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Topics - Richard

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1
Prog / Prog 2100 - Anderson's Darkest Hour
« on: 22 September, 2018, 11:38:29 am »
Olivia Thirlby was in a film called The Darkest Hour immediately before she played Anderson in Dredd, so this week's tag-line seems apt.

Anyway... Judge Dredd starts a new story by Rob Williams and Henry Flint, featuring the very welcome returns of both Dirty Frank and Judge Smiley from Trifecta. It will be interesting to see where all this goes. There's also an interview with both creators, but I'll read it later.

Brink is back, and gets straight down to business. It feels like the threat level has gone up a bit now.

Skip Tracer has Colin MacNeil on art duties this time, which is good to see. Too early to know what to make of the story yet, but I'm willing to give this series a second chance.

This being an extra-size prog, Anderson has a nine-page one-off story about a Death cult, by Alan Grant and Jake Lynch. Light-hearted fun. And there's a Sinister Dexter one-off too, although it's a continuation of the recent on-going storyline, with more to come in prog 2109. (I assume that means Skip Tracer will be eight episodes.)

But the highlight for me this week -- completely unexpectedly, because I thought it would be Brink or Kingdom -- is Fiends of the Eastern Front. To be honest, I wasn't expecting to like this, because the original series was for young children and the sequel a few years ago didn't do anything for me I'm afraid. But I really like this new one, which is set in the Napoleonic Wars. The art by Dave Taylor is beautiful, and while I daresay there will be people who wish Colin McNeill was back on this strip instead of on Skip Tracer, I approve of the choice of artists on both stories. And the script (by Ian Edginton) is an excellent introduction to the series. No prior knowledge required, as this is a prequel and episode one tells you all you need to know. I now have high hopes for this series.

There is news about a classy free gift to annual subscribers to both comics. Looking forward to getting mine.

And finally, Kingdom picks up exactly where it left off last time. It's a ten-page episode, action-packed, and don't turn to the last page until you get to it, because it's an interesting twist. I can't wait to find out what the explanation for this is going to be! (If you're new and you haven't read Kingdom before, there's a detailed synopsis on Wikipedia to get you up to speed.)

Next week's cover is Fiends.

This is a very good prog, with no misfires for me.

2
Megazine / Meg 400 - 400th Issue!
« on: 15 September, 2018, 10:31:35 pm »
I'm not sure I really had to write "400" twice, but I'm a slave to consistency.

I liked the Judge Dredd story, which is a really silly comedy one from Wagner and Flint. It has some great lines of dialogue and some crazy antics, which I enjoyed. As a massive continuity pedant, this story contradicts what we know of the royal family from Armitage, and I prefer Dave Stone's take on that, but as I liked this one so much I didn't mind. And it gives us the opportunity to devise theories of how to reconcile these two different histories with each other.

I'm saving Lawless, Blunt and Storm Warning for later as I don't want to finish both comics in one day. But I'll just mention that I skimmed over Phil Winslade's art and it looks fabulous.

Devlin Waugh by a new writer, Ales Kot, was okay, but may divide opinion. Not as good as last month's story, but okay.

The Torture Garden is off to a promising start. Absolutely superb art from Nick Percival, which is of course to be expected. David Hine is already introducing his own ideas to this strip, which carries in where the last story left off. I have high hopes for this series.

There's a decent Anderson one-off by Alan Grant. Not exactly an original plot, but not boring either.

There are interviews with each of the Megazine's five previous editors (but not the current one), which were interesting and a good way to commemorate this month's milestone. There are also interviews with Ian Gibson and Alan Hebden, but I'm saving those for later.

The floppy is some Judge Dredd stories, haven't read them yet. The theme is artists' first Dredd stories.

Overall I like what I've seen so far.

3
Prog / Prog 2099 - Unleash Hell!
« on: 15 September, 2018, 10:17:18 pm »
Judge Dredd has a very satisfactory ending, contrary to some doom and gloom predictions on this forum over the last two weeks. I don't think anyone will be disappointed with this. It seems like the perfect way to wrap this one ups

Survival Geeks is just great. I have really enjoyed this one.

Mechastopheles: I either didn't notice or had forgotten that this city is the last city in the world that hasn't been overrun by demons. Humanity's future looks rather bleak! This is an action-packed episode.

A highlight this week is an above-par Future Shock, with an evil idea by a new writer and some fabulous art by Adam Brown, whose name I recognise but I can't remember what he's done before. I'd like to see more from both of these droids.

The Order finishes and I'm glad.

There's a very silly Droid Life.

On the whole this has been a very good week.

4
Prog / Prog 2093 - Infernal Engines
« on: 04 August, 2018, 01:16:32 pm »
Judge Dredd: A Better Class of Criminal continues, not much more to say about this than what has been said already, but it's still just as good, and it bears repeating that the more Leo Manco we see from now on the better. Probably ending next week.

The Order makes a bold move which will certainly divide opinion! Just keep in mind that 2000AD is supposed to divide opinion and that will help you maintain a sense of proportion!

There's a new 3riller, Appetite by James Peaty and Andre Mutti which gets off to a good start. I wonder what's going on there then?

Mechastopheles is on the cover this week. Not sure what I think of this series yet, but I'll see how it develops. The art looks good though.

Grey Area: 86 is another good one-off episode. I never really warmed to this series until recently, but I've enjoyed this latest run.

There's an awful/brilliant* pun in the letters page.

*Delete as applicable.

5
Prog / Prog 2089 - The Apes of Wrath!
« on: 07 July, 2018, 01:21:34 pm »
A brilliant cover by Chris Weston. I bet that one attracts some new readers!

The Dredd story concludes, and it's pretty funny.

The Order -- I don't care for this.

Skip Tracer finishes. It's coming back in prog 2100. I hope it gets better.

Deadworld has some spectacular images, as usual. Interesting to see an early version of Judge Fear.

Best story for me this week is the last episode of Durham Red. Can't explain why without spoiling it, but it should be self-evident. I really like this take on the character and I can't wait for another series of this.

6
Film & TV / Accident Man
« on: 01 July, 2018, 02:47:40 am »
I finally got round to watching Accident Man today, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'd have seen it sooner, but based on what other people have written I wasn't expecting it to be good. But it was fun, and I can't see a problem with it.

7
General / Greg Staples mural
« on: 15 May, 2018, 11:05:14 pm »
Don't know if this has been posted before, but just in case it hasn't, I saw this masterpiece in Moorgate today.


8
Prog / Prog 2081 - Homies Under Der Hammer
« on: 12 May, 2018, 01:39:10 pm »
This is an excellent prog this week!

The cover is Carlos on Stront, and it's a really fitting image. We've seen it or part of it before in an advert before the story started, and I assumed at the time that it was an image from the first episode when Alpha and Kenton meet, but it's actually how the story ends.

It's the last episode of Strontium Dog, and it winds everything up perfectly. That robot they decided to go after last week steals the show with his antics and one-liners, and he's a strong enough character to have been the main bad guy for a whole ten episode series, but Wagner just used him for a total of five pages and still created a very memorable character. This story ends perfectly.

A new series began with a very strong opening episode. Skip Tracer by James Peaty (I feel like I recognise that name but can't place it -- what else has he done?) does a good job of setting up the scene of the story and introducing its main character, and getting the plot going at once.

There's a fun Judge Dredd one-off by Rory McConville and Dan Cornwell. Can't say much about it here as it would spoil the story to mention anything, but this is the sort of thing I like to see. Rory is shaping up to be a safe pair of hands on Dredd (that isn't damning with fair praise; for me "a safe pair of hands" is a high bar on Dredd).

SinDex finishes, and I've enjoyed this one.

And Fall of Deadworld is back, as usual with excellent and macabre art by Dave K. I like the robot horsey thing.

9
Other Reviews / 2000 AD Regened: Reviews of FCBD 2018
« on: 06 May, 2018, 12:02:59 am »
(Hope nobody minds if I start a new thread for reviews, since the other one is called previews.)

This was really good this year. I wasn't expecting to like it much because it was said to be aimed at younger readers (which I don't object to in itself -- we need new readers -- but the rather basic cover art made me assume that it was going to condescend to them by being infantile) but thank goodness I was wrong.

It opens with a Cadet Dredd story, which was pretty fun, mostly because of one particular panel which I won't spoil here. (Bottom of page 5, but don't look until you get there.) I was put off by the Cadet thing at first, because I remembered that as a child I didn't want to read about comics about children, I wanted to read stories about grown-ups -- but I needn't have worried, it was a fun little story.

Strontium Dog by Alec Worley and Ben Willsher tells of how a young Johnny Alpha became a Search/Destroy agent. Again, I had low expectations for this premise but the story got better than it sounds, with some strong supporting characters and in one crucial bit of the story a good callback to something that had been mentioned earlier but which didn't seem important at the time, which I thought was a good bit of story-telling. I don't want to see non-Wagner SD very often, but this one time was alright by me.

A one-page comedy by Arthur Wyatt called Intestinauts was good.

The highlight of the whole issue for me was, very unexpectedly, not even a story but a puzzle! Now I normally would never want to see a puzzle in a comic, and I think that having pages of puzzles in children's comics instead of pages of comic story is an abomination. But Chet Jetsworth: Hell Island was great! It's not credited but I'm guessing Al Ewing? (Would like to know.) It was funny and very, very difficult. I'd like to see something else like this, and that is something I never thought I'd say. I might have to go and have a lie down now.

There's a decent Future Shock from (I think) some new people. I don't normally like this cartoonish style of art, but it fits the tone of this story well. And finally there's a D.R. & Quinch story by some new people (I think). Not as good as Alan Moore but then that's a very high bar and possibly not a fair one. It was fine taken on its own merits.

No damp squibs here.

10
Prog / Prog 2079 - Top of the Class
« on: 28 April, 2018, 01:05:02 pm »
Prog 2079 gets a Class of 2079-themed cover by McMahon, fittingly.

A new Dredd story by Alec Worley and Karl Richardson, presumably a 2- or 3-parter. I liked the funny bit on page 4 (but don't look now).

A completely ridiculous and over the top SinDex story which is quite fun.

Apparently this episode of Anderson is the second from last, and ends on a good cliff-hanger. I think when it's finished I'll have to go back and read the whole thing in one go, but I like that Karyn has come back and the use that has been made of her in this story.

A Future Shock by (I think) newcomers. Not a serious story, but it is based on a good and solid idea so it works for me.

Strontium Dog takes an interesting turn, but I don't want to say more here. No complaints from me about the art here.

It's a good prog this week. My only criticism is that on the cover, Rico Dredd's badge says Rico instead of Dredd. That always galls me whenever it happens.

11
Other Reviews / Outlier
« on: 02 April, 2018, 12:52:20 am »
Just re-read all of Outlier in the last three floppies, and it was much better than I remembered. I really like the bleak ending. I feel like this series deserves to be remembered more fondly, and that it would be suitable for the Mega-Collection.

Also, both Caul and Carcer are dicks.

12
Prog / Prog 2070 - Dead Space
« on: 24 February, 2018, 01:57:42 pm »
I’ve enjoyed this one. Dredd is still good. I still don’t remember who Lamia is but I like her and wouldn’t mind seeing her in more stories (assuming she survives this one).

Blackblood gets his comeuppance and reveals himself to be the snivelling little turd I’d long suspected him to be.

But the standout episode this week is Brass Sun. I’d gone off it a little, but this week it’s excellent and it’s redeemed itself. When it finishes I think I’ll go back and re-read the whole series.

Savage is much like it was last week. I like this for Patrick Goddard’s art, which is some of the best the prog has seen in recent years.

Bad Company is still okay. I enjoyed reading it, although looking over it again now as I write this I’m now a little concerned that it seems to undo the sad ending of last week’s chapter.

13
Prog / Prog 2061 - Happy New Year, Bitches!
« on: 09 December, 2017, 02:32:57 pm »
Actually, that's not the real cover strapline, I just wish it was. It's really "LEADING THE THRILL-CHARGE!"

It's a good prog.

Judge Dredd carries on from where we left off last week. Don't want to say too much more about it here so as not to spoil anything, but it's taken an interesting turn. It's part one of a series.

There's a very good Fall of Deadworld one-off which introduces a new character, of whom I am looking forward to seeing more in later stories. There's also an advert for the first volume of Dark Judges hardback graphic novels, starting with Fall of Deadworld.

ABC Warriors gets off to an excellent start. Even if you didn't like the last series, give this one a go. Clint's art is beautiful, and Pat's writing is top stuff, and he makes his point well without being too preachy about it. I'm glad this is back.

There is a very funny Tharg-type one-off story about Starlord, by a new writer and some great art by Henry Flint. This made me laugh. (I wonder if Rebellion's Treasury of British Comics imprint will reprint anything from Starlord in its 40th anniversary year? Mind Wars was good.)

I've got to make this comic last for three weeks, so in saving the other four stories for later (I hope that's not cheating for thread-bagging purposes). But there's also Droid Life, a feature where creator droids choose their favourite bit of the prog over the last 40 years, and adverts for new Strontium Dog and Chopper stories in 2018.

The rest of the prog is Savage, Brass Sun, Bad Company and an Ace Trucking Co one-off.

A very good way to round off the year.

14
Prog / Prog 2053 - Leap of Wraith!
« on: 14 October, 2017, 01:06:25 pm »
What an extraordinarily good prog this week!

A very good Dredd one-off by Arthur Wyatt and new artist Simon Roy (his style reminds me of the art on The Vort and Wastelands). I really liked this story, a strong plot, some good characters, good jokes.

But the real stand-out this week is episode four of Indigo Prime. Extremely disgusting, imaginative, top action, and it actually reads as if John Smith wrote it himself. I think that Kek-W has really found Smith's voice. Looking forward very much to see where all this is going.

Something actually happened in Slaine.

Absalom is back with a strong start.

Grey Area concludes with an action-packed finale, and sets up next year's story in a way that makes me wish we didn't have to wait that long -- and I normally don't even like this series.

Very good issue.


15
Other Reviews / The Dracula File
« on: 07 October, 2017, 12:05:15 pm »
Does anyone remember this from Scream!? Is it suitable for a six-year-old?

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