2000 AD Online Forum

Spoilers => Other Reviews => Topic started by: feathers on 21 October, 2016, 02:43:12 pm

Title: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 21 October, 2016, 02:43:12 pm
Not wanting to hijack or derail existing re-read threads (which are at a different place or happening at a different pace), I thought I'd start one to have somewhere to get some of my thoughts down as I read through 2000AD - largely for the first time.  I'm aiming to read 2 progs a day, and having started in April I'm a little behind that target having just finished Prog 320.  Quality has been improving and I can well believe that I'm into the golden age of the comic.  Current regular line up in preference order: Dredd, Skizz, Rogue Trooper; Robohunter.  Looking forward to the return of Nemesis, Ace Trucking (hopefully) and feeling ready for some more Strontium Dog.  I'm trying not to look ahead too much to see what's coming but at the moment it's a joy to read, and I wish I could spend more time doing it!
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: sheridan on 21 October, 2016, 05:02:35 pm
having just finished Prog 320.  Quality has been improving and I can well believe that I'm into the golden age of the comic.  Current regular line up in preference order: Dredd, Skizz, Rogue Trooper; Robohunter.  Looking forward to the return of Nemesis, Ace Trucking (hopefully) and feeling ready for some more Strontium Dog.  I'm trying not to look ahead too much to see what's coming but at the moment it's a joy to read, and I wish I could spend more time doing it!
As you've mentioned it - off the top of my head I think you have about forty or fifty progs to wait until Ace Trucking Co returns.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: Colin YNWA on 21 October, 2016, 06:29:02 pm
Always good to hear the thoughts of folks reading things for the first time without the rose tint of nostalgia must of us view this stuff through. Here's hoping you find lots to say.

Out of interest where did you start? What time did you start to feel things started to improve? My own re-read is rapidly approaching the time many would say the 'Golden Age' start about 100 Prog behind where you are now.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 25 October, 2016, 12:09:36 pm
As you've mentioned it - off the top of my head I think you have about forty or fifty progs to wait until Ace Trucking Co returns.

Good!  It seemed such an unsuitably abrupt ending, them all being sent to prison.  I loved Belardinelli's art in the earlier progs, but felt he was a bit wasted on Meltdown Man, which I didn't particularly enjoy.  Ace Trucking seems the perfect fit for the bits of his work I live best - so I hope he returns with it!


Out of interest where did you start? What time did you start to feel things started to improve? My own re-read is rapidly approaching the time many would say the 'Golden Age' start about 100 Prog behind where you are now.

I started at Prog 1 back in April.  There's always been something to enjoy in it, I think since Nemesis started in the early 200s the quality has been consistently high.  I wasn't keen on Meltdown Man or Return to Armageddon - they both went on far too long for me, and now that Mean Arena has gone too, I don't think there's anything I don't look forward to.  The huge number of Alan Moore Time Twisters/Future Shocks certainly helps keep the standard high.

The Day the Law Died was the point where I think Dredd became unquestionably the best strip, and it's got better since (although having just finished Prog 328, the werewolf story unfortunately seems like the weakest extended plot for a while, especially the early parts which were a bit of a muddle).  I do miss the Ro-Busters/ABC Warriors, liked the first Stainless Steel Rat but not the second.  Captain Klep and Dash Decent were awful, but the Mind of Wolfie Smith was better than expected.  Robo Hunter is a bit of a mixed bag, sometimes good, sometimes not.  I'm getting close to the start of Slaine, which I kow has run for a long time, so curious to see how that weighs up too.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 25 October, 2016, 09:39:49 pm
Prog 329 - a spacey episode of Robo Hunter takes it away from what I prefer in the strip. The early Brit-Cit adventures have been best for me, where Sam can play off an unsympathetic guest cast, and this week there's only the regulars and a distant villain.  The dissenting clone personality isn't adding anything interesting to the dynamic either. 
After a couple of hurried seeming middle episodes Skizz moves towards a conclusion and the surprise colour spread at the end is really effective at communicating the awe of the spaceship's interuption.
Dredd is happily back on form with the bizarre weather concert after the rather too straightforward werewolf story, looking forward to the next part of this.  And Rogue Trooper is making more use of Mr Brass and Mr Bland which I thoroughly approve of.  Does the reappearance of the traitor general mean Rogue might complete his mission?  Perhaps, but I don't mind if he doesn't.  Fort Neuro went on a bit, but the news drone story that followed felt strong and inventive, so it doesn't feel like the ideas have dried up yet. 
The two page Future Shock is too brief to get any real depth of feeling out of it's story, but I can't say it really needed to be longer either. overall, another good issue!
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 25 October, 2016, 10:45:57 pm
330 - Slaine!  Instant impact with art which reaches a level of murky detail anything I've previously seen in the comic, and some great world building in the text.  Less bare sensationalism than I'd expect from Pat Mills, and instead the suggestion of steadily paced grandiosity to come.  Good start!
Robo-Hunter ends in an all-action showdown, but with Sam still in the clone body, what was really at stake here?  Not a great story.
Dredd on the other hand is great, especially Clayderman's Tubular Bells style announcements, and his urging on of his to his strangely complicit orchestra is nicely deranged.  The succinct, deadpan final frame is a perfect fit too.
Skizz ends as well, and it's brief run feels like it didn't really live up to it's potential.  Roxy and Van Owen should have both been more, Cornelius, by being more limited character, ironically emerges as the most fully formed.
Rogue Trooper is as good as last week, and promises more for next week.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 27 October, 2016, 03:04:43 pm
Last read: 333.  So, after being impressed by A Mills' artwork on the first installment of Slaine I am completely perplexed by Belardinelli taking over from the second installment.  I though it might be a one-off from a deadline issue, but 2 weeks later he's still there.  What's going on?  As noted before, I like Belardinelli, but the original artwork had such a feeling of dirt and squalor about it that he does not come close to replicating.  It doesn't help that Slaine, Ukko and the jailor (whose name escapes me at the moment), are reminiscent (in sizes at least) to Blackhawk, Zog and Ursa - and that recollection seems to comfirm a much later fantasy tone taking hold.  The depiction of the warp frenzy is the only reassurance.

Robo Hunter continues to flounder in what hopefully IS Sam's last case.  Rogue Trooper doesn't disappoint in the face off with the traitor general, and the fate of Mr Brass is a welcome unexpected twist.  Dredd continues to be great.  Carlos Esquerra has such a distinctive style and had done so much work on Strontium Dog, Stainless Steel Rat and the Tharg stories that when he first returned to Dredd as  a regular artist it seemed a bit of an odd match (I know he designed the character originally, but McMahon, Bolland and Smith seemed to have defined him), but during the Apocalypse War Progs he really won me over with the fluidity and economy on his pages.  They read so fast and so easily!  It feel really good, and right,  to have him back after a number of issues away.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 27 October, 2016, 03:07:42 pm
That should have been 'a much lighter fantasy tone'
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: AlexF on 01 November, 2016, 12:15:16 pm
I always liked Belardinelli on Slaine, but mostly for the amazing scenery he provided - trees and waterfalls and such. His Wicker Man is a wonder to behold as well (which you'll see shortly). But you're right, it's a real shame Angie Mills Kincaid didn't get to draw any other episodes, her earthy style set the tone perfectly. Apparently it took a lot of time and pain to get it to that stage, so I guess Tharg was disinclined to give her more work. Boo.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: Magnetica on 01 November, 2016, 12:25:58 pm
I also liked Belardinelli on Slaine. You are right about the scenery and waterfalls. For example the page where he cools down after the warp spasm in Bride of Crom is amazing.

Also agree re Angie Mills. The Slaine T Shirt I have is from that first episode.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: Colin YNWA on 01 November, 2016, 09:07:32 pm
I've mentioned this on my re-read thread and its something I suspect I'll return to when I get to Slaine. Over in early 200s land I've commented that I find Belardinelli's work on Meltdown Man really inhibited by his representation of Nick Stone. I don't find his work on human, particularly the 'typical' hard man carries any great strenght. I also find his work on the 'arting' of his characters is stiff and lifeless.

I agree other elements of this work, animals, scenery and the worlds he creates can be really good. Alas its not often populated by people that convince me.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: Hawkmumbler on 02 November, 2016, 02:55:59 pm
Belardinelli was a supremely talented artist, however as others have pointed out he was spectacular in some respects, less so in others.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 15 November, 2016, 03:25:16 pm
343 - Yes, Belardinelli has settled in on Slaine, and as many have said it's the scenery that does the work - especially the single image opening pages that allow him to place the characters in a wider context teeming with dirty, sordid detail and that then sets the tone for the rest of the strip.  Faces do seem to be a weak point though, and sometimes keeping the sometimes stiff figures in proportion - I think this is why he's best on Ace Trucking as there's no requirement for realism, and characters can be any shape they want from one frame to the next.  If Ace's hand gets slammed in a door and it swells up in the manner of the Beano, this isn't inconsistent with the feel of the stories.

What else?  The Graveyard Shift wasn't good, rather than feeling like an episodic 'and then-and then' grasping for the next idea rather than the different events piling up into a picture of breathless exhaustion which seems to have been the idea, and the left-hand-leaving criminal is too small time for the ending rise above the rest of it.  Hoping the next one is better.

Nemesis - much as I like it, it seems such a shame that the centre pages are being given over to this only to have what seems to be usually a wash of one or two colours across the whole thing - especially when that colour turns out to be a whitish-yellow!  Johnny should be listening more to Wulf, but The Moses Incident could surely be improved by affording colour to the wonderfully sinister Malak Brood and his disembodied brothers?

Rogue Trooper is still pretty consistent.  Going into this I didn't think it'd be one that I'd particularly enjoy and knowing how long it goes on for I thought it might be a chore, but it isn't.  For what it is it's well done, easy to read, and I never get to it and think 'maybe later'.  Having said that, I pretty much enjoyed the VCs too, so maybe I have more of a taste for military sci fi than I realised.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 09 January, 2017, 02:23:44 pm
379 - Late summer 84 and things are great.  Outlaws is so far the best Strontium Dog story ever.  I wasn't really gripped by Portrait of a Mutant (it was good, but seemed much like a straightforward war story, and the youth-of-a-popular-character idea was better done for Ro Jaws and Hammerstein), but this sequel builds on it so effectively that it grows in retrospect.  Dredd Angel is also gripping, and another successful revival of an old character with Mean Machine.  His dial goes up to 4 and a 1/2 now!  Liberace's tomb is an hilarious pretext too. 

Halo Jones I've read before in a collected edition, I was surprised to see the first installment get colour, but only a little disappointed it didn't continue to get it.  Of course, I'm enjoying it.  Ace is back as well, so far so frenetically, but they're aboard Speedo Ghost so everything's getting back in placeo and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next.

Rogue Trooper keeps on keeping on, it's still thoroughly reasonable and although it's not often spectacular I'm more and more convinced that it's a bit under-rated.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 18 January, 2017, 11:54:57 am
388 - Outlaws ended well, and didn't do anything to diminish my previous enthusiasm for it.  After the fillerish Gator story (the first week reminded me of the text-light bits of Nemesis book 2) Dredd is in interesting territory as his loss of objectivity leads to questions about his fitness to continue as a Judge.  It's nice when longer plots aren't telegraphed with part numbers, but build through individual connected episodes as this does.  Having said that, it's been interesting to see the increase of in-issue trailing recently.  Maybe it's filler for unused advertising space, but I like it.

Helltrekkers is two issues in, and so far isn't showing much promise- it seems quite dated in a way that would have fit into the comic early on, perhaps as a sequel to the original run of Flesh following another group of survivors from Carver City - but this just shows how far things have come in 7 years.  It isn't being done any favours by being run with the hugely polished Nemesis book 4, either.  Mekquake seemed an odd but throwaway continuity injoke in the previous book, but now Ro-Jaws has appeared too.....very odd!  Ace is still fun, but feels a long way from where it started.  Will it ever be the same again?  Rogue Trooper seems to be winding down now into real filler mode, I think it got 3 pages in the last issue.  It's had a long run, but feels like now could finally be the time for it to take a break.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: Colin YNWA on 18 January, 2017, 12:54:05 pm

Helltrekkers is two issues in, and so far isn't showing much promise- it seems quite dated in a way that would have fit into the comic early on, perhaps as a sequel to the original run of Flesh following another group of survivors from Carver City - but this just shows how far things have come in 7 years.  It isn't being done any favours by being run with the hugely polished Nemesis book 4, either.  Mekquake seemed an odd but throwaway continuity injoke in the previous book, but now Ro-Jaws has appeared too.....very odd!  Ace is still fun, but feels a long way from where it started.  Will it ever be the same again?  Rogue Trooper seems to be winding down now into real filler mode, I think it got 3 pages in the last issue.  It's had a long run, but feels like now could finally be the time for it to take a break.

That's interesting, I'm still a couple of months away from getting to Helltrekkers but I've been looking forward to it. Not because I'm a particular fan but rather as I'm curious to see how my 'proper' Prog reading of things this time around (as opposed to reading stories in 'one go' as I've approached it in recent times has lead to a shift in the way I feel about some stories and I think Helltrekker was going to benefit.

That said, the idea that it feels out of place and slightly 'young' for the comic at that time does keep with my current impression.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 20 January, 2017, 12:07:17 pm

Helltrekkers is two issues in, and so far isn't showing much promise- it seems quite dated in a way that would have fit into the comic early on, perhaps as a sequel to the original run of Flesh following another group of survivors from Carver City - but this just shows how far things have come in 7 years.  It isn't being done any favours by being run with the hugely polished Nemesis book 4, either.  Mekquake seemed an odd but throwaway continuity injoke in the previous book, but now Ro-Jaws has appeared too.....very odd!  Ace is still fun, but feels a long way from where it started.  Will it ever be the same again?  Rogue Trooper seems to be winding down now into real filler mode, I think it got 3 pages in the last issue.  It's had a long run, but feels like now could finally be the time for it to take a break.

That's interesting, I'm still a couple of months away from getting to Helltrekkers but I've been looking forward to it. Not because I'm a particular fan but rather as I'm curious to see how my 'proper' Prog reading of things this time around (as opposed to reading stories in 'one go' as I've approached it in recent times has lead to a shift in the way I feel about some stories and I think Helltrekker was going to benefit.

That said, the idea that it feels out of place and slightly 'young' for the comic at that time does keep with my current impression.

I look forward to seeing what you think when you get there!  In your 1982 review you mentioned the stability of strips meaning less fresh ideas - I think you're right, and this contributes to the rehash feel Helltrekkers has.  Just finished Prog 392 and Helltrekkers is still making a big deal out of people being eaten by dinosaurs... it's not even written by Mills!

One other note on this Prog- Rogue Trooper stumbles to the duffest of fizzling out conclusions as the Traitor General is killed by anonymous Souther air forces after Rogue changes his mind.  Turns out he was *just a traitor*, with no interesting motivation, or insight, to give on the quartz massacre, which apparently was just a thing that happened and doesn't need to be talked about.  Any other pleasure from this ending is taken away by Nerve Centre reassurances that there will be more Rogue coming soon...which, now, is not an enticing prospect.  What was it all for?
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: sheridan on 20 January, 2017, 01:03:40 pm
One other note on this Prog- Rogue Trooper stumbles to the duffest of fizzling out conclusions as the Traitor General is killed by anonymous Souther air forces after Rogue changes his mind.  Turns out he was *just a traitor*, with no interesting motivation, or insight, to give on the quartz massacre, which apparently was just a thing that happened and doesn't need to be talked about.  Any other pleasure from this ending is taken away by Nerve Centre reassurances that there will be more Rogue coming soon...which, now, is not an enticing prospect.  What was it all for?

Glad the traitor finally got a motivation after all these years (only took thirty more since TG was killed).
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 24 January, 2017, 10:02:25 am
Prog 401 - Nemesis the Warlock is a sequel to ABC Warriors and Nemesis is Deadlock?!  That's crazy!  I can't decide if this sort of makes sense if you think about it, or only makes sense if you don't think about it.  Still, I want to read what happens next.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 07 February, 2017, 11:49:07 am
Prog 427 - it's a while back now, but Helltrekkers really didn't disappoint in, um, delivering the disappointment.  It seemed like each week would feature a list of names of who had died or who hadn't that really WAS just a list of names - there was no realistic way to develop 100+ characters to the point of recognisability, let alone to where you care about them.  This meant that rather than an epic journey with huge cost to those undertaking it, the strip seemed to turn into a weekly book-keeping exercise, desperately trying to whittle it's cast down to something more managable. The scenarios encountered on route weren't anything special, and then the entire story is undercut by a comedy ending, as if finally admitting that the whole thing just hadn't worked at all.

Middenface McNulty enlivened the otherwise straightforward search for Xen the Brainwraith in Strontium Dog and Rogue Trooper's adventures on Horst are almost undistinguishable from the ones on Nu Earth.

However, Anderson's rematch with the Dark Judges was a lot of fun, and it's great to see her finally get her own series.  The artwork on this, and change of artists on Dredd and Slaine give 1985 a very different feel; even if Cam Kennedy's Dredd is a little inconsistently modeled.  Slaine is DENSE now, ideas almost too big to fit on the page, but somehow it works.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 14 February, 2017, 12:31:59 pm
Prog 440 - I said last time that Slaine was dense, impressively it managed to keep it up and finish without getting bogged down or overstaying it's welcome, but maintaining that same feeling all the way through.  Rogue Trooper finishing on Horst was a relief, the whole thing from landing there onwards seemed very half-hearted, although the initial millicom bits were good.  I'm hoping when it returns there'll be more of that side, but at the same time I don't expect Gunnar, Helm and Bagman to be successfully re-gened for any amount of time, which might mean Rogue is stuck in a rut trying to find reasons not to escape from the things that make the character unique.

Nemesis is back, and more continuity is being thrown into the mix with the return of Satanus - though for me Flesh was the greatest of the opening set of stories so I'm always happy to have it's legacy continue!  Pulling Torquemada from the past into a time loop is interesting too, and deaths of various characters all round make for a fast-paced, quickly changing set up that's really appealing.  Talking of the opening line up, Mean Team is now 3 issues in and balancing between huge similarity to Mean Arena (bad) and a feel more reminiscent of Harlem Heroes/Inferno (good!).  Which way will it tip?

The Croakside Trip was a fitting end for Ace Trucking, and I feel like it went out strong.  Evil Blood grew on me as a character throughout the second run, and was at his best here.  Judge Dredd has come through a couple of inconsequential single-week stories recently (Otto Sump returning raised my spirits, but alas it wasn't to be), but it was great to have Esquerra back drawing him for The Man Who Knew Too Much.  Still, even if occasionally slight, I've never felt the NEXT Dredd to come along would not be amazing.  It's incredible that the strip has run so long and never gone though a really bad patch (as of Prog 440!)

Strontium Dog is similarly, although not quite as, good, but really consistently enjoyable.  And a huge surprise for me as I'm enjoying the return of Robohunter - the last few stories were so tired I was glad to see the end of them.  Who knows how long it'll last though, as Sam has serious form in tailing off...
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 02 March, 2017, 04:53:10 pm
470 - For Me, Strontium Dog has overtaken Dredd as the best strip in the comic.  It's been so consistent recently, where Dredd hasn't.  Ace Trucking's surprise return has been a delight as the first story might well have been the best ever, and two Ace Garps work together in a way that two Sam Slades didn't.  Speaking of which, Robo Hunter made it through to the end without the expected decline and is back in my good books.  Anderson's new story started with a supremely great cover for the 9th birthday prog, but doesn't feel too far removed from the last one.  Mean Team finished without really leaving much of an impression, so judgement will have to wait until it returns.  I haven't made my mind up yet on Bad City Blue either, but it's reminding me a bit of Disaster 1990 in a shoot first kind of way.  Sooner or Later is colourful, but with 1 page at a time seems disjointed and I can't tell if it's supposed to be out and out funny or not - which probably isn't good news.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: Colin YNWA on 02 March, 2017, 08:19:41 pm
470, so are you in Rage at the moment? If so one of my all time favourite thrills. I've just read The Moses Incident and while there are many Strontium Dog stories I love I think these two are the only ones that get close to Portrait of a Mutant as the best.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 03 March, 2017, 10:03:04 am
Yes, Rage has just started!  I really enjoyed the previous story, and to be honest I'm a bit unsure how it's going to carry on now without Wulf - him acting as Johnny's conscience (I just finished prog 474) is helping the transition though.  The whole comic feels really different now from where it was 2 years ago.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: Magnetica on 03 March, 2017, 11:34:43 am
I always felt the last series of Ace Trucking was the weakest and no where near the level of the previous stories. But I haven't retread them since so it is interesting to hear your view. Here's hoping they turn up in the 2000AD Ulimate Collection.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 10 March, 2017, 02:46:54 pm
I always felt the last series of Ace Trucking was the weakest and no where near the level of the previous stories. But I haven't retread them since so it is interesting to hear your view. Here's hoping they turn up in the 2000AD Ulimate Collection.

For me the weakest Ace Trucking story was the one about the bampot colony.  The uckpuck chicken one and the movieland one I'm currently reading are miles ahead -and much funnier, but I quite like all the 4th wall breaking that's going on with it now.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 21 March, 2017, 11:30:49 am
503 - Phew!  It's been a while since I posted, so here's a bit of a round-up: Bad City Blue and Sooner or Later didn't work out for me.  Strontium Dog is still brilliant - very glad he saw things through on Mayger Minor, and McNulty's revenge tale gave a comic echo of Rage.  Next up for murderous fury the Gronk?  Dredd has picked up again and seems to be getting darker too, but Nemesis book 6 is just magnificently gripping, detailed, and now involving so many characters that people can be doing little more than standing around arguing for weeks on end and it's STILL completely involving.  It's reaching a new level of greatness that was only hinted at before.  Slaine is maintaining it's quality too, and I'm enjoying it more than I thought I would.  These 4 staples mean that each prog at the moment is a breeze, I only worry that I'm reading them so quickly I'm not lingering over the incredible artwork - but the thrills have to keep coming!

On artwork, Metalzoic was more of a miss than a hit for me, but I'm sure this is due to it being prepared for colour presentation elsewhere - some of the detail was hard to decipher as the shading wasn't correct for black and white, so it lost a bit of impact.

Also, Tharg's Head Revisited - truly shocking (in what it said about the behind the scenes stuff)!  Incredible that this made publication, and a clear indication that the good times may soon be coming to an end.  Still, very excited to be at 1987 and to see what's coming next.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: Colin YNWA on 21 March, 2017, 12:45:16 pm
...but Nemesis book 6 is just magnificently gripping, detailed, and now involving so many characters that people can be doing little more than standing around arguing for weeks on end and it's STILL completely involving.  It's reaching a new level of greatness that was only hinted at before. 

Oh that's interesting. I'm really looking forward to re-evaluating the 'later' books of Nemesis - which to be honest I regard as anything after book 4 which is a bit silly of me! I've never held them in as high regard as the earlier books, they are pretty damned fine and I do really like them, but for some reason I always think of it being a slow decline in quality as the series continues beyond Gothic Empire.

Why is a little beyond me, as I think of the stories to come I can think of no reason why that would be and so I'm very much looking forward to getting my teeth into finding out.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: Dark Jimbo on 21 March, 2017, 12:53:42 pm
...but Nemesis book 6 is just magnificently gripping, detailed, and now involving so many characters that people can be doing little more than standing around arguing for weeks on end and it's STILL completely involving.  It's reaching a new level of greatness that was only hinted at before. 

Oh that's interesting. I'm really looking forward to re-evaluating the 'later' books of Nemesis - which to be honest I regard as anything after book 4 which is a bit silly of me! I've never held them in as high regard as the earlier books, they are pretty damned fine and I do really like them, but for some reason I always think of it being a slow decline in quality as the series continues beyond Gothic Empire.

Funnily enough I was just about to pick up on the same comment of feathers  - Bryan Talbot memorably describes Book 6 as 'a bunch of weirdoes stood arguing on a beach' and he's absolutely right, of course; and yet it's still enormously entertaining. Folk time and again trot out the old 'no good after Book 4' fallacy (sorry Colin!) but I found the Complete Nemesis volume II every bit as enjoyable as the first.

Grand Dragon Mazarin, the freck heresy, Satanus, 'Grandfather' Nostradamus, Candida kicking arse, the madness of Sister Sturn, Torquemada the God and his past lives... it's all gold, baby. For me it's when Hicklenton takes over that the strip starts feeling less essential, and from David Roach's Book 8 onward it does have a bit of a feel of treading water.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 21 March, 2017, 01:53:47 pm
That's really interesting that you both said that - I would not have guessed that Book 4 was commonly held to be the high water mark for the series.  I can see that it might have got less fantastical as it went on, but as that happens it's also getting more coherent, and it doesn't feel like ideas are drying up or being recycled yet.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: Colin YNWA on 21 March, 2017, 10:16:01 pm
Folk time and again trot out the old 'no good after Book 4' fallacy (sorry Colin!)

Oh oh oh just to qualify

... which to be honest I regard as anything after book 4 which is a bit silly of me! I've never held them in as high regard as the earlier books, they are pretty damned fine and I do really like them, but for some reason I always think of it being a slow decline in quality..

I do like them, they are great, just not as good. .. just I have a feeling I might be wrong as you suggest!

Oh and I'm not sure that Book 4 is a high water mark (I think that might be book 3 for me?) but those first 4 books are just so special.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: Magnetica on 22 March, 2017, 11:52:53 am
Nemesis is definitely one of my all time favourite thrills. It vies with Slaine for 3rd place probably.

I like to think pretty much nothing in the Prog can touch books 1,3 and 4. (Apart from possibly Warriors Dawn,  series 1 of ABC Warriors and Zenith Book 1).

I remember feeling a sense of loss at the end of Book 4. I really thought that would be it, but then they found a way to bring Torquemada back. And wasn't it great. Book 5, treads water a bit, relatively, but it all ramps up in Book 6. The scenes at the end of the world are just superb, especially the way Torquemada gets the terminators on his side again. I just love how Bryan Talbot got expressions out of Torquemada's mask.

Possibly unfairly I liked it less after that. I think it was a combination of the different settings and different artists. Before that it had a consistent feel, now the style seemed to change radically. I wasn't a big Hickleton fan, but can absolutely see his art has merit. It then seemed a bit of a hotch-potch after that. Which I am sure is extremely unfair on the likes of David Roach. And I freely admit that in Book 10 I had yet to realise how brilliant Henry Flint was  - it just seemed like some-one doing a Kev O'Neill impression.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 18 April, 2017, 11:09:23 am
(Prog 534) It was a year ago today that I started reading 2000 AD.  The last couple of weeks have been a bit busy so I haven't gone as far as I'd hoped to, but I'm very happy to have passed the 500/10 year milestone.  It's been really fun and fascinating to watch the characters and comic itself develop, and right now things are only getting better.  I'm hoping to at least match the number of Progs read over the next 12 months, and can't wait to find out what the next 10 years of 2000 AD hold!
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: AlexF on 18 April, 2017, 01:20:38 pm
You'll be delighted to learn that your prediction about the Gronk may be truer than you ever suspected.

On the Nemesis debate, for my money Book VII is the last truly great book; book VIII is fine but it's a prequel story and since what came after is either utterly incomprehensible (Book IX) or just feels like treading water (everything up to and including Book X), it sort of slips through the cracks of must-read Nemesis.

If you're reading all this stuff for the first time, Feathers, I truly do envy you! How are you enjoying Bad Company? (books 2 and 3 to come before Prog 600 if you haven't seen them yet!)
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 18 April, 2017, 01:51:59 pm
You'll be delighted to learn that your prediction about the Gronk may be truer than you ever suspected.

On the Nemesis debate, for my money Book VII is the last truly great book; book VIII is fine but it's a prequel story and since what came after is either utterly incomprehensible (Book IX) or just feels like treading water (everything up to and including Book X), it sort of slips through the cracks of must-read Nemesis.

If you're reading all this stuff for the first time, Feathers, I truly do envy you! How are you enjoying Bad Company? (books 2 and 3 to come before Prog 600 if you haven't seen them yet!)

Hi Alex, Bad Company was ok!  I felt like it ended a bit suddenly, and didn't suggest that there would necessarily be a follow on series.  The future war setting is of course hugely familiar by this point, and the Krool are very generic and undefined.  The hopelessness of the situation is interesting, it seems they're not just fighting a war they can't win, but one where winning wouldn't matter because of other political manoeuvring in the background.  I like the diary format, and the second draft of new recruits was good at showing the change in perspective of the narrator.  I guess all in all it was less of a re-tread of old ground than I was expecting, so hopefully if there's more might grow into something better still :)

More than can be said of Mean Team, which is now a poor re-run of Meltdown Man/Return to Armageddon and easily the worst current feature.  Dredd's democracy protest storyline was beyond brilliant.  It's getting a lot chillier there.  Torquemada the God was brief but stayed good, this last prog had an unusual photo-story in it, and I'm looking forward to the Two Torquemada's starting properly soon!
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 03 May, 2017, 12:33:37 pm
I wasn't a big Hickleton fan, but can absolutely see his art has merit. It then seemed a bit of a hotch-potch after that. Which I am sure is extremely unfair on the likes of David Roach.

I've finished Prog 563 now.  Hickleton wasn't to my taste in places either - Nemesis himself never looked right with his elongated neck, and Purity seemed to be replaced by John Waters star Divine.  I liked a lot of the other incidental stuff, and the general style, but the basics didn't seem to be solid enough.  David Roach in Purity's story feels like a return to more dependable artwork.  Similarly in ABC Warriors, I'm not a fan of Simon Bisley.  I find his artwork isn't easy to read.  If there's a group of people standing together I have to really look hard to see where one person ends and another begins so it gets to be a bit of a jumble, and often the foreground is floating in a black or white void of no detail.  The SMS issues were a relief and re-kindled my enthusiasm, but currently it's a tough strip to love, especially as the original run was so great, and they seem to be stuck in a Nemesis sub-plot that doesn't show any signs of ending...

Bad Company 2 was great, I'm looking forward to reading the rest of it.  I like it that there's a defined goal now.  Oz has been good, especially the two issues with the unhinged robot cook on the ship, but the Judda story within it feels a bit plain, and drawn out.  Strontium Dog has been on great form with the Rammy, and a new story with Durham is very welcome.  Zenith I found a bit plain.  It feels like there was a bit of a rough spot at the end of 1987, but hopefully things have balanced out again for the time being now...
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 15 May, 2017, 10:46:39 am
Prog 590 - I really enjoyed Tribal Memories.  It seemed to be exactly the right length and pace for the story it was telling, which turns out to be an unusual length for 2000 AD.  In contrast, I really liked the ideas in the first episode of Tyranny Rex, but felt it wrapped up too soon without really exploring them.  The second Rex story may as well have been a completely different character.  What was going on there?
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: AlexF on 15 May, 2017, 06:18:03 pm
Aah, Tyranny Rex! I consider myself a John Smith fan but I can't help you there. I can advise you to steel yourself for the never-topped weirdfest that is Soft Bodies, though...

As far as I can tell, she's a badass mercenary who gets into and out of scrapes without much of an overarching theme, and is sometimes a nun.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: Colin YNWA on 15 May, 2017, 09:52:33 pm
Arh we have a thread for this.

https://forums.2000ad.com/index.php?topic=38869.0 (https://forums.2000ad.com/index.php?topic=38869.0)

or

http://forums.2000ad.com/index.php?topic=24846.msg427735#msg427735 (http://forums.2000ad.com/index.php?topic=24846.msg427735#msg427735)

As I recall I finally got on with Soft Bodies last time I read it. Its tangentally Tyranny but more about Fervant and Lobe (or whatever they were called) and fiction and movies and stories of stories... I need to read it again!
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 17 May, 2017, 02:08:58 pm
Thanks Alex, and thanks for the links Colin.  Shame that it looks like there won't be a return to the themes of the first story.  I always enjoy specific cultural references in 2000 AD, so there was a lot in the cloned pop star idea that really appealed and had completely disappeared in the second one.  My loss!
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: Dark Jimbo on 17 May, 2017, 05:49:55 pm
I always enjoy specific cultural references in 2000 AD, so there was a lot in the cloned pop star idea that really appealed and had completely disappeared in the second one.  My loss!

See, that was part of the problem for me, and why I'm not a fan of pop-culture references. Apart from Prince I didn't really know who any of the 'pop stars' were supposed to be, not to mention barely understanding the plot anyway.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: sheridan on 19 May, 2017, 08:58:47 pm
Folk time and again trot out the old 'no good after Book 4' fallacy (sorry Colin!) but I found the Complete Nemesis volume II every bit as enjoyable as the first.

They do?  Can't remember hearing it before now!
Quote
Grand Dragon Mazarin, the freck heresy, Satanus, 'Grandfather' Nostradamus, Candida kicking arse, the madness of Sister Sturn, Torquemada the God and his past lives... it's all gold, baby. For me it's when Hicklenton takes over that the strip starts feeling less essential, and from David Roach's Book 8 onward it does have a bit of a feel of treading water.

To me it's all great up to the end of Book IX: Deathbringer - coincidentally up to where Titan collected them.  Then it trod water until the 3-part recap Hammer of the Warlocks and went on a long pause again until we finally got the anti-climactic Book X.  The Deadlock in Temight story was good, and I wish it could have continued like that  - Judge Dredd: Mega-City One Nemesis the Warlock: Temight would have been a good series.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: sheridan on 19 May, 2017, 09:03:33 pm
Torquemada the God was brief but stayed good, this last prog had an unusual photo-story in it, and I'm looking forward to the Two Torquemada's starting properly soon!

Ah yes, the work of Tony Luke, RIP :(
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 27 June, 2017, 04:29:34 pm
Prog 610.  Deathbringer wasn't good for me, and it's the first time that Nemesis has really slipped.  The main problem was the artwork - so many of the female characters were so difficult to tell apart when they appeared separately.  The unusual, oblique script viewpoint decisions might have worked if I didn't spend so much time thinking 'who are you?' and so often getting it wrong.  A gap in the run didn't help comprehensibility, and when it reappeared it was another round of trying to work out what was actually happening, which I don't think I managed before it ended.  At least the confusion in Soft Bodies seemed to be deliberate!
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 14 September, 2017, 02:33:48 pm
Prog 662.  As well as being distracted by real life, things have been going a bit slow because I found things a bit hard going of late.  Rather than dwell on the tedium of the on-again-off-again Rogue Trooper, with The Hit so drawn out that the character appears in other stories inbetween episodes before being quietly resolved in a Winter Special (no, I don't know how it ends), or how post-Carlos Strontium Dog makes everyone look like their faces are drawn on badly lit turnips (no idea when this one will end either), I'll say that I've enjoyed Night Zero/Beyond Zero more than I expected to, that Medivac 318 was a worthy addition to the ranks of 2000AD war series, and lightweight Zippy Couriers was infinitely preferable to the tortured opaque simplicity of the perplexingly dry Moonrunners.

The advent of extra colour in Prog 650 has felt like a real breakthrough in readability, and I'm really enjoying another Supersurf run with Chopper.  I knew the Dead Man's secret already, but was pleased by the eerie Summer Magic feel of the story.  Zenith Phase III is not doing a great deal for me, which is dissapointing as the story as a whole isn't living up to the praise I'd read for it over the years, and I was hoping it would start to pay off soon.  The Horned God feels so assured in its storytelling, and has such beautiful artwork. 

It feels like there's been a bit of a lull, but I'm hoping the good feeling I'm getting from the last few Progs carries on once these thrills have run their course and are swapped for new ones.  On with the 90s!
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 02 October, 2017, 04:42:44 pm
Prog 680.  I love 2000 AD at the moment.  After the long build up Necropolis is paying off so gradually, it sometimes seems like nothing is really happening week to week, but I can't stop wanting to read the next instalment - the tension and anticipation is constant.  The artwork for Shadows initially seemed unpromising, but it keeps the story rollicking along and I'm looking forward to this every time now.  The revamped Universal Soldier is a far more interesting story than the initial run too.  Armoured Gideon offered something a bit different, and I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes when it comes back.  Chronos Carnival had a great setup before a get-it-over-and-done-with incursion to another dimension, whether it has something more interesting to offer is so far uncertain - it seems like a setting that has more potential than has so far been used.  Bix Barton was brief enough to amuse without becoming tiresome, Indigo Prime feels strange without being laboured or mystifying, and on the whole it feels like the progs have regained a lightness of touch that became somewhat lost in the gnarly, scrawly artwork of the last couple of years.  I've heard that things take a nosedive after Prog 700, but for now this feels like its own little golden age.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: AlexF on 03 October, 2017, 11:19:15 am
Yeah, the big relaunch Prog 650 was pretty mega, and sustained some top thrills for quite a while - arguably one of 2000AD's strongest bursts.

There's a weird mismatch to come with super-adult stuff stuff like Slaine and Rogue Trooper alongside new Harlem Heroes and Chronos Carnival, but the art is just stellar all the way.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 04 October, 2017, 10:32:16 am
Forgot to mention new Harlem Heroes - so far, I don't mind it, or it's lack of real connection with the original strip.  The complete absence of sport was a surprise, but on reflection fits the trend  of Harlem Heroes>Inferno>Mean Arena>Mean Team of moving away from games with complicated rules and accessories to straight personal combat and a "team" breaking out of sport into the wider world.  Mean Team was awful, because it had no idea what to do once the sport bit was over.  Hopefully not having the sport bit at all will mean that new Harlem Heroes has the answer.

I look forward to Rogue Trooper going super-adult, so far the relaunch feels like it's been treading water from the start, so something needs to happen with it!
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: Tjm86 on 04 October, 2017, 01:09:49 pm
..... Hopefully not having the sport bit at all will mean that new Harlem Heroes has the answer.


Don't build your hopes up.  Outside of Dillon's artwork it has very little to offer.  Sorry.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 10 October, 2017, 03:25:16 pm
Prog 694 - so new Harlem Heroes isn't such a great leap forward, and my goodness some of the dialogue scripting has not chuckle come off well in the last couple of installments as I'm sure you stoned out readers are fully aware.  But there's still something there, it's just a shame the over the top chatter drowns out a bit of the suspense in the strip - which the artwork could easily carry.  However it's head and shoulders above Dry Run, which takes a huge amount of character background for granted whilst not trusting the artwork to show anything without a caption box describing whatever scene transition or bit of action we should be looking at - and still in places even with these clues the images are indecipherable.  It's hard to think of the last time something fell this flat without immediately summoning Angel or Rick Random.

Necropolis is still advancing, pushing it's characters slowly together, and the anticipation is still there but it feels like it's getting dangerously close to the end without becoming really explosive - so I hope there's still plenty to come.  Slaine is also somewhat stately in pace, but this totally befits the grandiose storyline.  I like it a lot more than I thought I would.  And I still enjoyed the recent run of Medivac 318!  Hope it returns.

So...Strontium Dog.  Why?  Why bring back the story in a new format for 5 parts and a recap just to kill off Johnny Alpha?  It feels like story for The Final Solution didn't have a proper resolved ending, they just ended it as quickly as they could.  And Johnny dying over 3(?) progs after such a long gap from the rest of the story felt like the character was short changed - what was it for?  This could have been done so much better, instead, it feels like a complete waste.  I'm mystified.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: Colin YNWA on 10 October, 2017, 08:51:02 pm
I worry that there's a lot of stuff that I don't get on with in that lot... and its not far off in my re-read...

...anyway I better get back to 1988 before I put myself off!
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: AlexF on 16 October, 2017, 04:01:18 pm
I too remember being let down by the last gasp of The Final Solution when it ran in the weekly; it does feel racther rushed and tacked on. But, like so many more modern thrills, it reads a lot better in the collected edition. Was this the time when the Prog felt less like a weekly comic and more like a first run for collected editions? As ever, beating American comics to the punch by several years!
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 19 October, 2017, 01:45:55 pm
The collected edition point is an interesting one - definitely true for Slaine and Anderson with Shamballa, but not so much for Chronos Carnival or Harlem Heroes which seem pretty much like bread and butter strips that could have come at any time over the life of the comic.  What Slaine and Shamballa have in common, along with the Rogue Trooper War Machine, is that they're given a full title page before each installment - definitely a distinction being drawn.

I've just finished Prog 709.  I'm enjoying the fall out from Necropolis which is nicely reminiscent of the months of stories dealing with the aftermath of the Apocalypse War.  Hewligans Haircut was ok, interesting to contrast this with Time Flies - with Hewligan it was up front about being 8 weeks, so if it jarred a bit you knew it would be over soon, with Time Flies I feel like I've had enough and now just waiting for it to finish, which means small disappointment each prog when it doesn't.

Junker seems fairly run of the mill so far, but the artwork is good.  Silo feels very different, very adult, and I really appreciate the contrast between it and everything else at the moment.  Shamballa running for collected edition is supported by the sometime arbitrary seeming page lengths - things are happening each week, but like Slaine you can feel the development stretching over a longer period. Nearly 1991!
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: Colin YNWA on 21 October, 2017, 08:03:14 am
Wow that's certainly an interesting set of stories which really shows the diversity of 2000ad at its best. The inclusion of both Time Flies and Hewligans Haircut also demonstrated how influencial Deadline was. Never really settled in the Prog but both these stories felt lkike 2000ad trying to do Deadline lite (should say I like both).
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 30 October, 2017, 04:13:08 pm
Prog 731.  Quick thoughts - 1. Going full colour really made everything look very samey for a while.  Was this a quick decision affecting strips that hadn't been necessarily planned in colour?  Things just seem to be adjusting now, particularly happy with the lovely look of Mean Machine Travels With Muh Shrink

2. Junker was rubbish. 

3. Don't know if it's down to a change in publishers but the tone of the Nerve Centre has really changed.  It's a lot less fun.  The extra page really isn't warranted, and the issue or two full of letters from the Gulf War was quite uncomfortable.

4. Brigand Doom felt like a flimsy take off of V for Vendetta, and stopped at the point it looked like it was going to move away from that.

5. I don't dislike Tao De Moto, and the idea of a Halo Jones for the 90s is a laudable one, but if they really believed it, wouldn't it be running more than 2 pages a time?

6. Mixed feelings on Robo Hunter's facelift and Terminator strip - which means it's probably better than I was expecting.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 07 November, 2017, 06:57:23 pm
Prog 744. I liked Bix Barton better in black and white.  Killing Time was brilliant - finally hitting the right (for me) balance between esoteric ideas and coherent plot, and absolutely beautiful throughout.  I loved the Victorian style chapter headings at the top of each page too.  Dead Meat looks fun so far, Revere a little early to tell, but bleak and bloody.  Dredd has lost a little if the epic under Ennis, but I don't think there's been a bad one yet.  Tao de Moto still needs more pages.  This Prog was out on the week of my tenth birthday.  I'm constantly wondering at what point, had I tried to, my parents would have let me read this.  My guess is - not yet.  And for some of these thrills, I wonder if I would have understood them if I had?  When is the right age to become a Squaxx dek Thargo?
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: Magnetica on 07 November, 2017, 08:18:49 pm
This Prog was out on the week of my tenth birthday.  I'm constantly wondering at what point, had I tried to, my parents would have let me read this.  My guess is - not yet.  And for some of these thrills, I wonder if I would have understood them if I had?  When is the right age to become a Squaxx dek Thargo?

I was wondering something similar myself recently. My son will be eight early next year but there is no way he would want to start reading the modern Prog anytime soon nor do I think I would let him. I started reading Starlord when I was nine and if the Prog was like that now that then I guess nine would be ok. Not that nine year olds these days would be interested ( I Base that purely on what my kids are interested in, so that’s not a particularly wide sample).

So I guess the answer is the ideal starting age has gone up over the years.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: SmallBlueThing(Reborn) on 07 November, 2017, 09:30:39 pm
My eldest is now fourteen and has been reading the prog, weekly, since he was eleven. Before that he read all the Case Files up to that point and a huge swathe of my trades. The early stories were his favourites, especially Dredd, Flesh, Rogue Trooper and Future Shocks. The only modern stuff he really liked before getting it weekly was Kingdom.
SBT
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 22 November, 2017, 04:11:38 pm
Thanks for the replies.  I definitely agree with you Magnetica that the starting age has increased - I think 82/83 stuff would have been perfectly fine at 10 or a bit younger, but this week I was brought up a bit short by the depiction of a battlefield quadruple amputee and talk of panicked involuntary euthanasia in Prog 755's Strontium Dogs, so I feel certain that this would still have been off limits in 1991.

SmallBlueThing, I certainly understand the love for Flesh, Dredd etc - thrills for all ages, and all the ages.  I'm curious what prompted him to get the weekly if he only liked one strip, and how long it was before the rest won him over?
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: SmallBlueThing(Reborn) on 25 November, 2017, 04:58:34 pm
He's had a weekly comic bought for him since before he could read. Started off with CBeebies magazine, then Scooby Doo, Spidey and Dr Who Adventures. Eventually grew out of them all, and having been reading my 2000AD trades since he could string a sentence together, he asked me to get him the prog every week. Initially it was mainly for Dredd, but he's really liked Jaegir, Threeeeellers, ABCs and Savage. Like all of us, he has things he doesn't get on with (Brass Sun, Counterfeit Girl, Slaine) but he says it's always worth it because something will be good. I got him to give Brink another go, after he was skipping it in the prog, and he really liked it- as did I when I read it in one go. Obviously, being my son, he would be at least a bit like me, but I think 2000AD is now in his blood. I'm sure he'll drop out at some point, but I'd imagine he will always now come back to it from time to time.

Youngest son, the one who really IS a lot like me in most ways, on the other hand can't be arsed with it. He will read Dredd case files, but has no interest in comics really.

SBT
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 27 November, 2017, 11:46:59 am
That's lovely, thanks.  It's always to go back through a pile of previously read comics and find that something you'd always skipped was actually great all along.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 10 January, 2018, 03:08:54 pm
Prog 803 - It's been a long time since I updated, I'm aware that I've passed the point where there's supposed to be a dip in quality, and I can see where that comes form.  Since last time, Dredd has had a couple of lacklustre filler strips (Koole Brothers, Babes in Arms spring readily to mind) that have suggested it might not be a reliable pick for best in Prog each week.  Rogue Trooper is mind-numbing, particularly the recent Apocalypse Dreadnought.  The Friday version of the character really suffers from not having his biochip team to talk to, so pairing him with a mute alien is madly frustrating as his clunky monologuing soars to new heights.  Also pretty recent is Kola Kommandos, one of those thrills where every time you start reading you wonder if you've accidentally skipped a week.  Overflowing with a new half-baked idea 6 pages, I really wish there'd been a proper story included somewhere in its inexplicably long run.

Against this background, it's been really nice to get Zenith back for Book 4.  This one hadn't lived up to it's reputation for me previously, but the quality is clearly in another league to much of the stuff around it.  Button Man was a little predictable, but the artwork was always a pleasure.  Skizz Book 2 I'm sure I'd heard wasn't great, but I really enjoyed it and thought it was a fully worthwhile and appropriate continuation.  Finn is an odd one, after one book the character seems to have a lot in common with Revere, absent the post-apocalyptic setting and with the additional Mills touch.  Odd that these should start so close to each other.  No clear favourite between the two yet, although I remember Revere episode 2 containing possibly the most sophisticated page of artwork seen yet.

Really pleased to have Luke Kirby back at the moment, although less anticipation for the return of Clown - once was more than enough for a strip this thin on ideas.  Speaking of which, Brigand Doom never seemed to settle on a proper one, and its second run left me wondering what it was really supposed to be about.  I'm not clamouring for more Trash either.....you know, with it all written out like this I can see why it's been so long since my last post!  Here's hoping there's better things ahead.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: Colin YNWA on 10 January, 2018, 03:56:16 pm
Rogue Trooper is mind-numbing, particularly the recent Apocalypse Dreadnought. 

I know what you mean and I'm really not looking forward to a few things from this era when I get there in the none to distant (trying to work out if I'm catching you up or not???) and Friday Rogue is high on that list. With a title like Apocalypse Dreadnought how can this be dull... but I seem to recall it really is!

Good to have you back, always enjoy these updates.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 10 January, 2018, 04:27:40 pm
Thank you, very kind.  I think you are catching up, I've had a very uneven pace this year - I've only read about 270 progs since mid-April, so I'm hoping to do another 200 in the next 3 months to reach 1000 at the end of year 2, but who knows how over-optimistic that is!
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: Tjm86 on 10 January, 2018, 06:08:23 pm

I know what you mean and I'm really not looking forward to a few things from this era when I get there in the none to distant (trying to work out if I'm catching you up or not???) and Friday Rogue is high on that list. With a title like Apocalypse Dreadnought how can this be dull... but I seem to recall it really is!


Wasn't it one of Fleischer's 'scripts'?
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 22 January, 2018, 03:20:32 pm
Wasn't it one of Fleischer's 'scripts'?

It was! Having looked back at his previous work there's not a good one among them.  I don't always pay attention to who's doing what, but he'll be hard to forget now.

Prog 824 - Finn and Revere have concluded a second run and come more into focus - or more out of focus for Revere, which does less this time than it did first time, and seems to dilute what potential it had in the confusion.  Finn is alright, but nothing special.  It doesn't have the richness of setting to support its fantasy that Slaine does, and feels a bit half hearted in trying to reach for a depth in it's mythology that it's previous comic trappings can't give weight to.  They both feel like they've run their course already, although Finn more satisfyingly while Revere strays towards the please-make-it-stop territory of Brigand Doom.  Is this feeling Doom inspires supposed to give the reader an empathetic connection to his victims?

Flesh: Legend of Shamana is not really working either.  The original Flesh is still one of the greats for me, and while the first sequel couldn't quite live up to it it at least managed to set up a chain of events and desires and then unfold the terrible consequences.  This is a much lesser story than both and doesn't have anything driving beyond simple opposition.

A while back I asked about the Gronk going on a RAGE style rampage, and now here we are.  Also, everyone on the letters page are right - Wireheads was appalling in every way.  It's amazing, especially when Shadows (fairly recently, it seems) treated some similar ideas in a far more intelligible and dramatic way.  Happily Dredd has picked up a bit from it's slump, though Judgement Day itself felt a poor relation to Necropolis, so it's nice to be back to normal.  Though I might be on a high from a recent, all too short return for PJ Maybe.  Oddly though, things don't feel too bad.  Luke Kirby was great all the way through, Robo Hunter has it's moments, and the increasing 90s-ness of things is interesting, and coming through in unexpected ways.  I'm really enjoying reading each prog at the moment, despite the currently variable quality within.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: CalHab on 23 January, 2018, 10:55:02 am
Wasn't it one of Fleischer's 'scripts'?
It was! Having looked back at his previous work there's not a good one among them.  I don't always pay attention to who's doing what, but he'll be hard to forget now.

By all accounts some of Fleischer's US work from the 70s is very good, in particular Jonah Hex. His 2000AD stuff, on the other hand......
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: Colin YNWA on 23 January, 2018, 01:25:19 pm
Yeah his Jonah Hex stuff is pretty good fun, so apparently is his Spectre but I've not read that.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: Tjm86 on 24 January, 2018, 06:16:08 pm
Finn is an odd one, after one book the character seems to have a lot in common with Revere, absent the post-apocalyptic setting and with the additional Mills touch.  Odd that these should start so close to each other.  No clear favourite between the two yet, although I remember Revere episode 2 containing possibly the most sophisticated page of artwork seen yet.


Am I right in thinking that Finn was a translation from Crisis and Third World War into the prog?  I may be wrong but the character is ringing bells from that point of view.  I would agree that both strips suffer from wearing Mill's bete noir's too proudly on their sleeves.  For me, Revere was the stronger of the two for the absolutely bonkers art work.  Finn tended to appeal a little too much to the tin foil hat brigade for my tastes. 

If anything this raises an intriguing question; does the prog suffer when there are too many Mills strips?
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: Jim_Campbell on 24 January, 2018, 09:46:46 pm
If anything this raises an intriguing question; does the prog suffer when there are too many Mills strips?

I would direct your attention to the current prog thread. Although, in the interests of full disclosure, I’m not as down on it as many posting on that thread… although that may be because I’m not reading ABC Warriors at all, and thus am quite enjoying Savage.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: AlexF on 29 January, 2018, 03:04:54 pm
Yeah his Jonah Hex stuff is pretty good fun, so apparently is his Spectre but I've not read that.

I've read Fleisher's Spectre, bu not his Jonah Hex. I would say it's a lot of fun, but not necessarily 'good'. The main thing is he had some inventively nasty ideas for ways that the Spectre could enact fitting vengeance on evil doers (a bit like Max from the 13th floor). But the plots and characters aren't spectacular.

In fact, his Rogue Trooper isn't far different: the hyper violence in his scripts is proper 2000AD nastiness, but it's telling that if you don't care about your central character, and can't follow their quest, the inventive violence isn't enough to hold your interest.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 31 January, 2018, 02:41:12 pm
Prog 842 - Ok, so I've reached the notorious 1993 'summer offensive', but being only one prog in I'm not ready to talk about it yet, suffice to say so far it's a bafflingly abrupt change.  I had actually thought things had been picking up again since last post: Firekind looked good, and I enjoyed the world building early parts.  I knew about the missing episode so skipped ahead to read it in the right place, but by the time the story ended I wasn't sure what it was about.  With the name I thought the space-dragons (what is it about dragons recently?) would be the focus, but they don't play any great part in the story.  Larsen, particularly at the end of part one, seems to have an interesting background, or be a representative agent of some external power, but we don't really find out about it.  The actual resolution seemed to come out of nowhere, and didn't satisfactorily address the early part of the story.  But as a whole it looked great and I really enjoyed reading it.  Maybe it's my fault, maybe I'm criticising it unfairly for not being what I expected rather than for what it was (although what it was I'm not sure - I don't think I could summarise the plot satisfactorily).  So I have mixed feelings, but ones that would definitely lead me to read it again.  I think I'm struggling with the idea that even without the quality of plot development I was expecting I still thought it was really good.  Hm.

Also really good and with crystal clear plotting was Kano.  A brilliant return, and the change of setting really brought a lot more depth to the character.  The idea of time running backwards for an hour a day is fascinatingly weird, and the hunting episode that makes use of this masterful.  This kind of thing really appeals to me - and brought back happy memories of the bit of Halo Jones set in the crush.  I can't fault this one at all.

Armoured Gideon on the other hand was a bit less.  By the end I was thoroughly sick of having the concepts of the characters and setting explained to me in a bald infodump at the start of each episode.  I think it says something unflattering about the coherence of the ideas if this context can't be conveyed more naturally during the installment.  A decent enough sequel, but probably stretched out too long for my taste.

Kelly's Eye was fine, undemanding and competent action of the sort that I'd take over the new Rogue Trooper any day.  Judge Dredd is still wobbly though: There's no way the thin ideas of The Chieftain warranted 3 weeks, but I LOVED the return of the Muzak killer - as I've noted previously I really enjoy seeing the 'current' wider pop culture and music references in particular, so this for me was bliss.  Also blazing high has been Purgatory, but having read Mark Millar's first two Dredds proper they seemed a little flat, so I wonder if credit here should go to Carlos?  To be honest it took me a while to warm to his style back at the beginning of this project - it's deceptively simple - but over time I've grown to appreciate how incredibly dynamic, easy to follow, and economical his frames are.  Packed with thrill power, every one.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: Colin YNWA on 31 January, 2018, 05:56:53 pm
Yeah always happy to see a postive review of Kano as I think it comes in for a lot of unnecessary stick and agree its great.

And its interesting to hear your views on Firekind for me one of the 2000ad classics, I love it... mind I say that about just about any John Smith strip! (just about I'm reading one I'm not big on at the moment!).

Armoured Gideon is a strip I always look forward to reading and then seem to be a little disappointed by as its never quite as good as I build it in my mind. Its not a bad strip, far from it, but a bit like Brigand Doom never quite has a stella story, its always good, not great. Still we'll see how I feel about it when I get there.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 26 March, 2018, 02:59:47 pm
Prog 937 - Ok, so it turns out my reading time far outweighs my posting time, especially against a tight schedule.  That and some lengthy comments timing out mean this might well skip something I hoped to mention, but from what I remember wanting to talk about, at random and skipping across 93-95:

- The all new strips from the summer offensive were mostly misses, and herald a weak strain of concept-without-plot strips, with Mark Millar seeming particularly prone to this.  Slaughterbowl was probably the most enjoyable but hardly revolutionary fitting into a pretty well established sports formula, but got good use of it's characters and had a satisfying finish - the revamped Mean Arena showed executed this formula on moment interest without an end in mind leaving itself wholly redundant, and Babe Race 2000 tried it without real characters to get to something I felt bad about giving time to reading.

Really & Truly seems to have existed for the amusement of it's creators without offering much else to recommend it, I found Rian Hughes' artwork cutesily lightweight, and find much to enjoy in it until his second run on Robo Hunter - his lettering on the first just compounded things for the worst.

Maniac 5 is another high concept, low content creation that seems happily to have drifted off from possible return.  It's funny, Soul Gun Warrior/Assassin is similar in a way but seems to better inhabit it's flimsy nature - is it Shaky Kane?  Is it because it owns it's excesses and points them to ridicule rather than trying to be adolescently 'dark'?  What I will say for Maniac 5 is it feels like the idea could have been developed into something worthwhile, but wasn't given enough thought before it went into production - a nice idea, but not developed into a proper story.  It's undemending and underwritten action is still preferable to the turgid litany of callsigns, military technobabble and macho posturing that Rogue Trooper has devolved into.  I thought it was bad when there was no-one for Friday to talk to, turns out he's as interesting conversationally as a scrolling stock market readout.

Also in the bad books, Dinosty was just awful.  All of Pat Mills' worst bits thrown together and reheated with artwork that crowded each frame too tightly, made all the shadows black and popped white highlights on anything lighter than dark grey.  The 'Pray it's not True!' tag was baffling, but it seems Tharg saw sense because that was one hell of an abrupt ending.

Back to '93, I did fairly enjoy Big Dave.  But should it have been in 2000 AD?  It's interesting (ironic even) that simultaneously to this was debate about 2000 AD being placed on higher shelves at newsagents, and Tharg firmly stating it shouldn't be, incidentally pegging the target readership as 13-17.  Could having a cartoon of Judge Mellie on the Input page a couple of weeks beforehand be considered fair warning?

So having complained a fair bit (I'll be praising some favoured thrills soon!  Promise!) about mindlessly underwritten fare, I came firmly to the conclusion that the purple prose and tortured metaphysics of Tyranny Rex and Revere book 3 were definitely not for me.  It's a shame, I've liked some of John Smith's work, but not reliably.  UNLIKE The Journal of Luke Kirby, which has had another fantastic run.  Luke is so consistently enjoyable, well paced, and with an unusual suffusing of melancholy, it's reaching all-time status for me.  It makes me seriously want to hunt out whatever specials and annuals Kirby appeared in, and I haven't bothered considering them at all since around 1981.  I love it.

----------

(continuing, now at Prog 949) I also thought Mambo started well, an interesting mystery hook, a developed concept,and interesting lead - everything a new thrill should have.  (Having read the second run I hope it wasn't the concluding part, and that when it returns the annoying sidekick can be dropped).  Strontium Dogs is pootling along without much conviction - it's nice enough but sorely misses Johnny Alpha, and really needs to find it's own identity again, which I don't think the Gronk can sufficiently anchor.  Rogue Trooper goes from bad to worse, and dragging the original leads in and making them subordinate to the imitation doesn't help.  It just needs to be left alone now.  On the other hand, Armoured Gideon has had two much improved outings - the tongue in cheek roping in of lesser stars of the distant past and indulging in a bit of metatextual artwork was a lot of fun, and the body swap story that followed was interestingly different and had a punchy pace.  While I found the original sequel flabby and dull, I'd be happy to read more like these two.

Also in surprise improvements, The Clown II was a lot more enjoyable than the first - I really wasn't looking forward to it, but was very pleasantly surprised.  I also liked Canon Fodder, pretty much in every way possible.  Timehouse was inoffensive, and the very clean art style made for a nice contrast with other offerings.  Mother Earth was forgettably dreary, ABC Warriors was nicely realised but character skits in service of a recycled getting-the-gang-back-together shows it bereft of real ideas.

Button Man II surpassed the original and was properly brilliant.  Same high standard for artwork, but the more personal plot had a bit more pull for me.  I can't wait for more of this one.  Skizz III was a gradual let down - it took me nearly to the end of the run to realise it wasn't going anywhere, at which point the earlier bits seemed like a bit of a waste, but they were fairly good as they came and while I was still hopeful.  Dredd is still hit and miss, some bits being hived off into the Megazine mean that, especially around Wastelands, it feels like you're missing fairly essential plot (why is he being sent to Titan?  What's happening with McGruder?), and Wastelands itself felt non-commital lest readers don't follow both.  And if you're not reading both, it's a shame that this essential character is feeling more distant.  The run of Red Razors didn't hit the way it clearly should have without reading the previous lot in the Meg either, it looked like if you did it'd have been of a perfectly good standard.

The Corps is a no from me, but Finn has been fine, if not in the first rank.  Slaine continues to be excellent.  The Boudica storyline looked fantastic, and the change of setting gave a hint of variety.  I'm glad it's back again now, and looking forward to more.  New Harlem Heroes was abysmal (the first run was not much, but a lot more than this), and I'm not convinced there's any more to the Grudge Father's 12 progs than there was to Tracer's 2.  It's not enough.  At least Trash hasn't come back.  How to end on a positive?

You know, I thought that there was supposed to be a much more precipitous decline a lot earlier (prog 700 and something?) than this, and I haven't really felt it.  But then, I've enjoyed being reaquainted with questionable mid 90s design layouts and mores, and in some ways there's been an overall improvement - no more IGroid wasting space for one thing - but then I'm reminded of the Mix column, so impenetrably far out of place it's unreal.  WHY?  Damn, this was supposed to be a positive finish.  And another thing, the Next Prog box should be on the Input page where it can be read WITHOUT giving away developments only a few pages away..

Uh...maybe the positive is that it still seems reasonable to expect each Prog to live up to the high standards set in the past.  I might have been wearied by some thrills, but there's always something worthwhile, often a majority.  I haven't come close to throwing in the towel, or been tempted to.  I even look forward to re-reading bits!  And against all odds I've developed a curiosity to watch the Stallone film, if only to get maximum value from future Inputs.  Will Tharg recant?
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 01 April, 2018, 02:33:13 pm
Just a quick post to note that having concluded the aimless advertorial Urban Strike Prog 959 is in my view as good a Prog as any I've read - Hints of long term revelation for Dredd in The Cal Files, as well as more visceral thrills in Bad Frendz, a turning point in another superb Luke Kirby tale, another fine Vector 13 successfully splitting the difference between Tales From Beyond Science and Tharg's Terror Tales to deliver the best aspects of both and then some, a pivotal chapter in Slaine's latest quest and the weakest link a much improved return for Maniac 5 (which might have ranked middle against some of the lesser stuff there's been recently).  Brilliant artwork throughout.  I don't know where the nadir is popularly thought to be, and we have just come off another relaunch with Prog 950, but there is nothing at all wrong with 959.


See, I don't just moan!
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: AlexF on 06 April, 2018, 10:07:19 am
Oh, you're well past the nadir at this point. For me, Vector 13 provided something of a turning point. Yes, it was amazingly derivative of X-Files in tone, but in fact most episodes are way better than the average Future Shock, and, along with Wagner Dredd, meant that the Prog at this time had at least two reliably thrilling thrills.

Mind, there are some speedbumps ahead, with ParaSites (might be might top contender for worst ever thrill), and of course BLAIR 1 & the Spice Girls (which may have both been improved had they actually combined the two...), but the batting average goes up as the likes of Millar and Morrison are replaced with the likes of Abnett and Rennie.

Can't believe you liked The Clown II! It's terrible, and for a plot dependent on things being funny, it's very not funny. Although presumably you cannot fathom how I really like The Clown I. Hooray for differing opinions!
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 09 April, 2018, 03:57:40 pm
That's really encouraging to hear!  I'd assumed it would be a bit later thanks to a couple of the thrills you've named.  I've just finished Prog 980, and yes, ParaSites was appalling.  Felt like a sequel to Wireheads sneaking out under a different title, and with all the same flaws.

Clown II wasn't particularly strong, but I don't know, I just expected worse!  I appreciated it being diegetically funny, if that's possible. And yes, hooray for different opinions!
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: Colin YNWA on 09 April, 2018, 07:33:41 pm
That's really encouraging to hear!  I'd assumed it would be a bit later thanks to a couple of the thrills you've named.  I've just finished Prog 980, and yes, ParaSites was appalling.  Felt like a sequel to Wireheads sneaking out under a different title, and with all the same flaws.

Clown II wasn't particularly strong, but I don't know, I just expected worse!  I appreciated it being diegetically funny, if that's possible. And yes, hooray for different opinions!

Rough as some bits are at the moment in my read, and even if the 980s have The Pit, that all sounds horrible!
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 17 April, 2018, 04:00:34 pm
Tomorrow is the 2 year anniversary of me reading 2000 AD.  This morning I was very pleased to hit my goal or the last year  by reading Prog 1000.  Hooray!

Maybe it's psychological, but ever since AlexF told me I was over the worst patch already, things have been great.  Following the film tie-in relaunch of Prog 950 Dredd has been firmly back to the forefront - and rightly so to. The brief run of double strips was a great showcase for the character's versatility, and The Pit sequence has conversely demonstrated a consistency and depth that it had been missing for a couple of years.

Second to this is the fantastic Sinister Dexter, a thrill which is unusual compared to it's recent contemporaries for not (currently, at least) having an overarching plot, just a world and consistent characters within it.  It's really refreshing, and each instalment has something to delight.  Contrast this to the limp RAM Raiders, which feels by comparison like a leftover from a year or two back.  Talking of which, Cannon Fodder's return did not disappoint - great art, expanding scope, funny, inventive, and the with its straightfaced use of pop culture icons gaining a feeling akin to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.  I'd love more.

Vector 13 regularly hits the right spot, although a its return was marred by a run of linked conspiracy themed outings that crassly overstepped the mark - happily this now seems to be over.

Slaine is still Slaine, Finn and Strontium Dogs bob along nicely enough with the latter seeing the welcome reintroduction of Middenface McNulty and hopefully reaching the end of the Gronk-led Ferral's mutation storyline.  It's been going nowhere for a long time, but it feels like a corner might have been turned.

In related thrills, Durham Red seems to be getting editorial notes asking for 'more, but sexier' between each installment - surely this has to reach a limit soon as it's getting silly already - but the character is still hugely engaging, enough even to raise interest in the well-worn death match set up she's embroiled in, which has the potential to be a high quality exemplar of the form.

It may be psychological, it may be the pleasure of looking inside the covers of Progs I remember as a 15 year old seeming slightly forbidding in my local record shop, but right now it feels like good times
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: Bolt-01 on 18 April, 2018, 09:15:28 am
Feathers, you've got so much good stuff to come.

Don't rush and remember that TPO is a real thing.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: AlexF on 19 April, 2018, 10:28:10 am
that 'more, but sexier' note on Durham Red is going to keep applying btw... :-[
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 19 April, 2018, 12:12:31 pm
Feathers, you've got so much good stuff to come.

Don't rush and remember that TPO is a real thing.

Thanks Bolt-01!  I am planning a deceleration in future so I can cope with the eventual reality of 1 Prog a week, but can always re-read some highlights to stop the shakes if things get bad.  I'm aware that it's a dangerous game at this rate!

that 'more, but sexier' note on Durham Red is going to keep applying btw... :-[

Eep  :-[
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 30 April, 2018, 03:00:16 pm
Prog 1018 - So I've decided that this year I'll cut back to aim to read only 400 Progs, so updates may be slower coming, or may be easier to fit in.  In the current run, Mazeworld sees the very welcome return of Arthur Ranson going further in to fantasy than he did with Shamballa.  The leisurely story feels slightly reminiscent of old thrills like Meltdown Man, but I don't mind it being spun out to similar length if Ranson's going to draw it all.  I'm pleased to see Mambo back, and surprised at the return of Time Flies - maybe being in colour suits it, maybe it's the context, but I'm finding this run more enjoyable than the first series.

More surprising still is Rogue Trooper -with Dan Abnett and Steve White writing it's actually turned into something enjoyable again.  It's amazing to see the contrast against the last however many years of never-to-be-read-again stories of this previously most skippable of thrills, and to realise that I'm actually <i>pleased</i> to see it's first page within each Prog.  I hope it lasts.  Unlike the Vector 13 takeover of the Input/Output pages.  Un-fun one note tedium.  Genuinely awaiting Tharg's return.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 12 June, 2018, 02:48:22 pm
Prog 1053 - rattling along at the moment with relatively little to report.  1997 was going great, but the hit of new summer thrills has it stumbling on I Was a Teenage Tax Consultant and the first three episodes of the looked-interesting-when-it-was-trailed Witch World - part 4 has started telling a recognisable story, but it's hard to see what the early parts did other than blunt interest.  One other recent no thanks is Outlaw...madly contrived, and I'm not convinced the tension of who-will-draw first exists the way it's supposed to in the first place - definitely not repeatedly.

Onto success: Sinister Dexter makes comics look easy, and Nikolai Dante is fantastic at gradually revealing extra possibilities in it's set up rather than being constrained by it.  Looking forward to more of this.  Mercy Heights was a slow burn, but worked, Al's Baby didn't outstay it's welcome - and unusually for a Meg crossover didn't feel like it was missing the first half of the story.  I'm less sold on the art for the new Anderson series, but it's good to have her back. 

In other news I'm pleased to have crossed the mid-way barrier, over half down, half to go!
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: Colin YNWA on 12 June, 2018, 06:01:27 pm
Oh you are heading to some rich territory as I recall.

Also over half way is good... but will it be over half way by the time you are home?

My re-read I'm reading in yearly chunks and at such a pace that on my 'To read' spreadsheet (half re-reads, half new material waiting to be read) I've scheduled up to 2020 so far and do wonder if by the time I get there I will need to have included 2021 (almost certainly) and 2022!
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 15 June, 2018, 02:07:18 pm
I think 2022 will be when I catch up too Colin. I think this being the point I finished school is probably adding to the sense of the early years being over, but yes, I'll be in the middle for a bit yet!
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 19 June, 2018, 02:50:09 pm
Prog 1066 - soooo....what started as a stumble has turned into a full flat-on-face fall as 2000AD seems happy to shed it's recent good form in favour of...I'm not sure what.  Laboured, unfunny comedy (Teenage Tax Consultant, Space Girls), peril-of-the-week, characterless fantasy (Witch World), and diminishing returns on past-their-best thrills (Vector 13).  Against this background, the more explicitly humorous Dredd stories (Mr Cube) lose the edge a contrast would have given them seeming weaker than they are.  (The Fast Food run though was great because it played a bit straighter with emotions of the central characters).

At the apex, or should that be nadir, of this is Prog 1066.  I lightly themed grab bag of one off stories that would have made a weak Summer Special instead masquerading as the real thing.  Only Sinister Dexter, by not rising to the bait of the brief, comes out with it's reputation in tact.  What's doubly galling about this is the increasingly desperate tone taken by the editorial pages, trying too hard in talking up the worst aspects of the current prog and beseeching readers to "tell your friends!" before producing something that's then  labelled as not for sale to children - are they trying to build the readership, or diminish it?

It's a huge mis-step.  Hopefully it's over and done with now for good.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 19 June, 2018, 03:25:02 pm
Addendum - forgot to mention Anderson, whose recent Crusade storyline of kidnapped children was baffling to me.  Was the baby behind it a character from the Megazine?  Either way, a bit more context as to who they were would have been welcome, but the story seemed a bit disjointed (including what felt like rewriting the state-of-play and removing character knowledge between some installments) and then just ended, without having much impact, or me being able to tell what reaction they were aiming for.  I'm not a fan of the artwork either...
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: Greg M. on 19 June, 2018, 05:12:05 pm
Addendum - forgot to mention Anderson, whose recent Crusade storyline of kidnapped children was baffling to me.  Was the baby behind it a character from the Megazine?

No, Hope was introduced in the Anderson story Engram in 2000AD. Crusade is indeed a spectacularly terrible story though.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: Colin YNWA on 19 June, 2018, 09:27:46 pm
The thing is this silly thumping of chests started pretty early. Over at my re-read thread Link Prime made the astute comment

Quote
The main event was of course the beginning of Buttonman- described by Tharg himself as a "real teen sleaze strip".  Old green bonce certainly knew what buttons to push at the time.

Button Man a 'real teen sleaze strip'!

Sigh

 In a Prog I've just read tonight (783) a list of bullet point extolls the virtues of the soon starting Judgement Night as follows:


I mean that's the very worst Marvel and DC promo material in one go!

2000ad went through a long time of trying to be the lastest cool. Before it relaxed and realised it didn't matter if it was cool as long as it was good. And of course by doing so became cool again.
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: AlexF on 22 June, 2018, 02:21:49 pm
Crusade does read better in the collected Anderson Psi Files, when there's a clearer link to both Engram, which introduced the Psi-Baby, and indeed Helios (or was it Triad?) that introduced the twin girls who take centre stage in Crusade. But it's nowhere near the best of Anderson's stories.

I remember readers at the time complaining (and rightly so!) that it was crazy that no Dredd stories at this time mentioned the fact that all the children in MC1 were being kidnapped (see also Judge Hershey: Harlequin's Dance, which had the same plot hook some years earlier in the Megazine). If there'd been even a single Dredd story about this this it might've lifted the whole sorry saga.

You can't even really blame the art - the same problem hampered Anderson: Satan, which was painted with dependably stunning results by Arthur Ranson, but at no ppint in the Judge Dredd strip did anyone mention that the city was under attack by the actual Satan (as opposed to the Devil, who was presumably snug in his iso cube in Block 666)

But also you can blame the art, and I'm someone who kinda likes Steve Sampson!
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 02 August, 2018, 10:55:48 am
]No, Hope was introduced in the Anderson story Engram in 2000AD. Crusade is indeed a spectacularly terrible story though.
Crusade does read better in the collected Anderson Psi Files, when there's a clearer link to both Engram, which introduced the Psi-Baby, and indeed Helios (or was it Triad?) that introduced the twin girls who take centre stage in Crusade. But it's nowhere near the best of Anderson's stories.

Thanks both - I looked into this and saw Engram was the 2 part story separated by 40 weeks or so, so I'm not surprised it didn't leave a big impression.  I was tempted to look up the numbers, go back and reread it, but then...I didn't.  The whole return run of Anderson sadly seemed to be missing something (I think the fantasticly memorable bodybag cover was probably the highlight).

2000ad went through a long time of trying to be the lastest cool. Before it relaxed and realised it didn't matter if it was cool as long as it was good. And of course by doing so became cool again.

You're completely right there Colin - and I think it's happened over the last stretch as things are in very fine form where I am now at...

Prog 1122.  Dredd, Sinister Dexter, Pulp Sci Fi and Sancho Panzer might represent the strongest line up the Prog has had in ages.  Missionary Man I can't get into, and for me is less successful than Red Razors as a transfer from the Meg (Al's Baby having been the most seamless, and only fully successful import).  It feels like the various factions and stakes have never been established, and I can't wait for it to end.  Still, 3 strong strips, an anthology, and 1 weak one feels like classic 2000AD.

While the experiment in extended page counts worked (particularly) for Sinister Dexter, I missed the variety while it was happening.  And giving a whole prog over to a single Dredd or Slaine story is just a no - not enough density, less thrills per page, and less than half the time to read.  So the current set up is giving a lovely warm glow of rightness that's almost nostalgic.

Something else making me smile is that I haven't had to read Rogue Trooper for a very long time now.

It's been on my mind because 'future war' Sancho Panzer felt in concept like it shouldn't work, but it's just so light and enjoyable that it does.  John Wagner back on Dredd is conquering all imitators with his casual picking up of didn't-realise-they-were-coming-back-to-that plot points and real sense of progression and development.  It's a delight to read.  Only a year to go until I find out what Tharg changes the name to on new year's eve 1999 (thankfully they seem to have stopped printing the letters now.  Dear God.)
Title: Re: Another 2000AD read thread
Post by: feathers on 06 September, 2018, 04:12:21 pm
Prog 1160 - For what feels like years now Tharg's opening comments have described 2000 AD as 'a weekly fusion of sci fi and fantasy'.  For a long time this might as well have said 'sci fi and Slaine'.  Then they stopped running Slaine.  So it's been an unexpected pleasure to have the pendulum swing back the other way and remember how good fantasy thrills can be thanks to Devlin Waugh and Mazeworld.  Mazeworld has always been a great showcase for Arthur Ranson's work, and while the conclusion didn't have anything revelatory in it, it was no disgrace either, and the journey was well worth taking.  I'd begun to think that I wasn't a god fit with John Smith after his last Tyranny Rex outing, but Devlin Waugh takes the best elements of his inventive mythology building and sticks it around a protagonist who seems to have a touch of Zenith's semi-pompous egotism and relatable jadedness.  It's a good mix, and a nice slow pace is allowing a very distinct atmosphere to suffuse the strip, drawing it more into it's own with each instalment.

Downlode Tales has been giving a nice shake up to Sinister Dexter, and exploiting the depth of their milieu in the same way as the post Apocalypse War Dredd strips did - very nice.  Speaking of which, Dredd's encounter with Orlok was fun and nostalgic without being a cheap cash in on former glories.  It's a shame that Rose O'Rion's full length outing didn't give her a more recognisable situation to work in, or more characters to work with, and the second series of Mercy Heights fell completely flat for me.  The original was an intricate space opera of competing motivations following a raft of interacting characters - so why did the sequel throw that out to focus so heavily on the desires of a bland megalomaniac?  Was it the suggestion of a connection between Tor Cyan and Rogue Trooper (Ambassador, with this suggestion you are boring me) that drew him in from the periphery to a dull centre stage?  Anyway - pfft.  I'm not even sure it was better than Balls Brothers, whose name was half right.