Search & Destroy! The Earliest ‘Strontium Dog’ Tales Reprinted At Last!

by Richard Bruton

Announced last year, we’re now going to get the chance to relive the very earliest adventures of 2000 AD‘s second favourite character – yes, it’s time to Search & Destroy with Johnny Alpha, the Strontium Dog!

This seminal work, first seen not in 2000 AD but in its short-lived sister publication, Starlord, written by John Wagner, comes complete with all the glorious full-colour artwork and spreads that marked Carlos Ezquerra‘s stunning work on the title, spreads such as these…

Oh yes, that’s the business right there. It’s been far too long since we got to see these pages reprinted with their original colours, now looking perfect once more!
Beginning in the 22 issues of Starlord in 1978 and continuing into 2000 AD with the merger of the titles, Strontium Dog is Wagner and Ezquerra’s hard-hitting story of prejudice and violence, a sci-fi Western that still resonates perfectly today. In the post-nuclear world of Johnny Alpha and his fellow ‘Dogs’, the mutants created from the Strontium 90 nuclear fallout, there’s just one chance to get employment when you’re a mutie – and that’s to sign up as one of the Strontium Dogs, bounty hunters who track down the scum of the galaxy.
And Johnny Alpha, along with faithful ‘Norm’ friend, Wulf Sternhammer, are the best of those Dogs…

The pages of Strontium Dog: Search and Destroy finally sees the artwork from Carlos Ezquerra given the treatment it deserves, for a strip that was truly closest to the late, great artist’s heart.
As Wagner says in his new introduction…

Strontium Dog was different. This was his [Ezquerra] and his alone. He loved Johnny Alpha an Wulf and all the crazy mutants that populated the story. He got Johnny Alpha from the start, and though I continued to struggle for some time to truly understand the character, Johnny was there, perfectly defined in Carlos’ art, right from picture one.

So, it’s time to dive back into the earliest tales of the Strontium Dog, where you’ll find some incredible Ezquerra & Wagner strips, as well as other tales with art from Brendan McCarthy, Ian Gibson, and Keith Page. But let’s be honest… it’s the Ezquerra artwork and those earliest tales that are what we’re here for. And damn, it’s wonderful stuff to see, complete with those fantastic Starlord colour centre-spreads lovingly restored.

Strontium Dog: Search and Destroy – Written by Wagner with art from Ezquerra, McCarthy, and Gibson. It’s published by Rebellion/2000 AD in a digital and webshop-exclusive hardcover edition on 11 June, with the standard (although still pretty damn good) print edition on 12 November.
So, now a few preview pages for you to enjoy… the earliest Wagner and Ezquerra pages…


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