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Spoilers => Prog => : NapalmKev 16 March, 2019, 12:43:24 PM

: Prog 2123 - It's Time To Bring The Magic Back.
: NapalmKev 16 March, 2019, 12:43:24 PM
Lovely wraparound cover of returning thrill, Kingmaker, by Leigh Gallagher.

Dredd - Citizenship: A good but dark story which mirrors current events in the real world. Dredd seems a bit more callous than usual.

Survival Geeks - Dungeons and Dating. The Geeks return for a new series and they're on a quest for...I don't know. It's the first part after all. Good opener.

Kingmaker - Ouroboros: Loved the first series and this one starts well. It reads a bit like Lord of the Rings until we get to that panel featuring an aerial battle. Great stuff!

Grey Area - Making History: A very interesting development after a lot of talking. The last panel really is something to behold.

That's right, four strips. Good Prog, regardless. There is also a letters page.

Cheers
: Re: Prog 2123 - It's Time To Bring The Magic Back.
: Richard 16 March, 2019, 01:28:41 PM
That's quite a star letter!
: Re: Prog 2123 - It's Time To Bring The Magic Back.
: 73north 16 March, 2019, 02:08:06 PM
I really enjoyed the Prog ( which arrived despite the snow in the Scottish Borders )
Highlight for me was Kingmaker , best thing I can say is that it feels its ' never been away ' or
that it over 2 years since the last episode - very good art and storytelling .
Grey Area was good , single Dredd episode was fabulous , and
Survival Geeks was a good laugh
 ( if it keeps Gordon Rennie happy in 2000ad -
so he can write more episodes of Jaegir
then its all good )
overall 8/10 no weak areas .
: Re: Prog 2123 - It's Time To Bring The Magic Back.
: Eamonn Clarke 16 March, 2019, 03:41:31 PM
(https://scontent-lhr3-1.cdninstagram.com/vp/480e1f87e3293dbecfc4abb420e60ce1/5D1C8A74/t51.2885-15/e35/47098597_1157611277746653_754194500214346889_n.jpg?_nc_ht=scontent-lhr3-1.cdninstagram.com&se=7&ig_cache_key=MTkyMTkxNDE2NTMyNTUyOTc1MA%3D%3D.2)

Leigh Gallagher's magical cover artwork.
: Re: Prog 2123 - It's Time To Bring The Magic Back.
: Eamonn Clarke 16 March, 2019, 03:42:15 PM
And how it appears on the prog, along with the mailchimp preview sticker.

(https://i.imgur.com/NGvpdUk.jpg)
: Re: Prog 2123 - It's Time To Bring The Magic Back.
: Bolt-01 16 March, 2019, 04:34:00 PM
Tis a superb cover. Leigh is a heck of an artist.
: Re: Prog 2123 - It's Time To Bring The Magic Back.
: Tomontherun94 16 March, 2019, 11:34:33 PM
Dredd: A nice simple Dredd story, McConville really has the formula nailed.
Survival Geeks: Living in a shared house full of geeky people in our 20s, this strip feels the most relatable and is different enough to set it apart from the rest of the regular strips.
Kingmaker: This is my first experience with this strip and I gotta say this was the highlight of the prog for me this week.
Grey Area: Great as always, not much else to say.

I'm glad I finally made the plunge reading 2000 AD with the jump on issue last year after collecting both the Hachette partworks, this really does feel like some kind of golden age.
: Re: Prog 2123 - It's Time To Bring The Magic Back.
: Eamonn Clarke 17 March, 2019, 11:48:11 AM
And this week both the Prog and the Meg come with a free bagged Spud Gum.
: Re: Prog 2123 - It's Time To Bring The Magic Back.
: IndigoPrime 17 March, 2019, 01:43:08 PM
Took me a while to remember Kingmaker. My initial thought was that Tharg was looking grumpier than usual on the cover.
: Re: Prog 2123 - It's Time To Bring The Magic Back.
: Buttonman 17 March, 2019, 03:01:06 PM
I only got 2122 yesterday! Will someone please think about the poor old subbers?!

Do tell more about this exciting letters page offering!
: Re: Prog 2123 - It's Time To Bring The Magic Back.
: Leigh S 17 March, 2019, 06:06:37 PM
Greatest letter ever - prepare to blub
: Re: Prog 2123 - It's Time To Bring The Magic Back.
: Eamonn Clarke 17 March, 2019, 06:22:56 PM
An honorary and posthumous KTT for a mother who went above and beyond the call of duty to deliver thrill power for her son.
: Re: Prog 2123 - It's Time To Bring The Magic Back.
: Geoff 17 March, 2019, 06:26:04 PM
Gosh, what a letter: amusing, affectionate and moving. You need hear no more about it Buttonman, when you get the prog, you'll read it for yourself and your heart shall be warmed.

The wraparound cover and Kingmaker were also zarjaz. Grey Area rattles along too.

The Dredd was just dire though. Leaden social commentary with Dredd just clumsily tacked on at the end. With an attitude more suited to the Dredd of 30yrs ago, ignoring all of the character development over the years. Dredd stories can do social commentary well, like the long-form Democracy storylines and one-shots like John Cassavetes but this was poor.
Survival Geeks was dire too, but that's to be expected. A mixed prog for me. 
: Re: Prog 2123 - It's Time To Bring The Magic Back.
: Leigh S 17 March, 2019, 06:52:29 PM
As soon as I saw the blizzard of text panels I knew just how Conrad and Fox feel when hitting an annual text story - I turned over to see a whole page of them and promptly gave up.  I'm not sure if I've said this about Rory McConville or some other writer before, but even great ideas die on the rack of exposition ("NOBODY expects the Spanish Exposition!")
: Re: Prog 2123 - It's Time To Bring The Magic Back.
: Magnetica 17 March, 2019, 07:57:22 PM
It seems to be McConville’s style to use exposition to tell the story. He even made a virtue of it in an interview in the Megazine (I think).  I really don’t like it - this was slightly better that some of his other Dredd’s, but still I would rather have the story told via action and dialogue.
: Re: Prog 2123 - It's Time To Bring The Magic Back.
: The Enigmatic Dr X 17 March, 2019, 07:57:52 PM
Yeah, subs are taking the piss now. Arriving on a Friday for me, while others are getting the next prog the next day?
: Re: Prog 2123 - It's Time To Bring The Magic Back.
: Buttonman 17 March, 2019, 08:41:10 PM
Yeah, subs are taking the piss now. Arriving on a Friday for me, while others are getting the next prog the next day?

It's an anti- Cal Hab conspiracy!
: Re: Prog 2123 - It's Time To Bring The Magic Back.
: Colin YNWA 17 March, 2019, 09:43:46 PM
New Prog largely new line-up but the question is does it hold up to the quality of late and the answers is... kinda.... abit... well no, not really.

While I've been a fan of Rory McConville's Dredd's up to this point this one was pretty weak. It read like the Vector 13 remix in that it was entire exposition and in that detached me from the characters and thus the story. At the same time many a good Dredd doesn't really feature the lead but here he felt cranked in an unecessary and the end of weak. A shoulder shrug if we'd known, neither hard faced, nor surprising just disinterested... as was I alas. Still Jack Lynch is still superb.

Survival Geeks is playful but vacuous.

Kingmaker was superb and double sized. The Shire turns into Texas (where the chainsaw massacres happened) and its done with almost effortless skill and much joy. Wonderful.

Grey Area manages to crank the tension dispite the hard boiled military babble. Great stuff.

And... oh just the four. Can't remember what we get next week but looking forward to having a fifth back BUT what is this comment in 'Input'? When Tharg says two weeks to Grey Areas finale he means for this run... right... this run not finale, finale???

: Re: Prog 2123 - It's Time To Bring The Magic Back.
: CalHab 18 March, 2019, 01:36:08 PM
Yeah, subs are taking the piss now. Arriving on a Friday for me, while others are getting the next prog the next day?

It's an anti- Cal Hab conspiracy!

It arrived in NE Cal-Hab on Saturday, so it might just be your corner.

Excellent prog, and that may just be the best letter/tribute ever published in the prog.
: Re: Prog 2123 - It's Time To Bring The Magic Back.
: IndigoPrime 18 March, 2019, 03:12:17 PM
Mm. This Dredd didn't land for me. It felt like the arsehole Dredd of the Daily Star strip era. "Well, we killed someone, due to not really giving a shit. What the hell, eh?" In fact, worse, because in the old days Dredd at least had an overriding sense of justice. RMcC can be hit or miss for me, veering towards the former. But this one felt very heavy handed, and, yeah, perhaps show what's happening rather than writing out the entire story in captions. It's like the anti-Wagner.
: Re: Prog 2123 - It's Time To Bring The Magic Back.
: Trout 20 March, 2019, 01:06:27 AM
My favourite story was Survivals Geeks, which was a lot of fun. That letter made me a bit teary, too, reading it almost exactly two years aince my own mum died. She introduced me to comics as a way of encouraging me to read. A nice sentiment making that the star letter with added KTT. Well done, Tharg!
: Re: Prog 2123 - It's Time To Bring The Magic Back.
: Keef Monkey 20 March, 2019, 01:54:22 PM
Seeing that beautiful wraparound cover here reminds me that's one of the things I miss being a digital subscriber, I had no idea it was supposed to be a wraparound until I got to the end of the prog and even then there isn't really a way to view the whole image (unless I'm being dense). Would love if for the wraparound digital issues they added it as an extra page at the front so we could see it on opening the prog. What a cover it is too.

Great prog I thought, I know some have mentioned the Dredd story being heavy handed but I felt like it was as harsh as it needed to be to tell the story it did. The parallels to current reality were clear enough that it didn't need to do much beyond showing how bleak things are and leaving you on a gutpunch. I too thought we were on the way to one of Dredd's kinder moments, where he would bend the rules to save a life, but in this case with it being too late for that it felt right that he would walk away and no doubt process it internally in that Dreddy way that he does. Loved it.

Survival Geeks I enjoyed, I never get particularly excited about it coming back but always enjoy it while I'm reading it, the artwork makes it a nice breezy colourful read among the more serious thrills so while I'm not sure I'd read a collection in isolation it is very refreshing when surrounded by the right line-up.

Really liked Kingmaker last time round and this was great too, was finding the Hobbit references a bit too on the nose but looks like that's been subverted nicely, plus the mash-up of sci-fi and fantasy really clicks for me and makes for an interesting world I want to see develop and develop.

And Grey Area was great, always one of my favourites when it's running and this was a great episode. You know something is going to go down and the tension and expectation is handled well, and then when the thing does go down it's a real WTF moment that has me really looking forward to next week. This can't end well surely.

A great prog, I'd found recent weeks a bit mixed bag but the refreshed line-up has got my thrill receptors firing at consistently high levels again. Great work all round!
: Re: Prog 2123 - It's Time To Bring The Magic Back.
: norton canes 21 March, 2019, 10:39:45 AM
Cover: It's an extender! An impressive montage piece from the Gallagher droid. Also, I love that they've shown a flagrant disregard for mass-market appeal by using the word 'ghafflebette' on the cover. Who cares what the norms think? We get the message!

Dredd: A reasonable tale slightly tarnished by the narrative-heavy style and the far from subtle (though eminently laudable) message on the final page. I can't help think that a different script droid (OK yes I mean John Wagner) might have kicked off with a few actions panels where Dredd rescues the couple from an assassination attempt and... anyway, coulda shoulda. The gimped-up torturer was a nice touch.

S-Geeks: Just brilliant, as ever. This and the recent Infestinauts 3riller have shown that comic stories very much have a place in the, er, comic. Love the 'Gygaxatron' (NB QFM) and the '1D6 minutes later' captions but perhaps best of all is the way the story seems to segue almost imperceptibly with...

...the start of Kingmaker, which also takes a few humorous pot-shots at the D&D/Middle Earth genre. A double length installment to get us up and running is a great idea, and though this week's story was a bit of a heavy-handed Hobbit pastiche I'm sure it'll warm up once we get more spaceships and aliens and shit. Without a doubt, this is the best of Ian Edginton's ongoing strips.

Grey Area: T-minus two weeks? No!! Still, massive loss to the prog that it will be, I don't mind as I know it's freeing up more time for Dan Abnett to write Kingdom.

Finally, I'm sure none of Tharg's droids will mind, but I have to award this week's Top Thrill to the Letter of the Week, because it's unquestionably a thrill to know that such a bond existed between mother and son for so long. Excuse me, there's something in my eye...
: Re: Prog 2123 - It's Time To Bring The Magic Back.
: norton canes 21 March, 2019, 12:29:40 PM
Actually, the more I think about it - the end of Survival Geeks could run straight into the start of Kingmaker, couldn't it. SG ends with the protagonists entering a virtual fantasy realm where they'll inhabit different personas and Kingmaker kicks off with those characters travelling across the plains.

I mean this is Trifecta levels of synchronicity. Coincidence..?
: Re: Prog 2123 - It's Time To Bring The Magic Back.
: broodblik 21 March, 2019, 02:17:12 PM
Good prog. Glad that Kingmaker finally made its return
: Re: Prog 2123 - It's Time To Bring The Magic Back.
: Leigh S 22 March, 2019, 07:46:29 PM
Climbed the Exposition mountain that was Dredd - once again, it's a fine enough premise, but I just don't get on with this style at all. Also, could Pon not have told the Judges themselves that as a seeming human he would be killed?  So he didn't/couldn't make Dredd aware of that himself? I know the idea there was to make a point, but as a final "kicker" it fails, if only as it removes any agency from Pon once he is away from his human partner.
: Re: Prog 2123 - It's Time To Bring The Magic Back.
: Slugbreath 22 March, 2019, 09:59:59 PM
"It's time to bring the magic back."
For a few seconds I thought of Witchworld....
: Re: Prog 2123 - It's Time To Bring The Magic Back.
: Jacqusie 23 March, 2019, 12:09:54 PM
What was going on with Dredd's chin (s) on that last page? He looked like Tony Tubbs... Too many munceburgers Joe...
: Re: Prog 2123 - It's Time To Bring The Magic Back.
: Fungus 23 March, 2019, 12:56:28 PM
Truly excellent prog. I may - probably should - skip these threads before reading the thing, because...

Dredd was great  :o  Nice tip of the hat to Br**it, a charmer of a slice-of-life tale and Lynch’s art is stylish and lush. I expected a text story - it was far from that!

Kingmaker was a fine reintroduction, double-length helped.

Geeks won’t ever be my cuppa, the in-jokes aren’t for me and 1D6? Good cartoony art, it’s very rare these the art quality isn’t fantastic.

Grey Area was a flat read, jargon-heavy made it dense (unlike Dredd). A simple set-up, so a dip for such an inventive and enjoyable strip. Hoping for a meaty finale.

Rounded off with the best letter ever...   :'(
: Re: Prog 2123 - It's Time To Bring The Magic Back.
: Andy Lambert 23 March, 2019, 02:46:44 PM
Damn, but that letter had me teared up.

On a happier note, I'm delighted to see Survival Geeks and Kingmaker again!
: Re: Prog 2123 - It's Time To Bring The Magic Back.
: DrJomster 28 March, 2019, 10:15:28 PM
That was a really good prog.

My only minor quibble is that I wouldn’t have put Kingmaker’s Lord of the Rings intro straight after Survival Geeks’ D&D comedy as Kingmaker is a more serious affair.

I liked the Dredd a lot, both art and story. Not sure I would have him say “yeah” though near the end. But still, very good.

SG and GA were also tops.

Praise Be To Tharg.