Ron Turner's Space Ace volume 4 turned up today and it's another great issue. Where the previous edition had featured several short stories, this one contains a long 24 page strip plus an 8 page back up.
The longer story, The Island Universe, was originally a six part serial in Lone Star comic in 1954 and was Turner's first Space Ace story. For this collection, John Ridgway has carefully edited out the title banners and recap captions of each episode so the story flows better as one uninterrupted strip. John has also colourised the strip and re-lettered it. A controversial move perhaps, as hardcore Turner fans might prefer to see the strips exactly as they were originally presented as black and white chapters. On the other hand, the colouring is excellent, so I can see the argument for both sides really.
The back up strip is The Raiders from Space, which originally appeared in Lone Star Volume 3 No.1 in 1957. The first short Space Ace story.
The stories are good standard SF tales typical of the period. The sort of yarn where our heroes think the obliteration of an entire alien "heathen" planet is justified because some of its inhabitants pose a deadly threat to Earth. "They asked for it!" says Ace. I suppose we're expected to believe the whole alien species was evil, but to modern eyes it's a bit like destroying the Earth because of Nazis. Of course it's all just lighthearted fun really and we're not expected to think too deeply about it. The selling point of the book is the artwork and light entertainment.
Publisher John Lawrence tells me that although copies of the original editions of Space Ace and Lone Star frequently turn up on eBay, the copies that feature The Island Earth are very rare. Therefore I'm sure this modern edition will be very collectible!
This beautifully produced edition also includes a two page interview with Ron Turner about the story within, plus a three page letters section. It really is a must-buy for fans of Ron Turner's work and of classic UK comics.
Ron Turner's Space Ace Vol.4 is available for £8.95 (UK) or £14.00 (overseas) including postage via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org or cheque or postal order to John Lawrence, 39 Carterweys, Dunstable, Beds. LU5 4RB.