Durham Red

Durham Red
Durham Red
Comic image missing.svg
Publication information
Publisher IPC Magazines/Rebellion Developments
First appearance 2000 AD #505 (1987)
Created by John Wagner
Alan Grant
Carlos Ezquerra
In-story information
Full name Durham Red
Team affiliations Previously Strontium Dogs
Notable aliases Red
The Blood Queen
Empress Redwina
Saint Scarlett
The Abomination
The Blasphemy
Brite Red
Abilities Super-strength
Super agility
Regenerative powers
Long Lifespan
Superhuman senses

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.


Publication history

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 show's 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:


  • The Scarlet Apocrypha: [1]
    • "Genegun SD" (Dan Abnett and Mark Harrison, in Judge Dredd Megazine vol. 4 #16, 2002)
    • "Red Menace" (Dan Abnett and Carlos Ezquerra, in Judge Dredd Megazine vol. 4 #17, 2002)
    • "In the Flesh" (Dan Abnett and Mark Harrison, in Judge Dredd Megazine vol. 4 #18, 2002)


The character has also had her own eponymous story:

  • 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)

Collected editions

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" and The Scarlet Apocrypha, November 2007, ISBN 1-905437-45-5)

Other media


Peter J. Evans has written a number of Durham Red novels that have been published by Black Flame:

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, although that claim has been denied by the TRI representatives.[1] In a posting on the then active BloodRayne.co.uk fan 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."[2]



External links

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