Publisher: Fleetway Publications

Format: Monthly anthology

First Issue: Revolver #1 (July 1990)

Last Issue: Revolver #7 (January 1991)

Annuals and Specials: Revolver Horror Special, Revolver Romance Special

Absorbed: None

Absorbed into: None officially, but two stories transferred to Crisis.

Strips: 51 Stars, All Around the World, Circular Motion, The Crossing, Dare, Did I? Did I? Did I? Did I In My Own Self Shine?, Dire Streets, God's Little Acre, The Greatest, Happenstance & Kismet, Martello 117, Nine Inches to the Mile, Pinhead Nation, Plug into Jesus, Purple Days, Rogan Gosh, The Secret Garden, Waltz, Zen & the Art of Shopping

Comments: Touted as a 2000 A.D. spin-off despite having little to do with its "parent" title other than lip service and some overlapping creators, Revolver was short-lived attempt by Fleetway Publications to produce a comic aimed to appeal to a more mature audience, similar to the successful Deadline. It's title was meant to reflect that it would contain diverse and revolving content, and to be fair to the magazine, it did achieve that. Looking at that content with the benefit of a few decades of hindsight my personal suspicions are that one of the reasons it failed to find an audience is that said content was trying just a tad too hard to be edgy, experimental or surreal. An anthology title can afford to have a few stories that are like that, but not the majority, or at least not unless they are also very engaging, and that simply (in my humble opinion) wasn't the case for Revolver.   

   Revolver had six ongoing stories (though to call Pinhead Nation's episodes stories might be a stretch), and a bundle of one-off tales. Arguably the headliner, given it got the front cover of #1, was Grant Morrison's political and very different take on Dan Dare; when a story about a spaceman writen by Grant "The Invisibles/Doom Patrol" Morrison is the most down-to-Earth, least surreal story in your comic, you might be aiming the weirdness factor a little too high.

   Revolver only lasted seven issues, plus two specials - a Horror Special released near Halloween 1990, and a Romance Special released after the regular series ended - both of which carried only new one-off tales. With only one installment left to go, Dare transferred to Crisis#56 to conclude his storyline, and humour strip Happenstance & Kismet also transferred there, enjoying a slightly longer run in its new home, lasting from Crisis#56-61.

Purple Days by Charles Shaar Murray and Floyd Hughes was a biographical strip inspired by the life of musician Jimmy Hendrix. It continued through all seven issues of Revolver, with the final episode noting it was the "End of Book One." However, as far as I know, Book Two never saw publication anywhere else.

Dare by Grant Morrison and Rian Hughes was a new spin on the classic British hero Dan Dare that saw him retired and disillusioned, only to be lured back into the limelight by a corrupt government. Clearly meant to be an indictment of Margaret Thatcher's government, it ran through all seven issues of Revolver, with the concluding segment appearing in Crisis#56.

Pinhead Nation by Shaky Kane appeared in Revolver#1-6, and the cover of #7. It featured the bizarre ruminations of a pinheaded man who would talk directly to the reader (or an unseen visitor) about his life. We never learned his name.

Happenstance and Kismet by Paul Neary and Steve Parkhouse was a humorous tale about the misadventures of two very disparate new acquaintances who find themselves in ever more absurd and incredible circumstances. Easily one of Revolver's best strips, it ran in all seven issues, before transferring to Crisis for a further six episodes.

Rogan Gosh by Pete Milligan and Brendan McCarthy was a psychedelic trip into the the world of the titular Karmanaut, and ran in Revolver#1-6. The story was later gathered into a one-shot by Vertigo Comics.

Dire Streets by Julie Hollings appeared in Revolver#1-3 and 5-6, and featured a group of twenty-something college (or university) flatmates. Why anyone thought it was a good strip for the magazine is beyond me - to give you an idea of the type of tales it recounted, the story in #1 revolved round the group's most promiscuous member learning she might have an STD and covered her going to get tested and having to call round all her recent conquests to inform them she might have infected them.

Nine Inches to the Mile by Phil Winslade and Igor Goldkind was a one-off strip that discussed the nature of reality being really only based on individual perception. It ran in Revolver#1.

God's Little Acre by Ian Edginton and D'Israeli in Revolver#2 showed a celestial workman delivering the latest version of life to God.

Waltz by Ian Salmon and Glenn Fabry appeared in Revolver#3, and told the tale of an elderly man remembering his life with his wife as he dies in his bed.

Plug into Jesus by Gary Pleece and Warren Pleece appeared in Revolver#4. It depicted how the life of a man who bought a gas station Jesus figurine had his life initially improved and then ended by its influence.

The Crossing by Al Davison appeared in Revolver#4 recounted an old Buddhist parable.

Circular Motion by Simon Harrison appeared in Revolver#5 depicted the philosophical argument between two old men, with a humorous strip. Inconsequential, but one of the better and funnier one-shots.

The Greatest by Peter Cooper appeared in Revolver#5 - no need for me to summarise this one, as the entire strip can be seen to the right. I can't call it a bad strip, if only because it barely counts as one.

Martello 117 by Keith Page appeared in Revolver#6 told the tale of Martian invaders who decided to disguise themselves as cult television personalities...such as Muffin the Mule.

The Secret Garden by Aidan Potts and Terry Hooper appeared in Revolver#7. An inoffensive and inconsequential story about a Nun who has a secret crush on a hunky gardener so she buys him a Valentine Days card which she gives him anonymously. Seriously, that's all that happens.

51 Stars by Ed Hillyer appeared in Revolver#7. I struggle to describe the story because nothing really happens - we follow a man called John around on a boring day where he goes to the supermarket, the pub, buys a takeaway, gets drunk at home, throws up and passes out. Seriously, that's the whole tale.

Zen & the Art of Shopping by Tony Allen and Shanti appeared in Revolver#7. A man decides he needs new braces, so he goes to the shops, finds some, then argues with the manager over the ethics of the packaging until he utterly confuses the manager, and the man seizes the opportunity to get out the shop without paying. Another strip where you finish wondering why anyone would be interested in the story.

Did I? Did I? Did I? Did I In My Own Self Shine? by Brendan McCarthy appeared in Revolver#7. Two pages consisting of four psychedelic panels where nothing actually happens.

All Around the World by Si Spencer and Sean Phillips appeared in Revolver#7. An old man has built models of world attractions; his wife thinks they've wasted their lives, so he burns it all down. An inconsequential tale, but the art is decent and at least there actually is a story, which puts it head and shoulders above the other one-shot fillers in the final issue of Revolver.

   The Revolver specials were full of one-shot tales, some good, many not so much. I may get around to listing them eventually.

Revolver should not be confused with:

First Posted: Circa 13/09/2019
Last updated: 09/06/2023

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