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Absolute Daak: A Revenger’s Tragedy

Absolute Daak: A Revenger’s Tragedy

As a prelude to a brand new Abslom Daak strip from John Ridgway and Alan Stevens, Alan Stevens does a comprehensive dive into the character, his motivations and, how deeply invested his creator Steve Moore was in the character.

“It is apparent that certain details describing Abslom Daak in Steve Moore’s script bear more than a passing resemblance to Steve Moore himself, specifically the elements that describe Daak as “lean and wiry” and having “a long thin wolfish face... a dark mane of tangled, matted hair, maybe a straggly beard”, and it’s no secret that Abslom Daak... Dalek Killer, which first appeared as a Doctor Who Weekly back-up strip on 31 January 1980 (issue cover date 6 February 1980), drew heavily on some of Moore’s own feelings and experiences.

DWW editor Dez Skinn describes Moore as “a tragic soul, who couldn’t help but write tragic stories when given an open brief, which, I think, enhanced the printed work through all of the sorrow that Steve had in his life”, and Steve himself has said “I was pretty depressed at the time... so yes, ‘Daak’ does equal ‘Dark’, and ‘might as well send me to another planet where I can get killed’ was more or less how I was feeling.... So there’s an awful lot of personal emotion invested in that first story, which I suspect gave it a lot of its power.”

Yet this doesn’t mean Daak is the author writ large. In his script, Moore describes the character as “simply an evil killer... he has no redeeming features whatsoever”; upon confronting his first Dalek he looks at it with a “hungry, gloating malevolence” and “has a manic, blood-lusting grin” as he slices through the creature with his chainsword.

Accordingly, when Princess Taiyin reproaches Daak for his actions, saying the Daleks will “probably massacre everyone in the building” as a reprisal, he answers “That’s what I’d do, if I were them”, and you believe him. Daak cares nothing for his own life, or for anyone else’s, and just a few frames later, as Daak battles an army of Daleks from his vantage point on the palace balcony, we are given this description: “for a timeless time, for a moment crystallised in eternity, there is only this... Daak the Destroyer, dealing death...”.

You can read the full article only in Issue Five of VWORP VWORP! Order your copy here.