History ComicBook / StrontiumDog

4th Nov '17 10:37:00 AM CynicalBastardo
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* HeroicSacrifice


* HeroicSacrificeHeroicSacrifice: Johnny opens a portal using BloodMagic to get Feral and several other mutants home at the end of ''The Final Solution''.

* {{Mutants}}


* {{Mutants}}{{Mutants}}: Come in a variety of types, both with powers and simple cosmetic mutations.
10th Oct '17 9:57:28 PM Fireblood
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It is the late 22nd century. After a nuclear war, many of the survivors were contaminated by Strontium-90 fallout, leading to widespread mutations. Mutants face intense social discrimination, are forced into their own ghettos, and the only occupation available to them is bounty hunting on behalf of the government. Officially these hunters are as Search/Destroy (or SD) Agents, but they are commonly referred to as [[FunWithAcronyms Strontium Dogs]] from the source of their mutations.


It is the late 22nd century. After a nuclear war, many of the survivors were contaminated by Strontium-90 fallout, leading to widespread mutations. Mutants face intense social discrimination, are forced into their own ghettos, and the only occupation available to them is bounty hunting on behalf of the government. Officially these hunters are known as Search/Destroy (or SD) Agents, but they are commonly referred to as [[FunWithAcronyms Strontium Dogs]] from the source of their mutations.
2nd Sep '17 12:44:39 PM StFan
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Added DiffLines:


It is the late 22nd century. After a nuclear war, many of the survivors were contaminated by Strontium-90 fallout, leading to widespread mutations. Mutants face intense social discrimination, are forced into their own ghettos, and the only occupation available to them is bounty hunting on behalf of the government. Officially these hunters are as Search/Destroy (or SD) Agents, but they are commonly referred to as [[FunWithAcronyms Strontium Dogs]] from the source of their mutations.

''Strontium Dog'' follows the career of the most famous and successful of these bounty hunters, Johnny Alpha, so called because he can emit "alpha waves" from his eyes. Johnny travels the world with his "norm" sidekick Wulf, a Norse viking, bringing in criminals in exchange for money and having varied and often surreal adventures across space and time.

''Strontium Dog'' was created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra, the creative team responsible for ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'', and initially published in the short-lived sci-fi AnthologyComic ''Starlord'' in 1978. When that mag folded, ''Strontium Dog'' moved to ''ComicBook/TwoThousandAD'', where it has been ever since. Shortly after the move, Wagner brought on Alan Grant as a co-writer; Grant would quickly become the writer most associated with the comic.

In 1990, Johnny was killed off in a HeroicSacrifice to save mutants, over Ezquerra's objections. The series was then spun off into ''Strontium Dogs'' which followed a group of supporting characters led by Johnny's friend, Feral, which was cancelled in 1996. Johnny himself would make a few more appearances in both ''Strontium Dogs'' and ''Judge Dredd'' due to TimeTravel. In the a later arc, Johnny is resurrected by a group of necromancers, and Feral and Gronk must journey to their planet to rescue him. Unfortunately, he ends up dying again.

In 1999, a TV series based on ''Strontium Dog'' and ''Outlaw'' was proposed. This ultimately never materialised, but Wagner took the {{pilot}}'s plot and started writing a new series of ''Strontium Dog'' stories. This revived series took the view that the classic stories were legends told about Johnny's life, with the new series presented as what 'really happened'. As such, the stories were considerably more down-to-Earth, and a number of old plot points were taken in significantly different routes.

However, after the initial reboot, the series returned to the original {{canon}}, this time telling stories that occurred [[{{Prequel}} before Johnny's death]]. Most recently, in June 2010, a story entitled "The Life and Death of Johnny Alpha" appeared. This is set after Johnny's death, and seems to be about to {{retcon}} the end of "The Final Solution".

!!''Strontium Dog'' provides examples of:

* AbnormalAmmo: Johnny's variable cartridge blaster can fire a variety of different ammunition for any given situation. Given that this is the same creative team that gave us ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'', this should come as no surprise.
* AbsentAliens: Although there are plenty in Strontium Dog, the spinoff series Durham Red doesn't mention them. The first tie-in novel says that [[{{TheFederation}} The Pan Species Accord]] wiped out every alien species it encountered.
* AdaptationDistillation: The Creator/BigFinish-produced audio plays take the wacky hijinks of the series and run with them, while still managing to stay true to the basic themes of the story.
* AfterTheEnd: There was a nuclear war in the past.
* TheAlcoholic: Middenface [=McNulty=]. Given [[ViolentGlaswegian his nature]], this is hardly surprising.
* AloneWithPrisonerPloy: Johnny's "norm" sister Ruth uses her status as Minister Kreelman's daughter to get alone in a cell with Johnny under pretense of berating a mutant who tried to oppose her father, as Alpha's true identity is a secret. She gives her brother the gun he needs to escape.
* AmbiguouslyHuman: It's hard to tell if some characters are mutants or aliens.
* ArchnemesisDad: Johnny Alpha's father Nelson Kreelman is a racist politician who abused and ultimately locked his own son up for his mutation, and leads a [[ANaziByAnyOtherName Nazi-like anti-mutant movement]].
* AwesomeMcCoolname: Wulf Sternhammer
* BadassBeard: Wulf.
* BadassNormal: Wulf. Middenface could probably qualify too, since he is only cosmetically mutated.
* BeautyEqualsGoodness: {{Averted}} - there is zero correlation between appearance and personality.
* BeautyIsNeverTarnished: Durham Red is the only prominent female mutant, and looks [[http://www.internationalhero.co.uk/d/durham.htm like this]].
* BittersweetEnding: "Traitor to his kind". The neo-Kreeler Minister of the Interior is ignominously sacked, and replaced with a staunch pro-mutant. The ban on mutants holding other jobs than bounty hunting and leaving the ghettoes are partially lifted, and a 100 million credit stimulus package to jumpstart the ghettoes' economy is put together. King Clarkie, already a mutant sympathiser, has his eyes re-opened to the plight of the mutants and his grip on the throne solidified. In return, the mutant community ostracises Johnny for collaborating with the government, Johnny is forced to let the son of one of his old allies die, and the mutant liberation movement in Wales is all but destroyed.
** ''The Final Solution'' could be seen as a darker version. While the mutants get back to Earth and the New Church is destroyed, Johnny sacrifices his life and the Doghouse is destroyed in the process.
* BoisterousBruiser: Wulf Sternhammer, a Viking sent 2,000 years forward in time who, despite being a norm, works as a strontium dog because he likes Johnny.
* BountyHunter: The main characters. It's the only legal employment mutants are allowed to have.
* CallingYourAttacks: Johnny has a habit of doing this with his weapons. It's possible that they're voice activated.
* CanonDiscontinuity: ''Strontium Dogs'', the sequel strips sans-Johnny are no longer considered to have occurred, especially the later strips by Peter Hogan. The ''Durham Red'' far future stories can be considered this too, especially seeing as new stories are being set in the regular timeline of the main strip.
* CasualInterstellarTravel: Johnny doesn't own a spaceship but can usually get chartered flights to whatever planet he needs to go to, these flights never seem to take longer than a few days. The Gronk once travelled millions of light years from Blas to Alzir in four days.
* CoolStarship: The Shadow. The ship that Johnny uses to defeat the Wolrogs is the fastest in the galaxy.
* CollectorOfTheStrange: The Collector, [[ShapedLikeItself natch]].
* CombatPragmatist: Johnny has no problem using teleporters to beam himself out of the firing line, electroknux to give his punches more [[IncrediblyLamePun punch]], his powers to manipulate someone into dropping their weapon or time displacement equipment to send an enemy into the cold vacuum of space.
* ContinuityReboot: The new series. Sort of. The old strips are treated as "The Legend" and the new ones as "The Truth". While some of the old strips are treated as canon, others aren't. Bizarrely enough, most of ''The Final Solution'' is treated as canon (except for the more gruesome aspects of [[spoiler: Johnny's death]]).
* ContinuitySnarl: As a result of crossovers, ''Strontium Dog'' officially takes place about 50 years after ''Judge Dredd''. However, both Britain and Ireland in ''Judge Dredd'' are largely covered with Mega-Cities, while in ''Strontium Dog'', they more closely resemble the modern day.
** Note, the stories take place not only after ''Dredd'' but also after a nuclear war sometime around 2150 which has yet to happen in Judge Dredd's timeline where it is currently 2138. Mega-Cities in Britain and Ireland could, possibly, have been compromised in such an incident. Only time will tell. One ''Dredd'' story dealt with a document known as "File Alpha" and Mega City One's efforts to keep the information about the 2150 nuclear war from Brit Cit.
** Not to mention that the ''Strontium Dog'' relaunch, as mentioned above, portrayed the original stories as legends, while the ''Durham Red'' series is based on that continuity.
** Considering that there are new ''Durham Red'' stories out now, the stories set in the far future are probably CanonDiscontinuity now.
*** [[WordOfGod An interview with Alan Grant and Carlos Esquerra]] states that there will be no more far future stories.
** ''Strontium Dogs'' is probably out too.
* CrapsackWorld: While the world of ''Strontium Dog'' isn't nearly as grimdark as the likes of ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'' or ''ComicBook/{{Shakara}}'', it's still deeply unpleasant. Unlike ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'', which was often [[BlackComedy darkly humourous]], ''Strontium Dog'' never [[PlayedForLaughs plays anything for laughs]].
* CreatorCameo: Fly-Eyes Wagner in "Journey into Hell" was named after the story arc's writer and series co-creator John Wagner.
* {{Crossover}}: There have been several crossovers with ''Judge Dredd'' over the years.
* DittoAliens: The Gronk's species all look the same and are each referred to as The Gronk. One issue lampshades this when The Gronk is vacationing on his home planet and Johnny sends him a letter. The postgronk says he has a letter for The Gronk and they all put their hands up.
* DropTheHammer: "[[ICallItVera Der Happy Stick]]."
* DrugsAreBad: Granny [=MacNulty=] certainly thinks so, and several of the "Young Middenface"-stories show the ruinous effect of drugs on the Glasgow ghetto.
* FunetikAksent: Wulf always talks this way to show his heavy Norse accent. Same goes for Middenface's Scottish accent.
* GroundhogDayLoop: When Johnny is contracted to bring his abusive Nazi-esque father Nelson Kreelman to justice, he decides not to collect on the bounty and instead traps him in a temporal loop where he's forever reliving his final moments, pathetically begging Johnny to spare his life.
* HelmetsAreHardlyHeroic: Averted for Johnny, who usually wears one as part of his body-armour (See NiceHat), but played straight with Wulf.
* HeroicSacrifice
* [[HitlersTimeTravelExemptionAct Hitler's Time Travel Exemption Act]]: Subverted. One arc in the classic series involved Johnny and Wulf bringing Hitler forward in time to stand trial, but they had to intercept him at a point in time after he sought refuge in his bunker and all his crimes had been committed, rather than intervene at a moment that could possibly change history.
* {{Homage}}: ''The Headly Foot Job'' is basically a take on the gallows scam from ''Film/TheGoodTheBadAndTheUgly.'' Johnny and Wulf rescue Bootsy from the gallows [[spoiler: only to take him across the border and claim the bounty on him in the next jurisdiction.]]
* HumansAreMorons: In the same story arc as below, the alien freedom fighters traveled back in time and have taken UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan hostage to achieve their own ends, but they find The Gipper to be so astonishingly stupid that they can't fathom how this man could possibly be "the leader of the human race" without assuming that the rest of us aren't that bright, either.
* HumansAreTheRealMonsters: Apart from how normal humans tend to view mutants, the story arc "Bitch" centers around a group of alien freedom fighters whose goal it is to see the removal of humans from their home planet, which humans have colonized for their own purposes and subjugated the local alien race in the colonization process.
* ILoveNuclearPower: Mostly subverted in how very few mutants gained super-powers from the Strontium-90 fallout, but, of course, this is played straight with Johnny Alpha (and a very small minority of other mutant characters).
* InnBetweenTheWorlds: Roadhouse on Portabella is a deserted bar full of doors leading to other dimensions. It was created by an artist to hold other artists prisoner.
* InSeriesNickname: You have to read the comic pretty damn carefully to figure out that "Middenface" [=MacNulty's=] given name is Archibald.
* IntimidatingRevenueService: In one story Orville Paxman the tax agent becomes an antagonist. What is more surprising is that he is more than willing to hound Alpha and Stenhammer into multiple warzones to get them to finally pay their back taxes is spite of being a pudgy little pencil-pusher. You get the feeling he would have made a fine strontium dog if he had grown up on the wrong side of the tracks.
* JaywalkingWillRuinYourLife: "The Rammy" ends with Johnny and Middenface forced to pay a 3 million credit fine each for drunk and disorderly charge.
* LaResistance: Johnny led a mutant uprising in both the classic and modern series. Middenface was also a member of one in his youth.
* LawProcedural: "The Rammy" is told mainly through flashbacks during a court proceeding.
* LowerDeckEpisode: ''Tales From The Doghouse'' was a series of one shot episodes focused on other stronts and the bounties they collected (or died trying to).
** In a way, ''Strontium Dogs'' was this too, focusing on the supporting cast. However, without Johnny, it wasn't all that popular a strip and was eventually discontinued.
* MassSuperEmpoweringEvent: Downplayed: The mutants in the series were all mutated by Strontium-90 fallout, but most mutants are just deformed and have no powers.
* TheMilkyWayIsTheOnlyWay: Mostly played straight with characters referring to "The Galaxy" but some planets are quoted as being millions of lightyears from eachother, this is most likely a case of SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale. Interestingly the story where Johnny fights the Wolrogs is set in the Isthman Galaxy.
* MonochromaticEyes: Johnny's are pure white, changing to red when he's using his "alpha-vision"
* MsFanservice: Durham Red.
* {{Mutants}}
* {{Multiboobage}}: Precious Matson has three.
** An unnamed Search/Destroy agent in Shaggy Dog Story also has three.
* MultipleHeadCase: [[IncrediblyLamePun Hedda]] from the Kreeler Conspiracy had her husband's head grafted to her body after his body "gave out".
** A few mutants have been seen like this but it's not known if they have different personalities.
* ANaziByAnyOtherName: The Kreelers, with mutants taking the place of Slavs. Later, The New Church would also come to evoke this trope.
* NewNeoCity: New Britain. Johnny once mentioned a planet called New Venus.
* NiceHat: As well as providing protection, Johnny's helmet provides communications, eye-controlled computer-interface, head-up display, HelmetMountedSight, ''and'' video cameras to record his arrests/kills for evidential purposes (necessary both for staying out of jail and getting paid).
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: King Clarkie II, who is quite obviously Prince Charles.
* NoodleIncident: The nuclear war that provides much of the comic's backstory isn't detailed much further than, "Nobody ever knew who fired the first missile--but suddenly the whole world went crazy!"
* OneWorldOrder: One of the retcons after the ContinuityReboot is that New Britain is replaced with Earthcom.
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: Durham Red is actually just a mutant; it just so happens that her mutation requires her to feed off of other peoples' blood for sustenance and nourishment. Apart from the fangs and the bloodlust, she shares no other characteristics with vampires, despite frequently being referred to as such. She can go out in the daylight, she can't turn into a bat, and she can potentially die in as many ways as a normal person, though she doesn't age.
* PenalColony: There were a few of these for mutants that have since been closed down. Rodos was kept open to house Kreelman.
* PlanetEngland: The planet Gnob's main continent and city are both called Gnob.
* {{Planetville}}: Averted in ''The Headly Foot Job''. Johnny and Wulf bust Headly "Bootsy" Foot out of a Feefoofan prison and get him across the border into the United Hectorates [[spoiler: so they can claim the bounty on him there.]]
* {{Pluralses}}: The Gronkses all talk this way.
* {{Prequel}}: The spinoff ''Young Middenface'', which follows the adventures of Middenface [=McNulty=] as a teenager.
* PresidentEvil: Nelson Kreelman.
* SecretTestOfCharacter: The Stone Wizards [[spoiler:tell Middenface that he'll have to give up his life in order to bring Johnny back. When he says he'll do it, they say they were just testing him to see how much he wanted Johnny back.]]
* {{Sexbot}}: The only human-looking prostitute in a brothel on Edelbron has "pay here" written above a slot on her back.
* SiblingsInCrime: Two separate groups of these have appeared in the comics: The Weerd Brothers (Hiss, Cuss, and Silent) and the [[CreepyTwins Creepy]] [[{{Mutants}} Mutant]] [[CreepyTwins Twins]] known as "Stix" in ''Outlaw''.
** There could be even more than that, as two more of them turned up in Durham Red's SpinOff.
* SpacePolice: The Galactic Crime Commission.
* SpaceWestern: Most of the worlds Johnny visits are frontier-type places and Johnny himself is the old west BountyHunter archetype.
* {{Spinoff}}: As well as ''Strontium Dogs'', Middenface [=McNulty=] and Durham Red got their own series.
* StockholmSyndrome: King Clarkie actually enjoys being kidnapped by mutant rebels, he spends most of the time identifying new species of insect.
* {{Tearjerker}}: Johnny's ultimate fate in the classic series.
** Are we just supposed to [[ForgottenFallenFriend forget]] about [[spoiler: Wulf Sternhammer]] in the same series?
* TieInNovel: Blackflame published five each for Strontium Dog and Durham Red.
* TimeAndRelativeDimensionsInSpace: A time grenade sends you ten minutes into the future, by which time earth has progressed several thousand kilometres in its orbit, leaving you to suffocate in space.
* TimeTravel: A recurring plot device. It's even been weaponised in the form of time bombs.
* TranslatorMicrobes: In The Life and Death of Johnny Alpha, when an alien is rude to Middenface, he sarcastically says that his translator must be broken. Later in the same story, Middenface is using a set of headphones and a microphone to talk to an alien on Zen that nobody else can hear.
* UngratefulBastard: Headly Foot gives Johnny and Would nothing but verbal abuse and threats after they rescue him from being executed [[spoiler: they were really just taking him somewhere else so that they could turn him in for the bounty.]]
* UnresolvedSexualTension: Between Johnny and Durham Red. Johnny would never admit to it, but Middenface is pretty sure of it.
* UnwantedRescue: Billy Glum didn't want Johnny to break him out of death row because he believed Johnny had betrayed the mutant rebels.
* UseYourHead: For Middenface [=McNulty=], this is practically his signature move. Though, [[ViolentGlaswegian given his reputation]], he would probably like to refer to this as a Glasgow Kiss.
* ViolentGlaswegian: Basically, the entire extent of Middenface [=McNulty=]'s character development (and that's why we all love him).
* WeWillSpendCreditsInTheFuture
* WizardsFromOuterSpace: The Lyran Necromancers and the Stone Wizards.
* WouldBeRudeToSayGenocide: See the FinalSolution example above.
* WretchedHive: Metastis is described as the refuge of wanted criminals-The scum of the galaxy but half the planets Johnny visits could be called Wretched Hives.
* XRayVision: Johnny's "alpha wave"-emitting eyes allow him to see through walls etc.
* YouTasteDelicious:
** Durham Red liked to nibble on Johnny Alpha to taste his blood when he'd cut his face. Of course, she liked how his blood tasted asks Johnny if he'd be willing to donate a pint. Johnny, naturally, declines.
** She also did this to UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan when he accidentally cut himself.
* YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters: When UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan's alien kidnappers explain to him that they are part of "the freedom movement of the Kaiak peoples," Reagan's immediate reaction to the phrase "freedom movement" is to exclaim, "Terrorists!"
* ZombieAdvocate: Udas Borg threatens to report Johnny to the League of Cyborgs for discrimination.
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