Released at the end of October 2022 in celebration of the show’s 60th anniversary, this 330-page hardback volume will collect every Fireball XL5 comic strip from the pages of TV Century 21 (latterly TV21) in one place for the very first time. Although Fireball XL5 first appeared in comic form in the pages of TV Comic from 1963 to 1964, it was in the pages of TV Century 21 that the show’s format took on new dimensions of drama and excitement, and (unlike the television series) in glorious full colour from 1965 to 1967. Several artists worked to bring the strip to life but by far the most famous of these was the late Mike Noble, whose spectacular artwork lent a dynamic energy to the majority of Fireball XL5’s TV Century 21 adventures – making it only fitting that a specially commissioned piece of Mike’s XL5 art graces the front cover of the new collection.
Readers will join the Fireball XL5 crew as they encounter giant animals, hordes of zombie snowmen, the vengeful plans of Piil and Truen, time travel, the hijacking of the Electrode 909 – and most famously the threat of interplanetary war following the assassination of the Astran Kaplan! This storyline was one of TV Century 21’s earliest attempts to create a shared universe between the Anderson shows it featured, with both Lady Penelope and the cast of Stingray lending a hand in solving the mystery – and the Fireball XL5 60th Anniversary Comic Anthology has naturally retained these guest appearances too!
Taking inspiration from the shared universe idea that was an integral part of TV21, the collection also boasts some brand new content! Inspired by his own love of Fireball XL5 and the work of Mike Noble, artist Lee Sullivan has been working hard to create a brand-new adventure that brings together the crew of Fireball XL5 with other familiar faces from the Supermarionation universe! More details are still to come (including a pre-order date), but until then Lee lets us in on a few of his thoughts on the project and memories of the series in the video below!