Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future!

In the post-war space-age era, a hero emerged, Dan Dare. What made him so popular was the success of a new colourful comic, the Eagle.

Boys had never seen the future in colour before - previously only listening into to BBC's 'Journey Into Space' to get a crackly ghostly idea of what the future might hold! But here it was in full-colour glory!!

Colonel Daniel McGregor Dare aka Dan Dare was pitched as the 'Biggles In Space' but he was so much more to a whole generation of children.

What was so special? Well, in short, he was British with British style humour, British style uniforms and of course Digby from Wigan.

No more did British children have to look across the Atlantic for the comic book heroes such as DC's Superman, Batman and Flash! They had one of their very own to love and cherish.

What's more for probably one of the first times in British history the merchandise followed, Dan Dare Space guns, Dan Dare lunch boxes and Dan Dare radio kits. Just put 'Dan Dare' before any item and it was sure to sell by the truckload in the  '50s Britain. 

EAGLE - Dan Dare Prisoner Of Space

It was launched in 1950, the inspiration of an Anglican vicar, Marcus Morris, who thought that older boys should have something more than crime comics imported from America.

The first issue of The Eagle sold in excess of 900,000 copies in the UK alone. Morris' vision was to also deliver the righteous message of 'tradition, truth and morailty' to a '50s Britain starkly in need of these values. Luckily, he didn't stick around for the '60s!!!

On the cover were the exploits of Dan Dare, pilot of the future, along with his companion Digby; their nemesis was a green blob called the Mekon.

The Eagle was published every Wednesday and Dan Dare's popularity rocketed - toy shops everywhere became inundated with space-age paraphernalia including the dan dare spaceship builder, all of which encouraged interest in science fiction.

Were you an Eagle fan? or The Robin, or Girl? Let us know your memories in the comments below, we'd love to hear from you! 

 

Discover the fascinating history of consumer culture from Victorian times to the present day at the Museum of Brands.

Header Image courtesy of the Museum Of Brands

Eagle Comic Frontpage - Fresh On The Net (CC BY 2.0)

1950sChildhood memoriesDo you remember?Memory laneNostalgia

5 comments

Brian McKeown

Great comic missed the 1st issue, started on no.2 read it untill it finished, liked the centre page spread, really interesting

Rob kirk

Couldn’t wait till Wednesday to my next copy of the eagle highlight of the week

Leonard Eynon

Only new him as Dan Dare, no Macgregor! Quite scary as I recall, wouldn’t miss it though. Used to deliver it on my paper round. By the time I read it I’d be late for school lol.
Thanks for reminding me.

Christopher Deans

I was a reader of the Eagle from the first edition delivered weekly with our regular newspaper and I very much looked forward to it, however my father was also a great fan and regular reader, I had no idea at the time that seventy years later I would have access to far more technology than Dan Dare could ever have dreamt of.

Joan Johnston

When I was about 8 I loved the Bunty. When I became a teenager it was the Jackie that I loved as it always had pin up photographs in the middle page.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published