Originally published in Progs 52 – 61

Cover date: 18th February, 1978 – 22nd April, 1978

Colony Earth is a geniunely old school slice of 2000AD, yet one which also deals with a modern day global issue. The strip itself at times both looks and feels more like something from that other great bastion of British comics, Commando. This is no bad thing however, as a child I read Commando rather than 2000AD and so the military style of the story coupled with the black and white art felt somewhat familiar upon reading.

The story itself is actually a fairly interesting one. A fishing boat and their crew come across a deactivated robot whilst out at sea, and not suprisingly this robot turns out to be extra terrestrial in origin. The military soon get involved, eventually reactivating the robot which quickly begins killing everything in sight. The killer robot is just the start of their problems however, as the robots creators soon arrive in force to attempt to take control of the Earth. Whilst in many respects Colony Earth is a bit of pulp fiction, there are several interesting ideas in the background. Firstly the invading aliens (who for some reason look like garden gnomes) have previously occupied the planet back in the ice age. This harkens back to the ancient astronaut theory which has been previously used to (somewhat more subtle) effect by the likes of H.P. Lovecraft. Also of interest is the aliens plan to re take the Earth via climate change. Back in the 70’s when Colony Earth was first published, we were only just becoming aware of the effect man kind is having on the planet, so in that respect Colony Earth really was ahead of its time.

For all the interesting ideas on show however, it is very clearly a product of the early days of 2000AD. Characters talk to themselves for no particular reason other than to inform the reader of what is meant to be happening. There are also some real Deus Ex Machina’s on display, particular the robot itself, which when used by the Humans against the Aliens seems to single handedly destroy their entire invasion force. However when reading anything from 2000AD’s early days, you really have to ignore these plot contrivances as the comic was very much aimed at children back then, and I imagine as a child I would have found this story pretty exciting. So if you ever feel like dusting off the back issues and enjoying a classic 2000AD strip, you could do a lot worse than taking a look at Colony Earth.

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