Issues 1-7: 1990
Aimed at an older audience than the 2000 AD readership, this 52pp monthly unfortunately also positioned itself as a rival to Crisis. Within a year, they were both cancelled. Revolver, though, is the more accomplished of the two: running five regular long-form strips when Crisis (even when it matched page count and publishing schedule) was only managing one or two series alongside a lot of one-offs.
Given the obvious crossover between the readership of the stable of 2000 AD, Crisis and Revolver and despite the aim for an older, perhaps more cultured readership - ultimately Revolver perhaps flew too high. Whatever the reasons: it unfortunately only kept its head above water for seven issues (and some specials that didn't contain any of the core strips).
For a readership growing up in the 70s and 80s, aiming Revolver at a 60s audience (the title referencing the Beatles, a biography of Hendrix, another relaunch of the 50's hero Dan Dare) seemed like an odd choice unless the creators were writing more for themselves than the generation coming up.
As for the Revolver 60s thing, I don't think it was written for people who actually remembered much about the 60s. It's just that 60s nostalgia was the in thing at the time. We were all watching the Woodstock video and wishing we'd been around 25 years ago, and the Baggy scene was very much riffing on the psychedelic end of the Beatles stuff. People were wearing Jim Morrison t-shirts, and Pete Milligan was going full Haight-Ashbury over at Shade The Changing Man, the only Vertigo comic I read at the time.
A surreal biography of Jimi Hendrix, which tells much of the story from the perspective of a native american dream time.
This has a conclusion of sorts but says "End of Book One", and it's the last issue of the magazine, so...
Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future
Taking a leaf out of The Dark Knight Returns playbook, this moves us forward in time to an aged, long-retired Dare who needs a cane to walk. Unlike the magic that turns the aging Bruce Wayne into an invincible granite-man, this tale (for all its rocket ships) is more grounded in reality, and exposes a dark conspiracy at the heart of government.
Continues in Crisis #56...
A surreal two-page Shaky Kane feature about a man with a very small head.
Happenstance & Kismet
A shaggy dog comedy relying on clever wordplay and alien hijinks to achieve its goals and, in that regard, seemingly influenced by the work of Douglas Adams. Three characters bump along encountering various outlandish situations. It's like Rentaghost meets Jeeves and Wooster, sort of.
Continues in Crisis #56...
Turn your surreality bafflers up to eleven! Rudyard Kipling goes to visit the karmanaut Rogan Gosh, in order to have his bad karma absorbed, but it's not really Kipling: it's the Soma Swami (the Lord of Lies), whose bad karma is so extensive that it turns Rogan to stone and attracts the ire of Kali, the dark destroyer. Then it gets weird.
Quite difficult to follow (but deliberately so), this also brings in at least four other key characters (a waiter, a patron and two lovers) and explores rich themes of love, desire, sexuality, ego and reality. It veers from sumptuous rainbows of detailed panels to splash pages filled with stream of consciousness prose, and so makes itself difficult to digest.
Like a UK Friends, this is the story of the many residents of a student flat-share, and their social hijinks.
[The one-off slot(s)]
- Nine Inches to the Mile - one of those "perception's just an illusion" things that sounds clever but doesn't really tell us anything particularly useful.
- God's Little Acre - a really interesting early tale from Ian Edginton (writer) and D'Israeli (artist). A space scavenger finds a can of New Improved Life and briefly considers selling it to get rich, but his conscience gets the better of him and he returns it to its rightful owner.
- Waltz - a grieving widower dances with the spirit of his dead wife in a touching poem to love with beautiful art from Glenn Fabry.
- Plug Into Jesus - a mans sees profit in the commercialization of Jesus, but ultimately reaps what he sows.
- The Crossing - as it says on the tin, "a traditional tale of the dangers of dogmatic thinking", in the style of "Confucius say...".
- The Secret Garden - a nun fancies a gardener.
- 51 Stars - US culture's influence on UK culture frustrates an English patriot.
- Zen and the Art of Shopping - a shopper finds an overabundance of packaging frustrating.
- All Around the World - a family is destroyed by a father's obsession with miniatures. (Be warned!)
by Rian Hughes
by Brendan McCarthy
by Floyd Hughes