by Alan Fennell although I have to confess the latter two stories could be someone else but can’t find a name. Anyone out there with proof of this should use the contact point. If you want to keep the big hardback for yourself, this edition is one you can leave to your sprogs.


‘City Of Doom’ (originally released 22 March 2069-17 May 2069) has terrorists who stole some nuclear devices and a little too careless because they detonate leaving the area contamination. What no one knows is a secret research area called Project City is nearby and without outside communication, only opens up for supplies periodically and don’t know of the danger from the nearby radioactivity. The World President persuades International Rescue of the danger and we follow the various attempts to get inside to warn them, not helped by the same terrorists turning up. As Frank Bellamy’s swansong after 4 years, this is an action-packed story only let down by the sudden ending.

‘The Big Bang’ (originally released 25 October 2069-15 November 2069) is John Cooper settling down as the new artist. Rather than demolishing a building, it is taken out into the ocean and sunk. As it goes down, they spot an unconscious boy through one of the windows in an airtight room. International Rescue is called and Thunderbird 4 is attacked by a submarine and Gordon is captured. Virgil to the rescue this time and they have to discover what is going on.

‘The Mini Moon’ (originally released 21 February 2070-04 April 2070) is a rather unusual story. An asteroid moves into Earth orbit causing tidal chaos. Even this is beyond International Rescue to help on the ground and Thunderbird 3 lands on the asteroid to rig explosives to detonate it. Under today’s science, we would see this as a bit implausible, more so that the detonation will give the Earth a dangerous meteor shower but I guess this was the least of two dangers.

Although I’ve given these volumes from Egmont a bit more exposure this year, I really hope that they really consider reprinting other material from ‘TV21’. I’m sure today’s kids would love to see ‘Agent 21’ and with the later ‘Countdown’ comic, ‘UFO’ and ‘Countdown’, amongst others. Encouragement by sales is sometimes the best solution.

GF Willmetts

October 2014

(pub: Egmont. 50 page softcover graphic novel. Price: £ 6.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-4052-7264-3)

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