Danny Franks is the lead character in the 2000 AD strip Bad Company. In 2210 AD he was 24 and engaged to be married when he decided to go and fight the sadistic Krool on the planet Ararat, because he craved the approval of his brothers Ted and Chris. (They had done the same thing and died when their transport ship to Ararat exploded owing to an "unfortunate mechanical failure"). His company, led by Commander Peck, had only been on the planet for two weeks when they were almost all wiped out by the Krool. The rest of them joined Bad Company, led by the terrifyingly brutal soldier Kano. The first series of Bad Company took the form of a diary written by Danny, detailing his gradual desensitization to the horrors of war and his relationship with fellow soldiers such as Malcolm, Trucker, Mac, Mad Tommy and Wallbanger.
Ararat eventually exploded, after most of Bad Company had died. The second series of Bad Company picked up the story two years later, when Danny led the second incarnation of the group (himself, Mac, Mad Tommy, De Racine, Rackman, Protoid and Sheeva) in search of a 'monster' slaughtering humans and Krool, which turned out to be Kano. It was also narrated by Danny's diary (a new one — he left the first one behind on Ararat).
Danny's relationship with Kano was a complicated one. He initially feared him and his savage pragmatism, but gradually found himself drawn closer to him, crossing a Rubicon when he agreed not to reveal Kano's mercy killing of torture victims. Danny also feared turning into Kano and was plagued with visions of himself wearing Kano's features. However, he led the search for Kano two years later with the assertion that, "It would mean something if Kano led us. That would be worth dying for." The alter ego, once despised, was now embraced.
Danny's other notable relationship was with the 'boom baby' Sheeva, who had the power to make people explode but couldn't exercise it on Danny because she had inadvertently formed a deep emotional bond with him. She eventually gave up her life to save his, after they had kissed and she had told him that she loved him.
It seemed to be Danny's fate to become the beings he had initially hated. After adopting Kano's rôle as leader of Bad Company, Danny eventually merged with the 'Krool Heart', the telepathic hive-mind of the Krool, in order to save humanity from destruction. This made all the Krool look a bit like Danny Franks. He envisaged his multipotent reign over the galaxy as a benevolent dictatorship, but Kano wasn't so sure (see quotes).
As Danny became progressively stranger, his rôle as the 'everyman' with whom the strip's readers would identify was slowly shed and passed on to his friend Mac, who spent most of the later episodes watching the odd things Danny got up to and asking questions so that they could be explained to the reader.
Ten years after Ararat exploded Danny had been rescued from the Krool Heart by Kano and was living in a veterans' compound on Earth with Thrax, Flytrap and Mad Tommy (all of whom were mysteriously alive again). They were being given 'psyche-chem' by Doctor Malarkey, ostensibly to stop them remembering the war and having flashbacks. When they stopped taking their meds and travelled to a prison planet seeking answers from some captive Krool, the terrible truth behind the human/Krool war was revealed. Danny and his comrades, led once more by Kano, had to go on the run from a hostile Earth government. They were accompanied by Doctor Malarkey and their new ally Golgotha Joe.
Powers and abilities
PowersWhen Danny is the Krool Heart, he is "something close to omnipotent" (by his own estimation).
AbilitiesWrites decent prose.
Fit human male (when human); multipotent (when Krool Heart).
EquipmentDiary and pen; Trucker's hat.
TransportationVarious, including Protoid's 'ship'.
- Peter Milligan first wrote about a human/alien mind swap in a Future Shock called Medusa, in which a human and a hideous, grotesque alien monster (from the human's point of view) exchange consciousnesses. It was published in 2000 AD prog 394.
- And before that, he and Brett Ewins created a Future Shock about a criminal who clones himself and is then killed by his clone. That was in 2000 AD prog 216. Milligan's been exploring the idea of doubleness for a while.
- Appearances of Danny Franks
- Character Gallery: Danny Franks
- Images that feature Danny Franks
- Fan-Art Gallery: Danny Franks
- Danny Franks quotations
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