TV21 The Gerry Anderson Complete Comic History
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Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons: TV21, 1967-68

Issue 229

Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons was the first new Anderson television series since the start of TV Century 21 nearly three years previously. With Stingray was already halfway through its first UK screening when the comic launched, and Thunderbirds well into production, TV Century 21 would have had little impact on the making of these series. But now, with many aspects of Century 21 media - novels, annuals, records and, of course, TV Century 21 and Lady Penelope - crossing over, it is interesting to speculate how much the tail had wagged the dog to influence the new series.

For a start, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons is the first (perhaps the only) puppet series to clearly state the year it is set - AD 2068 - in its opening scenes. One has to wonder if, like Thunderbirds and Zero X before it, the strip was originally planned to start in the new year after adequate television exposure and the usual annual reshuffle. For whatever reason, possibly the need to re-promote the title and inject some new blood, the strip began at the end of September '2067', bringing the continuity of TV Century 21 into conflict with its originator, in a similar way the Zero X strip had. But the wheels of pre-publicity had already been rolling for months, with The Angels beginning at the start of the year in Lady Penelope. Was their inclusion in the series format deliberate so a strip could be run, when in so many of the other series, the female leads were almost incidental? Finally, the tone of the television series now seemed to reflect the dry nature of the other main TV Century 21 strips, with little characterisation or humour. Ironically, as will be seen, the strip incarnation of Captain Scarlet would actually treat the format with more consistency and some better dramatic potential.

The summer saw the major turning point, with issue 125 of TV Century 21, dateline 10 June, being the first cover to feature a photo from the new series, with the secondary headline Captain Black Heads Expedition. The same issue saw an MSV sneak into a crime detection feature, under the title 'armoured police car'. That same week, after a previous 'report' about a mysterious plane 'crash' appeared in the comic Solo, the publication blamed a 'hostile agency' under the name of the Mysterons. The finger, as the first episode succinctly puts it, was on the trigger, and there was no going back, as the film Thunderbirds Are Go! had already established that the flight time to Mars was six weeks. Even so, it took twelve weeks for TV Century 21 to report that Black's same expedition had been lost, implying that perhaps the ill-fated mission may have been on the red planet for some weeks before their fateful encounter.

Meanwhile, strange things had been happening on Earth, with mystery planes (issue 132) which sometimes attacked fighters (issue 133) and a large UFO or space station seen over parts of the world, getting a final confirmed sighting for the cover of issue 137. A link was drawn between these and the lost Captain Black, as all three sported the same stylised 'S' symbol, which had actually appeared as early as April in The Angels. Full page features revealed this 'S' to stand for 'Spectrum', tying in with the strip Front Page as TV21 reporters finally uncover the truth. After three weeks, and an amazingly speedy trip from Mars later, Black's mission returned to Earth, and the new secret organisation was unveiled in full.

The following week, as the tie-in strip started in issue 141, the cover bore the headline Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, with a large photo of a man in a red version of Black's uniform. The text proclaimed: This man is Captain Scarlet! According to Spectrum, he is indestructible. This fantastic statement is the conviction of the personnel of the new Spectrum Security Organisation. After a brief recap of events that would later be seen on TV in 'The Mysterons', TV21's own incredulity was stated: This is Spectrum's story. I don't believe it. Events will prove who is right.

And prove them they did. With the new show making its debut that week (on its 'native' ATV Midlands at least - some regions held back until the new year), some readers would know the truth. Not to be outdone, in the very first strip Scarlet is killed in a separate prelude - a remarkably clever ploy on behalf of the writer - to be resurrected for the story proper. TV21 was forced to eat its words two issues later, and declare Scarlet 'Indestructible' (or, curiously, 'undestructible' in the text!) as a headline. Oh wait a minute, 'Is Scarlet Dead?' asks the cover of issue 146. No he's definitely alive, declares issue 148. It was no wonder TV21 stopped the news covers soon after - it could have gone on like this forever...

This change came in the new year, with Captain Scarlet expanding to the first four pages - the first strip since Thunderbirds to have more than two - including the front cover. For some, this move made TV21 less than the special thing it had been, and like most other comics available. One suspects, as Alan Fennell had moved on to been replaced by Chris Spencer, that this was the new editor trying to make his own mark. Editions became colour-coded (e.g. issue 158 is 'Orange Edition'), and the front page news stories were transferred to page 5 to become 'Stop Press'. This seemed almost a superfluous move, as it must surely have been the news covers that drew attention the comic in the first place. The quality of reporting also seemed to drop, with some rather appalling puns creeping into the mix.

With Captain Scarlet now the strip in TV Century 21, 'Twenty-One' let Colonel White share editorship as Spectrum had a recruitment drive for 'Shades' - junior agents who could report Mysteron activities or anything else unusual. The United Kingdom was divided into twelve colour-coded 'Operational Areas', each reporting to a Spectrum Captain:
1. Captain Ochre - North Scotland
2. Captain Blue - South Scotland
3. Captain Orange - Northern Ireland
4. Captain Saffron - Northern England
5. Captain Magenta - Ireland (naturally!)
6. Captain Purple - Mid/Northern England
7. Captain Grey - North Wales
8. Captain Pink - Midlands
9. Captain Khaki - Anglia
10. Captain Navy - South Wales
11. Captain Umber - South West England
12. Captain Cream - South East England

This reputed allowed the TV21 editorial team to organise letters and competition entries more effectively, though some areas responded more than others, and would lead to an interesting turn of events the following year. It also enabled TV21 to run a knockout competition of wits between the Shade regions, to determine which was best.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Captain Scarlet strip guide - part one

Story One (aka We Will Destroy Unity City)
Writer: Angus P. Allan.
Artist: Ron Embleton.
Colour centrespread.

Part 1 - Issue 141, dateline 30 September 1967
Front Page:
Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons
Cornwall, England - Captain Scarlet in Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle 7 contacts the escorting Angel Interceptors to tell then he is taking the H-Bomb he has aboard out to sea. Having saved London from destruction, Scarlet himself is 'killed' as the bomb explodes while he is ejecting...
"In retaliation we will destroy the World Government Headquarters at Unity City."
The Mysterons threaten to destroy the World Government Headquarters at Unity City, and a recovered Captain Scarlet puzzles why as the World Senate will not open until November. Colonel White launches the Angels to fly to Unity City and despatches Scarlet and Captain Blue to investigate. En route, the Angels see an unauthorised aircraft on the horizon. Peeling off, Rhapsody investigates, only to have her radio and guns jammed, and she is shot down by the plane which is piloted by Captain Black...

Part 2 - Issue 142, dateline 07 October 1967
Front Page:
Captain Scarlet - Our Only Hope
Merchandise
Rhapsody ejects as her plane plunges into the sea, certain her attacker was Captain Black. As she parachutes into the sea and sets up her raft, she sees an Angel - her plane, recreated into the service of the Mysterons! Captain Scarlet and Captain Captain Blue are in charge of defence of Unity City, and leave Cloudbase in a Spectrum Passenger Jet. In flight they see one of the Angels returning, but Scarlet 'sweats and sways', indicating to Blue that there is a Mysteron near. Scarlet is also aware, and ejects Blue, turning after the Angel. When missiles fail, Scarlet rams it as the only sure way to stop it...

Part 3 - Issue 143, dateline 14 October 1967
Front Page:
Indestructible - Scarlet Saves Spectrum
Rhapsody, Blue, and the body of Captain Scarlet are picked up from the sea. In Cloudbase sick-bay, Doctor Fawn marvels at the fact that even after the air smash, Scarlet will recover in hours - his IS indestructible! Captain Blue discusses the incident with Colonel White, and why the Mysterons changed targets. White is sure the plan was to destroy Cloudbase, and crash it into Unity City. Securing all stations, Cloudbase starts out for a new position over Canberra, Australia. But the Mysterons order Captain Black to spray the clouds in its path with D17 gas, and as the huge station passes, the intakes suck it and filter it into the air supply...

Part 4 - Issue 144, dateline 21 October 1967
Front Page:
Mysterons Destroy Cloudbase?
Merchandise
Everyone on Cloudbase is knocked out - except for Captain Scarlet, breathing purified oxygen in sick-bay as he recovers. Fully healed, he finds everyone unconscious, then spots a plane approaching. This is Captain Black following the Mysteron's instructions, but as Scarlet stalks him into the flight control room, he is overcome by the presense of the Mysteron. Black sees him and throws him against a control panel, causing Cloudbase to dive out of control...

Part 5 - Issue 145, dateline 28 October 1967
Issue 229
Scarlet fights back but Black runs off. Ripping a sleeve of his uniform off, Scarlet ties the helm on a fixed course and goes after him. In the Cloudbase hangar, Black prepares his plane for launching, but Scarlet jumps on board. As the plane is automatically catapulted on the deck launcher, the two men struggle in the cockpit. Black ejects but the unpowered plane reaches the end of the deck and topples over the edge with Scarlet trapped inside...

Part 6 - Issue 146, dateline 04 November 1967
Front Page:
Is Scarlet Dead? Earth hopes fade at latest rumour
The plane dives into the sea, watched by natives on a nearby island. Finding the wreckage, they pull Scarlet's body from the sea and decide to give him the funeral of a true warrior. But Black has parachuted to nearby, and wants to be sure Scarlet is dead. On Cloudbase, the crew have recovered and found Scarlet's sleeve. Angels are launched to search the area, but on the island Scarlet's 'body' is about to be burnt in a funeral pyre...

Part 7 - Issue 147, dateline 11 November 1967
Black watches as the funeral pyre is set alight, and Scarlet revives in its midst. Standing in the flames, the natives believe him 'The Great One' and bow in worship. Black tries to intercede, calling Scarlet an evil spirit and aiming his pistol. But the natives hold both, with the chief deciding that they have seen wonders, and the judgement of whether they are good or evil lies with the 'clawed ones'. Scarlet and Black are staked out on the beach, and as the sun sets, hundreds of crabs swarm from the sea. One accidentally activates Black's cap mike, and Scarlet tells to get Spectrum to help them - unless the Mysterons are going to. An astonished Lieutenant Green tells Colonel White of the message, and the Angels are launched on a rescue mission. But to Black, this is all part of the Mysteron instructions he is still carrying out...

Part 8 - Issue 148, dateline 18 November 1967
The Angels arrive within minutes, and Scarlet and Black are freed. As Scarlet and the Angels await the arrival of Cloudbase, the Mysterons activate Black's 'audio-field', and the humans are knocked out by a high frequency noise. Black slings the unconscious Scarlet over his shoulder and walks - both protected by the power of the Mysterons - into the sea. Captains Blue and Magenta arrive by Spectrum helicopter, to find the unconscious Angels, and there is only one place the men could have gone. Colonel White alerts Commander Shore, and a WASP patrols are prepared to search. But even at Marineville, there are Mysteron agents...
Merchandise

Part 9 - Issue 149, dateline 25 November 1967
Front Page:
Scarlet Kidnapped! Mysterons Hi-jack Space Rocket!
The WASP Mysteron agent is despatched in a patrol vessel and picks up Captain Black and Captain Scarlet. Their destination is the Californian Space Research station, where a rocket probe is in the final stages of launch to explore Alpha Centauri. Black feigns an accident to gain entry and, with the aide of a Mysteron agent on the base, gets aboard the rocket. They are spotted too late, and the rockets lifts off - new destination, Mars! As Black tells Scarlet he will soon be back under Mysteron control, Spectrum are alerted, and the World Space Patrol send XL Interceptors in pursuit. White gives the order to destroy the rocket, and the XL crews retrieve Scarlet's body from the debris. But before their astonished eyes, the Mysterons reconstuct the rocket for Black to escape in, and find Scarlet is still alive.

Hue Goes There?:
Lieutenants Peach and Purple are the pilots for Cloudbase.

Reprinted:
TV2000 - issues 18 to 26/1968
TV Action & Countdown issues 63 to 70 (omitting part 7, and editing part 8 - see notes)
Action 21
issues 1 to 7
Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons
issues 1 to 7
Captain Scarlet 1: Indestructible by Ravette Books

Notes:
Merchandise
A brief recap of how Captain Scarlet became indestructible appears in part 2.
Doctor Fawn claims Scarlet is able to fully recover from from the air smash in four hours.
For this first story, artist Ron Embleton draws Captain Black, and the Mysteronised people and objects, with a greenish hue.
Even though it is Rhapsody who is shot down, the recaps for parts 2 and 3 refer to Harmony.
Like Supercar, Cloudbase apparently has 'Clear-View' - mentioned as it enters clouds in part 3.
Huh? In part 7, time seems to jump dramatically. It is night when Scarlet revives in the fire, but as the native chief judges the two men 'moments later... ' it is day.
In part 8, Captain Magenta exclaims 'By the Rock of Cashel!' - this is actually a spectacular archeological castle site in Tipperary, Ireland.
Unlike any other series, Captain Scarlet is linked to other Anderson series in its first strip, with both the WASPs and the World Space Patrol featured.
Elements of this first story would be adapted into a Japanese Captain Scarlet strip in 1968.
Elements of this story - the gassing of Cloudbase and it being sent into a dive - would also be used in the strip Crash Course in the ©1969 Thunderbirds & Captain Scarlet annual.
The TV Action reprints were from the original artwork, showing more clarity and colour than some of the TV Century 21 printing, and removing the text overlay from the opening frames. However, to fit the different page format, the top frames were moved up and the Captain Scarlet logo enlarged, with new introductory captions filling the space on the left of the new layout.
The artwork for part 5 is still know to exist (right), and was sold on eBay in December 2004 for the astonishingly low price of £123. The artwork is now in two pieces, suggesting it was cut and separated for the TV Action reprints. It is also missing the introductory caption overlay.
Part 7 was omitted from the TV Action reprint, possibly because the artwork was either damaged, missing (see Story Two notes also) or censored for the scenes showing Scarlet unharmed in fire. The latter seems more likely as a late decision was taken - the 'next week' caption for part 6 refers to the missing instalment - and it would have seemed an odd decision to reprint the story if incomplete.
Merchandise
The opening frames of part 8 of the TV Action reprint are edited so the story carries on in an (almost) seamless way. Captain Black is either masked (by enlarged prints of the crabs) or painted out (frames 3, 4, 6 and 7), giving the impression the crabs are the ritual funeral. The rewritten dialogue also identifies the Angel who lands as Symphony, whereas her appearance and original comment "Pah... " would suggest it was actually Destiny.


Story Two (aka We Will Destroy The Observatory Network)
Writer: Angus P. Allan.
Artist: Ron Embleton. Colour centrespread.

Part 1 - Issue 150, dateline 02 December 1967
Front Page:
Mysterons Strike First - No warning attack on Spectrum defences
"The next part of our revenge for your attack on our Martian city will be the destruction of the Earth Observatory Network!"
A chain of observatories around the world keep constant watch on Mars, the home planet of the Mysterons. At Mount Kilimanjaro in East Africa, taking a break from their work, Doctor Balatta and Professor Morris climb to the snowline for exercise. Morris' line breaks and he is killed in the fall, to be recreated by the Mysterons, who now make their threat. Spectrum Captains are despatched to protect the observatories, and Scarlet is assigned Kilimanjaro. But when he collects a Spectrum helicopter from Port Mombasa, unaware that Black is already there, the craft explodes as it flies over the country...

Part 2 - Issue 151, dateline 09 December 1967
Scarlet ejects but is too low for the parachute to open, and crashes to the plains in his seat. He recovers within minutes, scaring off curious lions with his pistol, and reports to Cloudbase. A Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle is despatched from Mombasa to pick him up but Black, disguised as an Arab trader, ambushes and steals it. Mysteron agents from each observatory report in, with Mount Aconcagua needing more time, but the Mysterons want to destroy each - and theSpectrum agents sent to guard them - simultaneously and wait. Scarlet sees the SPV approaching and flags it down, unaware Black is driving and aiming to run him down...

Part 3 - Issue 152, dateline 16 December 1967
Front Page:
Where is Scarlet? - Our Only Hope
Scarlet throws himself out of the way just in time, as Black turns to try again. The roar of the SPV engines stampede a herd of elephants, and Black leaves Scarlet in their path. Scarlet survives, hurling himself to the ground, and manages to ride one of the elephants on to the observatory. But Black has already arrived and persuaded the security guards he is the Spectrum agent sent to protect it. When the guards see Scarlet, they believe him an imposter and, with no time to lose, he hurls himself at the electric fence...

Part 4 - Issue 153, dateline 23 December 1967
Front Page:
Black Escapes - Gun Battle at Kilimanjaro Observatory
The guards are stunned when Scarlet bursts through the fence and recovers to keep going. In the observatory, Black is instructing Morris but orders him to traverse the telescope now when Scarlet appears. As it turns towards 160 degrees and detonation, Scarlet and Black fight. The guards shoot Morris, and Scarlet stops the telescope but Black escapes in the SPV. Their plan disrupted, the Mysterons are defeated, and combined Spectrum forces converge on Kenya to catch Captain Black alive. But Harmony is too quick to fire, and missiles home in on the SPV...

Part 5 - Issue 154, dateline 30 December 1967
Front Page:
Scarlet Traps Black - Major Spectrum Effort to net Mysteron Agent
The blast overturns the SPV, and Harmony reports him leaving the vehicle unharmed. Spactrum forces close in on foot to capture him but Black has a thruster pack and gets past Captain Magenta and Destiny Angel. Alerted by their cries, Scarlet and the others converge but Black destroys the Angels planes and SPJs, giving him a clean escape route.

Hue Goes There?:
Lieutenant Tan is killed by Captain Black to obtain the SPV.

Reprinted:
TV2000 - issues 27 to 31/1968
TV Action & Countdown issue 78 to 82 (see Notes).
Action 21
issues 8 to 10 (Parts 1-3 only)
Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons
issues 7 to 10.
Captain Scarlet 1: Indestructible by Ravette Books

Notes:
Part 1 features an ambiguous scene where the Mombasa Spectrum agent (referred to as Chief Pantula on the cover of issue 152) is thinking he should have tried to warn Scarlet, as Captain Black is there. Is Pantula a Mysteron or not? If not, even if threatened with death, could he have not found a way? But if he is, does this imply Mysteronised subjects may still possess an independent, if helpless, will of their own?
The cliffhanger to part 3 shows Scarlet throwing himself at a 50,000 volt electric fence, yet he survives. Even though the series itself never makes it entirely clear electricity would be as fatal to Scarlet as a Mysteron, this implies it is not.
The final part of this story would see the end of the centrespread strips, and even though Thunderbirds replaced Captain Scarlet when it moved to the front cover, it remained as two separate drawn pages.
The photo of the dead Kilimanjaro officers on the cover of issue 150 is from the episode 'Avalanche', as is the photo of the SPV for issue 153.
TV21 issue 153 is also the only issue to break from the future history reporting to wish A Merry Christmas To All Our Readers on the cover.
Merchandise
The final part of this story has the dubious distinction of being redrawn not once but twice! Issue 31 of TV2000 (above), dated 3 August 1968, was the first to adopt a more American comic format, and this instalment was redrawn (possibly by uncredited Italian artist Romano Felmang, who later redrew Thunderbirds and Lady Penelope in the same way) as line drawings, expanded to three pages and coloured inaccurately by flat overlays - both Scarlet and Black are in blue uniforms, Destiny is in red, as is the SPV. This was promoted by a quite atmospheric cover of Captain Black beside a wrecked Angel plane, by artist Mario Caria.
Merchandise
For the TV Action reprint, the original artwork of part 5 was found to be missing from the Fleetway archive, and was entirely redrawn by Martin Asbury (above) from a photocopy of the original TV21 pages obtained from the British Library. This may explain the delay between the appearance of this story and the first. Asbury followed Ron Embleton's original layout frame by frame, with only superficial differences owing to his own unique style.


Story Three (aka We Will Destroy Earth's Communications)
Writer: Angus P. Allan. Artist: Ron Embleton.
Colour cover, 2 pages b/w, 1 page colour.
Colourist (1990s): Mike Noble.

Part 1 - Issue 155, dateline 06 January 1968 (Scarlet Edition)
"We shall make Earth a planet of silence."
Colonel White personally supervises the launch of a rocket carrying two specialists, to repair a breakdown on Satellite 4, blacking out communications with Spectrum's Australian agents. But Professor Gallan is a Mysteron, and he shorts out the satellite, killing his assistant in the process. The Mysterons latest threat seems unusual, and Lieutentant Green traces it to the satellite. Launching the Angels to investigate, Green shuts down Cloudbase communications as a precaution. The two Angels are hit by ultrasonic waves and are forced out of control. Colonel White returns to Cloudbase, and chides Scarlet and Green for making a panic judgement and reopens all channels. A powerful ultrasonic signal blasts the base, shattering all ports, deafening all aboard and sucking all the oxygen out as the craft starts to wheel out of control...

Part 2 - Issue 156, dateline 13 January 1968 (Blue Edition)
Grabbing oxygen masks, White and Green distribute more while Scarlet gets to the wheelhouse. Regaining control, he throws Cloudbase into a climb to 140,000 feet. In the ionosphere, radio waves are blanked out, and a frozen silence descends on the base. It seems the Mysterons plan to use ultrasonics on the whole of Earth, and a way must be found to destroy Satellite 4.
Merchandise
Missiles are radio controlled and vunerable, so Scarlet - wearing earplugs and a space-suit - volunteers to take a lone Angel Interceptor. Approaching the satellite, the plane is blasted by ultrasonics but Scarlet ejects and uses a thruster pack to gain entry. Gallan is shot dead, but the Mysterons control the satellite and plunge it back into the atmosphere, with Scarlet still on board...

Part 3 - Issue 157, dateline 20 January 1968 (Purple Edition)
Scarlet has no option but to throw himself out and make the long fall himself, as the satellite burns up and explodes. Falling into the Mediterrean, Scarlet's body is found by a luxury yacht owned by Kremer. Returning to Monte Carlo, Kremer is met by Captain Black, who claims his organisation want to keep the death a secret. Paying him to allow Scarlet's body to be buried at sea, the 'corpse' is hoisted in a lead coffin, but disaster strikes when the chains snap and the weight smashes the yacht's reactor. Scarlet revives on the seabed and finds a floating Kremer, and the two swim ashore. The threat is over - now Scarlet has to find a way to let Cloudbase know without radio communication.

Reprinted:
TV2000 - issues 44 to 45/1968 as Captain Scarlet ontsnapt uit lijkkist (Escape from the Coffin)
TV Action & Countdown Holiday Special as A Mysteron Funeral (b/w edited)
Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons
issues 7 to 10 as Communications Threat.
Captain Scarlet 2: Spectrum Is Green by Ravette Books
Captain Scarlet Collector's Edition No.3 (edited) as Satellite 4.

Notes:
With the start of this story, from issue 155, TV Century 21 underwent a major change, becoming just TV21.
Captain Scarlet, while still keeping artist Ron Embleton for this story, moved to the front four pages of the comic. The front and fourth page were in colour, while the second and third pages were in black and white. The strip would retain this format until issue 180.
Each part of this strip simply has the title Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons.
The first of the 1990 Captain Scarlet reprints to require colouring, this was done to a much higher standard than consequent strips, with the artist repainting some parts and adding detail. Even though Mike Noble apparently has no recollection of recolouring any of his own work, it is believed he was responsible for this, hence his credit in the Captain Scarlet: Spectrum Is Green graphic compilation.


Story Four (aka Secret Mission)
Writer: Angus P. Allan. Artist: Mike Noble.
Colour cover, 2 pages b/w, 1 page colour.
Colourist (1990s): Unknown.

Part 1 - Issue 158, dateline 27 January 1968 (Orange Edition)
Secret Mission
"Our next act of retaliation will be to assassinate the Bereznik President!"
Captain Scarlet finds himself on an off-duty mission to help old friend Professor Loot and his daughter escape Bereznik. But as they approach snow-laden forest border, they are seen and chased by ski-patrols. Scarlet gives them cover as they near the World Government post, and is shot down. Troops rescue him, and find he is a Spectrum officer, which gets him in serious trouble. World Government troops and Bereznik army divisions are now locked in violent conflict on the border, and the World President wants Scarlet court-martialed and dismissed. Then the Mysterons make their threat, but the Bereznik President refuses Spectrum help in the light of Scarlet's actions - they will be shot on sight if they enter the state. Both Colonel White and Scarlet realise the Berezniks will not stop the Mysterons, and Scarlet is sent to assist. Alone, he crosses the war torn border, unaware he is being watched by Captain Black...

Part 2 - Issue 159, dateline 03 February 1968 (Ochre Edition)
Black Tricks Scarlet!
A World Government post is hit by a lone shell, and Captain Black leads the Mysterons created from the death of the troops. Colonel White informs Scarlet of the action, and he believes the troops will be used to kill the President. Hi-jacking a Bereznik transport, Scarlet enters Katania, the capital of Bereznik, and makes his way to Army Headquarters. From an alley way opposite, he shouts a warning as the Mysteron troops try to kill the President as he leaves. There is a short pitched battle, and the Mysterons are defeated, but Scarlet is shot by Bereznik guards following the President's orders. Wounded, Scarlet needs time to heal and escapes into a deserted house to collapse unconscious, only to be found by Captain Black...

Part 3 - Issue 160, dateline 10 February 1968 (Green Edition)
Captain Scarlet Shot! Bereznik Bullets Find Their Mark!
Black places plastic explosive in Scarlet's cap and fixes the detonator to the peak microphone. By the time Bereznik troops find him the Mysteron agent has gone, and a healed Scarlet is brought before the President. Scarlet tries to state his case but the President takes his cap to communicate with Cloudbase. The explosives are detonated and Scarlet is among the few survivors. The President is dead, and the military leaders declare open war. As missiles, ships and tanks move into position, Scarlet demands to see the generals privately, and tells them they will be fighting a hopeless battle as Spectrum men are indestructible. The generals laugh but Scarlet demands to be executed - for in one hour he will be fighting fit again. He is shot dead anyway, and as the army moves to final positions, Scarlet revives in hospital. Confronting the shocked generals, he is able to sue for peace. But Scarlet was used to assassinate the President, and for that he now wants revenge on the Mysterons.
Merchandise
Reprinted:
TV2000 - issues 49 to 50/1968 as Scarlet voorkomt oorlog (War Incident)
The New Thunderbirds issues 79 to 81.

Notes:
This website's candidate for the best Captain Scarlet strip ever.
Bereznik, the long standing TV21 enemy of the World Government, makes its debut in a Captain Scarlet strip.
Interestingly Bereznik, usually seen as a future cold war substitute for Russia, has a border with West Germany, implying it may also cover Poland and East Germany.
This strip may also feature, thankfully unseen, the most gruesome assassination ever. As the Bereznik President himself uses Scarlet's cap, it is implied his head is blown off.
Captain Scarlet claims here to be able to recover from being executed to full fitness in one hour.
A superb, specially shot photo of Captain Black standing over a wounded Captain Scarlet (left) is used for the cover of issue 160. However, it is cropped to only show Scarlet, and would first be seen in full on the back of the ©1969 TV21 annual.
A portrait of Captain Black from the same shoot also appears on the cover of issue 159.
This story would mark the debut of Mike Noble on the strip. He recalls that when initially commissioned to work on Captain Scarlet, the intent was to do four colour pages (presumably front, two pages inside and possibly back). However, this would have doubled his workload from his previous strip (Zero X), as well as taking twice as long, and the second and third pages stayed black and white.


Story Five (aka Blue Mysteronised!)
Writer: Unknown. Artist: Mike Noble.
Colour cover, 2 pages b/w, 1 page colour.
Colourist (1990s): Unknown.

Part 1 - Issue 161, dateline 17 February 1968 (Blue Edition)
Blue Mysteronised!
"We will destroy the European Controller! We shall close the narrow seas!"
Scarlet is waiting on the Thames Embankment for Captain Blue, when the latter's Spectrum Saloon Car is hit by a driver truck and plummets into the river. Scarlet dives in as a launch arrives, but only brings a lifeless body to the surface. Blue is dead, but another Captain Blue stands on the river bed and receives his instructions from the Mysterons. Scarlet is teamed up with Captain Magenta to protect the European Controller, General Le Gallion, and detects a Mysteron agent who they pursie to the Eiffel Tower. Unknown to them, Captain Blue has been met by Captain Black and brought a Spectrum helicopter to meet the Mysteron at the Tower's summit. Scarlet clings to the lift bottom as the agent ascends to the top, only to encounter Blue and be shot with an electrode rifle...

Part 2 - Issue 162, dateline 24 February 1968 (Black Edition)
Scarlet Deathfall. Have The Mysterons Won?
Merchandise
Scarlet plummets to the ground, and is found - still alive - by Captain Magenta. As the Mysterons threaten to close the narrow seas, White reveals to a shocked Lieutenant Green that Blue is alive. Using a dummy body and an oxygen capsule, Scarlet and Blue successfully deceived the Mysterons. Blue used a low charge when shooting Scarlet, to win Black's trust, and reports in, only to be discovered by other Mysteron agents. Spectrum officers led by Scarlet arrive at the scene quickly, and the battle is brief. But Black has gone and Blue reveals the European Controller is due to travel by motorcade through the Channel Tunnel at 1600 hours two targets for the price of one! Scarlet takes an SPV into the tunnel in pursuit but Black has already blown charges, and the sea rushes in. Scarlet arrives in time to reach the Controller, but then the Mysterons reiterate their threat. Can it be the Tunnel is not the 'narrow seas' target... ?

Part 3 - Issue 163, dateline 02 March 1968 (Scarlet Edition)
Channel Tunnel Destroyed!
Merchandise
Scarlet strives to get the Controller to the surface but fails and is picked up by Blue in a helcopter. He puzzles over other 'narrow seas', until Blue realises that if the Bearing Straits were blocked, it would cut off ocean currents and affect the North pole, causing the ice cap to spread. Black is already organising the theft of a fluid which will freeze the seas, from a World Government Base at Uelen, and it is loaded into an air transporter. Scarlet and Blue arrive too late, but an Angel strike at the plane would cause it to crash into the sea with the same effect. Taking the Spectrum Passenger Jet, Scarlet waits until the transporter opens its rear-loading door to drop the cannisters and rams the plane into its cargo hold, driving it into the land and the truck of Mysteron agents.

Hue Goes There?:
The coloured 1993 reprint shows a purple, and another reddish, uniformed officer assisting in the shootout in part 2.

Reprinted:
TV2000 - issues 51/1968 to 01/1969 as De Mysterons Misleid! (The Mysterons Misled)
Century 21 issue 2.
Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons issues 4 to 6.

Notes:
While communication between Mysterons was always shown as thought bubbles in the strip, this is the first story to confirm that a form of telepathy is indeed used. It can apparently be picked up by humans if directed at them, but Mysterons cannot read human minds.
The cover of TV21 issue 162 (left), depicting Scarlet falling, was often used in 1990s merchandising material, possibly as it was similar to the fall from the Car-Vu in the first episode 'The Mysterons'.
TV21 issue 162 is also the first issue not to have a photo on the cover.


Story Six (aka White Missing!)
Writer: Unknown. Artist: Mike Noble.
Colour cover, 2 pages b/w, 1 page colour.
Colourist (1990s): Unknown.

Part 1 - Issue 164, dateline 09 March 1968 (Magenta Edition)
White Missing! Mysterons Threaten Mars
"We will destroy your foothold on our planet!"
At a secret workshop headquarters of International Engineering, Beneath the Arizona desert, Chief Technician Cardell is killed when an Angel engine over-runs and explodes in the testing area. Cardell is resurrected as a Mysteron and locks himself in the power plant, increasing the mass to critical. Cloudbase is alerted, and Captain Scarlet - who is in the area - arrives in minutes. With the plant evacuated, Scarlet uses one of the Angel plands as a ram to smash the plant door. Killing Cardell with an electrode gun, Scarlet shuts the plant down but has to enter extensive decontamination for the radiation. Colonel White has been called to a conference with the World President but plans to stop at the the workshop en route. But as he flies a Spectrum helicopter there, he notices a WA.AF air freighter behaving strangely and investigates. He is only able to get a brief message out as a grab suddenly appears from the cargo hold and hauls his craft inside! The Mysterons make their threat as Green receives the mayday, and Blue believes the events are connected. Meanwhile, in the freighter, White confronts three armed men and, believing them to be Mysterons, contemplates suicide with his electrode gun, rather than fall into their hands...

Part 2 - Issue 165, dateline 16 March 1968 (Black Edition)
Red Alert! Where Is The World President?
Merchandise
The men rush White, who fights them off as another arrives. White recognises him as General Whitway, who arranged the 'mid-air rendezvous' and has the World President aboard. Whitway plans to strike first at the Mysterons before they can attack Kahra - mankind's colony on Mars. The President and Colonel White consider it madness, but Whitway is on a mission and cuts off all communication, making a parachute jump with his men to Glenn Field. White smashes the plane's conference room window, warning Scarlet and Ochre who are investigating in an SPJ. The Angels force the freighter to land at Glenn Field, and the President finds Whitway - using forged documents - has already left with his forces for Mars. Scarlet and Ochre follow, only to find Whitway's forces massacred - and resurrected - by the Mysterons, to destroy Kahra...

Part 3 - Issue 166, dateline 23 March 1968 (Scarlet Edition)
Mysteron Victory!
Merchandise
Scarlet realises Whitway's Mysteronised army have only one route back to Kahra, through Frazer Gorge in the Rock Snake Mountains. Using rocket warheads for explosives, Scarlet and Ochre jury-rig a detonator in an attempt to collapse the gorge on top of the army as it passes through. A rock snke appears, and the men are forced to fight it, leaving the detonator circuits unchecked as Whitway's vehicles enter the gorge. The remote firing fails, and Scarlet rushes forward to fire it by hand. Unable to give covering fire as the rockets have no warheads, Ochre watches as Scarlet fights his way through gunfire and fires the detonator. Whitway's arm are crushed under tons of rock and destroyed, but Scarlet is also caught in the rock fall. Ochre manages to find him, still alive, and both hope this will convince others force is not the answer to the Mysterons.

Reprinted:
TV2000 - issues 47 to 48/1968 as Kolonel White Spoorloos! (Colonel White - Without A Trace!)
Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons issues 7 to 9 as Martian Menace.

Notes:
With this story, TV21 attempts to draw Captain Scarlet deeper into its own mythology by introducing Kahra, the colony city of mankind on Mars, which had been introduced originally in Agent 21. And it is not entirely unsuccessful, though it does raise the question of how much of the red planet is explored, and why the Mysterons were not discovered earlier. (See Zero X)
Scarlet and Ochre use a 'space patrol craft' which is blatantly an XL class design (left) to reach Mars.
There's a nice subtle touch as Whitway's forces appear to line up on the same ridge from which Captain Black launched his first fateful attack in 'The Mysterons'.
The Mysteron complex appears to have formidable weaponry too.
Scarlet and Ochre use an MEV, though one of a quite different design to the Zero X version.
Ochre makes reference to the Mysterons not striking the same target twice.
TV21 issue 166 does not feature a photo on the cover.
The recolouring on the black and white pages, for the 1990s reprints is of a higher and different standard than most of the others - slick and colourful, almost airbrush style in execution.


Story Seven (aka World Power Plant Explosion!)
Writer: Unknown. Artist: Keith Watson.
Colour cover, 2 pages b/w, 1 page colour.
Colourist (1990s): Unknown.

Part 1 - Issue 167, dateline 30 March 1968 (Orange Edition)
World Power Plant Explosion!
"We will strike at the seat of power"
The World Oil Company's heavily secured refinery in Iran is patrolled by robots and surrounded by sophisticated warning systems, but this does not stop Captain Black from entering and destroying it with explosives. The Mysterons make their threat, and Colonel White believes the World President is the target. Scarlet disagrees, as the Mysterons don't strike the same target twice, and believes they mean power in another sense. Scarlet is sent to Yellowstone, Montana, to covertly protect a conference of world fuel experts being shown the Uranium mine workings. Once in the mine, a Mysteron agent detonates the shaft, and Scarlet is the only survivor. If the shaft is reopened, the rescuers will find Mysterons, and Scarlet braves a bear and a perilous climb to the surface. Out of uniform and without his pass, scarlet is unable to convince the work gang to stop and resorts to sabotage. Angered, the workmen form a lynch mob...

Part 2 - Issue 168, dateline 06 April 1968 (Blue Edition)
Scarlet Stops Rescue
Captain Blue arrives in a Spectrum helicopter and rescues Scarlet, who is now believed. But the crisis is worsening, as there is a world fuel shortage through sabotage. Fortunately the major power stations arun on solar energy, but the Mysterons are aware of this and order Captain Black to to seed the atmosphere with ionisation crystals. As the sky darkens under cloud layers, investigating Angels are forced to turn back as radio dies and instrumentation goes haywire. The World President arrives, and Cloudbase is ordered to land, its reserve fuel supplies taken for military use to preserve law and order in the face of possible anarchy. Scarlet has the idea of seeding the clouds with dry ice, which should disperse them in a huge thunderstorm. Seconding military vehicles by force, Scarlet leads a team of officers and Angels to obtain dry ice from a chemical works, and then on to Hendon Air Museum, to use old Second World War planes to seed the clouds...

Part 3 - Issue 169, dateline 13 April 1968 (Green Edition)
Spitfire Mysteronised
Merchandise
Blue is incredulous, as the perfect condition planes can fly but not the height required. Scarlet thinks they can, as the clouds will have picked up moisture and be no higher than 20,000 feet. With Blue leading the flight, and Scarlet as tail man, the unusual fleet of planes take to the air with their cargo. But Black is watching, and destroys a Spitfire to become a Mysteron weapon. Scarlet spots it but too late to help Harmony, forced to bail out of her Wellington bomber. He rams his Mosquito into the Spitfire, allowing the others to complete the mission. Scarlet parachutes back to Hendon, where Black tries to run him down. But a powerful lightning strike knocks them apart, heralding the storm which disperses the clouds. As Scarlet recovers, the returning Spectrum officers find Black has escaped, and a rainbow marks a sign that another Mysteron threat has come to nothing.

Reprinted:
TV2000 - issues 02 to 04/1969
Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons issues 10 to 12 as Seat Of Power.


Notes:
TV21 issue 169 does not feature a photo on the cover.
The New Captain Scarlet episode 'Circles of Doom' features a similar premise, of electrical power being stopped, and old World War II planes being used to destroy the source of the Mysteron threat.


Story Eight
Writer: Angus P. Allan. Artist: Don Harley.
Colour cover, 2 pages b/w, 1 page colour.
Colourist (1990s): Unknown.

Part 1 - Issue 170, dateline 20 April 1968 (Orange Edition)
"The Indian continent will be starved to death!"
The people of Ambala, Northern India, are living under the threat of famine, caused by huge colonies of ants. The decision is taken to bomb the ant-hills, but when pilot Ram Khan lands to check his work he finds the ant-hills intact. The Mysterons have resurrected the ants as weapons, and in mere moments Khan is overcome by the swarm and devoured. The Mysteron threat leads Captains Scarlet and Blue, along with Lieutenant Green, to India. The villagers are fleeing the advancing ants, seeming controlled by Captain Black, which are consuming all in their path. The only effective weapons are the electrode guns, so Scarlet, Blue and Green don fire-fighting suits and take three SPVs to confront the ants. The electrode weapons stop the advance but as the men spread out, watched from a distance by Black, Green is overcome by the swarm...

Part 2 - Issue 171, dateline 27 April 1968 (Green Edition)
Death For Green!
Scarlet and Blue are unable to use the electrode guns for fear of hitting Green, so use jet-packs to overfly and pull him clear. As the ants continue their advance, Green is taken to hospital, but destroying all the ants seems impossible. Scarlet has a plan, and requests Cloudbase to be evacuated as a trap - with himself as bait. The massive carrier is landed north of Ambala, and Captain Black orders the ants to overwhelm it. Watching from the wheelhouse, Scarlet waits until all the ants are aboard - but so is Black, and the two men fight it out on the flight deck. Scarlet finally wins, throwing Black off Cloudbase and taking up to 80,000 feet, freezing the ants. Over the Antarctic wastes, Scarlet banks Cloudbase, tipping the ants to a frozen end.

Merchandise

Hue Goes There?:
Captain Buff is a Spectrum officer based in India.

Reprinted:
TV2000 - issues 41/1968 as Scarlet Bestrijdt Gemysteroniseerde Mieren (Scarlet Fights Mysteronised Ants)
Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons issues 13 to 14 as Ant Attack!

Notes:
The first part of this strip simply has the title Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons.
The 'captain' in Captain Buff is in slightly different lettering, as if a late change to the rank or title was made.
Oops! The colourist for the 1994 reprint gives Lieutenant Green a magenta uniform for his first appearance.
The New Captain Scarlet series features an episode with a similar premise, 'Swarm', but with Mysteronised 'cyberbugs'.


Story Nine (aka Blue For Firing Squad!)
Writer: Scott Goodall. Artist: Mike Noble.
Colour cover, 2 pages b/w, 1 page colour.
Colourist (1990s): Unknown.

Part 1 - Issue 172, dateline 04 May 1968 (Black Edition)
Blue For Firing Squad! No Trial For Spectrum Captain
"An indestructible army will be sent against you!"
In the Cloudbase firing range, Blue faces Captains Scarlet, Ochre and Magenta and, as they fire under the watch of Colonel White and Doctor Fawn, he switches a device on his belt. Blue is completely unharmed, thanks to a force-field belt devised by Professor Vian, which Fawn helped to develop. The doctor wants to report the findings immediately and takes the belt to Vian's island laboratory in the South Pacific. But Fawn is clubbed unconscious, for Captain Black has already Mysteronised Vian and his team - the belts will make Mysteron agents impervious to electrode weapons. The Mysterons make their threat, and the continued silence from Fawn brings an obvious conclusion. Scarlet and Blue are sent in an SPJ with an Angel escort to investigate and come under missile attack. But as the Angels regroup to knock out the defences, Vian activates a force-field around the island, which Destiny Angel flies into...

Part 2 - Issue 173, dateline 11 May 1968 (Magenta Edition)
Destiny Crash Dive!
Issue 229
Destiny ejects safely, but Scarlet realises the impervious shield means any further attack is useless. Harmony picks up Destiny, and they return to Cloudbase, while Doctor Fawn coerced into assisting the Mysteron Vian into creating more belts. Scarlet devises an attack plan on the island, and soon two Spectrum helicopters land on the sea two miles south of it. In scuba gear, Scarlet leads a team under the force-field into a cave which runs close to the laboratory, and start cutting through with lasers. Meanwhile, Fawn sabotages the first new belt but before Black can kill him, Scarlet's team arrives. In the gun battle, Black escapes and Vian makes off with the belt in a plane. Scarlet clings on to the wing, and manages to get to Vian and switch the belt off, just as Destiny Angel fires missiles. Scarlet survives, but the plane, Vian and the belt are destroyed - as is the secret of how to make them.

Hue Goes There?:
It is never made clear which other two Captains go with Scarlet and Blue on the underwater mission, but the colourist for the 1994 reprint makes one uniform Ochre, and another Magenta. However, Black knocks out a Spectrum officer in purple.

Reprinted:
TV2000 - issues 07 to 08/1969 as Mysterons Onkwetsbaar (Invunerable Mysterons)
The New Thunderbirds issues 68 to 69 as Codename: Indestructible Army.

Notes:
TV21 issue 173 does not feature a photo on the cover.
Oops! The colourist for the 1994 reprint colours Doctor Fawn, taking the belt off Captain Blue, as Captain Scarlet. And also colours Captain Magenta, holding the only rifle, as Captain Ochre, in the same frame left).


Story Ten
Writer: Unknown. Artist: Mike Noble.
Colour cover, 2 pages b/w, 1 page colour.
Colourist (1990s): Unknown.

Part 1 - Issue 174, dateline 18 May 1968 (Scarlet Edition)
"We shall destroy the World Security Council in session!"
A Maximum Security Vehicle races across the Nevada desert, driven by Captain Scarlet. The vehicle withstands plane strikes and a minefield, and draws up to impressed World Army officers. With the World Security Council in session in San Francisco, discussing the tremendous expense of maintaining Spectrum, Scarlet has been assigned there in the MSV. A tech squad gives the vehicle a final check but unknown to them the Mysterons replace a faulty steering link themselves. As Scarlet drives over Sierra Nevada, they control the steering and the MSV plummets 400 feet over a cliff, watched by Captain Black. Two hunters find the intact MSV, and the unconscious Scarlet, but as Black watches he revives with no memory of who he is! Rather than kill him, Black convinces Scarlet he is his field commander, and they have an important mission - to destroy the enemies of their organisation in San Francisco...

Part 2 - Issue 175, dateline 25 May 1968 (Black Edition)
Scarlet With Black? Spectrum Test-Vehicle Mystery
Issue 229
Scarlet and Black continue the journey to San Francisco in the MSV. Black destroys the radio, claiming only the two of them are loyal to Spectrum while the rest are traitors. The Mysterons make their threat, and at the World Security Council Building, Blue draws an obvious and terrible conclusion when contact with the MSV is cut dead. A Spectrum Saloon Car is smashed when a road block is attempted, and combined SPV and Angel attacks fail to even slow the MSV. Blue takes another MSV, and rams it into the rogue vehicle as it closes. Both plunge into the Bay, and Black ejects, leaving Scarlet stunned as water floods in, resoring his lost memory. He sees Blue trapped and gets him to the surface, but Black has eluded them again. And none of the council members should object to Spectrum costs now they have seen what they are up against!

Hue Goes There?:
The colourist for the 1994 reprint gives Magenta a fellow officer in a reddish uniform.

Reprinted:
TV2000 - issue 19/1969
The New Thunderbirds issues 73 to 74 as San Francisco Incident.

Notes:
The first part of this strip simply has the title Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons.
Only seen in the episode 'The Mysterons', here we see the reputedly indestructible Maximum Security Vehicle living up to the claim, though a couple had already been seen in action in the ©1967 Captain Scarlet annual.
Mike Noble's depiction of the MSV suggest the doors either slide open, or recede into the vehicle itself, rather than opening gull-wing style.
The MSV is shown to have an ejection system.
The New Captain Scarlet episode 'Trap For A Rhino' features a similar idea, with a Spectrum Falcon Fighter and Hummingbird Helicopter attempting to stop a near unstoppable Rhino Attack Vehicle ramming a nuclear power station.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Issue 229

The strip itself would be handled by a rotation of artists. First was Ron Embleton, who oversaw the initial 17 issues and brought a colourful realism to the stories. Embleton was also responsible for the end title paintings for the series itself, and some frames of the strip echo the flavour of these. TV21 regular Mike Noble - transferred off Zero X - took over, and gave the stories and characters some much need dynamism that the new correctly proportioned puppets of the series lacked. The extra pages required each week also meant the odd story were drawn by ex-Dan Dare artists Keith Watson, who had already contributed a few strips to the ©1967 Captain Scarlet annual, and Don Harley.

Like previous TV 21 strips, Captain Scarlet prided itself on pushing the boundaries of the format of the series on which it was based. The Mysteron achilles heel of electricity, the use of practical electrode weapons, and Scarlet's 'sixth sense', were used more frequently and consistently. Editor Alan Fennell is reputed to have found the idea of an indestructible hero boring, as there was no jeopardy, and possibly briefed writers to use these dramatic devices to their fullest. Added to this, and never considered in the series itself, are the attempts by Captain Black to either remove Scarlet as a continuing hinderance to Mysteron plans, or bring him back under their control. Conversely, it is made clear in a few stories Spectrum would like to capture Black alive, and somehow free him from the power of the Mysterons. Throughout, Black himself remains in his Spectrum uniform, which is an interesting decision. The series implies he prefers a covert existence, but TV21 makes him bolder, and he is able on occasions to convince non-security personnel he is still an active member of Spectrum. It is also stated that there may be many Mysteron agents on Earth at any given time, whereas in the series they were only created as a specific threat to a chosen target.

Some stories are inspired - Secret Mission weaves the series into the TV21 history as Scarlet is used by the Mysterons to assassinate the Bereznik President, but it is his indestructible nature which prevents the impending war as he convinces the military all Spectrum officers are like him. Scarlet's vow of a personal, as opposed to a professional and military, agenda against the Mysterons as a result of this promise more for the character, but sadly does not seem to be followed up. However, Scarlet's conflict with the Mysterons does seem personified against Captain Black in future instalments, though this is probably as much for dramatic reasons than continuity. White Missing (aka Martian Menace) has a similar premise to the episode 'Avalanche' with a mass attack on the Mysteron complex to rid Earth of the threat for once and for all. Likewise, Blue Mysteronised, seems developed from 'Treble Cross', with Captain Blue successfully passed off as a Mysteron agent. Bluff and counterbluff make this a standout story too, and twin targets give for a bittersweet victory as Spectrum save one but lose another. Opposed to the usually optimistic endings of other strips, even in the face of massive odds, the Captain Scarlet strip starts out more incredibly dark than its television counterpart. The thought of Colonel White contemplating suicide with an electrode gun, rather than risk becoming a Mysteron, gives an idea of the tone of these early stories, one that would not be matched again until UFO.

Unfortunately, the standards showed signs of slipping rather quickly into more fanciful tales, such as Spectrum being forced to use mothballed World War 2 planes in the story Seat Of Power. The premise of Ant Attack is interesting, but the story is let down by a somewhat unbelievable solution. Conversely, the premise of an amnesiac Scarlet under Black's command in San Francisco Incident seems a little contrived, but is worth it for Mike Noble's art depicted combined Spectrum forces trying to stop the rogue MSV. One has to ponder if this was another sign of changed editorship and direction for TV21, and whether the perceived decline would continue. Certainly, scant weeks after Captain Scarlet took the front page as a strip, the size of TV21 was reduced slightly. After such an incredible start to this new era, it almost seemed as if TV21 was starting to burn itself out...

- - - - - - - - - - - -

On to Part Two of this series.

- - - - - - - - - - - -


The Gerry Anderson Complete Comic History would like to thank:
Chris Dale
Ronald Kroon
Mike Noble
Roger Perry
Kim Stevens
and Steven Taylor
- for their help with this feature.

Version 1.4 - 01.09.05


Any comments or notes about any of the strips, please contact technodelic@blueyonder.co.uk.

All text © The Gerry Anderson Complete Comic History, and its respective writers, and may not be reproduced without permission.
All images © their respective copyright holders



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