The Eagle comic kind of passed me by as a child, as I missed its heyday by some years. I did manage to run into the beautifully painted artwork in annuals etc and actually lived in the same village which gave birth to Eagle comic and Dan Dare, the little run down shed where he was born is still visible today. However, I did manage to witness Dans frequent resurrections in the 1978 comic 2000ad and also in the New Eagle comic in the late 80's. The new Eagle was an abominable collection of photographic story strips, only just rescued by a illustrated Dan Dare section. Eventually, the editors saw the error of their ways and resorted to standard all comic format, albeit fleshing out the comic with reprinted material. Dans frequent rebirth was a regular occurrence as the comic went from super exotic far future Dan to a more traditional, yet hi-tech version. The artistic chores were handled by a multitude of artists, but one man stood head and shoulders above the rest - Ian Kennedy.Kennedys work was almost always full colour and technically brilliant - from an art and design standpoint to a mechanical aesthetic one. Almost all his spacecraft and vehicles had a sleek realism to them and a powerful dynamism reminiscent of Embleton or Noble.
I always enjoyed the protracted space battles between Dan, his current choice of whizz bang spaceship and the Treen hordes commanded by the ever malevolent Mekon.
Kennedy appears to have a technical background in aerospace and has illustrated aircraft in other magazines. One particular foray into Dans history showed WW2 planes and later an English Electric Lightning piggy backed on a Lancaster bomber during a test flight. The same strip also showed a Horten flying wing drawn with remarkable accuracy. All Kennedys spaceships are always unusual such as his 'HIMAT' fighters above and the large battle copter and distinctive green enemy fighters. No matter how ridiculous the story became, it was always a joy to see such splendid artwork.