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Topics - Richard

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Prog / Prog 2140 - Deep in the Bone
« on: 13 July, 2019, 12:39:23 pm »
This is top quality this week.

There's an excellent one-off Judge Dredd story by Rory McConville and Tom Foster. I think we've seen Tom before, but I can't remember when/where. But his style is very reminiscent of Brian Bolland's, in a good way. I'd like to see more from him. If Tharg doesn't get Brian back for the episode when Hershey dies (as she surely must soon, and he did her first episode), I'd like to see Tom Foster do it. The story is Rory at his best.

It's actually possible to follow what's happening in Indigo Prime this week, which is nice. It's also quite eventful. Ditto Anderson, and I'm still a fan of Aneke's style, whatever others might think of it.

I'm not usually keen on Absalom, but this episode is fantastic. I can't really explain why without spoiling it, but it's just great and it has made me care about two characters in a strip where I didn't care about any of them before.

Thistlebone seems to introduce the bad guy at last, unless it's just misdirection (and unless we actually have seen him before and I'm just having a senior moment).

There's a Droid Life and some letters.

All in all, nothing was disappointing this week. And the Megazine has arrived too!

Film Discussion / Brightburn
« on: 26 June, 2019, 08:44:49 pm »
Everyone should see Brightburn immediately. That is all.

Other Reviews / The Incomplete Case Files
« on: 03 June, 2019, 07:45:35 pm »
Neither The Complete Case Files volume 32 nor 33 contains Prog 2001's story "Bad Mother." They just go straight from prog 1222 at the end of CF 32 to prog 1223 in CF 33.

Links / Stranger than fiction
« on: 14 May, 2019, 11:47:46 pm »

When John Wagner and Alan Grant wrote the Judge Dredd story Gunge in prog 280, I bet they didn't think they were making a prediction...

Books & Comics / Survivors
« on: 05 May, 2019, 11:34:58 am »
Saw this article today: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/05/05/graphic-novel-fights-youth-ignorance-stalins-repressions-russia/

A Russian graphic novel that does for Stalin's gulags and purges what Maus did for the Holocaust. Following the recent English language reprint of the French Operation Overlord in the floppies, I wonder if Rebellion could do the same for this? I would be interested to see it.

Prog / Prog 2125 - Brave New World?
« on: 31 March, 2019, 12:14:38 pm »
Amazed no one has reviewed this yet!

The latest Judge Dredd story finishes, and although it is a comedy it has a surprisingly bleak ending. I was pleased to see Chief Judge Logan in this episode so soon after becoming chief judge: Tharg has been careful to co-ordinate the stories properly, instead of just having CJ Hershey with a footnote saying "this story is set before Machine Law"  or something.

A good episode of Kingmaker re-introduces all the bad guys and reminds us of who they are very effectively. This episode works as a little story on its own, like a five-page Future Shock.

Survival Geeks is fun.

Max Normal is better than it was last week.

Grey Area finishes pretty much the way you'd want it to. Tharg says Abnett's and Harrison will be back later with an entirely new series called The Out, so presumably that's the last of Grey Area for a while.

Prog / Prog 2122 - Your Planet Needs Thrills!
« on: 09 March, 2019, 02:52:10 pm »

Judge Dredd: Machine Law is the stand-out story this week, not unexpectedly, with a very fitting finale which was even better than the best of the predicted endings speculated about on this forum. Wagner showing us all how it's done. I did wonder last week just how so much could get sorted out in just six pages, and yet he did it superbly. It's a shame the Dredd Mega-Collection finished before this could be included! Maybe there'll be room in the 2000AD one. I've hugely enjoyed this story.

Jaegir took an unexpected turn at the start of this episode; it reminded me of the film Red Sparrow. Also of the 1984 film Dune. It also introduces the new bad guy for the next story.

Tooth and Nail ends reasonably well, with just enough of a twist to keep in interesting. I particularly like the panel at the bottom of page 3.

Grey Area is literally just talking heads, which is a bit dull, but sets up the next bit of the story.

Skip Tracer finally finishes, and about time. It's just really dated and pointless.

There's an advert for the next series of Brink.

Next week: Kingmaker and Survival Geeks.

Prog / Prog 2120 - Tankbuster!
« on: 23 February, 2019, 11:36:25 am »
Blimey! Machine Law just gets better and better! Never imagined it was heading in this direction! This is epic stuff.

There's a new 3riller, not sure what to make of it yet. Will see what happens next week.

The plot is moving along in Grey Area now. I like the comic relief in this episode.

This week's Jaegir is an episode which is almost like a self-contained one-off story in its own right.

We also get to see who won the Rogue Trooper art competition -- it was Evan Shipard, with an excellent entry. Well done that squaxx droid!

The next competition is Strontium Dog.

Megazine / Meg 405 - The Fear Factor
« on: 16 February, 2019, 05:15:21 pm »
The highlight this issue is The Torture Garden, which has an unexpected development. I won't spoil it here, but it's a great idea. I have no idea how this will end, but I'm looking forward to seeing what happens.

There's the first episode of a new Judge Dredd story, which is a page-turner. Got through it pretty fast and want to see more.

Lawless carrieson where last issue left off, so it looks like last episode's events really happened and weren't just some sort of Zhind-induced hallucination or something. We finally get confirmation that Lawson is Zia Freely from Insurrection.

Storm Warning is okay. I've given up on Blunt.

There's a four page obituary for Ron Smith.

Megazine / Meg 404 - Crystal Trips & Alien Stare
« on: 12 January, 2019, 01:39:54 pm »
Wow. This is the best episode of Lawless ever. I can't say why without spoiling it, but you'll instantly know what I mean. Extraordinary stuff, and some of Dan Abnett's best work ever.

The Torture Garden is on form as ever, with interesting developments in the story, and of course beautiful art by Nick Percival. Does it finish next issue? Seems like a lot still has to happen before this wraps up. I've really enjoyed it and I'll miss it when it's finished. Hopefully Dave Hine can write something else for us soon.

I liked this month 's Judge Dredd although I'm not sure about the ending. I've had enough of these stories where some new character turns out to be the son of some deceased old character.

There's a new Storm Warning, which I didn't expect and is a nice surprise.

I'll read Blunt tomorrow as I'm not really into it.

The floppy looks very interesting and I'm looking forward to reading it, but after the Meg and the prog I need to get out of bed now.

(Mind Wars will feature in Meg 408, which I'm happy with.)

General / Favourite dialogue in 2000AD
« on: 03 December, 2018, 09:13:19 am »
I'll start:

DREDD: You're under arrest, flyboy!

PERP'S WIFE: What for?

DREDD: Whaddaya mean what for? For turning into a fly!

WIFE: Is that illegal?

DREDD: ... You know, you've got me there.

"I'm Manny, Me Fly" prog 660.

Prog / Prog 2110 - Gremlins in the System!
« on: 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.

Megazine / Meg 402 - All Along the Watchtower...
« on: 17 November, 2018, 01:22:29 pm »
First off, there's a six-page tribute to Carlos Ezquerra, with reminiscences from numerous people who knew or worked with him. The floppy is entirely dedicated to Carlos's stories, including one in which he came up with the plot. It's a very nice gesture.

There's a front and back cover by Phil Winslade.

There's a decent one-off Dredd story by Alex de Campi and a new and very capable artist called Mark Chater. I'd like to see more from him.

I like this series of Storm Warning; when it finishes I think I'll go back and re-read the first one, in case it's better than I remember.

The Torture Garden is another excellent episode of this series. The Dark Judges are particularly unpleasant to people this month. I prefer them as sadistic bastards instead of as comedy characters.

Saving Blunt and Lawless for later as I don't want to finish the Meg in a day!

Prog / Prog 2100 - Anderson's Darkest Hour
« on: 22 September, 2018, 11:38:29 am »
Olivia Thirlby was in a film called The Darkest Hour immediately before she played Anderson in Dredd, so this week's tag-line seems apt.

Anyway... Judge Dredd starts a new story by Rob Williams and Henry Flint, featuring the very welcome returns of both Dirty Frank and Judge Smiley from Trifecta. It will be interesting to see where all this goes. There's also an interview with both creators, but I'll read it later.

Brink is back, and gets straight down to business. It feels like the threat level has gone up a bit now.

Skip Tracer has Colin MacNeil on art duties this time, which is good to see. Too early to know what to make of the story yet, but I'm willing to give this series a second chance.

This being an extra-size prog, Anderson has a nine-page one-off story about a Death cult, by Alan Grant and Jake Lynch. Light-hearted fun. And there's a Sinister Dexter one-off too, although it's a continuation of the recent on-going storyline, with more to come in prog 2109. (I assume that means Skip Tracer will be eight episodes.)

But the highlight for me this week -- completely unexpectedly, because I thought it would be Brink or Kingdom -- is Fiends of the Eastern Front. To be honest, I wasn't expecting to like this, because the original series was for young children and the sequel a few years ago didn't do anything for me I'm afraid. But I really like this new one, which is set in the Napoleonic Wars. The art by Dave Taylor is beautiful, and while I daresay there will be people who wish Colin McNeill was back on this strip instead of on Skip Tracer, I approve of the choice of artists on both stories. And the script (by Ian Edginton) is an excellent introduction to the series. No prior knowledge required, as this is a prequel and episode one tells you all you need to know. I now have high hopes for this series.

There is news about a classy free gift to annual subscribers to both comics. Looking forward to getting mine.

And finally, Kingdom picks up exactly where it left off last time. It's a ten-page episode, action-packed, and don't turn to the last page until you get to it, because it's an interesting twist. I can't wait to find out what the explanation for this is going to be! (If you're new and you haven't read Kingdom before, there's a detailed synopsis on Wikipedia to get you up to speed.)

Next week's cover is Fiends.

This is a very good prog, with no misfires for me.

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