Thunderbirds Volume One (graphic novel review).
Last year, Egmont released a large volume containing ‘Thunderbirds’ stories http://sfcrowsnest.info/thunderbirds-the-comic-collection-graphic-novel-review/. This year, they have split these eighteen stories over five softcover volumes, with ‘Thunderbirds Volume One’ being the first of five. All the art is by Frank Bellamy and mostly written by Alan Fennell. If you want to keep the big hardback for yourself, this edition is one you can leave to your sprogs to enjoy.
‘The Earthquake Maker’ (originally released 30 September 2067-04 November 2067) has International Rescue in the middle of an earthquake hitting a town in Iran and discovering that they are following a pattern suggesting man-made involvement. Following a clue from a dead detective, Scott, Virgil and Brains get a lot more than they bargained for when their Thunderbirds crash-land.
‘Visitor From Space’ (originally released 11 November 2067-30 December 2067) has a rescue very similar to that of the episode ‘Ricochet’ with Thunderbird One providing the leverage to tip a falling space-freighter falling on New York and Thunderbird Two using magnetic grabs to move it to the Matto Grosso in South America. They were warned to keep the freighter intact but even they couldn’t stop it finally crashing and letting loose an alien creature from Jupiter which can petrify with a touch.
‘The Antarctic Menace (originally released 06 January 2067-20 February 2067) has a roadway being built between the Antarctic and Australia in jeopardy when trucks pile up. This time, Thunderbird Four is brought along but both it and Thunderbird One are captured and it’s up to Virgil to rescue them all from robot penguins and a polar bear and the manifestations of Bereznik (this reality’s version of Russia) who are after mineral rights.
Reading them all collectively, you have to admire Bellamy’s ability to capture the Thunderbirds more so than how he depicts the Tracy brothers with poor Virgil being the worse off and Scott and Gordon at least match their original look. Oddly, the one character most missing is Alan but more of that in a while.
Of course, the ‘TV21’ comic came out a century before the stories and so you also get a look into how British stories were done back then where you would two pages a week and a story taking anything up to three months to complete. We were young and adapted to such things. Reading them collectively like this makes for an easier read. If there’s any recap, it’s done in a couple lines at the opening of the story which can be easily ignored. These comic strips helped keep ‘Thunderbirds’ alive to the fans and it’s great to see them being released now.
(pub: Egmont. 50 page softcover graphic novel. Price: £ 6.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-4052-7260-5)
check out website: www.egmont.co.uk