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Spoilers => Prog => : Colin YNWA 08 June, 2019, 01:23:23 PM

: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: Colin YNWA 08 June, 2019, 01:23:23 PM
Well its a four thriller and to be honest it feels like a four thriller. Not that those four thrills are bad, just it means the Prog feels a little light, like its missing something.

That feeling is not helped by a light weight Dredd. I know last weeks split opinion some what and I wonder if this one will also, with me this time in the less impressed camp. It just felt...insubstancial, even a little flabby... that'd be insubstancial flab then... anyway. We don't like robots, we get threatened by robot supportser, we get saved by robots (well one of them does) and Dredd tut tuts. Mind looked lovely.

Scarlet Traces is only solid this week we get some interesting hints at backgrounds and origins, but that doesn't really feel like it adds anything, the end is intriguing but nothing here really builds on the thumping events last week.

Thistlebone opens really well. It uses its 10 pages not to cram things in to fill the page with more action, plot or character, rather it uses the extra space to establish tone and pace. There's really nothing here that couldn't have been easily covered on a normal 5 or 6 pages BUT Eglington and Davis use the extra room to create atmosphere and make the big moments really strike. Its really done well and a fantastic start.

Kingmaker comes to an end well. It still still carries the problem of quite how potent Crixus might be.... or it does until possibly that last page cliffhanger! Still it also carries the idea that a true leader or king might have the power but their true power comes from their constraint. Oh and that cliffhanger I mentioned. Its a doozy.

So a Prog not to the standard of last weeks but still doing okay.
: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: Eamonn Clarke 08 June, 2019, 02:25:53 PM
(https://i.imgur.com/foWVpol.jpg)
Simon Davis
: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: Tjm86 08 June, 2019, 04:43:42 PM
I'm with you completely Colin.  Thistlebone made for an interesting start and Davies' artwork is up to his normal standard.  Scarlet Traces definitely marches gamely on, reviewing the key points from the Great Game for the benefit of all who missed / forgot.  Kingmaker reaches a hiatus point on a bit of an attempt at a shock that might have made sense if I knew who the new player was.  Since I have no recollection it was more WTF than WOOOOAAAAHH.

The real let down though was definitely Dredd.  It almost felt like a whole melting pot of ideas had been thrown together.  One or two flat gags.  A bit of old school Dredd moralising.  Disappointing.

Still Absalom returns next week.
: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: Darren Stephens 09 June, 2019, 09:11:46 AM
Thistlebone has the feeling of something quite special. Totally loved the opening chapter!
: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: CalHab 09 June, 2019, 10:26:59 AM
Thistlebone is the highlight. This is a masterful use of the additional space given and covers as much ground as an American comic would in 3 or 4 issues, but doesn’t seem rushed. I’m really looking forward to reading the rest of this.
: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: glassstanley 10 June, 2019, 06:40:43 AM
Thistlebone has an intriguing opening - looking forward to more of the same.

Definitely nice to see the Thargnote in Dredd. I had completely forgotten the story this is a sequel to!
: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: Proudhuff 10 June, 2019, 01:21:29 PM
Sooo as usual, I'm firmly in the other camp  :lol:

Nice cover image. one of the best for a long while  :thumbsup:

Damage report: Serious business... come on the Droids! Solidarity Brothers and sisters.

Dredd a passable Megacity Citz tale,
Scarlet Traces a beautifully rendered masterclass in storytelling, pacing, character building and exposition.

Thistlebone a wonderful start and well worth the page count, I'm hoping the woods are the heroes for once!

Kingythingy lost me weeks ago, glad its over and...

The best bit of the Prog is that advert for next Prog on the inside back page!! Next week's Prog will be epic.


 
: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: broodblik 12 June, 2019, 03:49:01 AM
Dredd – As with any of McConville’s once-off Dredd strips it always feels like a split in middle, this round we pendulum has swung to a mildly entertaining thrill. Love the art on this one tough.

Scarlet Traces – It is as always, a very enjoyable strip. Again, it is a case of having to acknowledge D’Israeli’s great work on the strip just awesome.

Kingmaker – This is one of Edgington great works and the strip is compliment with some great art. The only let down is that we now need to wait for the next chapter (hopefully this is not going to be another 2 years). It ends with a bang.

Thistlebone – Great intro to the new strip and what a treat to have Davis on art duty (and we get 10 bumper pages by him, plus the cover).

Overall a good prog slightly let-down by Dredd
: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: Frank 12 June, 2019, 11:45:05 AM

Over the last few weeks, we've perfected the art of reviewing Scarlet Traces: gush effusively over Brooker's command of colour, compare it to Cam Kennedy's US work or McMahon Dredd Annual stories, and move on.

Today, I break new ground by working myself into a frenzy over The D'Israeliton's ability to control the pace at which the reader moves through the narrative for maximum dramatic effect.


(https://i.imgur.com/pvshfbV.png?2)

That image**, with its muted palette, follows several panels of visually uninteresting two-shots of mauve and slate domesticity. The slow creep into that huge close-up and switching the background to stark white is the equivalent of the creators dropping their voices to a whisper, forcing the audience to lean-in, drawing them closer, and then ...



(https://i.imgur.com/rSIeJHT.png?2)


MASSIVE BLOODY RED HOT SPACE WAR! That page turn works the same way as the drop in EDM or the Inception BWA-A-A-R (https://longreads.com/2016/12/08/braaam-inception-hollywood-soundtracks/) in every bloody film trailer of the last decade. The incongrous shift from Coronation Street to Independence Day is a good metaphor for the appeal of the strip in general.

Proper creatives often point out that the way to make something with universal appeal is, paradoxically, to create something very specific and personal**. By using the particular geographic and temporal fabric of their own childhood memories to fashion the home-leg of their space opera, Brooker and Edginton have managed to create something truly unique and all the more enjoyable for it.

The warmth and familiarity the creators communicate to the reader regarding their shared childhood makes it easy to share the emotions of the characters in a way that possibly isn't true of the residents of Metropolis or Sokovia when they face existential threats.

Any reader of 2000ad can relate to watching the land of their childhood being destroyed by age, redevelopment, or the loss of the people who formed its geography and monumental architecture. Middle-aged nerds just need some spaceship and lasers in there, too.


* Even the way that horrible lump of dialogue is balanced by the bold lines and minimal detail of the main image shows a real instinctive understanding of how the eye processes the combination of words and images. Such a volume of text against a backdrop like that of the following panel, for example, would be like having a massive serving of dry chips (with no seasoning) thrust in front of you and being told you have to clean the plate before you can leave the table. Sorry, just processing the trauma of a Scottish childhood.

** Harp on about Joseph Campbell and Jungian archetypes all you like, but George Lucas's most successful solo creation is a story about an awkward kid from a desert town who takes on a massive establishment with much better resources and wins his freedom by taking advantage of a backdoor the enemy knew about but didn't think was important. In this analogy, the exhaust port is Kenner and Steven Spielberg is a Wookiee.
: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: Magnetica 12 June, 2019, 12:22:05 PM
The story in Dredd was all a bit so what. As to the art, the Judges uniforms didn’t look right to me. Now I know different artists interpret it differently but this seem a bit too far: it looked like there was some body armour padding like in movie Dredd, the badge looked a bit like movie Dredd too and the belt buckle had red and white strips (but so did the cover a few weeks back).

Scarlet Traces is fine, but with the way it jumps around from character to character will read better on one sitting at the end.

Thistlebone started well. I am assuming this will be a done in one series tale. Can’t agree Davies’s art was up to his usual standard - it was even better.

Sorry to see Kingmaker end as I gave enjoyed the run. I assume the entity at the end was the one mentioned at the very beginning of the very first episode. Which I thought was just a fable at the time; this puts a different perspective on that.
: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: MacabreMagpie 12 June, 2019, 01:09:25 PM
the belt buckle had red and white strips (but so did the cover a few weeks back).

It's the US stars and stripes, innit? Hence the blue bar above that's often drawn with stars. Many artists/colourists have forgone the all-gold look over the years and, I personally, have always favourite the flag colours as it complements the red on the helmet.
: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: Frank 12 June, 2019, 01:29:07 PM
I know different artists interpret it differently but this seem a bit too far: it looked like there was some body armour padding like in movie Dredd, the badge looked a bit like movie Dredd too and the belt buckle had red and white strips (but so did the cover a few weeks back).


Anyone passing through the office could have a go at colouring Dredd in the early days (far left), but the founding fathers liked a bit of red, white and blue with their stars n stripes when they coloured their own work ...


(https://i.imgur.com/yS5fmfp.png?3)(https://i.imgur.com/WqUCp84.jpg?1)(https://i.imgur.com/YNtO6fM.png?1)


... and lovely yellow knee/elbowpads, too. Not sure I see a Dredd3D kevlar vest, but the boy with the girl's name does seem to have given Old Man Dredd a cosy set of armoured thermals to wear underneath his leather onesie:


(https://i.imgur.com/h1Clkbk.png?1)


The Simon Schama of 2000ad fandom, Ian Hollingsworth, points out that Jeff Minter (https://youtu.be/sg7gqGEd7rI) Block isn't just a retro-gaming reference, it's been a feature of the extended Dredd universe since the eighties (https://i.imgur.com/KnOpK44.png). Wouldn't have known that.



* Looks more like the extra seams and tailoring detail the sculptor added to that Dredd statuette (https://i.imgur.com/XdKCHN6.png) to break up the surface area in a way that would be achieved by shadowing and highlights in line art.
: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: Magnetica 12 June, 2019, 01:32:18 PM
Yeah sure, I know what it is meant to be - it’s just I haven’t noticed it for a while and it was markedly different to how Henry Flint drew it last week.
: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: Magnetica 12 June, 2019, 01:35:27 PM
Not seen green shoulder pads before - ugh they look all wrong.

I also seem to recall a coloured in respirator once (red I think)
: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: IndigoPrime 12 June, 2019, 01:48:08 PM
Jeff Minter (https://youtu.be/sg7gqGEd7rI) Block isn't just a retro-gaming reference, it's been a feature of the extended Dredd universe since the eighties (https://i.imgur.com/KnOpK44.png). Wouldn't have known that.
Well, Jeff’s been making games since 1981…
: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: Frank 12 June, 2019, 02:32:28 PM
Jeff Minter (https://youtu.be/sg7gqGEd7rI) Block isn't just a retro-gaming reference, it's been a feature of the extended Dredd universe since the eighties (https://i.imgur.com/KnOpK44.png). Wouldn't have known that.

Well, Jeff’s been making games since 1981…

I might have misunderstood the point you're making.

The authors of the RPG were obviously referencing Minter. I thought the possibility that Rory McConville was referencing an especially obscure piece of Dredd arcana* was interesting.


* Rather than referencing Minter alone
: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: DrRocka 12 June, 2019, 02:50:42 PM
Absolutely LOVED this week’s prog, firing on every cylinder for me.
Anybody else think that Thistlebone looks like a certain adversary of Slaine’s.....?
: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: IndigoPrime 12 June, 2019, 02:51:23 PM
On Minter, could be coincidence (if RMcC is a Minter fan) or extreme Dredd geekdom. Either’s fine by me. (GRIDRUNNER FOREVER!)
: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: Frank 12 June, 2019, 08:03:14 PM

(https://i.imgur.com/SBW18Ch.png?2)


: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: SmallBlueThing(Reborn) 13 June, 2019, 09:16:08 AM
This week's prog felt like a whole new start, despite seeing the end of one strip and surely nearing the end of another. Such was the impact of Thistlebone, which told a straightforward story in a way that the prog arguably hasn't done for ages.
Print it in black and white, with John Stokes on the art duty, and that could have come from Scream or Eagle in the mid eighties. And I mean that in the best possible way.
I've blown hot and cold on Simon Davis over the years, loving his Sinister Dexter, not enjoying his Slaine at all, but here I'm firmly back onside. It's absolutely beautiful, dripping in atmosphere, full of clarity and character, and already I'm salivating over the possibility of a hardback "European style" collection (if we are still allowed European comics after Halloween).

In the rest of the prog, Scarlet Traces is again the stand out. After losing its way in the last series (which now seems vital to reread to follow the whole story, annoyingly/cleverly) this one has been so far Top Thrill for so many weeks, it seems odd to relegate it to #2. Dredd was okay, a meat and potatoes installment that broke no new ground nor did anything particularly obnoxious. Nice art as well.
And Kingmaker is another one of those surprising strips that I started off resenting but ended up finding myself reading every panel with glee. When it returns, in probably a few years time, no doubt I will dread it from the first "coming soon" mention, then find myself absorbed every week.

And next prog we have Harry back. Joy! Thistlebone, Harry and Scarlet Traces in the same package. I reckon The Mighty One is somehow reading my mind's idle musings when wandering about. Thanks, you creepy green mind reader.

SBT
: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: norton canes 13 June, 2019, 11:08:25 AM
A muddled and unsatisfying Dredd that really only looked like it was trying to piggyback on the impact of Machine Law. Scarlet Traces layering on more intrigue - it's been the unexpected hit of recent weeks for me. A bit of a damp squid of an ending for Kingmaker, despite the final-page twist.

And Thistlebone...

Looks gorgeous. You can't fault the sort of work that the Davis droid has put in here. But - and maybe the excitement over its arrival has unrealistically raised my expectations - I thought story-wise it was a little underwhelming, a touch straightforward. Too much revealed, for an opening installment. I don't always like making comparisons but I've just finished reading Cradlegrave for the first time and there, the tension is ratcheted up for several weeks until the first reveal of anything non-natural. Got a feeling that Thistlebone needed a bit of that sort of suspense. Still, looking forward to seeing how it goes.

Finally... bring on Absalom
: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: Southstreeter 13 June, 2019, 04:17:30 PM
Thank Grud for the upcoming glorious Absalom, I’m not really enjoying this run, though Thistlebone looks promising.

Can someone enlighten me as to who the geezer at the end of Kingmaker is? Have we seen him before? I’m also wondering how I’ve managed to forget so much of Scarlet Traces - has all this backstory been in the prog? I’ve an idea that there was another GN (that I haven’t read) prior to the prog’s run. I also lost interest in the previous run, so I’ve forgotten what happened to all the bald fellas on Venus (or was it Mars?) who seem to be about to crop up again.

Dredd - nice idea, but McConville never really does it for me.

If that sounds a bit grumpy, well I’m glad some folk are really digging the prog just now!
: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: BPP 13 June, 2019, 06:01:41 PM
Dredd - a no for me on several levels (the artists rendering of judges, the pay off line being highly a un-Wagner stance on Dredd / mechanismos). There is a nice idea there (the anti-robot guys being used as transference guinea pigs) that Wagner / Grant Dredd would have milked for gruesome comic effect but here it’s tossed away in a bland script.

Scarlett Traces is just sublime. A five star strip in terms of art and story every week.

Thistlebone - hell yes. Simon Davis draws the last 30 minutes of Kill List? I’m down for that.

Kingmaker - elf orc and Tolkien guff but still I likes it. Taken with its Brass Sun twist am well up for its return.
: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: TordelBack 13 June, 2019, 06:09:26 PM
I quite liked the Dredd, some fresh stylings in the art and nice to see the Mark 8s (?) on the streets in a non-Wagner tale. However, in a world where there's an international terrorist organisation called Rage Against the Megs that recently caused untold damage during Chaos Day, is RatM the wisest name for your group?
: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: TordelBack 13 June, 2019, 06:38:00 PM
Gah, half my post disappeared! Commence laborious retyping...

(Cont. ) I don't think Dredd's closer was out of character: despite his objections, the decision has very definitely been made now, and Joe will uphold the Law without exception - in public at least. Also, he hates bigots of any kind - all potential perps get the same treatment.

Over in the transcendent Scarlet Traces, "what do you mean, 'Ahron Shakespeare approaching?'". Dun-dun-dun-dun-dun... Thrill of the year so far for me, just non-stop payoff.

Thistlebone. That Quilli wasn't long getting a full series, eh readers? Looks absolutely gorgeous, we'll see where it goes (anywhere other than Summerisle or Providence, Rhode Island would be good).

Kingmaker performs an interesting balancing act, will notSauron join the gang now his host Ablard has become a bit redundant?

: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: Eamonn Clarke 13 June, 2019, 06:42:24 PM

Can someone enlighten me as to who the geezer at the end of Kingmaker is? Have we seen him before?

It’s the spirit form of Ichnar the Wraith King, so that’s Sauron whose physical body was defeated by the fellowship heroes and now lives on as some sort of ethereal force.
: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: The Enigmatic Dr X 13 June, 2019, 07:30:22 PM
It is with some grumpiness that I must report I still don't have my prog.

I am typically getting my sub on a Friday, six days after everyone else.

This pisses me off.
: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: Southstreeter 13 June, 2019, 07:34:21 PM

Can someone enlighten me as to who the geezer at the end of Kingmaker is? Have we seen him before?

It’s the spirit form of Ichnar the Wraith King, so that’s Sauron whose physical body was defeated by the fellowship heroes and now lives on as some sort of ethereal force.

Thanks! My aged brain has trouble keeping up sometimes  ;)
: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: Frank 13 June, 2019, 10:30:40 PM

Don't get the extreme reaction to Miranda's art. Some of the poses and anatomy are more Ron Turner (https://i.imgur.com/WozSHMB.png) than Ron Smith, but his linework and character design are really good.

I'm 100% more interested in seeing what he could do with his own strip than Dredd, but that's true of almost anyone whose name isn't Flint, MacNeil or >sniff< Carlos.

Nice to see the Black Eyed Peas back together:


(https://i.imgur.com/1snQVv9.png?2)

(https://i.imgur.com/nRSayap.png?2)


: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: TordelBack 14 June, 2019, 12:56:52 AM
Can't see anything wrong with it meself. Take a gander at the non-Judge pages to see how solid the work is:  the issue seems to be folk not liking the designs for the uniform, and maybe Dredd himself. I like to see these elwments explored and stretched a bit visually , like Ezquerra with his different-coloured shoulder pads and off centre zip, PJ with his Stallonish collars, McCarthy with his flaring helmets and eable respirators, or Dyer with his belt holsters and Dredd3D collars. Bring it on, I say.
: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: broodblik 14 June, 2019, 03:43:08 AM
It makes it interesting to have  the different styles and interpretations of Dredd. I cannot really fault Miranda's work here.
: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: sheridan 14 June, 2019, 11:45:50 AM
A bit of a damp squid of an ending for Kingmaker


 :D
: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: Magnetica 14 June, 2019, 12:42:12 PM
It’s interesting that we don’t know what 2000AD’s most important character actually looks like, other than his chin and his uniform and that there is no agreement on what that uniform actually looks like.  ;)

And that hasn’t stopped him for enduring for 42 years.

So I guess it actually isn’t that important, so long as it is still recognisably Dredd / a Judge.
: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: BPP 17 June, 2019, 12:09:03 AM
I think it’s the rendering of Dredd himself and the tiny shoulder pad that’s off for me. Looking at the same artists turn on Anderson in Meg 400 it’s not the style or outfit re-design per-se (indeed quite like the tech looking boots). I mean nobody could be arguing that it’s not a very professional level of art or lack of style / ability etc.. just the choices that are made drawing Joe don’t click for me. Bit like that old Ron Turner Dredd.
: Re: Prog 2135 - Beware the woods...
: Fungus 24 June, 2019, 12:26:45 PM
Decent prog, great to drool (excuse me...) over an extended Davis episode. Favourite part being the way he just suggests background characters, even more than the up-front splash elements. Masterful, and lovely colouring.
Concern over Thistlebone is it's a bit 'kitchen-sink' drama, investigator-asked-to-look-into-weird-goings-on... not my cuppa but hoping it surprises me later. I get that the animals are a big draw for Davis to get his teeth into.

Dredd art wasn't bad overall, but much anatomy and other elements were odd. Thing is, Miranda's page design was great, it reminded me of Deadly Class which also doesn't stand up to scrutiny but really flows nicely. That weird helmet was too distracting, have to say.

I'm not getting along with Scarlet Traces, and Kingmaker was all talking heads! It actually took me out of the story and got me thinking how you'd avoid that! Maybe that's a good thing?!

So, not great. But potential, and the glorious Absalom next up  :)