The Mekon

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The Mekon
Publication information
First appearanceEagle comic #30 (vol. 1) - 3rd Nov 1950
Created byFrank Hampson
In-story information

The Mekon (/ˈmkɒn/) of Mekonta is the arch-enemy of the British comic book hero Dan Dare. He first appeared on 3 November 1950 in the 30th episode of the Eagle comic strip Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future, having been created by Frank Hampson. Apart from Dan Dare himself, he is the only character to appear in every one of the numerous versions of the comic strip that appeared in the Eagle, 2000 AD and Virgin Comics. In the 1950s, roughly every other story featured the Mekon.


The Mekon was the ruler of the Treens of northern Venus, although he was ousted from this position at the end of the first story and had no fixed base of operations. He was created by scientific experimentation, engineered for very high intelligence. As such he had a swollen head containing his massive brain and atrophied body, and moved around on a levitating chair. He typically invented new superweapons in the pursuit of his goal: the domination of the universe for the purpose of scientific research. In some stories he also sought personal revenge on Dan Dare.

In the animated Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future television series (first aired in 2001), the animators took his nickname "Melonhead" literally and showed his cranium as not shiny smooth green but wrinkled like a cantaloupe. The voice of the Mekon was portrayed by Richard Pearce.

In popular culture[edit]

British politician Angus Maude[1] and Irish journalist Patrick Cosgrave[2] were each nicknamed "The Mekon". British political strategist Dominic Cummings has also been nicknamed "The Mekon".[3][4]

In the "Genesis of A Classic" feature on the Doctor Who DVD release of Genesis of the Daleks, producer Philip Hinchcliffe cites the Mekon as one of his inspirations for the character Davros.[5]

Elton John, in his "Rock of the Westies" album recorded in 1975, had a song called "Dan Dare (Pilot of the Future)". One of the key repeated lines in the song is "Dan Dare doesn't know it, he doesn't know it, but I like the Mekon".

British rock band The Mekons named themselves after the character in 1977, as did big beat artist Mekon.

British satirical magazine Private Eye ran a cartoon strip from 1987 titled "Dan Dire - Pilot of the Future?", featuring then-Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock as the eponymous hapless space pilot, accompanied by the gluttonous Pigby, modelled on deputy leader Roy Hattersley. Dire's arch-enemy was The Maggon, a Mekon-like parody of Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader Margaret Thatcher, whose followers were the Toreens. [6][7]

In May 2013, the BBC radio soap opera The Archers featured a storyline in which regular character Brian Aldridge was aggrieved by a local newspaper article that compared him to the Mekon.

Further reading[edit]

  • Wright, Norman; Higgs, Mike (1990). The Dan Dare dossier: celebrating the 40th anniversary of Dan Dare, pilot of the future. Hawk Books. ISBN 0-948248-12-2.
  • Tatarsky, Daniel (2010). Dan Dare: the biography. Orion Books. ISBN 978-0-7528-8896-5.

Bibliography [edit]

  • Dudley Jones, Tony Watkins, "A necessary fantasy?: the heroic figure in children's popular culture", Routledge, 2000, ISBN 0-8153-1844-8, pp. 166–168
  • Mike Conroy, "500 Comicbook Villains", Collins & Brown, 2004, ISBN 1-84340-205-X, p. 334
  • Maurice Horn, "The World encyclopedia of comics, Volume 1", Chelsea House Publishers, 1976, ISBN 0-87754-042-X, p. 194


  1. ^ The Hugo Young Papers: Thirty Years of British Politics – Off the Record
  2. ^ "Obituary: Patrick Cosgrave". The Daily Telegraph. 22 November 2001. Retrieved 19 April 2009.
  3. ^ Macintyre, Donald (25 November 2014). "Donald Macintyre's Sketch: 'The Mekon' Dominic Cummings thinks Dan Dare tactics would knock the Civil Service into shape". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2022-06-18.
  4. ^ Kerevan, George (29 July 2019). "Why Boris Johnson has picked Dominic Cummings for key adviser role". The National. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  5. ^ David Butler, "Time and relative dissertations in space: critical perspectives on Doctor Who", Manchester University Press, 2007, ISBN 0-7190-7682-X, p.151
  6. ^ "Boys Adventure Comics: Dan Dire - part 1". 19 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Thatcher in Cartoons: Maggie as the Mekon". 26 April 2015.

External links[edit]