Friday, 18 November 2011

Background Detail: Black Ops Extreme

Black Ops Extreme - 'A Piece of the Action' - art by Nick Dyer
I just love it when an artist throws in something into the background of a comic strip that sparks ideas for future stories.

Case in point is this panel from a special flashback episode of Black Ops Extreme for Issue 3, drawn by Nick Dyer (stepping in for one issue, with PJ Holden still working hard on the main tale). BOX Commander Trask is at a mystery location - clearly before the events of Issue 1! - waiting for an uncomfortable debrief.

My script just asked for a Harrier jump jet to be on the airfield outside but Nick, one of our Strip Challenge winners, dropped in an old FRS1 Sea Harrier - which deputy editor Jeremy Briggs tells me is a Fighter/Reconnaisance/Strike Mark 1.

In Navy parlance "strike" means nuclear strike as they could carry WE177 free-fall nuclear bombs.

While the Harriers scrapped by the government in the Defence Review - now being bought by the US - aren't the same model, it seems a casual script suggestion has echoes in the real world. Someone clearly bought this FRS1 - but what for?  Its nuclear capability?

So now I'm thinking -- how can I get this into the main story at some point?  Thanks, Nick. (and Jeremy for the background).

Two Royal Navy British Aerospace Sea Harrier FRS.1 from 800
Naval Air Squadron, assigned to the aircraft carrier
HMS Illustrious, approach the flight deck of the U.S. Navy
aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69). via Wikipedia
The last Royal Navy FRS1 flew in the mid-1990s although the Indian Navy still have them. The Royal Navy FRS1 survivors were upgraded to FA2 standard with a thimble nose with the Blue Vixen radar rather than the pointed nose with the Blue Fox in the art above.

The Labour government scrapped the FA2s in 2006 which was when we lost the ability to retake the Falklands unaided because Sea Harriers were proper fighters while Harriers were only ground attack aircraft.


  1. Ooh, Nick Dyer. Cool to see him in Strip as he's a great artist.

    Matt Badham

  2. Excellent! Nick and I did a 2000AD story a couple of years ago and I think he's a fab artist. Looking forward to it!


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