You weren’t anyone in the 1980s fictional world unless you’d been shot, and Roy Race joined Dallas superstar JR Ewing in the line up. The oil tycoon was shot almost a year earlier, no doubt prompting this late 1981 storyline.

For many, the era covered in Rebellion’s latesr volume (the fifth in the series) is the golden years for the titular striker. Tom Tully and David Sque were old hands by now, and whilst Tully ramped up the tension for Roy and Melchester, Sque’s awesome, clear illustration always shone, even if everyone did have the same ‘Children of the damned’ identikit grin. The action is non stop, as Rovers get relegated and Roy makes a few enemies one by one, ending up with a nice little “Whodunnit” by the end. It ain’t Shakespeare, but I always felt that Shakespeare needed more footer in it anyway.

The only problem I have with this nice, full colour hardback volume is that it reprints the strips featured in the easily avaolable 2008 Titan softcover pictured below (which actually has a few extra pages). Obviously if you don’t have the older one you’re okay, but fans who do be warned you will be getting nothing you haven’t already got. Me? I have both but I’m a sucker for having the hardcover collection, and no doubt I won’t be alone.

As this only covers a smal part of the decade, I hope that we get a second volume of stories not reprinted elsewhere. After that, Mighty Mouse, Hot Shot Hamish and Tommy’s Troubles please.

Worth noting is that David Sque is returning to Roy Of The Rovers in the next volume of the current series of graphic novels, which is fantastic news (for all readers). It’s called “New Digs” and is out in October, but if you haven’t sampled these yet they are a teriffic read, with Rob Williams doing a bang up job reinventinga youthful Roy for the modern era. You can get the first five volumes for twenty five quid on Amazon, so off you go.

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