Star Tigers (2)

Goofs: Mercurius is spelt Mercurious on the first page only.

Continuity: Daak's two recruits to his crew are Harma, an Ice Warrior, and Vol Mercurius, a human, both old acquaintances of Daak's. Harma is an old friend who is working as a contracted executioner on Paradise, killing anyone who pays for the privilege; his code of honour won't let him break his contract, and his contract means that he has to kill anyone who enters his booth, including Daak. Daak solves both of these problems by carrying him out and taking him aboard the Kill-Wagon. Vol Mercurius is living on the planet Dispater, which he owns, when Daak finds him, in an ancient stone tower the origins of which have been lost to history. Mercurius employs an unspecified number of guards to defend Dispater from invaders. He plays para-chess with Klikbrain, a gangly humanoid robot with a head that makes a regular ticking noise, which Mercurius programmed with his own knowledge and reasoning power in order to create the "perfect intellectual companion". He, Daak and Selene (Ablsom Daak, Dalek Killer) were business partners who together defrauded pan-galactic shippers of four billion; Mercurius took the money and ran off with Selene. In revenge, Daak chopped his left hand off. Mercurius now has an artificial hand; he hasn't seen Selene in years. Daak tells him that he either joins the crew, or he'll kill him rather than leave him for the Daleks. A forlorn Klikbrain is switched off by Mercurius when he leaves, via a switch that forms one of its ears. Mecurius is familiar with Draconian ships, having hijacked several. Mercurius once teamed up with a four-tentacled Rigellian with three mouths.

Daak describes the planet Paradise as the "finest fun-house in the galaxy", offering any service at all that its customers can pay for. Clients can pay to be killed, or pay to kill somebody else. At least one of the policemen on Paradise is a weird alien with a domed head featuring a mouth and several eyes, and a body shaped like an inverted cone, with tentacles at the base and another frill of tentacles at the base of the head. Vorkelites are the most customers to pay for execution, which they "get a kick out of".

The Daleks invade Dispater. Dalek Space-Commando Units have enclosed single-occupant hoverbout-type vehicles with transparent domes. The Units in orbit around Dispater hide inside fake meteor shells. Daak and his crew wipe out the Dalek force on Dispater, by dropping nuclear charges into a volcano, causing it to erupt and destroying everything in the vicinity, including the Dalek force.

The mirror-card represents the unexpected in para-chess.

Links: The strip follows on directly from the end of the previous Star Tigers, with Daak and Salander looking for a crew. Daak, Salander, Harma and Mercurius next appear in the main Doctor Who comic strip, in DEM">Nemesis of the Daleks. In the interim, they and Klikbrain appear in the text story Between the Wars: A Slow Night in Paradise, written for the Abslom Daak - Dalek Killer graphic novel and set between Star Tigers and Nemesis of the Daleks. The Ice Warriors appeared in the television stories The Ice Warriors, The Seeds of Doom, The Curse of Peladon, and [TV]The Monster of Peladon. They've also appeared in several Doctor Who novels, including Mission to Magnus, Legacy, GodEngine and The Dying Days. They previously appeared in the back-up strip Deathworld.

Location: Paradise and Dispater, the twenty-sixth century.

The Bottom Line: The second Star Tigers strip sees Daak adding Harma and Mercurius to his crew, setting things up for further adventures as they continue their battle with the Daleks. Rather annoyingly, their next comic strip appearance sees everyone but Daak seemingly killed off at the start, which is something of a waste, although Paul Cornell would later get more mileage out of the crew by resurrecting them (sort of) for Emperor of the Daleks. Nevertheless, this is a great strip, Moore creating a bickering, dysfunctional and downright untrustworthy group of characters to pit against the Daleks. Lloyd's art is, as usual, excellent, and the panoramic views of Dispater are especially impressive.

Discontinuity Guide by Paul Clarke

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