As Fireball XL5’s 60th anniversary gets nearer, more details have been announced regarding the upcoming comic anthology celebrating the show’s full colour life within the pages of the TV Century 21 comic!
The Fireball XL5 60th Anniversary Comic Anthology is a 336-page hardback volume collecting every Fireball XL5 comic strip story from that legendary publication in one place for the very first time, including stories from the TV21 specials and subsequent XL5 strips from the Countdown comic of the early 1970s. Although several artists contributed to the comic, including Graham Coton, Frank Hampson and Don Lawrence, the most famous was the legendary Mike Noble (also responsible for the artwork on many Captain Scarlet, Zero-X and Space:1999 comic adventures), and appropriately a previously unpublished piece of XL5 artwork adorns the cover of this beautiful book…in which readers can join the Fireball XL5 crew as they encounter giant animals, hordes of zombie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!
Although the Supermarionation shows never crossed over on television, it was a different story within the pages of TV21 and the Fireball XL5 60th Anniversary Comic Anthology features the famous Astran Assassination storyline that started in the Fireball XL5 strip before dovetailing into the Stingray and Lady Penelope strips. Those ‘guest appearances’ are featured in this book, but as well as collecting all of the original Fireball XL5 strips the story also includes seventeen pages of brand-new linking material written and produced by artist Lee Sullivan.
Scattered throughout the collection, this new material fits neatly between the original TV21 stories, but expands upon the crossover idea by incorporating characters and vehicles from Thunderbirds, Stingray and Captain Scarlet into the Fireball XL5 universe. Although the new story is very much an XL5 one, you can expect substantial appearances from the members of International Rescue, Spectrum and the W.A.S.P.s alongside the World Space Patrol team in this new linking story – with occasional friction between the four organisations leading to catastrophic consequences!
The Fireball XL5 60th Anniversary Comic Anthology will be available from the Official Gerry Anderson Store in two versions; the standard (£39.99) and a limited edition (£49.99) of 250 numbered copies signed by artist Lee Sullivan and Jamie Anderson, along with a (matching) numbered print of Fireball Junior created and signed by Lee. (Don’t worry; the book itself is exactly the same whether you choose the standard or limited edition!)
The Fireball XL5 60th Anniversary Comic Anthology goes live for pre-order at 6.30 pm UK time on Tuesday October 18th 2022, and (postal service permitting) UK pre-orders can expect delivery in time for the 60th anniversary of Fireball XL5 on October 28th – making it a real boss anniversary!
Lee Sullivan recently joined Jamie Anderson for another discussion video regarding the new material readers can expect from the collection, which you can watch below.