A British Sci-Fi comedy webcomic inspired by shows like The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
and Red Dwarf
, Jump Leads
is the story of Thomas Meaney and Richard Llewellyn, trainees in the Lead Service - a sort-of self-appointed "Reality Police" who travel to parallel Universes
and ensure everything is occurring as it should. They've hit a bit of a problem, however - a disastrous set of circumstances during their first field training exercise have left them stranded in a broken JumpShip, aimlessly jumping from one random Universe to the next. But with Meaney trying hard to return to the career he loves and Llewellyn content to meander aimlessly through existence, getting back to Lead H.Q. continues to look like an impossible task...
Jump Leads is created by Ben Paddon and illustrated by "JjAR". Rather than having a single writer, Jump Leads has a TV Series-esque writing team, with different writers writing the scripts for different issues. Paddon is the lead writer, with the rest of the team being Euan Mumford, Paul Varley and Andrew Taylor (plus guest writers).
Nine issues have been completed so far, with the tenth issue currently underway. The issues so far are:
- Training Day, written by Ben Paddon
- It Came From Space!, written by Ben Paddon
- Trojan Horse, written by Euan Mumford
- Just Dropping In (4-page mini-issue), written by Ben Paddon
- Who Wants to Rule the World?, written by Paul Varley
- The Travellers (4-page mini-issue), written by Benjamin "Pooka" Maydon
- Rogues and Scallywags, written by Ben Paddon
- Waterworld, written by Kris Carter (who also provides the art for this story)
- The Cult of Meaney, written by Andrew Taylor
- The Voyage Home, written by Ben Paddon, Euan Mumford, Paul Varley and Andrew Taylor
This webcomic provides examples of:
It Came From Space!
Just Dropping In
Who Wants to Rule the World?
- Contractual Genre Blindness: General Gray has this in spades.
- Deus ex Machina: They were never in any danger, redux.
- Harmless Villain: Gray, to the point that the world's governments don't even try to capture him any more after they've foiled his plans.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Subverted - the guards use tranquiliser darts, which improves their aim because they don't have to worry about taking human lives.
- Just Between You and Me: Averted: this is one of the few errors Gray won't commit. No sense in a "before I kill you, let me tell you my plan" if you aren't going to kill them. The heroes can't have it all their own way.
- Locking MacGyver in the Store Cupboard: Deliberate. Gray wants the crew to escape their holding cells "Somewhere between Step 1: Build highly complex volcano island base and Step 3: Profit!" so he won't have to work out the details of his plan.
- Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: With taking it over rather than destroying it. Gray has taken over the world once already, found the experience of running it boring, and abdicated power. But he still loves trying to take over the world. So he now invents ludicrously flawed plans for his bids for world domination.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: At the end of the issue, with reverse-engineered universe-jumping technology within his grasp, Gray decides to start conquering other, parallel worlds - and this time, he's going to do it properly.
- Shout-Out: All to James Bond: Moore to Roger Moore; General Donald Gray is a double reference (Charles Gray played Blofeld in Diamonds Are Forever, Donald Pleasence played Blofeld in You Only Live Twice), while Gray's chief scientist Dr. Llewelyn (note lack of second double-L) is the late Desmond "Q" Llewelyn. Also, Meaney introduces himself to special agent Jane Moore as "Meaney. Thomas Meaney."
- Victory Is Boring: as Gray discovered after he took over the world on his first attempt
Rogues & Scallywags
- Deus ex Machina: You know one's coming.
- Shout-Out: Imprisoned "Freelance" dimension-hopping Mercenary Hayter is named for voice actor David Hayter who played Solid Snake in the Metal Gear video series (but looks more like an aged Christopher Eccleston).
The Cult of Meaney
The Voyage Home