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swollen head

The Mekon

For other uses, see Mekon.
The Mekon (of Mekonta) was the arch-enemy of the British comic book hero Dan Dare, first appearing in 1950 in the Eagle comic strip Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future and 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 Virgincomics. 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 a 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 (he could sometimes be surprisingly impulsive for a being supposedly without emotion.)

In the recent Dan Dare cartoons, someone took his nickname "Melonhead" literally and showed his cranium as not shiny smooth green but wrinkled like a cantaloupe melon. The voice of the Mekon was portrayed by Richard C. Pearce in the TV cartoon series.

The Mekon returns in Virgin Comics Dare miniseries by Garth Ennis, leading a regrouped war fleet with genetically-engineered monsters (based on Treen mythology) and a controlled black hole as a weapon. By issue #3, the Mekon has been almost entirely off-screen, operating remotely, and a source of fear among human & Treen alike. His only appearance was a two-page sequence at the end of #2, where he psychically communed with the British Prime Minister (a servant of his) and showed a detached, dispassionate persona.

Later in the series he attempted to capture Dare, and on doing so ordered him tortured. However this proved to be a trap that allowed a group of royal Marines to attack his ship and soon after a massive naval engagement occurred over Neptune.

In the ensuring battle the Mekon's ship was rammed by the HMS Trafalgar and boarded by British troops led by Dare who engaged the Mekon in personal combat before defeating him and leaving him near death.

The traitorous prime minster rescued the Mekon and they attempt to escape in a small craft only to be sucked into the black hole the Mekon had been using as a weapon.

While not apparently dead the last appearance of the Mekon confirms he is trapped beyond the event horizon, a place it is believed to be impossible to escape from. However given the Mekon's abilities it remains to be seen if this is the end of the Mekon's career.

Later in the series he displays what appears to be personal hatred for Dare much as he did in the 1950's series. This seems to once again give lie to the idea that he is a whole unemotional being.

In popular culture

  • Elton John's album Rock of the Westies features the song "Dan Dare (Pilot of the Future)" in which Elton sings, "Dan Dare doesn't know it... but I like the Mekon."
  • The British punk rock band The Mekons took their name from this character.
  • Angus Maude, British cabinet minister was nicknamed "The Mekon" because of his prominent forehead and overbearing manner.
  • There is also a big beat musician called Mekon.
  • "The Mekon" (an actor in a Mekon costume) was one presenter of the British children's TV show Going Live!
  • There are various commercial organizations and internet sites whose names contain "Mekon".
  • The rock group Too Much Joy performed a song called "If I Was a Mekon" on their album "Son of Sam I Am".
  • The fictional Kon'me species in Star Wars was named after this character.
  • British satirical magazine Private Eye ran a spoof version for some years entitled Dan Dire: pilot of the future? with Dan Dire identifiable as Neil Kinnock, Pigby being Roy Hattersley, The Maggon (Margaret Thatcher) and her Toreens, and various other references to other figures from space fiction including as Blubba the Gut (Nigel Lawson), The Douglek (Douglas Hurd, with exterminate replaced by ex-Eton-and-Cambridge-graduate) and Dr. Whoen, the mysterious Time-Is-Now Lord (David Owen).
  • Former Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant has a song on his album The Principle of Moments called "Messin' With the Mekon."
  • The Nigel Molesworth books make occasional reference to "the Pukon and his Treens".
  • The Mekon's widow is known to have written to Jacques Delors, President of the European Commission, in 1993. Her letter reads: "Dear M. Delors, I used to be married to the Mekon, who, curiously, was remarkably endowed. Now widowed (you may recall his death when he was sucked into the planet Zurkon), I can only work upon his memory. The standard Essex cucumber has both the colour and, more importantly, the shape to give at least physical comfort. In the light of these points, I would be obliged if you were to inhibit the straightening of these vegetables - at least until after my death. Yours sincerely, Mrs Mekon"
  • "The Mekon" is the stage name of Chris Purdon, who plays synthesizers with the rock group Space Ritual.

External links

  • http://www.dandare.org.uk : "Dan Dare doesn't know it... but I like The Mekon"
  • The Mekon at www.dandare.org
  • http://www.dan-dare.net The Interactive Home of Dan Dare and The Mekon

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