The Origins of Eagle’s Doomlord
One of my favourite comic strips as a child was Eagle’s Doomlord. There was something utterly terrifying about this eventually-benevolent alien sent here to judge humankind, especially in the eerie early photo-strip days. I had an impromptu interview/conversation with former Eagle Editor Barrie Tomlinson on Twitter and it threw up some unexpected trivia on the origins of the Doomlord mask.
Allan Cavanagh: The Doomlord mask was absolutely bowel-loosening and still gives me the heebie-jeebies. It was that he looked like he was smiling when killing people. Who made the mask?
Barrie Tomlinson: When we decided to do photo stories, two of us went into London’s West End, visiting theatrical suppliers and at one place we found the Doomlord mask. The rest, as they say, is history!
AC: You *found* it? As in it was mass-produced?
BT: Yes, it was just on sale in one of the shops. It seemed just what we wanted…and it was!
AC: That’s amazing. Was it touched up paint-wise after you bought it or was it as-is? Does it still exist?
BT: I think we used it just as it was, as far as I can remember. We had to darken in the actor’s eye area, as the eye holes were very large. I don’t know where it is now.
AC: That really worked, the whites of the eyes were so heightened and intense. Doomlord was my absolute favourite as a kid, I used to make the power ring out of paper and wear it around the house disintegrating my siblings.
So the Doomlord mask that gave me massive heebie-jeebies as a child was in fact a found object, commercially available at the time, and now possibly lost forever. Doomlord eventually became a completely drawn strip but that mask was the basis for this terrifying character’s whole look.
It’s perfect nerd excitement that 43-year-old me got to ask questions of the editor 10-year-old me wanted to know about Eagle’s Doomlord. As it happens, Eagle was my first paid gig.
AC: I love that today I can ask the editor of comics I read as a kid the sort of trivia I could have only dreamed of asking as a kid.
BT: It’s great I can still communicate with the readers!
AC: Pure escapism and like I told you before, the reason I do what I do now!
(Barry’s books Real Roy of the Rovers Stuff! : Roy’s True Story and Comic Book Hero : A Life with Britain’s Strip Legends are available now.
Doomlord: Deathlords of Nox is a restored collection of a major early Doomlord arc that synopsises the first 3 Doomlord photo stories.
Barrie Tomlinson on Twitter.
Another great follow if you’re interested in classic 70s and 80s IPC Magazines is GREAT NEWS FOR ALL READERS!)
This is gold. Also the Doomlord mask was absolutely bowel-loosening and still gives me the heebie-jeebies. It was that he looked like he was smiling when killing people. Who made the mask?
— Allan (@ACaomhanach) April 24, 2019