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Prog / Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Last post by Funt Solo on Today at 12:29:42 am »
2011: 2nd Quarter

In order of most favorite to least favorite thrills...

Dandridge: The House That Dripped Devilry
Dandridge is tasked with anchoring his house before it leaks away or is consumed by uncanny forces, whilst also attempting to save a young couple from a malevolent spirit.  This all occurs with a beautiful mixture of humor, terror and style, with the only rather clunky note being the cameo from Postman Pat.  The art is amazing: 

The Memoirs of Nikolai Dante & Nikolai Dante: Bad Blood
The memoirs are something I've been wanting for ages: a recap of the saga so far.  In twelve pages we get a recap of the previous fourteen years (or 1638 pages)!  Impressive.  Bad Blood moves things forward as the story tries to come to terms with Dante minus crest attempting to outmaneuver Dmitri/Arkady Romanov.  In a surprise twist it turns out that Viktor Romanov is still alive - when I thought he'd been crest-zapped into oblivion back in Heroes Be Damned

With the requisite amount of bravado from the heroes, horrific cruelty from the bad guys and back-stabbing galore, the only minor complaint is that it's perhaps a bit repetitive.  Like, sheesh: can't Nikolai catch a break?  Never mind that, though: sit back and feast on the show:

Cadet Anderson:Teenage Kyx
I thought this was an interesting idea when it turned up in Prog 2011 (aka prog 1714.5).  Thanks for that numbering system, Tharg ... it makes things really interesting.  So, for Teenage Kyx, Anderson's been aged forward to where she's close to graduating, and she goes undercover to take on a psi-fogging perp.  We get a set up for a potential follow up story, which would be good to see.

Going back to Anderson's formative years really freshens things up for me.  You can compare this to The House of Vyle in the Megazine, where it's a haunted house yarn not dissimilar to The Possessed from 1986: even to the extent of retreading the "ghostly hands grope Anderson" quip.  So: this ain't that.

Here, Cassandra (Caz, on the right) faces down her adversary (Melinda Kyx):

Judge Dredd
We get a variety of short Dredds: Persistent Vegetative State, What The Hitler Saw, Caterpillars, California Babylon, How To Get Out Of Debt, The Pusher & Scream.  Dredd seems like a showcase for a variety of talent, and in some ways is treading water until the next epic.  It's difficult to maintain a coherent feel with four writers and seven artists all providing their own vision. 

Standing out from the crowd are What The Hitler Saw, with some truly disturbing art, and Caterpillars, which brought some surprise pathos.  Persistent Vegetative State takes the crazy too far, with a literal walking potato man that talks in television quotes. California Babylon is a bit of a mess, with Dredd doing stupid things in the ruins of Mega-City 2.  I know he's tough, but in this and in Scream he just seems like an idiot.  His compatriots say something like "Shouldn't we call in back-up?" and he says something like "I'm too cool tough to kill", and then gets in totally over his head and manages to win out through sheer luck.  I know he's tough, but why write him as pathologically idiotic?

Of all the amazing art on offer, the most beautiful is by Bryan & Alwyn Talbot in Caterpillars:

The Red Seas: Gods And Monsters
This is definitely now a part of an ongoing epic, rather than a standalone yarn.  We learn that Jack Dancer is immortal (but not invulnerable), and is up against Satan.  There's a hint that in the next part that God might also have a bone to pick with him.  It's all a far cry from dinosaurs in a hollow earth (The Hollow Land), which I really enjoyed back in 2006.

Consistently great art from Yeowell, good writing and big themes are becoming a bit hollow for me, though.  I don't see Jack Dancer as anything other than a maguffin to move the plot along.  There's so much magic that deus ex machina happens in nearly every episode: death doesn't mean death, defeat doesn't mean defeat, humans are outnumbered by faceless demons and automatons.  It's dragging a bit, basically: like Ace Trucking did when it got boring.  Didn't like Strike at 64pp, how about The Doppelgarp at 84pp?  No?  Perhaps I can tempt you with The Garpetbaggers at 94pp?  NO!  STOP!

Absalom: Noblesse Oblige
Absalom takes on a new recruit and they become a useful conduit for quite a bit of Basil Exposition, as we learn that the British aristocracy is somewhat demonic.  I was really hoping to like this because I'm a big Caballistics, Inc. fan, and this is a spin-off.

Unfortunately, the lead characters isn't at all sympathetic, which is a flaw that seems to pervade quite a few 2000AD thrills of this era.  Absalom (like Defoe, Sinister, Dexter, everyone in Necrophim, Ichabod Izrael, everyone in Damnation Station, Zombo and Stickleback) is basically a shit-heel.  He's devoid of conscience: ordering an underling to murder a defeated opponent (with no explanation given beyond that he feels like it) and then later bartering the lives of his underlings seemingly without care.  Why are we on his side? 

Isn't there a problem if I'd rather the protagonist got defeated by the villains than otherwise?

Flesh: Texas
This presents itself as a proper sequel to the Flesh stories from early progs: sort of a Book 3.  To summarize the plot: a bunch of drugged up cowboys take absolutely insane risks around giant carnivorous reptiles with predictable consequences.  There's a sub-plot involving a misogynistic preacher.  There is also a magic T-Rex with 666 branded onto its nose.

I don't know how people reacted to this when it was first published in 2011, but I was finding it difficult to comprehend how awful it is.  I mean: why would anyone expect any of the employees to survive when they're all so stupid?  It just comes across as terrible writing.

This is a line of dialog: "This 'Gorehead' will lead us down the steep hillside of depravity, degradation and self-defilement!  Turning us into vile speedos with the stamp of our secret vices on our faces".  Nobody speaks like that.  Nobody would stand still to listen to it.

There's one episode where a female character persuades a male character to go skinny-dipping in a (dinosaur-infested) swamp, whereupon the male is impaled on the beak of a giant dino-heron.  As he is consumed, screaming in bloody terror, she watches on casually (rather than, say, running away for the sake of self-preservation), tells him he deserves it and cracks a joke.  It's unbelievably stupid, for 62 pages.  And it ends on a cliffhanger, which means that there will be more of it.

Trying to find the positive, this wraparound cover is great:

Special Mention: the Kleggs try to sell us t-shirts in prog 1739
General / Re: 2000 AD Art Stars Summer 2018 - Judge Dredd
« Last post by Richard on 17 July, 2018, 11:01:27 pm »
That's impressive, it actually looks 3D.

There have been some very strong entries lately.
Prog / Re: Prog 2090 - Transit Authority
« Last post by BPP on 17 July, 2018, 10:48:23 pm »
Dredd - ....Also I hate MC1 cits looking so dull and c20th ordinary, no colour, no simps, no crazy.

But in the context of this story I really think it worked and this is one of the great things about Dredd and MC 1. If you want it to be colourful and crazy it can be. If you want it to be dull and downbeaten it still works. Depends on the tone of the story and for me this was drop dead perfect.

The rest of the cits don’t stop being what they are just because one is depressed. Classic Dredd writing would have had a simp or Juve rub their face in madness to compound their misery. Here EVERYONE looks like they’re depressed racing pigeon fanciers from 1970s Hull.
Film & TV / Re: New Rogue Trooper Film!!
« Last post by Taryn Tailz on 17 July, 2018, 10:18:21 pm »
...have kick ass action but avoid pitfalls of the movie being about a friuff loner with a big gun.

You're never alone with your bio-chip buddies.  ;)
Other Reviews / Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Last post by Colin YNWA on 17 July, 2018, 09:52:16 pm »
So I'm streaking through the 800s and its becoming a familar story. There's some good stuff, there's some okay stuff and there's some rubbish. As the good stuff (Zenith Book 4) finishes you hope for better than Wireheads and Finn coming into cover it... but just as you lose hope John Smith comes along and hope is restored.

Remember this line as I think I'll be using it again.

Anyway I come not to discuss this, rather to diss Dredd. As I've said before its been very hit and miss during Ennis' run... since issue 800 its gone for consistancy at least. Alas settling on miss may not be the way to go. So what's my beef. Well frankly the stories have been stunning flat and uninspiring, utterly devoid of anything interesting our fun. Judge Dredd has become The Clown... emphasised by Greg Staples' early art. Worse still Dredd has become that worst of 90s 2000ad tropes, the soulless, blandly aggressive hero, exposed by the lack of redemning features in the stories around him.

Now its fair to say that Dredd can be aggressive and is given to bouts of soullessness from time to time. Written too easily he can run an entire story just to punch out the witty oneliner at the end of the strip. For some reason in both 'The Marshal' and 'Innocents Aboard' the current problems with the strip just seem exemplified... then I turn to 'The Magic Mellow Out' and those problems have the added value of Mark Millar / Alan McKenzie* level humour, I mean its been building for a while. Everytime Dredd bust some perp, one (or more) of them has to pull an oversized firearm to give Ol' Joe an excuse to blow their head off... literally. But man 'The Magic Mellow Out' ... well it could have been a Robo-hunter strip....

This is poor Dredd... I dearly hope to return to apologetically say Ennis has hit form again... come on Ennis...

*I should mention Alan McKenzie provide current (post Zenith) best thrill Summer Magic, which is fine and then some.
Film & TV / Re: New Rogue Trooper Film!!
« Last post by Tiplodocus on 17 July, 2018, 09:43:07 pm »
Thinking about it, to differentiate it from almost everything else around, it would be great if it was more of a Venus Bluegenes movie. 

Following her as she follows Rogue's story would give you a fresh take on things but still allow you to see his origin, have kick ass action but avoid pitfalls of the movie being about a friuff loner with a big gun.
Film & TV / Re: Last movie watched...
« Last post by abelardsnazz on 17 July, 2018, 08:39:47 pm »
The Secret of Marrowbone. Mostly effective horror that delivers on atmosphere, chills and scares throughout. Worth a look if you fancy a few shivers up the spine in the current heatwave.
Film & TV / Re: New Rogue Trooper Film!!
« Last post by Goaty on 17 July, 2018, 08:29:37 pm »
(First post after two months break from this forum)

Great news about film of Rogue Trooper, a film with flashback to the Quartz Zone Massacre would be perfect story. (maybe doing first three stories in 2000AD, that debut page would be great opening)

For the casting, I just think Ben Foster could be perfect, as he always give haunting look;

General / Re: The Commissions Thread
« Last post by Geoff on 17 July, 2018, 08:23:03 pm »
All hail judge fish!
News / Re: Planet Replicas wee teaser
« Last post by PlanetReplicas on 17 July, 2018, 08:05:50 pm »

Just finalising a few things for photos :-X
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