Johnny Alpha is the main character in the 2000 AD comic strip Strontium Dog. He was born John Kreelman, a mutant warped in the womb by strontium-90, a result of fallout from a nuclear war which had devastated much of Earth in 2150 AD. His father was Nelson Bunker Kreelman, an anti-mutant bigot highly placed in the British government who hid his son's true nature from the world while drafting laws which made mutants second-class citizens. He also locked his son in a cell for four years.
Rebelling against his father's evil, young John ran away to join the Mutant army under the name 'Johnny Alpha' (because his eyes emitted alpha rays), and at the age of 17 was one of the leaders of the mutant uprising of 2167, along with Generals Clacton Fuzz, Evans the Fist, Studs Boyce, Middenface McNulty and The Torso from Newcastle. Following the uprising, Kreelman was deposed and fled Earth, but the mutant population were still largely confined to ghettos like Milton Keynes. The members of the Mutant Army were pardoned for their actions only on condition that they leave Earth forever, becoming galactic bounty hunters based on the orbiting space station known as the Doghouse: Search/Destroy Agents, harshly nicknamed 'Strontium Dogs'.
Johnny Alpha was for many years one of the most noted and grudgingly respected of their number, a man of fierce principles who took on some of the most bizarre assignments. At first working solo, he later had a number of partners including the late Sniffer Martinez, the vampire woman Durham Red, Middenface McNulty and, most notably, the time-displaced Viking warrior Wulf Sternhammer (until his death). He was also frequently accompanied by a nervous alien, a Gronk from the planet Blas in the Gallego system, who acted as his and Wulf's medic.
Together, they undertook cases as diverse as the hunt for Nelson Kreelman, the so-called 'Schicklegruber Grab' (which involved travelling back in time to hunt down Adolf Hitler), and a trip to another dimension resembling the Biblical Hell in search of rogue SD Agent Fly-Eyes Wagner. He also fought Kreelman again, in company with McNulty and several other SD Agents including The Torso, when Kreelman and his henchmen the Stix Brothers took over the Search/Destroy Agency. Eventually, Wulf was killed by Johnny's old foe Max Bubba, and the Gronk disappeared from Johnny's life.
When Nelson Kreelman's illegitimate son Lord Sagan attempted to implement his 'Final Solution', exiling all mutants to a hellish netherworld in another dimension, Johnny stopped him, seemingly at the cost of first his eyes and then his own life. His body was seemingly destroyed, but according to one subsequent account, the Gronk and the mutant Feral Jackson (who had been with Johnny at the end but had escaped back to Earth) later discovered him seemingly mystically resurrected by a cadre of alien necromancers who were torturing him in order to harness power from his suffering. The Gronk seemingly killed Johnny at his own request since he could not be freed.
A more recent account of the events following Sagan's Final Solution has thrown doubt on the accuracy of the previous one; Middenface McNulty and Johnny's old friend, reporter Precious Matson, discovered that Feral had lied about Johnny's body being destroyed in the other dimension and had in fact returned it to Earth. They also discovered, on locating Johnny's body, that he was apparently not truly dead but somehow held between life and death, and Middenface elected to trade his own life to the alien Stone Wizards in return for Johnny's. The wizards resurrected Johnny, but allowed Middenface to live regardless.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Johnny's eyes emit alpha rays which can enable him to see through solid matter and read minds in order to tell if someone is lying. If he tries really hard he can telepathically influence someone's mind. Johnny's friendship with Wulf was so strong that he once subconsciously detected that Wulf was in danger and sent him a telepathic message to warn him. What made this even more impressive was that Johnny was in a coma at the time (2000 AD prog 197).
Johnny can slow his body's systems down to almost nothing, entering a death-like protective coma which has fooled people into leaving him for dead at least twice. This is, however, extremely risky for him.
Peak human male.
Johnny's eyes can't see through matter if it is too dense, e.g. feet of solid rock or thick smoke.
Time bombs (which can displace an object in time); time drogue (which can temporarily reverse time); electronux (electrified knuckledusters); dimension bombs; beam polariser (capable of diverting energy beams); electro-flare (bursts with the light of a thousand suns); various others.
Short range teleporter.
Westinghouse Variable Cartridge Blaster.
- Writer John Wagner described killing Johnny as "a mistake I'm doing my best to rectify," and Carlos Ezquerra refused to draw the story 'The Final Solution', which finished him off. He was later revived in several flashback stories by popular demand.
- Johnny first appeared in the pages of Star-Lord before transferring to 2000 AD.
Johnny has twice travelled through time to encounter Judge Dredd.
- Appearances of Johnny Alpha
- Images featuring Johnny Alpha
- Quotations by or about Johnny Alpha
- Character Gallery: Johnny Alpha