Rok of the Reds # 1
By John Wagner, Alan Grant & Dan Cornwell
Published By Black Hearted Press
I always check out new work by John Wagner and Alan Grant, this is the first thing that I have read from Black Hearted Press a small independent publisher based in the UK.
According to Wagner, this is something that has sat in his and Grant’s project file for many years. Why it is now seeing the light of day? I have no idea. But hey, a new comic from the two of the most celebrated British Comic writers of the last 40 years can only be a good thing, yeah?
Wagner has acted as editor for the series, and selected artistic newcomer (okay – at least to me) Dan Cornwell, who had previously had work published the 2000ad fanzine “Zarjaz”.
A mash up of “Roy of the Rovers” and “Doomlord” (another Wagner / Grant production). Rok is an alien on the run, escaping from a doomed world that he brought to destruction , seeing refuge on Earth he comes across the form of a disgraced footballer Kyle Dixon – a prodigious talent, but disrespectful of authority, a loose cannon, that despite his potential and his ability lets his team down again and again. Unlike any professional footballers in real life.
After the last incident, Kyle gets lashed and heads for the hills. Enter stage right (or from outer space anyway) Rok. Rok, on the run the comes across a “refreshed” (and now terrified Kyle) and takes his form. Rok is now hiding out as the striker of the Radford Reds.
I can see why this didn’t fit into the House of Tharg, or the creator owned slot in the Meg’. It reads more like an adventure strip from Eagle. But, but, but BUT, that’s not to say this isn’t worthy of your attention. More gentle than the usual Wagner / Grant fare, this is a bit of a slow start, but I hope to see more of their trademark humour in future episodes. Charming art with a cartoony edge from Cornwell, and most importantly he can tell a story – very well.
No sign of ultra violence (yet) and with an old fashioned feel. Good fun.
It’s a bugger to find in the shops though.