Sunday, 4 October 2015
Charlton Highlight: Doomsday + 1 (1975/76)
Doomsday +1 (Charlton Comics)
Joe Gill (w) John Byrne (a)
One of the forgotten gems published by Charlton back in the seventies was their post apocalyptic story Doomsday + 1. This tells the tale of three astronauts who whilst in space watch the Earth die as a deposed dictator uses nuclear weapons to blow up Moscow and New York thereby causing World War Three and the end of mankind.
Led by Captain Boyd Ellis, the trio also included Jill Malden and Ikei Yashida two scientists who returned to Earth to find almost total devastation. They initially land in Greenland where they find a Woolly Mammoth frozen in the ice that suddenly comes to life and their lives are endangered until they are saved by another figure from the distant past, Kuno. He's a giant of a caveman.
The four then set off on an adventure to discover what is left of the world.
The reason this series is of a higher standard than some of Charlton's other fare is down to an excellent script by Joe Gill and the first professional work of John Byrne who will go on to be famous as he recreated the X-Men with Chris Claremont for Marvel.
They fight a Soviet based robot army, save the world from aliens, escape from another dimension and meet two undersea races that have hidden from mankind for thousands of years.
They are not the only survivors but this is a very hostile world they find themselves in.
Doomsday +1 lasts for six issues, though the series is revived again with #7 and gets reprinted which may be a bit confusing when trying to track down back issues as a couple of the covers are re-drawn.
There is however one more story that was finally published in Charlton Spotlight #8 (a fanzine) in 2013. This "missing issue" had been intended to be #13 but the title faced cancellation due to low sales.