Thursday, 30 April 2009

Action Presents: Death Game 1999

Death Game 1999 is, fairly obviously, a rip-off of both Rollerball & Death Race 2000 ( if you're gonna steal, be blatant about it! ) It was written by Tom Tully and illustrated mostly by Costa ( as you'll see, there's a couple of really early Ian Gibson pages in there too ).
In essence, it's a classic prison movie, as semi-retired player Joe Taggart is framed for murder and forced to put together a Spinball team for corrupt prison Governer Smailes, made up of the worst no-hopers & lifers in the jail. Just like Hook Jaw, it does exactly what it says on the tin, being fast, furious and mega-violent.
And like Kids Rule OK! it couldn't last. As Action got into more and more trouble, leading to it's ban & subsequent cancellation, Death Game 1999 had it's teeth pulled and became the far softer ( though still reasonably violent ) Spinball. For readers of the early 2000AD, Death Game was a precursor to a seemingly endless series of futuresport serials, including Harlem Heroes, Inferno, Death Sport & The Mean Arena. To see the cut & uncut version's of how it all ended, go to ( as with everything else this week ) Here's the opening few weeks.


  1. Isn't it John Stokes drawing that second episode -and maybe third? I totally remember all that violence - the guy sliding down the window and guys getting run over - cool

  2. Possibly so. That whole history of UK artists is such a grey area, as so much went uncredited before 2000AD. I bow to anyone's greater knowledge!

  3. Hi
    I was just reading action in the website.are we going to get the whole story of death game 1999 on this website etc.
    Can't print out in action(sevenpennynightmare) area on the website.
    john kealy