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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dan Dare (Pilot of the Future)/Elton John

Through Sunday, Classics Rock! is featuring songs based on comic books in honor of Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2), taking place April 16-18. 

Elton John's Dan Dare (Pilot Of The Future), from his 1975 album Rock of the Westies, is about "the most successful comic character in the history of publishing in the United Kingdom," according to the official Dan Dare website. Dare is described as "a cool, suave, sophisticated man with a lively satirical wit.  A brilliant pilot and true adventurer, ruthlessly dedicated to his profession."  Created by illustrator Frank Hampson, Dan Dare first appeared in 1950 in the very first issue of the weekly British comic publication the Eagle and quickly became its flagship character.  Dan has no superpowers but he is a highly skilled pilot and space navigator, exceptionally daring and resourceful.  He spends most of his time dealing with extraterrestrial threats, notably his arch-nemesis The Mekon, one-time leader of the Treen, a lizard-like race of aliens from Venus. He's our flying ace, pilot of the future/In an endless space, holy cow Elton sings in admiration, but there's a sense that he's over Dan and ready to move on: So long captain Dan/I fail to see what motivates your hands/Goodbye restless night/You know I loved Dan Dare, but I couldn't make his flight.  In the song's concluding lines, Elton reveals where his real sympathies lie:  Dan Dare doesn't know it/Doesn't know it/Doesn't know it/But I like The Mekon.  An abridged version of the song served as the closing theme of a 2002 Dan Dare television series.

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