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Spoilers => Prog => : Richard 01 December, 2018, 11:48:52 AM

: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: Richard 01 December, 2018, 11:48:52 AM
Well, all I can say is wow. I almost always read the prog in order, from front to back, but this time I had to start with the last episode of Kingdom. And then I had to stop, and put the prog down, and have a little lie down.*

I definitely did not see that coming. I won't say what it is here, even behind spoiler tags. I'll just say this: do not skip to the end or any nonsense like that, do yourself a favour and read the episode from its first page as the author intended. Then come back here and argue about whether it's the best moment in 2018.

I'll review the rest of the prog when I've read it, in half an hour or so.

*A figure of speech: I was already lying down, I'm still in bed.
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: Richard 01 December, 2018, 12:13:34 PM
All done! A very good prog this week. A ridiculous Dredd one-off by Rory McC and PJH. Brink is as good as usual. Sinister Dexter has a double-length conclusion, and I really enjoyed the dialogue between the workers. This is what SinDex should be like.

The cover is by Chris Weston, and although it goes without saying, I'll still say it anyway: it's brilliant.
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: IndigoPrime 01 December, 2018, 01:07:03 PM
Is that the end of Kingdom or just this book? I mean, it's a good end – and a powerful end. But is that it?
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: Colin YNWA 01 December, 2018, 02:12:33 PM
Well I'm a traditional front to backer, but spurred on by Richard's comments I stopped doing the dishes as soon as the postie arrived and went straight to Kingdom.

If that is the end, and I think it is, though there are a couple of ways it could continue, its bloody magnificent! A perfect ending.

That said we've talked around these parts a lot of late of the number of long running strips that have no sense of ending anytime and just drift on. A number of us (and I count myself amongst them) have called for some strips to wrap up before new stuff lands... well a classic case of 'Careful what you wish for'. Kingdom isn't a strip I feel needs to end. In classic 2000ad style it feels like one that has space to run and run and still be fresh and interesting, something this series has proved. But this episode felt to me like a full stop.

If it is 8 books over 12 years of prefect 2000ad thrillpower. This strip started just as I got back on board and feels like my strip, the one that perfectly encapulates how a feel about the Prog when I first read it in 1977 and what means so much to me about the Prog now.

Richard Elson and Dan Abnett I salute you.
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: IndigoPrime 01 December, 2018, 02:26:19 PM
It certainly feels like it's done, with the hubris of the humans being shown up for what it is, the ongoing escalation of warfare, and Gene recognising he needs to look out for himself and not the Masters. Even so: it's rather bittersweet, in that the hero survives, albeit in a world where the bugs look like they'll reign supreme – and if they don't, it will be because of further escalation.
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: Colin YNWA 01 December, 2018, 02:34:40 PM
Well after Kingdom the rest of the Prog should be an anticlimax... but of course current 2000ad has none of that.

There's a solid fun, Dredd by McConville and Holden. Looks great but lets be honest not quite on Small House standards.

Brink of course continues to be absolutely brilliant, just brilliant. But after Kingdom its Sinister Dexter that's the star of the show. A really fun conclusion to this fantastic 2 part 4 parter, Sinister Dexter at its best. Dabnett really does rule the thrills these days!

2019 going to have to real put in a shift to live up to the latter part of 2018!
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: Richard 01 December, 2018, 02:36:40 PM
It's almost s shame Dabnett didn't do this week's Dredd too.

Kingdom could end right here and it would be a totally fitting ending. But I think there's still room for it to continue, and I would be happy to see it return.
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: Eamonn Clarke 01 December, 2018, 03:23:57 PM
(https://i.imgur.com/Ls1IX3o.jpg)
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: Tjm86 01 December, 2018, 07:02:12 PM
Then come back here and argue about whether it's the best moment in 2018.

I'm going to argue against it, sorry.  I mean, there is quite a bit of power in it but at the same time there is so much left wide open.  To me it felt like the writer just decided ... "well, that's it, I'm done.  I'm off." ... and just gave us a wrap up episode.  Granted it's not in the same league as Lost but it still felt deeply unsatisfactory on one level to me.

... but then is that the whole point?  As readers we are always in a position of wanting that little bit more but some stories don't really have a proper 'ending', just an ever escalating cycle that characters have to endure?  I'm minded of something that I read once (I think, in Steven King's Talisman) about the story always continuing in the readers' mind.  In this current environment in which so much of the past is plundered, pillaged and raped for material is there not something to be said for leaving the next part of the story up to the reader?

Okay, lots to think about here.
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: Richard 01 December, 2018, 11:10:02 PM
To be fair, episode 11 seems to be about the right time for a wrap-up episode.
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: Magnetica 02 December, 2018, 11:32:45 AM
It certainly seems to be the last ever episode of Kingdom given the comment about Gene, Lee and Pause having a lifetime of struggle. I know it has been hinted that this was the last series but it still seemed a bit abrupt, especially the sudden appearance of the super evolved version of Them.

Overall Kingdom is a series that has really grown on me, to take its place as one of the all time top thrills.

Brink continues to be awesome.

Dredd was very lightweight compared to the Small House.

Haven’t read SinDex yet.
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: IndigoPrime 02 December, 2018, 11:59:20 AM
I thought the ending made sense. Everything just kept escalating, and at some point there needed to be a slam-dunk. We got that. And, yes, it was abrupt, but kind of like the winning punch in the eighth round of a boxing match.
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: chrisjenkins 02 December, 2018, 03:42:12 PM
Did anyone else notice the cheeky use of the Ideal Toy Zeroid robots in Sinister Dexter?(http://)
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: Eamonn Clarke 02 December, 2018, 04:04:26 PM
I wondered where they came from. Cheers
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: coastguardjackuk 04 December, 2018, 11:22:47 AM
A tremendous cover, probably in my top five of the year. This week's Dredd, a suitably silly one off nicely easing off the intensity we've been recently enjoying. Brink as always is perfection, SinDex pretty much the same. I can't see Kingdom finishing here, not like this. I hope not anyway. A super prog, this run since 2100 probably the best in recent years. The xmas prog cover teaser a treat, in particular JD's naughty list arrest warrant naming what I assume are the children of everyone working in the nerve centre. Wonderful!
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: James Stacey 04 December, 2018, 12:15:24 PM
3/4 of the prog written by Dabnett makes for a great prog. More please Tharg.
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: Geoff 04 December, 2018, 07:30:57 PM
The prog has certainly powered through to the end of the year.

It's gone from being rather flat for some time to an absolute thrill-fest since the last jump-on prog.

An amazing cover, if only Chris Weston could have drawn the episode...

Brink continues to be brilliant and I even enjoyed Sin/Dex!

Kingdom could end well here, and maybe should, but...at the same time doesn't have to.

Looking forward to the Christmas prog. Hail Tharg!
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: broodblik 05 December, 2018, 02:55:24 AM
Let is start with Kingdom, when I was reading it I really tried to find the extra pages but no this is it. It feels to sudden too abrupt. I do not mind series ending and Kingdom was great the last few years but it just did not feel like a real ending.

Dredd nice one-off story.

Sin/Dex I enjoyed more than usual. I still struggle to really like the main characters.

Brink is its usual great.

Overall a solid prog with a great series coming down to a disappointing ending.
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: wedgeski 05 December, 2018, 09:34:40 AM
Kingdom feels like we have been left with a backdrop for potential one-off's. It feels to me like the main narrative is done, and done with style. With Brink I just... more, more, more, please more.
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: Proudhuff 05 December, 2018, 03:00:32 PM
Did anyone else notice the cheeky use of the Ideal Toy Zeroid robots in Sinister Dexter?

(https://forums.2000ad.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=45580.0;attach=11850;image)

wow! I had that middle one as a sprog and loved it, had forgotten about it til I saw that pic...oh warm tummy retro glow as Dirty Frank might have said.
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: Proudhuff 05 December, 2018, 03:22:03 PM
To the Prog...(via an eye watering visit to ebay)

Cover: No tackle?

nerve Centre: Football invades Tharg's pitch again in Damage Report.

Dredd: I know its a bit of light relief but this could have been such a dark piece, those Gremlins reminded me of the Jigsaw man for some reason.

Brink: Great stuff, liked the twists

SinDex; good fun

Kingdom: Has there been any hints this was going to be pulled off? I would have felt better if all the current players had been killed off by the New Breed Thang... having Gene ride off with the codes and leeslee seems to be leaving a big old door open
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: broodblik 05 December, 2018, 03:37:48 PM
I am person who always likes a feel good ending for long running stories (Future Shocks are there for their bleak and dark endings).  That is maybe why i feel let down with Kingdom's ending. It is almost like the whole story has been reset back to the beginning. The heroes walk of into the sunset but in this case more into a dark unknown forest. A ending can make or break a complete series for me.
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: IndigoPrime 05 December, 2018, 03:52:41 PM
I think the hints in Kingdom were there for a long while, notably in the hubris of the humans, and attempts at dominance in an environment where there were no obvious winners. We'd multiple times seen rapid evolution play a role, but also people were looking at the fight from a disassociated distance, making the assumption they could effectively just waltz back in and take control. To my mind, this ending – if it is an ending – is a pretty logical conclusion, albeit one that landed with a hammer blow when I was reading it.
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: Proudhuff 05 December, 2018, 04:16:10 PM
fair enough, the rapid evolving is the trump card then...
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: Dandontdare 05 December, 2018, 06:27:26 PM
I think it was the only ending that made sense - Gene ended up with the means to swing the war for the humans, the Them, or the ticks (weaponised or natural) but is not interested in letting any of them dominate - all he wants is his freedom. There is scope for more, but I don't think it's necessary, the story of Gene the Hackman has been told.

I still can't fathom why a talking-heads strip about corporate conspiracies with fairly simplistic art is so bloody gripping, but I'm loving every minute of Brink.

Nice fun one-off for Dredd.

Still enjoying Sin/Dex but that thought bubble thing needs to explained or ditched soon, it's getting a bit tiresome

: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: IndigoPrime 05 December, 2018, 06:56:13 PM
Yeah, on reflection that's my take for Kingdom. It reached a natural conclusion. Strips… don't fare well when you push them on, unless you've a very compelling continuation.
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: Tiplodocus 05 December, 2018, 08:14:34 PM
Well the title of Kingdom is a bit of a clue that this is the end.or is it a beginning as well
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: broodblik 06 December, 2018, 02:54:49 AM
Yeah, on reflection that's my take for Kingdom. It reached a natural conclusion. Strips… don't fare well when you push them on, unless you've a very compelling continuation.

But I felt the end was pushing it on. Their was hints of the impeding doom but never really any plot points going into depth  or detail with them. The end is a part of the story that was never covered real detail. It was like the writer got tired of the story and just ended it by choosing any easy way out. This was a strip that I really enjoyed over the years and I just did not like the end at all (or maybe this might be a start of something completely different in the Kingdom)
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: norton canes 06 December, 2018, 10:34:33 AM
It's not the end. It's not. At least, it doesn't feel like the end. For one thing, Read Tharg's summary in the  Nerve Centre: "...and in Kingdom Gene is rocked by a startling development that may just see Them take control of the planet once and for all!" That doesn't sound like he's trailing the end of the entire strip. I mean OK maybe he's just trying to preserve the denouement's shock value but I reckon if this really was it, he'd be all like "...and the Kingdom saga reaches it's final pulse-pounding conclusion!". Plus there is no way a character like Gene would fizzle out of the concluding installment of his own strip in the first panel. He needs a hero's exit! Also I honestly don't believe Dan Abnett would introduce a major new facet like the hyper-evolved Them in the final two pages of the strip. If he has (which he hasn't) then the whole chapter just plays out like an underwhelming future shock.

I get what people are saying about the saga completing a sort of cycle. And I hear the claims that Abnett has written everything he can. But to end like this seems to bear the hallmark of a lazy writer, which Abnett most evidently is not. I'm not saying that every conclusion should unequivocally tie up every plot strand but at this point in the narrative too many elements are left hanging.

And quite apart from everything above - if it ended here, then...


then...


Well then we wouldn't have any more Kingdom would we, and that's just not drokking right, is it! We can't have no more Kingdom! Where would we be without no more Kingdom?!! It can't end! It can't!! 
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: norton canes 06 December, 2018, 10:41:16 AM
Also

The claim that "Gene is rocked by a startling development" just ain't true, because he's not, is he. He's not around to see it. Ha! Slipped up there, Tharg! We know there's more to come!

And

I don't have progs or collections to hand, so can anyone tell me whether the other chapters have ended with 'THE END' below their final panel? I mean the SinDex story in this prog has 'THE END' on the final page doesn't it?

And

Silly question but has Dan Abnett actually said anything?
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: Jim_Campbell 06 December, 2018, 10:51:37 AM
One thing I think people may be missing about Kingdom is that there are a lot of calls on the Elson droid's time these days, and it may be simple pragmatism on the part of the creators to end the current run in a way which could be picked up if and when Richard has time, but which serves as a proper ending if it turns out that he never does.

Better this, surely, than ending it in a way that demands obvious continuation and leaving it hanging for five years, or never getting resolved at all…?
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: Pyroxian 06 December, 2018, 11:20:01 AM
I don't have progs or collections to hand, so can anyone tell me whether the other chapters have ended with 'THE END' below their final panel? I mean the SinDex story in this prog has 'THE END' on the final page doesn't it?

Most of them have.

Kingdom - The End
The Promised Land - The End
Call of the Wild - The End
His Master's Voice - The End
Aux Drift - The End (Kingdom will Return)
Beast of Eden - End of Book Six
As it Is In Heaven - The End
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: The Amstor Computer 06 December, 2018, 11:40:50 AM
One thing I think people may be missing about Kingdom is that there are a lot of calls on the Elson droid's time these days, and it may be simple pragmatism on the part of the creators to end the current run in a way which could be picked up if and when Richard has time, but which serves as a proper ending if it turns out that he never does.

Better this, surely, than ending it in a way that demands obvious continuation and leaving it hanging for five years, or never getting resolved at all…?

Indeed. Look at something like Caballistics (essentially left hanging for a decade+ and only now wrapping up in the Christmas prog) or more recent strips like Helium or Stickleback (3 years+ and 4 years+) that were unfinished (for whatever reason) despite being popular with readers, and left in an awkward position where it was clear that their stories weren't completely told.

Although it can be read as a conclusion to the whole saga, the opening panels of this episode of "Alpha and Omega" also leave DAbnett enough wriggle room to continue Kingdom in the future:

This tale of Gene the Hackman, Lee Sower, and Pause who walks alone, it ends here.

...and:

Slipped away out of this tale. Safe for now, but alone. For those three, the future held nothing but hard survival, day to day, scrappy ever after.

Enough there to leave an out for another story - this tale ends here etc. - but also enough to wrap the whole strip up if need be, and in an appropriate way.
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: IndigoPrime 06 December, 2018, 11:48:48 AM
I love Kingdom. It's one of those strips that for me sits alongside some of the classics in 2000 AD, such as Strontium Dog. In the old days of 2000 AD, it could easily enough have been a regular, but that's not really how the Prog works these days with anything, bar Dredd. Given that it does have a narrative that's ongoing, I too would rather have an ending than a comma.

I'm of course not going to be annoyed if this creative team pics the strip up again in the future; but also I'll be content with what we have if this really is the end of the run. And it's been a fantastic run.
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: broodblik 06 December, 2018, 01:44:47 PM
An ending can ruin a whole series.  As norton said this feels like real lazy writing (Abnett for me is not a lazy writer). It was the easier ending to do.  This feels more like a season ending not a series ending.
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: Dandontdare 06 December, 2018, 03:02:37 PM
Slipped away out of this tale. Safe for now, but alone. For those three, the future held nothing but hard survival, day to day, scrappy ever after.

Forgot to mention that "scrappy ever after" gave me a huge grin.  :D
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: Slugbreath 06 December, 2018, 06:02:36 PM
Gremlins in the system leads to "unathorised" edits by them
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: Frank 08 December, 2018, 11:17:45 AM

(https://i.imgur.com/OYqCcnq.jpg?1)

Steve Yeowell posts the black and white art to each episode of Sinister Dexter on his Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/steve.yeowell.7/media_set?set=a.2166991440002156&type=3) page. This seems to answer the question of whether the colouring is responsible for the 'blurry' effect noted here in previous weeks.

This appears to be a result of Yeowell's adoption of a pencil effect* and, sometimes, the use of two identical fine lines very close to each other, as if they were made with two pens taped together.


* The 'effect' might just be actual pencil, for all I know
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: MacabreMagpie 08 December, 2018, 12:33:27 PM
John Charles has been a good match for Yeowell on SinDex in recent times but, bloody hell, those black and white pages are gorgeous.
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: Trout 08 December, 2018, 05:13:19 PM
Brink is so, so absorbing. I think anthology format of 2000 AD makes it possible to have such an understated, subtle strip run for so long. I'm loving every episode and can't wait for more, yet little seems to happen.

Great Dredd, too, and I enjoyed the Kingdom tie-up. I'm a Yeowell fan but I'm afraid the current SinDex run has lost me again. I've been blowing hot and cold on this strip since it debuted, a billion years ago, and it could just be my fault my attention has wandered.
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: DrJomster 08 December, 2018, 11:47:12 PM
A very fine prog to round off an excellent run. Praise be to Tharg.

It’s all been good, but Brink is particularly so. 
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: Eamonn Clarke 09 December, 2018, 11:16:59 AM
Just noticed I have a mesaage from Imgur about the cover image:

"Thanks for sharing your post with the community! Just a heads up -- it looks like you forgot to mark your post (https://imgur.com/gallery/wMqUBRe) as "mature," so we went ahead and marked it for you, which ensures it will be available to those who have opted in to see mature content. This is a friendly reminder, not an account warning. For more information on Imgur's Community Rules, please check out https://imgur.com/rules"

I presume because the gremlins are naked?
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: Frank 09 December, 2018, 11:30:54 AM
Just noticed I have a mesaage from Imgur about the cover image:

"Thanks for sharing your post with the community! Just a heads up -- it looks like you forgot to mark your post (https://imgur.com/gallery/wMqUBRe) as "mature," so we went ahead and marked it for you, which ensures it will be available to those who have opted in to see mature content. This is a friendly reminder, not an account warning. For more information on Imgur's Community Rules, please check out https://imgur.com/rules"

I presume because the gremlins are naked?

You only see their arses. My mum has a ton of baby pictures Imgur would find very sexy.


: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: titchard 11 December, 2018, 01:30:36 PM
and I really enjoyed the dialogue between the workers.

Me too - I found this so funny, great little back and forth.
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: JamesC 13 December, 2018, 01:39:02 PM
I think that's probably the end of Kingdom and I really enjoyed it.
I think it could work really well as a setting to re-visit in one-offs in Xmas progs and summer specials. Tales from the Kingdom could be great. I'd quite like to see a one-off told from the POV of Them or something.
: Re: Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
: TordelBack 13 December, 2018, 03:27:43 PM
Re: Kingdom, it's definitely an end, insofar as it wraps up the whole Numan-TickWar-Space stuff, but I don't believe it's the end. Abnett may (or may not) be resting it for a while at this handy point, but personally I'm not remotely done with Gene & Co yet, and I can't believe he is either.

As to the rest, Dredd good fun and looking great; SinDex a bit by-the-numbers (reminds me too much of the giant cyber-gator story) but Yeowell & Charles on top form; Brink as nerve-jangling as ever.  Abnett really pulling his weight this week!