Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sensational Strips: Axa

Published by the British daily tabloid The Sun from 1978 to 1986, Axa was a science fiction strip set in the post-apocalyptic Earth year 2080. Written by   Donne Avenell and drawn by Enrique Romero, the feature revolved around a lovely high spirited woman named Axa who having grown tired of her regimented and stifling life in a protected domed city, breaks out to an unknown  wilderness with her boyfriend Jon. There they encounters mutated survivors, strange creatures, robots, aliens and other weird inhabitants in their many adventures together. Though based in science fiction, it seemed more at times like a sword and sorcery barbarian tale as our full-figured heroine ran around in her rag bikini or often to the delight or reader, topless or totally nude. Good-girl artist Romero was the perfect choice to depict the gorgeous Axa for the two thousand two hundred thirty eight dailies of the feature, usually in his three panel format. Unfortunately, no Sunday format was ever introduced, though it would have been interesting to see what Romero could have done on a larger scale based on his few comic stories. Upon its sudden cancellation in the middle of a storyline, the artist returned to draw his previous series Modesty Blaise, though I believe Axa was a better fit for his artistic talents. Axa later appeared in full color in the Spanish magazine Creepy in the mid-eighties for eight issues and had a short two book run for the American comic company Eclipse, though not with all the nudity that was a staple for the British strip. Reprinted in its entirety by Ken Pierce books in a trade paperback, the lovely black and white strip has found a new audience and appreciation over the years since its demise.

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