On this day, 27 May 1978: Starlord
Starlord has a secret to reveal in this, the third issue of his comic for young Star-troopers. Somewhat improbably, the aliens of the universe 'know that Earthmen have the strength of character and in-built qualities of leadership [strong and stable?] which make them the true leaders of the Galaxy!' If that's true, it makes one wonder whether the cosmos is really worth exploring after all. I'd rather stay at home and play with my 'Starblast' write-and-wipe, Battleships-style game card, the third of a superior set of free gifts that accompanied the first three issues of Starlord.
Star-rhetoric aside, this edition is packed with the quality artwork and writing that marked out Starlord as a gem of a comic in 1978, far in advance of the output of 2000AD or any other publication for British kids at that time. Kevin O'Neill's cover is a joy, and readers were blessed with a line-up of creators including Pat Mills, John Wagner, Alan Hebden, Chris Lowder, Azpiri, Dave Gibbons, Carlos Ezquerra, Jesus Redondo and Ian Kennedy. The stories offer a mix of 2000AD-style action-based thrills, humour and violence and some fairly sophisticated (for a comic of this audience and period) ideas such as the telepathy and space opera saga that is Hebden and Redondo's Mind Wars. It's such a shame that Starlord lasted only 22 issues, but its legacy continued as 2000AD grew up over the subsequent years.