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Space Girls

By Jason Brashill

Wideopenspace

Wide Open Space by Greg Staples

Spacegirlsteampic
Space Girls was arguably one of the least popular series ever to run in 2000 AD. It was created by Jason Brashill and former 2000 AD editor David Bishop, written by John Tomlinson and coloured by Dondie Cox. Originally running from 2000 AD prog 1062 to 1066, the strip was a rather clumsily executed parody of then popular girl band the Spice Girls, concerning the misadventures of five artificially created women manufactured to service the perverse desires of 'intergalactic scumbag' Bazzajan Quilty after they escaped their creator, who subsequently put a price on their heads.

The five Space Girls were:

  • Deep Space, an emotionally repressed genius who wore an expression-concealing visor 
  • Inner Space, who could shrink herself and in the process grow wings, but had a very limited attention span
  • Hyper Space, a flame-haired and fiery-tempered speedster who could move faster than the human eye can see but needed to eat constantly to feed her super-fast metabolism
  • The pink-haired Free Space, who could divide herself into three distinct individuals for a maximum of three hours at a time (one of her alternate selves was sickeningly sweet, the other totally amoral)
  • The suggestively-named Wide Open Space, a blonde nymphomaniac irresistible to men.

The girls were supposedly intended to represent 'girl power', but were almost universally hated by the readership, with Wide Open Space in particular enraging female fans who saw her as a stereotypical insult to womanhood. Which she was.

Tomlinson does not have fond memories of his time writing the strip: "I'd always thought you can make anything work if you're a good enough writer. But it didn't work, it really didn't. Space Girls lay on the page, coughing blood. The best thing about it was Jason's art, which made it look a lot better than it was." (Thrill-Power Overload by Bishop.)

The picture of Wide Open Space is from the cover of 2000 AD prog 1066 (which for some reason was 'the sex issue').

The Space Girls had a one-panel cameo in 2000 AD prog 2000 (published September 2016). They were drawn by Colin MacNeil and described by Tharg one of the strips "we tend to gloss over nowadays."

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