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Author Topic: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread  (Read 30071 times)

AlexF

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #465 on: 07 June, 2018, 03:05:51 pm »
For some reason my critical faculties seem to be better calibrated when it comes to Ennis - it's very clear he got better and better with each year, although 1991 me thought that there could be few stories as rousingly funny as 'Death Aid' and 'Emerald Isle' (the Spud gun bits, at least). 1991 me was very, very wrong.

Greg M.

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #466 on: 07 June, 2018, 06:04:54 pm »
To me, the start of Ennis's Dredd run is pretty good, and the end is really good. It's the middle where it all sags, and the pressure of having to churn out a story a week leads to all these hackneyed parodies of now-dated pop culture.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #467 on: 08 June, 2018, 09:05:46 pm »
Early 1992

Well for all my fears at the end of last year have to say 1992 starts pretty damned strong. Justice One, even if its not the who dunnit I always think it is (its only about 10 years since I last read it, my memory is crap!) is a great story. The second Brigand Doom 'book' I'm also enjoying a great deal, I'll come to Durham Red soon, but good stuff and Skizz II started as a blast, really enjoying it again.

But its the rubbish strip I want to talk about. See I'm so close to enjoying Trash. Its clearly the weakest strip in there and has some sub-Millsian corpation and business bad, nature good stuff, but I can't help but almost enjoy it. Its definately raised by Nigel Dobbyn (why oh why did he fall from Tharg's graces he's so good) art but it has one fundamental problem a few strips have had of late, particularly this by American writers.

The hero is an absolute jerk. I mean he's a complete tool.

Quite aptly his closest comparison is from Junker, the lead of which was an even bigger tosser. Both Fleisher and Kupperberg seem to think that the key to a 2000ad led is to make them an angry, charmless shouty type. The belief that making them mean and violent is enough. And clearly its not and shows nothing but a misunderstanding of what makes Dredd and Co work.

Mind fair to say that its wrong to blame it on being American as clearly Mark Millar has the same problem in Robo-hunter, he at least tries to make Sam Slade funny, he just misses the mark by a mile!

Anyway its shame as somewhere buried under all that is the heart of a story with potential, one alas not realised and given that it sits in refreshing enjoyable company for this period its a big miss.

Greg M.

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #468 on: 08 June, 2018, 09:24:38 pm »
I can't help but almost enjoy it.

I think you've nailed this one, Colin. Trash is pretty close to being good, but it just falls short. The art is great, and it's not a bad try at the old 'yes, it's a future cop, but different from Dredd  because....' paradigm (though the later Mambo is a better one.) But it just falls at the final hurdle - an honourable failure, at least, especially compared to toss like Junker.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #469 on: 10 June, 2018, 07:50:34 am »
To me, the start of Ennis's Dredd run is pretty good, and the end is really good. It's the middle where it all sags, and the pressure of having to churn out a story a week leads to all these hackneyed parodies of now-dated pop culture.

You're not wrong maybe Ennis Dredd will just be very inconsistent. From the great Justice One we dive into Koole Killers... easy come, easy go huh!

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #470 on: 10 June, 2018, 08:16:36 am »
Well 1992 may have started well, but are the changes a coming. A couple of strips I really enjoyed end and some lesser material rolls in, maybe rather than worrying about what's coming I should celebrate what's been.

Firstly Brigand Doom - Voodoo Child, always thought Brigand Doom was a classic example of law of dimishing returns, but I really enjoyed this second story. Okay it has some problems, the mad voodoo chap and his lumbering horbe seemed out of place in the straight edge world of B. Doom and doesn't really fit. The thing is the city and world our undead mystery monster lives in is a bit of a story straitjacket and so spinning it in new and different directions is necessary I'd guess. That said this story plays really well with the mystery and enigma of Doom and his troubled relationship with Agent 9.

The whole thing is of course raised a level or two by Dave D'Antiquis' superb and choice art and its really enjoyable and I'm looking forward to it returning at least once more... there's one more long form Doom right?

Secondly we have Durham Red - Island of the Damned its a great Strontium Dog story a well balanced mixture of hardboiled adventure and action and daft fun. The only real question around it is what makes it specifically a Durham Red story, not necessarily a problem in and of itself, its a good story and does try to crank in a sense that its specific to her and forces some character history a little clumsily into the piece but could this have been a Johnny story, what defines a Durham Red story... does it matter?

Finally SkIIzz I love the original Skizz, love it and while its hard to pretend that the later two books are in that league I've always enjoyed and defended them against their critics. This re-read has done nothing to diminish my view that Jim Baikie is more than capable of continuing this tale. He does a great job of slowly introducing our previous cast in a way that makes sense, but allows the story to focus at first on Skizz and his new dilemma and build his world a little more, slowly building the bigger problem faced.

That does lead to one issue, there is a lot going on and the story could have done with a couple more parts to allow the resolutions of both key situations, Skizz's emprisonment and Snuffer approaching Earth to feel a little less neat and convenient. That said I'm happy to set that aside to lavish in more Baikie art and a return to these wonderful characters.

So yeah 1992 started with three good story... replaced by Finn, The Clown, Beyond Science and the soon to return Khronicles of Khaos... can this bright start continue???!!!

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #471 on: 18 June, 2018, 09:31:30 pm »
Oh wow I thought I'd made comment on the lead up to the relaunch Prog 780, but I seem to have forgotten to do so. So before I get to the relaunch line-up a quick recap of how we got here.

Finn - oh man we really are in a low point in Mills writing and all Tony Skinner seems to do is heighten the cliche and predictible nature of Mills' idea, the harder it seems to be trying to push in brave and interesting directions. Finn is the very embodiment of that. I find Jim Elston's art pretty hard work too, it just doesn't work and for all the effort Unca Patly just isn't finding anything new to say.

The Clown - while Nunca Patiscal is striving to find new ground and be original at least, all be it failing miserably at least he's trying. The Clown just slaps a veneer over a summary of the style over substance party that was the worst of early 90s comics. There just seems no point to it, the characters, the lead especially, are too dull to care about, the violent humour just to weak to get beyond childish and story a bland pastiche. Bliss' art isn't much better, it has potential and technically might have momemts but storytelling is poor its cliche.

At least Tales from Beyond Science has some pretty good stories, a couple feel a little forced, and I'm afraid to say John Smith is guilty of one of those and Mark Miller's opener is really quite good. But overall a nice little series of one offs and by George Rian Hughes art is a down played simply designed delight compared to much of the painted nonsense that surrounds it.

Ennis Dredd continues to be very hit and miss, mind hasn't that Greg Staples come on since 1992!

Oh and I almost forgot there's a Silver from Harlem Heroes story ... actually lets forget it as even though it was only like 4 episode's long I was skipping reading by the end (well after the first episode)...

... so glad to be up to date!

So tomorrow I'll be back to discuss the post 780 strips... gives a couple time to find any sort of saving grace I guess!

Link Prime

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #472 on: 19 June, 2018, 10:27:19 am »
Looking forward to your musing on the Prog 780 (Megablast) era, Colin.
I remember really enjoying the line-up at the time, even Friday and Kola Kommandos!

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.



Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #473 on: 19 June, 2018, 11:36:38 am »
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.

Yes, yes he did as this does raise the point that I should mention - I loved this stuff at the time and lapped it up. I was guilty of being invited to the early ninities style of substance party and bringing a bottle of cheap cider along to join in.

Can you imagine anyone describing Buttonman as 'real teen sleaze strip' these days... wow!

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #474 on: 19 June, 2018, 10:01:11 pm »
So Prog 780... ain't actually as bad as I thought. In fact the six issues that followed were quite good and relatively very good.

Okay so the glorious painted Gibson art drops off quickly to just nice line work. Similarly we get teased with Dillon on the first part of the next Dredd story 'A magic place'... which is actually a fantastic example of Ennis doing Dredd well. While I'm not sure this story needs to exist 'Beyond the Wall' in the 86 Sci-Fi Special being such a wonderful stand alone story. Since its does exist though I quite like the fact that it juxtaposes the more bland high octane story elements the Prog is so immersed in at the moment, with the much more genuinely powerful moments that really shine out in contrast. Reminding you quite effectively the duality of Mega City One done well.

Elsewhere I'm not hating the second Kronicle of Khaos book over in ABC Warriors... I mean don't get me wrong I wince whenever Auntiquity Millum and that bad lad Skinner try to be cool by showing how crazy chaos is by making it do the EXACT opposite of what an ordered world would expect... sigh oh and yes Deadlock puts my teeth on edge with his so crazy bonkers and contrary attitude. I mean I did find it cool when I was 20 or whatever, now its laid on so thick it just adds him to the panthon of contemporary 2000ad leds who are just twats! He'd probably approve of course.

Twat!

Elsewhere, no need to bleet on about Rogue Trooper, its crap. Nor to ring the praises of Button Man we all know its exquiste brilliant, cast in such glorious contrast to almost everything it sits alongside. I'll come back to it.

No rather I'll play to the audience in my Khaoticesque approval of Kola Kommandos. It starts off really well and having reached episode 6 I'm still waiting for it to take the plunge I remember it having. Its not yet, its still really good fun and Anthony Williams has come on leaps and bounds from his work on Robo-hunter from a few Progs ago. Yes it plays the oh so simple and popular card, in not just 2000ad but popular culture of the time, of big business is EVIL I tells you, so very EVIl... well yes I accept it is but do 48% of stories from the early 90s need to enlighten me to this fact? It got tired quickly and we've got about 20 plus years of Master Millian reminding us of the fact still to come.

Funnily enough I've just finished Steve Parkhouse's - the serie's writer - lovely run on Black Knight (featuring Captain Britain) and there is common ground here... no work with me. In his Black Knight story, told 3 pages at a time, he just throws ideas at the story, grabbing you by the throat and keeping you onboard my the simple fact you don't get a moment to jump off. Now I'm not saying that KK manages this trick with anything like the ability of the older story but there are moments when I think I'm about to question what the hell this is all about and hold on isn't it all a bit sill... oh look what's happening next, cool... and before I've had a spare moment to put any rational thought into whether this is actually any good I've moved on and don't care!

So yeah I was kinda dreading 780 and its pals but in reality, while so far from perfect, its actually pretty good.