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Author Topic: Prog 2049 - The Final Shades of Grey?  (Read 1237 times)

Leigh S

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Prog 2049 - The Final Shades of Grey?
« on: 16 September, 2017, 11:04:38 am »
Nice end to the Dredd - I say that, the actual end end is a bit tacked on, but other than that all good - though the art can waver a little cartoony for the subject matter, Dan's story telling is a great asset and that's a real mean Lawmaster shot on the penultimate page.

Alienist trys to evoke that Sapphire and Steel/Dr Who vibe, but sometimes veers a little too close to source, whilst leaving things on a cliffhanger that side steps the established "sick" things (?) threat a little too much for me to follow as a casual reader - that's probably my fault for not engaging more with it - as others ahve said, it's OK to have around, especially in terms of art, but fails to leave a lasting impression that gets me into it more than surface

Greysuit isnt going to change anyones mind about Pat, and you get the sense that's just the way he likes it!

FS is a really good simple tale, with Jake's art really doing the business on what could have been visually a bit bland.

Hope - Nope - at least, I might go back and reread, but lost me this run, possibly lost me last run!


Eamonn Clarke

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Re: Prog 2049 - The Final Shades of Grey?
« Reply #1 on: 16 September, 2017, 11:07:36 am »


Alex Ronald cover

Geoff

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Re: Prog 2049 - The Final Shades of Grey?
« Reply #2 on: 16 September, 2017, 03:13:43 pm »
Let's hope so...

Didn't enjoy Greysuit, even if it's meant to be tongue in cheek and over the top, for me it just wasn't very good as action or comedy. Wasn't keen on the art either, which was a disappointment as I normally love John Higgins work. This looked rather slap-dash.

Enjoyed the return to the AW in the Dredd tale, but not the art I'm afraid, which jarred with the down beat nature of the tale (although there was certainly humour there too)

The Alienist confuses me (my addled middle-aged brain I'm sure) but I still rather enjoy it's old fashioned charms. I'm sure I work out who the real baddy/baddies is/are at some point.. 

The future shock was also a good 'un with good art from Lynch who I don't always expect to like. Really worked on this FS.

Hope there's more, the noir genre is somewhat saturated but when it works it works and this one did for me.

Colin YNWA

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Re: Prog 2049 - The Final Shades of Grey?
« Reply #3 on: 16 September, 2017, 04:01:07 pm »
Well Tharg is getting a bit good at these end of the line Prog clearance issues. I remember back in the good old days, you know before people started to lose faith in Tharg's mighty organ, when chances are the last couple of issues before a relaunch Prog could be a bit sketchy... now I might well be wrong here but for a good long while now this has been consigned to history and Progs like 2049 are cracking affairs.

To the detail then, why is this such a good Prog.

Well firstly Dredd, we all knew how this was going to end, badly, not in story terms, but in the fates of some characters we'd only briefly come to know again, but had come to mean so much. And of course that is the case... but... well a few gory exceptions aside the fates aren't quite as dark as expected. Oh there's enough to keep with the tone of the piece, oh boy is there, BUT Wagner craftily dangles a little hope, a little charity from Joe and the possibility that a year or more down the line the themes and ideas set up here will be returned to. That Mr Wagner certainly knows how to pick and choose hey. Nowt may come of it, but I kinda think and hope it might.

Second with have Alienist, by far the most well executed outing for this strip and with a nice dangling plot line to haul us back in next time. Enjoyed this one and unlike before will be very happy when it returns.

Thirdly Greysuit were Mr Mills and Higgins finish the mad mental crazy with some good old style definative ending in the way they used to in the old days. No coming back for Blake for sure. Nicely wrapped up... except... see much like MACH Zero followed so wonderfully from a great ending to MACH 1 will Greysuit Zil follow this? I really hope so, the parallels are there and if they continue with a Zil story as dark and toned as MACH Zero I'd defo be up for it.

We also get another crackin' Future Shock, nice story with tens of Colin's being butcher as folks with such a shockin' name should be. Nice twist, wonderful Jake Lynch art - Tharg's found a keeper there, he's really come on over the last few years and the art he produces here is cosmetically Flintesque but with a sharp movement and style of its own.

Finally Hope which wraps things up... comprehensively by underlining what we've seen, which given I need to re-read was useful and nice, but might feel laboured in re-read? Who knows, but it left me wanting me and certainly left the door open.

So as we head towards what seems like a very promising line-up for 2050 - with only the bitter taste that two John Smith stories are returning (one in the Prog and one in the Meg) with barely a John Smith to be seen apparently, GMozz isn't the only one being sniffed at with Rebellions new found confidence in its properties... but I'm heading into territory I don't have the inside track on so should tread carefully... all is looking good in the house of Tharg.

glassstanley

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Re: Prog 2049 - The Final Shades of Grey?
« Reply #4 on: 16 September, 2017, 08:49:13 pm »
Dreadful, dreadful pun on the front cover!

I've really enjoyed this Dredd. I hadn't realised how many 'unknowns' were in the Apocalypse Squad! The artwork worked fine for me - some fantastic gore! I still think there would have been some mileage in using the original art in the flashbacks. Anyone expected to redraw Ezquerra is not going to come out unscathed!

In preparation for this Prog I re-read all the stories. Somebody must have been messing round with the occult, because what I remembered this series of Alienist being about was nothing like what was actually printed! I prefer the printed version, fortunately. Be nice to see more of this (though I could say the same about Aquila, Ampney Crucis and a whole host of dangling strips). I'd like to see more of this soon.

I'd say the same of Greysuit, except It obviously isn't going to happen. Love the final end for the villain. On the whole I'm a fan of Mills' work so for me it's a shame to see this series reach its final end.

glassstanley

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Re: Prog 2049 - The Final Shades of Grey?
« Reply #5 on: 16 September, 2017, 08:56:34 pm »
Whoops - pressed Send too early.

Hope for the future ends with a promise of more stories. Again, I hope this isn't left dangling. Another strong story. Some really interesting layouts as well. Just a shame the letterer didn't get a final page credit.

FS was a fab little number- and I didn't actually guess the twist (I'll pretend it's because I was distracted when I read it!)

The next Prog picture of Slaine is a good reminder of how this character has been allowed to age over the years. I think this week I'll mostly be re-reading the Britannia Chronicles GNs. Wonder if this will be Davis' swan song on the series?

Proudhuff

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Re: Prog 2049 - The Final Shades of Grey?
« Reply #6 on: 18 September, 2017, 06:03:21 pm »
Well Tharg is getting a bit good at these end of the line Prog clearance issues. I remember back in the good old days, you know before people started to lose faith in Tharg's mighty organ, when chances are the last couple of issues before a relaunch Prog could be a bit sketchy... now I might well be wrong here but for a good long while now this has been consigned to history and Progs like 2049 are cracking affairs.

To the detail then, why is this such a good Prog.

Well firstly Dredd, we all knew how this was going to end, badly, not in story terms, but in the fates of some characters we'd only briefly come to know again, but had come to mean so much. And of course that is the case... but... well a few gory exceptions aside the fates aren't quite as dark as expected. Oh there's enough to keep with the tone of the piece, oh boy is there, BUT Wagner craftily dangles a little hope, a little charity from Joe and the possibility that a year or more down the line the themes and ideas set up here will be returned to. That Mr Wagner certainly knows how to pick and choose hey. Nowt may come of it, but I kinda think and hope it might.

Second with have Alienist, by far the most well executed outing for this strip and with a nice dangling plot line to haul us back in next time. Enjoyed this one and unlike before will be very happy when it returns.

Thirdly Greysuit were Mr Mills and Higgins finish the mad mental crazy with some good old style definative ending in the way they used to in the old days. No coming back for Blake for sure. Nicely wrapped up... except... see much like MACH Zero followed so wonderfully from a great ending to MACH 1 will Greysuit Zil follow this? I really hope so, the parallels are there and if they continue with a Zil story as dark and toned as MACH Zero I'd defo be up for it.

We also get another crackin' Future Shock, nice story with tens of Colin's being butcher as folks with such a shockin' name should be. Nice twist, wonderful Jake Lynch art - Tharg's found a keeper there, he's really come on over the last few years and the art he produces here is cosmetically Flintesque but with a sharp movement and style of its own.

Finally Hope which wraps things up... comprehensively by underlining what we've seen, which given I need to re-read was useful and nice, but might feel laboured in re-read? Who knows, but it left me wanting me and certainly left the door open.

So as we head towards what seems like a very promising line-up for 2050 - with only the bitter taste that two John Smith stories are returning (one in the Prog and one in the Meg) with barely a John Smith to be seen apparently, GMozz isn't the only one being sniffed at with Rebellions new found confidence in its properties... but I'm heading into territory I don't have the inside track on so should tread carefully... all is looking good in the house of Tharg.

All this ^^^ except the last para  :D
I call that bold talk for a one-eyed fat man!

hippynumber1

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Re: Prog 2049 - The Final Shades of Grey?
« Reply #7 on: 18 September, 2017, 07:49:53 pm »

Wonder if this will be Davis' swan song on the series?

He's said it isn't.

Colin YNWA

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Re: Prog 2049 - The Final Shades of Grey?
« Reply #8 on: 18 September, 2017, 08:59:52 pm »
Well Tharg is getting a bit good at these end of the line Prog clearance issues. I remember back in the good old days, you know before people started to lose faith in Tharg's mighty organ, when chances are the last couple of issues before a relaunch Prog could be a bit sketchy... now I might well be wrong here but for a good long while now this has been consigned to history and Progs like 2049 are cracking affairs.

To the detail then, why is this such a good Prog.

Well firstly Dredd, we all knew how this was going to end, badly, not in story terms, but in the fates of some characters we'd only briefly come to know again, but had come to mean so much. And of course that is the case... but... well a few gory exceptions aside the fates aren't quite as dark as expected. Oh there's enough to keep with the tone of the piece, oh boy is there, BUT Wagner craftily dangles a little hope, a little charity from Joe and the possibility that a year or more down the line the themes and ideas set up here will be returned to. That Mr Wagner certainly knows how to pick and choose hey. Nowt may come of it, but I kinda think and hope it might.

Second with have Alienist, by far the most well executed outing for this strip and with a nice dangling plot line to haul us back in next time. Enjoyed this one and unlike before will be very happy when it returns.

Thirdly Greysuit were Mr Mills and Higgins finish the mad mental crazy with some good old style definative ending in the way they used to in the old days. No coming back for Blake for sure. Nicely wrapped up... except... see much like MACH Zero followed so wonderfully from a great ending to MACH 1 will Greysuit Zil follow this? I really hope so, the parallels are there and if they continue with a Zil story as dark and toned as MACH Zero I'd defo be up for it.

We also get another crackin' Future Shock, nice story with tens of Colin's being butcher as folks with such a shockin' name should be. Nice twist, wonderful Jake Lynch art - Tharg's found a keeper there, he's really come on over the last few years and the art he produces here is cosmetically Flintesque but with a sharp movement and style of its own.

Finally Hope which wraps things up... comprehensively by underlining what we've seen, which given I need to re-read was useful and nice, but might feel laboured in re-read? Who knows, but it left me wanting me and certainly left the door open.

So as we head towards what seems like a very promising line-up for 2050 - with only the bitter taste that two John Smith stories are returning (one in the Prog and one in the Meg) with barely a John Smith to be seen apparently, GMozz isn't the only one being sniffed at with Rebellions new found confidence in its properties... but I'm heading into territory I don't have the inside track on so should tread carefully... all is looking good in the house of Tharg.

All this ^^^ except the last para  :D

Don't you be taking all my ill conceived review nonsense and then dismiss my ill conceived and ill informed (no doubt) ranting at the end. You take me as I am warts and all, or you leave me. Leave me you hear. I can't take this constant teasing. Using me then tossing me aside right at the end.

You're a cruel mistress Proudhuff.

Proudhuff

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Re: Prog 2049 - The Final Shades of Grey?
« Reply #9 on: 20 September, 2017, 03:16:00 pm »
You love it!
I call that bold talk for a one-eyed fat man!

TordelBack

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Re: Prog 2049 - The Final Shades of Grey?
« Reply #10 on: 20 September, 2017, 03:23:49 pm »
So that Future Shock was a bit of a triumph - great execution from McConville, great art from Lynch (well, duh), and even if the twist was never going to be anything else, it still worked: an example of how you can deliver a shock just by framing it correctly within the story and within the page.  As even occasional readers of my witterings will no doubt be sick of hearing, I value the FS slot as much as (or even more than) anything else in the prog, and this was a fine example of why.  Last week's was no slouch either.

At the other end of the spectrum, Dredd was a damp squib.  Terrific art from Cornwell throughout became just a bit too explicitly gory for my tastes this week, but it was the pointlessness of the story that bothered me: lampshading it with "How it always ends, huh? With a gruddamn whimper" didsn't really help.  What did we learn about these five men? About their lives as retired judges? Very little: one crazy; one violent; one cyborg; one phobic about guns; that's about it, they could have been anyone.  For example, Hamble and MacDonald were Tek-Judges (and presumably good ones), but their solution to the van recall is to kick the crap out of it. 

I was sort-of hoping that Morant would be behind a fatalistic revenge plot to get the squad members executed by Dredd, having suffered decades of repressed survivor guilt for his part in the war (after all, where did he pick up that fluent Sov anyway?).  But no, just two suicides and three survivors and Dredd saying 'Apocalypse Squad' a lot.  A rare Wagner dud for me.

The Alienist felt a bit incomplete, but that probably only heightens my desire to see more.  Similarly the end of Hope was mainly marked by a wish for more.  Both strips were stylish and engaging, with Alienist in particular giving me some investment in its charcaters.

Greysuit ended in not quite as entertaining fashion as it promised, but by heck this last story was by far the best run of the entire strip.  But here's hoping this is the end.


TordelBack

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Re: Prog 2049 - The Final Shades of Grey?
« Reply #11 on: 20 September, 2017, 03:26:42 pm »
ADDENDUM cos there's no edit button: I'm sticking to my theory that Wagner lost interest in the story when he had to rework the script to account for Rennie killing off Ocks. 

Proudhuff

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Re: Prog 2049 - The Final Shades of Grey?
« Reply #12 on: 20 September, 2017, 03:29:44 pm »

Greysuit ended in not quite as entertaining fashion as it promised, but by heck this last story was by far the best run of the entire strip.  But here's hoping this is the end.

Nope that whole story now has to be shoehorned into the Milliverse, a link betwixt Dinosty and Savage?
I call that bold talk for a one-eyed fat man!

Frank

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Re: Prog 2049 - The Final Shades of Grey?
« Reply #13 on: 20 September, 2017, 08:18:54 pm »
Dredd was a damp squib ... it was the pointlessness of the story that bothered me

Cornwall's fantastic time lapse rendering of the Huvvaluvva rental tumbling to an abrupt halt was an apt visual metaphor.

Wagner Dredd goes through 3-5 year cycles, where he turns in solid but unremarkable work before having an idea that rekindles his interest and gets the show back on the road. The Beating and War Buds represent the down swing of these cycles.

No such worries with the art *. I've gushed enough about Cornwell, so I'll just repeat Pat Mills's observation that the core of 2000ad's appeal is ACTION and CHARACTER. Cornwell excels at both.

The Alienist has a bit of one but precious little of the other.

The response to it seems mostly positive, so it deserves another series, but this one has been a lot of West Wing talk and walk, as the two couples take it in turns to wander off in search of the others while explaining the mythos of the series to their partner.

Which is a pity, because one thing the talented Eoin Coveney isn't great at is talking heads**. He has more inspired moments in this episode - the wonderful surreal imagery of Praetorius's massive hands reaching out over the town being a particular highlight - than the rest of the series.

The fantastic close ups on Vespertine's face and hand are rendered in completely different styles, providing a welcome relief from the diagramatic two-shots of ambling conversation. The Alienist is written like an episode of a TV show, where they have to save money.

Next time, do your artist a favour and give him something Doom Patrol-y to draw every episode.


* Unlike my colleague, I loved the gore - that panel where Morant buys it was redolent of blood thirsty wee bam Colin MacNeil on America book one. Initially I thought Dredd had used the WATER PISTOL setting on the lawgiver to bullseye a bulk load of Pot Noodle Morant was smuggling inside the lining of his jacket. Then I realised it was his intestines and wondered whether Cornwell had a similar traumatic childhood experience to my own - finding a hedgehog that a dog had savaged then lost interest in, leaving it looking like a load of pale pink worms were recreating John Hurt's big scene from Alien.

** Coveney seems particularly bored drawing the two leads. Their features shift around so much he's taken to giving Madelyn two triangles under her eyes and rendering Reggie's sideburns as two halves of a paper cut-out Christmas tree, to serve as fixed points among the chaotic jumble of changing features

Frank

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Re: Prog 2049 - The Final Shades of Grey?
« Reply #14 on: 20 September, 2017, 08:21:47 pm »
Cornwall's

Sorry, Dan. Autocorrect.