This is the stuff of which my boyhood was made! Spinning out from the pages of British weekly comic Starlord, which was itself a spin-off from 2000AD, Strontium Dog concerns the adventures of Johnny Alpha, a mutant bounty hunter. In the far-flung future of 2180, Alpha and his hirsuit pal Wulf travel from planet to planet eliminating the baddest of bad guys for pay. Bounty-hunting is the only work that mautants are allowed to do, though polite human society shuns them for doing so. Officially referred to as Search/Destroy agents, non-mutants invariably corrupt the SD to “Strontium Dog” after the radioactive element responsible for most of the mutations.

Written by John Wagner and drawn by Carlos Ezquerra, the pair also responsible for giving the world Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog is a thrill-a-minute romp of violence and mayhem. While Wagner used Dredd as a vehicle for social satire, Alpha’s adventures are more straight forward action — though Wagner is never one to shy away from having a little fun in the naming of villains, and is always willing to make a point.

Seriously, when I was 10 years old, this stuff was like Shakespeare. It held me utterly enthralled and fired my imagination. And, you know what? It still holds up well today. While the writing inevitably suffers from having to be crammed into short 6-page chunks for weekly consumption, it’s still a solid romp, and Ezquerra’s art remains astonishing. He’s a true original. Titan are to be congratulated for finally collecting these seminal stories. I, for one, shall certainly be here for the remainder of the series.