Illustration by Carlos Ezquerra in2000 AD No. 561 (1988).
|Publisher||IPC Magazines/Rebellion Developments|
|First appearance||2000 AD No. 505 (1987)|
|Created by||John Wagner
|Full name||Durham Red|
|Team affiliations||Previously Strontium Dogs|
The Blood Queen
Durham Red was originally created in 1987 as a female sidekick and lover for Johnny Alpha in the long-running British comicbook series Strontium Dog. She was a sexy bounty hunter with a mutation that gave her a vampiric lust for blood.
|This section requires expansion. (August 2010)|
When the character was first devised, there was some debate over Durham Red or Chelsea Blue as the character's name. The creators settled on Durham Red, and the character immediately proved popular from her first appearance. Following the death of Johnny Alpha, she was given a leading role in the spin-off series Strontium Dogs. Following the departure of writer Peter Hogan, the series was handed to Dan Abnett. Abnett's first action was to place Red in suspended animation and have her awake a thousand years after Strontium Dog continuity, in a universe where she was worshipped as a mythical saint of mutants.
Aided by some strong art from Mark Harrison, the series enjoyed a long run. However, in 2004, the final story of the arc was printed, envisioning Durham Red surviving another thousand years, watching over the end of the human race and the beginning of a mutant-populated universe.
The Strontium Dog stories that Red originally appeared in have since been deemed non-canonical, as part of Johnny Alpha's revival. This leaves Red in an unusual position in terms of continuity. The original Strontium Dog stories have been reclassified as tellings of the legend of Johnny Alpha, while the current stories are the "truth". As such, it is possible that the whole Durham Red saga spins off from events that never actually happened in the Strontium Dog universe. Some fans call this "Knots Landing continuity", echoing that television series' crossover into episodes of Dallas which were later revealed as part of a dream sequence.
She has appeared in a number of strips and featured in her own Durham Red title:
- Strontium Dog:
- Strontium Dogs: "High Moon" (Dan Abnett and Mark Harrison, 2000 AD #940–947, 1995)
- Durham Red:
- "Island of the Damned" (by Alan Grant and Carlos Ezquerra, in 2000 AD #762–773, 1991)
- "The Golden Mile" (by Alan Grant and Carlos Ezquerra, in 2000AD Yearbook 1993)
- "Mirrors" (by Peter Hogan and Mark Harrison, in 2000 AD #901–903, 1994)
- "Ghosts" (by Peter Hogan and Mark Harrison, in 2000 AD Winter Special 1994)
- "Deals" (by Peter Hogan and Mark Harrison, in 2000 AD #960–963, 1995)
- "Diners" (by Peter Hogan and Paul Marshall, in 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special 1995)
- "Night of the Hunters" (by Peter Hogan and Mark Harrison, in 2000 AD #1000–1005, 1996)
- "Epicedium" (by Dan Abnett and Mark Harrison, in 2000 AD #1006, 1996)
- "The Scarlet Cantos" (by Dan Abnett and Mark Harrison, in 2000 AD #1078–1083 + #1085–1089, 1998)
- "Mask of the Red Death" (by Dan Abnett and Mark Harrison, in 2000 AD #1111, 1998)
- "The Vermin Stars" (by Dan Abnett and Mark Harrison, in 2000 AD #1250–1261, 2001)
- "The Empty Suns Book I" (by Dan Abnett and Mark Harrison, in 2000 AD #1362–1368, 2003)
- "The Empty Suns Book II" (by Dan Abnett and Mark Harrison, in 2000 AD #1382–1386, 2004)
- "The 'Nobody Wants This Job' Job" (by Alan Grant and Carlos Ezquerra, in 2000 AD #1785–1790, 2012)
- The Scarlet Apocrypha: 
- "Necrocultura" (by Dan Abnett and John Burns, in Judge Dredd Megazine vol. 4 No. 12, 2002)
- "Semblance" (by Dan Abnett and Steve Yeowell, in Judge Dredd Megazine vol. 4 No. 13, 2002)
- "The Spirit and the Gaki (by Dan Abnett and Frazer Irving, in Judge Dredd Megazine vol. 4 No. 14, 2002)
- "Children of the Night (by Dan Abnett and Enric Romero, in Judge Dredd Megazine vol. 4 No. 15, 2002)
- "Genegun SD" (Dan Abnett and Steve Kyte, in Judge Dredd Megazine vol. 4 No. 16, 2002)
- "Red Menace" (Dan Abnett and Carlos Ezquerra, in Judge Dredd Megazine vol. 4 No. 17, 2002)
- "In the Flesh" (Dan Abnett and Mark Harrison, in Judge Dredd Megazine vol. 4 No. 18, 2002)
Some of the later stories have been collected into a number of trade paperbacks:
- The Scarlet Cantos (collects "The Scarlet Cantos" and "Mask of the Red Death", April 2006, ISBN 1-904265-86-3)
- Vermin Stars (collects "Vermin Stars", April 2006, ISBN 1-904265-08-1)
- Empty Suns (collects Durham Red: "The Empty Suns Book I" and "The Empty Suns Book II", November 2007, ISBN 1-905437-45-5)
Peter J. Evans has written a number of Durham Red novels that have been published by Black Flame:
- The Unquiet Grave (August 2004 ISBN 1-84416-159-5)
- The Omega Solution (May 2005 ISBN 1-84416-175-7)
- The Encoded Heart (October 2005 ISBN 1-84416-272-9)
- Manticore Reborn (January 2006 ISBN 1-84416-323-7)
- Black Dawn (July 2006 ISBN 1-84416-382-2)
Similarity with BloodRayne
Certain critics have said that Rayne, from the videogame series BloodRayne shows a strong similarity to Durham Red, having the same weapons and distinctive red hair. The claim has been denied by the TRI representatives. In a posting on the BloodRayne.co.uk forums Joe Wampole, a developer for BloodRayne had this to say,
"Durham Red looks like a cool character but we've never heard of her. It is coincidence that her and BloodRayne look so similar.
The symbol on the hair is similar but looks more like a target, while Rayne's looks a little like Prince's symbol. Also, it looks like Durham is set in some alternate super sci-fi future.I think it is just natural to put a vamp chick in black leather and either color her hair black or red."