Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
 

Author Topic: Another 2000AD read thread  (Read 6412 times)

feathers

  • Member
  • Sub Basement Sewer Unit
  • *
  • Posts: 50
    • View Profile
Re: Another 2000AD read thread
« Reply #60 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.

feathers

  • Member
  • Sub Basement Sewer Unit
  • *
  • Posts: 50
    • View Profile
Re: Another 2000AD read thread
« Reply #61 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.

Colin YNWA

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 12860
    • View Profile
Re: Another 2000AD read thread
« Reply #62 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.

feathers

  • Member
  • Sub Basement Sewer Unit
  • *
  • Posts: 50
    • View Profile
Re: Another 2000AD read thread
« Reply #63 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!

Tjm86

  • Member
  • Posting Machine
  • ***
  • Posts: 1953
    • View Profile
Re: Another 2000AD read thread
« Reply #64 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'?

feathers

  • Member
  • Sub Basement Sewer Unit
  • *
  • Posts: 50
    • View Profile
Re: Another 2000AD read thread
« Reply #65 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.

CalHab

  • Member
  • Sentient Tea Bot
  • **
  • Posts: 427
    • View Profile
Re: Another 2000AD read thread
« Reply #66 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......

Colin YNWA

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 12860
    • View Profile
Re: Another 2000AD read thread
« Reply #67 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.

Tjm86

  • Member
  • Posting Machine
  • ***
  • Posts: 1953
    • View Profile
Re: Another 2000AD read thread
« Reply #68 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?

Jim_Campbell

  • 2000AD Creator
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 12085
  • Letterer to the Stars! (and PJ)
    • View Profile
    • deviantArt Gallery
Re: Another 2000AD read thread
« Reply #69 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.
Eagle Award Nominated Letterer: Samples. | Blog
Less-Awesome-Artist: Scribbles.

AlexF

  • Member
  • Prog Stacking Droid
  • ***
  • Posts: 592
    • View Profile
Re: Another 2000AD read thread
« Reply #70 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.

feathers

  • Member
  • Sub Basement Sewer Unit
  • *
  • Posts: 50
    • View Profile
Re: Another 2000AD read thread
« Reply #71 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.

Colin YNWA

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 12860
    • View Profile
Re: Another 2000AD read thread
« Reply #72 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.

feathers

  • Member
  • Sub Basement Sewer Unit
  • *
  • Posts: 50
    • View Profile
Re: Another 2000AD read thread
« Reply #73 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?

feathers

  • Member
  • Sub Basement Sewer Unit
  • *
  • Posts: 50
    • View Profile
Re: Another 2000AD read thread
« Reply #74 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!