Stingray Battle Stations (Stingray Comic Albums) - A great comic book of a neat UK television show

Stingray...Battle Stations (Stingray Comic Album # 1) - Alan Fennell

*4.5 Stars*

 

 

Ok, I have to explain how I even came to know Stingray existed. One day my dad took us to a tiny comic book store that seemed to have the craziest stuff I've never seen anywhere else. We bought Star Trek, Star Wars, Marvel, etc. stuff from there; it was amazing. One day, my dad suddenly went...yeah, kid in a comic book shop. We couldn't understand what these comic books were and why they were so special until he explained about the Thunderbirds and Stingray tv shows. He used to watch them when he was a kid and loved them. He bought all the books the store had and we were introduced to what would become one of my favorite fandoms. It would be years before the TV shows came out on DVD, though I did get to see two shows on cable once.

Stingray was the forerunner of the Thunderbirds TV show which was the forerunner of the motion picture. Stingray takes place in the same universe as Thunderbirds later will, with Gordon Tracy suppose to have served in WASP. WASP is the World Aquanaut Security Patrol, a reminder that this is the 'future' where most of the world is combined.

 

*The Gush*


The comic is a great way to introduce someone to the series. These are, if I remember correctly, based on actual episodes and are put together from the images and script from the show. In this comic are three stories.

 

The Ghosts of Station Seventeen:

 

A great little story where three of our main chracters, Troy Tempest (commander of the ship Stingray), Phones (the radio operator on Stingray), and Commander Shore (the local Head of WASP), travel to an old castle that serves as an early warning station but the crew has run away because they say it's haunted. The juxtaposition between the futuristic setting and the age old fear of ghosts is well done and interesting to see how it is resolved.

 

Aquatraz:

 

This seems to be part one of a two parter or a part of one episode as this and the next story are connected. Here you are introduced to the main villain of the series, Titan King of an Underwater Kingdom. Stingray has to try to break out a world leader and WASP officers out of Titan's infamous sea prison of Aquatraz.

 

The Uranium Plant Invasion:

 

The second part or half of what was started in "Aquatraz". Commander Shore is relieved of duty because of events in the previous episode and Troy has to take on his duties. Meanwhile, Titan has taken over an Uranium Plant (remember this is the 'future' a la 1960) and is upgrading his vessels. It's a race to prove Shore's innocence and break Titan's hold on a valuable source.

 

*The Rant*


My major issue has nothing to do with the comic book and more to do with the fact that so much of British television, books, and radio is not available to America. This is changing (BBC America or aka Doctor Who, Harry Potter/Artemis Fowl etc., and podcasts on itunes) but we have to wait until they decide we want to see it rather then give us a chance. The Thunderbirds and Stingray sets were sky high with A&E because there was little market for it BECAUSE THEY HAD NOT BUILT A MARKET FOR IT. I hope this trend with Doctor Who, Sherlock, Harry Potter, and beyond will continue, but I'm not sure when you think of the 'Americanized' Being Human etc.

 

*Conclusion*


Ignoring all my nostalgia and rantings about not having access to cool British stuff, this is a great comic book about a fascinating TV show. Young boys and even some girls (like me) would like this with the action scenes, crazy 'alien' fish people, and cool non-futuristic futuristic tech. Also works as a great intro to decide if you might want to watch the show.