Kano was created by Peter Milligan, Brett Ewins and Jim McCarthy. He first appeared in 2000AD prog 500.
Bad Company was originally to be written by Alan Grant and John Wagner, with art by Cam Kennedy, but their version was not considered original enough and hewed too closely to another 2000AD character, Rogue Trooper. Milligan and Ewins eventually took the idea and ran with it.
Bad Company went on to be one of the most loved strips in 2000AD history, though many fans believe the last two story arcs, Kano and Bad Company 2002 to be of poor quality compared with the first two arcs and are therefore mostly dismissed as being non-canon.
Kano was a soldier.
On Ararat, a far and distant frontline, Earths’ forces desperately held the last line in a war with the alien race, Krool. It was here where Kano fought, a hard soldier, desperate to maintain a sense of humanity in the face of the Krools’ depravity and violence. One night, after capturing a number of the enemy, Kano refused to kill them, even at the bequest of his fellow soldiers. Believing that the preservation of their decency and honor was of the utmost importance, Kano took the Krool as prisoners of war, even though it lead to his own troops distrusting him and the Krool themselves escaping in the middle of the night. The Krool killed many of Kano’s soldiers as they fled, leaving Kano with no one to trust besides his only ally, Tommy. As the remaining soldiers headed back to base, they were ambushed by Krool, the troop wiped out, with only Tommy escaping and Kano taken prisoner.
Held in a torture camp, the Krool performed hideous experiments on Kano, removing half his brain and replacing it with half of their own. Having reached the end of their evolutionary cycle, they believed that a joint human/krool brain would evolve their species. Unfortunately, Kano’s brain asserted itself, allowing Kano to think like a human, but act like a Krool, allowing him to murder his captors and escape into the Ararat jungle beyond. There, Tommy was waiting and rescued Kano, giving him a box which held, what Kano believed to be the lost half of his brain. What Kano did not realize was that the brain was that of an unknown dead soldier that Tommy had used to help Kano keep his sanity.
Fighting an endless series of battles, Kano and Tommy eventually recruited a gang of misfit soldiers known, infamously by human and Krool alike, as Bad Company.
In time, Bad Company fell to the forces of Krool, though Kano’s body was never found.
Eventually, the remaining three members, now leading a new Bad Company found Kano on a distant planet called All Our Yesterdays. Tired of violence, Kano only sought peace, becoming almost suicidal in his quest for it. They discovered that Kano had been having seizures, ‘neuroflips’ where he would be lost in an unstoppable and violent rage. The cause of these seizures being the ‘Krool Heart’, the controlling ‘mother’ of all Krool. As half of Kano’s brain was Krool, he was part of the shared Krool consciousness and was therefore susceptible to Krool control at times. Rejoining Bad Company, Kano traveled with the crew to destroy the Krool Heart, hoping to replace the ‘Krool’ consciousness with a human one. Upon arriving at their destination and with the majority of Bad Company having been killed in the process, it was not Kano who took his place in the Krool Heart, but Danny Franks, a member of the original Bad Company who had rescued Kano. Having faced and defeated his homicidal 'other', Kano's Krool mind was finally at peace and he left Danny to his new existence as the living beating heart of the new Krool.
Some time later, Kano resurfaced on a farming planet, a father with a child and wife. It was finally revealed that the wife and child were ghosts, illusions conjured by the planet. Kano's wife and child had actually been killed before Kano even was a soldier. Crushed by this revelation, Kano headed off into space to again find the Krool Heart; Danny Franks.
Returning to the Krool Heart with yet another incarnation of Bad Company, Kano releases Danny from the hold of the Krool Heart, leaving the Krool free of a governing mind for the first time. Even more deranged and homicidal than previously, the Krool attack Kano, Danny and the remaining soldiers with Kano forcing his colleagues onto an escape ship. Danny watches from the ship as it leaves the planet, the lone figure of Kano fighting below against an endless swarm of Krool, content at last to have regained his humanity, if even at the cost of his own life.
MAJOR STORY ARCS
BAD COMPANY - 2000 AD #500-519, 1986–1987
Kano takes new recruit, Danny Franks into the folds of Bad Company, the meanest, toughest and weirdest soldiers ever to dirty their boots on Ararat.
THE BEWILDERNESS - 2000 AD #548-557, 1987–1988*THE KROOL HEART - 2000 AD #576-585, 1988
Danny Franks takes his new Bad Company to find Kano and to try and end the human/Krool war in the process. The body count, as always, is high and what Kano and Danny find there is not what either of them expected and perhaps what neither of them would want.
KANO - 2000 AD #828-837, 1993
Kano becomes a family man in this bewildering and baffling extension on the Bad Company mythology. On a farm planet, Kano settles down to domestic bliss before realising that all is not as it seems when old team mates come to visit him, team mates who have been dead for years.
BAD COMPANY 2002 - 2000 AD Annual 2002 and #1273-1277, 2001–2002)
A pointless and disjointed end to the saga, where Kano returns to the Krool Heart, first to kill Danny Franks and then, for no apparent reason, to save him.