2000AD boasts a stunning roster of characters and, while Judge Dredd has always had top billing, the next tier of classics (if they can even be described in such diminished terms) are just as brilliant. Strontium Dog was originally developed for and published in Starlord, a sister title to 2000AD that was eventually swallowed up by the latter, where Stronty continued to be published but fell in line behind Dredd’s longevity.
Because it was in a ‘rival’ comic and both strips were developed by writer John Wagner and artist Carlos Ezquerra, there’s a similarity of tone between Strontium Dog and Judge Dredd. Johnny Alpha is also hunting criminals, but as an outsider: a mutant bounty hunter, given the jobs that purer-bred human law enforcers can’t stomach. These mutants, born of parents infected by radioactive strontium, can’t get jobs outside the Search & Destroy bounty hunting agency, so spend their lives hunting on the fringes of humanity. Alpha is as grim and stony-faced as Dredd, but without the weight of totalitarianism behind him.
This collection contains the first set of Strontium Dog stories, originally published in Starlord in 1978, along with some standalone stories from Starlord annuals published into the early 1980s, complete with restored colour centre-spreads. It’s due to be published digitally and in a 2000AD web store-exclusive edition on 11 June 2020, with a full release coming later on 12 November 2020.