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Author Topic: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread  (Read 143243 times)

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #930 on: 09 May, 2020, 06:54:35 AM »


Origins

I was going to whitter on about Origins this morning but before doing so I thought I'd check in, not on self absorbed Colin but 2010 Colin and he got it all pretty spot on. Seems 2010Colin was pretty atuned to NowColin unlike poor old SelfabsorbedColin who still had so much to learn.

Mind since all the Colins are lazy beggers I'm going to just reduce, reuse, recycle so from a plague free world...

Quote
...When I first read this I was just getting back into 2000ad and certainly didn't really think it was all that. It was fine just not great. Now with a little more 2000ad umph behind me and basking in the glory that was 'Tour of Duty' it certainly makes for an interesting read.

Its hard, if a little unfair, not to compare it to both the recent epic [as it was then] and also 'Life and Death of Johnny Alpha'. Compared to the first it lacks some of the fine subtle character moments and a lot of the charm and originality. Compared to the later it faces its biggest problem. 'Life and Death' found a really interesting way of flashing back and telling a story from yester year. It felt plausible and natural. The flashbacks in 'Origins' on the other hand feel forced and contrived. It feels like two stories crammed together.

Having said all that however I really quite enjoyed it. Both the stories, all be it crammed together, are pretty good fun to read. The trail through the Cursed Earth to eventually meet the villian of the piece is fantastic fun, if not Wagner at his most brillant, certainly at his most entertaining. The flashbacks give a very honest and interesting reflection on the creation of Dredd's world and for me were the best part of the whole thing. It carries the weight of the epic nature of the story its telling really well, being both epic but not bombastic and is a great tale.

The ending did seem a little rushed, as though everyone had just lost a little momentium with the whole thing... well until that final scene between Dredd and Fargo which is just perfect and sets up so much and has such a massive impact on Dredd's world. That scene felt like to came from 'Tour of Duty', quite brillant.

Its goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway, that it looks great throughout. Some fantastic work by Carlos Ezquerra means each page brims with character and excitment.

Flawed, fun and fascinating.

All I can add is that ending is sublime. The moment between Dredd and Fargo magnificent but now looking back the moment between Dredd and Hershey, both seeming to shield things from one another feels almost as important. It might not have been perfect getting there but the end of Origins is and sets up so much and we are feeling some of that even today.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #931 on: 11 May, 2020, 12:42:23 PM »


Punishing the guilty every Wednesday - Pat Mills and me

I type a lot about Uncle Pat here, both good and ill and I do wonder why? Well I was about to wade into another one of my short comments bits when I realised actually a LOT of what I was going to say was on that age old topic and I stopped and thought a little as to why. I came to the following:

1. Pat Mills is so important to 2000ad and therefore me (in terms of how I consume fiction) that I pay him more attention
2. Because of 1 his work speaks to me directly I think.
3. He's marvellously consistent in his writing on the whole BUT this strangely exposes incredible inconsistancy in how I react to his writing.
4. He's a bloody interesting chap.

So today I think I'm focusing on 3 as what dominated my thoughts this time was the start of both Greysuits (loved it then, love it now) and Defoe, struggled with it then struggled with it now.

Right off the bat I'm going to park the art, though that is a factor. I adore John Higgins' art on the first Greysuits - some of my favourite art by him. I also don't get on with Leigh Gallagher's art - I find it a bit fussy and his exceptional detail I can fine a little distracting and can detract from clarity. Both these views are, of course, utterly subjective but they are there and definately impact on my enjoyment of the stories. Heck that's the comic medium for you.

There is nothing wrong with either Defoe of Greysuits, yet my reaction is so utterly different. Both have healthy degrees of ultra violence. I think Greysuits in particular does this well. Its so OTT, yet I've always assumed deliberately so as a call back to the more censored ultra violence of MACH 1. Its so OTT it must be a cheeky call back rather than any real attempt to present when a super secret agent would do to folks faces (and very specifcally jaws - what does Pat Mills have against jaws?) if they smacked them? Both are full to typically Millsian anti authority, Defoe with added historical insight. Both have strong yet engaging male leads. To be honest Defoe is should be more engaging as he is a lot more rounded than Blake in Greysuits. This though is by necessity as Blake is a brainwashed killer just waking to the world he is in. That really makes his flat, hard man delivery work very well though. Both suffer from that annoying insistance Mills has of having 60s and 70s levels of Marvel dialogue while violence is being done.

Both are good comics, yet I love one and don't really like the other and this is where I utter the cliche.

Its not you Pat, its me.

I just think your very specifc style of comic works better with a cold, bitter contemporay spy thriller, than a faux historical zombie nightmare. I mean it shouldn't. I should LOVE the zombie nightmare... but with Mills I don't. Just as when with Clint Langley his work ... well works... for me on ABCs but not Slaine.

So maybe its Pat Mills relative inflexibility that marks his problem? He has a style, he has very specific themes that he sticks so rigidly to. Due to this the more subjective elements determine whether one strip works while another fails? I honestly think thats why my reaction to Pat Mills runs so hot and cold...

...or maybe I just really fancy him and don't have the emotional maturity to accept that!

broodblik

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #932 on: 11 May, 2020, 12:59:15 PM »
I like Mills. I like all his stuff he did for AD but if I had  a criticism it is that lately everything he does feels unoriginal and a rehash of his earlier works. Nothing feels original anymore but I still like what he is doing.  That is maybe why I really like Defoe, for me it feels  different from what he done before.

TordelBack

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #933 on: 11 May, 2020, 01:08:15 PM »
That is maybe why I really like Defoe, for me it feels  different from what he done before.

This is it for me: can't stand Greysuit, it's one-note preaching positioning itself as fearless red-pill reality, but there's so much originality, variety and broad humour in Defoe that it feels like Old Times Pat and Ilove it: there hasn't been a bad or boring book of it yet.  That, or I too suffer from Colin's sublimated-crush issue.

AlexF

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #934 on: 13 May, 2020, 08:27:50 AM »
Gosh, I didn't know there were people who loved Greysuit but hated Defoe. Fascinating. I'm with the Tordmeister on this one, although I did quite like that first series of Greysuit. It bothers me that Mills is obsessed with the idea that most politicians are secret paedoes. I'm sure a small handful are, but one wonders why he isn't attacking the entertainment industry more, which appears to have a far wore track record...

Meanwhile, this exact era of 2000AD is for me when the modern Golden Age starts, and in part it's precisely because Pat Mills is back back back, with Defoe an all-new concept from him, and the fun of seeing a more unleashed Mills redoing Savage and MACH One (and Flesh around the corner). I seem to like Origins quite a bit more than Colin, too, but agree that it improves with the knowledge of what was to come in Tour of Duty.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #935 on: 13 May, 2020, 10:00:35 AM »
Gosh, I didn't know there were people who loved Greysuit but hated Defoe.

Yeah when we do the great 2000ad fan venn diagram its going to very lonely I suspect in the Greysuits is better than Defoe AND Ant Wars is better than both Harry 20 and Rogue Trooper section I suspect!

That, or I too suffer from Colin's sublimated-crush issue.

Get off him, he's mine...

but if I had  a criticism it is that lately everything he does feels unoriginal and a rehash of his earlier works.

Yeah he's doing that a lot at this phase of re-read. Trouble is when he does it well I simply love it!

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #936 on: 13 May, 2020, 09:56:43 PM »


Smashing the system every Wednesday

Well late spring into Summer is a very interesting period for Tharg's organ. As discussed both Greysuits and Defoe start, with mixed reactions... by which I well most folks thing I'm wrong! There's a lot more besides, time for a quick list.

1. Prog 1536 see Wagner start to get to grips with the post origins Dredd, first by firmly establishing Dredd in context in the wonderful 'Fifty-Year Man' with art by Patrick Goddard.

2. The same Prog also gives us Bob Byrne's Twisted Tales. This single hit silent stories got a pretty hard time from fans but I always found them well told and endlessly inventive. For me of the more successful and interesting done in one formats and I look forward to seeing these pop up.

3. The John Burns Simon Fraser rotation is in full operation during this period and such a delight on the eye. Prog 1537 sees Burns on duty for the cruelly moving one off 'The Dissenter'

4. Prog 1538 sees Simon Fraser take over for the much longer, equally wonderful Thieve's World as Robbie Morrison starts to weave Dante's web further and the plot of the plot starts to really develop wonderfully. I'd say this is prime Dante but to be honest it all is!

5. Prog 1539 McMAHON DREDD YES!

6. In the same Prog we see Detonator X beat a blister beastie to death with the detached arms of another mechaniod in a scene that Grennie so loving paid tribute to in the recent episode of Survival Geeks. He's such a cutie that Grennie.

7. We also get a Sinister Dexter with Ramone finally back on his feet, Anthony Williams back at the drawing board and The War of the Moses about to kick off full time(ish) Its been a while getting here and the build ups been fantastic and I'm looking forward to reading this again.

8. Dredd moves to the centre of Prog 1540 - I think to give Jock on art a centre page spread he uses pretty effectively. This is the first time he's been in for a while, last time too as I recall. It reminds me how little he actually did in the Prog. But what an impact he made with so little!

9. Prog 1542 sees Wagner move Dredd post Origins into top gear with Colin McNeil as 'Mutants in Mega City One' starts a three story arc. This one dealing with how mutants and their parents are abused when in the City, when they get in as he has to turn away visiting family and loses a vote. Next we get 'The Facility' as Dredd takes Beeny under his wing setting up another protege and see for himself the full horrors of how Mutants sent from the city are treated. Finally the best of the bunch 'The secrets of Mutant Camp 5' takes these ideas and gives us an even closer view. Art, writing and they way the three stories weave together into one, while each being so independent is another Wagner masterclass.

10. Don't half keep these listed comments short and pithy don't I!

11. Why does Detonator X work? Its fantastically atypical Ian Edginton - well I have an idea of an Edginton story in my mind - Giant mechanoids fighting Godzill-o-types, scheming schemes, bad baddies, Steve Yeowell. I mean its all there? So why then when I read the final part in Prog 1543 did I not give a fig... don't know to be honest and the trouble is it didn't make me care enough to try to find out. Weird (but not in the good way).

12. The stories that drop in to take us to 1550 are pretty weak to be honest. 86ers joins us again but I can't bring myself to care one way or another.

13. Robo-Hunter comes back and I see where I got the impression (right or wrong) that Ian Gibson simply did not care about this strip anymore. Such lacklustre art. And to be honest its not saved when Anthony Williams takes over.

14. But in memory of Grant Goggins who used to play here I'll ponder when will Sam reach Paris, come on Tharg make it happen.

And while we might never get there I will get to Prog 1550 and beyond soon. Just a quick break to read some more Elephantment.

See you soon folks.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #937 on: 22 May, 2020, 09:20:39 PM »


Prog 1550(+)  Nerve shredding thrills every Wednesday

We're in good time. Prog 1550 gets a big sparkly celebration cover as has become tradional even for half centuries these days. Its no longer even the embarrassed helmet wave of a crickter hitting his 50 no now its full on air punching. Mind when you're launching a line-up like this maybe you do need to go a little ott. 2000ad isn't yet at the start of its NuGolden Age (as I mark it) but its hard to think why. Since I returned to the Prog its been on fire, even if I still don't think I fully appreciated it yet.

Here we get:

Good Dredd, so far largely by Grennie showing what a voice he has for Joe and that voice includes having a bite fighter exact bloody revenge in ill informed justice seekers in some glorious daft dark humour

Stone Island 2 - a thrill that I remember loving at the time and really works as an example of 2000d doing horror, but with a 2000ad smirk so well - we'll talk penis later I think/

ABC Warriors at its strongest and I do mean strongest (see previous comments). In dirty and gritty and hard.

Caballistics Incs reaching its finale (I believe) really strongly and really darkly as Glasgow burns and horrors build on horrors.

Button Man IV for some a horror for the change in artist but for me another fine example of the dark social commentry and grim glory. Its a great thrill beautifully in keeping with previous stories but the openning comment 'Based on the idea by Arthur Ranson (after a misplaced credit box) seems almost apologetic!

The line-up is superb and a great example of how 2000ad can be both unremittingly grim but darkly cheerful at the same time.

Dark Jimbo

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #938 on: 22 May, 2020, 11:21:13 PM »
We'll talk penis later I think/

Classic ColinYNWA.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #939 on: 24 May, 2020, 07:43:08 AM »
We'll talk penis later I think/

Classic ColinYNWA.

And now we get to penis I'm glad to say.



Prog 1559 - Planet-quaking thrill every Wednesday

Its been such a strong line-up in the autumn that we sadly see come to and end and all three stories that round up are worthy of at least passing mention. The first to fly Tharg's lovely nest actually takes to the sky in Prog 1558 and leaves me dazed and confused...

Caballistics Inc. - Ashes end in Prog 1558 and with it brings this fantastic horror tale to an... wait hold on... yes that's the ending I remember... in part ...but its not the end, what about Jenny? where's the zombie... even my creakie memory can't have drummed up all that... so there's more to come... but not much I think... let's see...

...that said this story puts the 'superhero' finale to this series. We've built and built, put pieces in place and like so many superhero epics all those pieces clash in an epic high cost, high drama final conflicit. Its feels so like the best of such tales, while at the same time having a darker  more horror bound edge that really are flaming, bonecrunching and neck slitting. Superb...

unlike my noggin...

ABC Warriors - Volgan Wars Book 2 - Is still highly entertaining and stunning on the eye. The thing I did note here is the short flashback format has however begun to feel a little ladden. Which is odd given these are short tales of the past, densely packed. The downside being that they drag out the underpinning plot of rescuing Zippo which is used as a framing device. Its a minor issue as the story's structure is laid bare and honestly present - unlikely wonderfully Blackblood's tale - at least in my mind, such is the strength of the character as a malevant force. Good stuff.

Stone Island - is a bit of an under-rated hit for me. Yes there is a penis in it, but its just there, in context, not coursing any harm, an innocent penis and yet it stirred such a fuss that its distracted from a well constructed, well bound and story. Like a trip to Durham the biggest problem its coursed is becoming the focus when it should just be honestly and maturely address and then tucked out the way.

Stone Island II builds on the first fun tale in that time honoured horror way. Expanding the perspective from a title chase and escspe shocker of the first, to a dramatic world bending climax up scaling yet losing none of the shock value. Its played honestly - no one is pretending that when bodies explode, or limbs are torn this is high art - its a thrilling, chilling ride and utterly entertaining. It also ends the overall story really well.

This story is just well constructed and entertaining - a real winner.

Oh and it has a penis in it as well - lets talk about that some more.


Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #940 on: 25 May, 2020, 08:39:58 PM »


Dropping a Bombshell Every Wednesday

When you have strips as strong as Caballistics Inc, (Good) ABC Warriors and Stone Island finishing you're going to be on the back foot as you run into the end of the year... right... right...???

Well no its absolute testament to the strenght in depth that Tharg has built up over the last few years that even as these exciting new players need a break almost Klopp like he is still able to turn to the likes of Milner and Henderson... I mean Sinister Dexter and Nikolai Dante. Oh and Red Seas. He even gets camero appearances of the Orgi* type as some decent one offs are given brief sub appearances. Not just Future Shocks and Terror Tales, but now bolstered by Bob Byrne's Twisted Tales. This is epic stuff and its all worth comment.

'The Red Seas - War Stories' is a short four parter set in 'the future' well in Red Seas terms and I've been quite dismissive of in the past (I think) but its absolutely superb, dropping some hints and mystery around what will happen to the various characters. While at the same time brilliantly creating epic scope to the tale we are normally focused on. After all its now absolutely clear that while we are seeing the struggle in the 18th Century this is a conflicit that will span through the ages. Fantastic stuff.

As is 'Sinister Dexter -Life is an Open Casket' - a mid length story that really kicks off the Moses War in all its glory and YES we do get a well placed summary so new comers are neatly informed of what they need to know. I know as was a relative newcomer. My recent (in my floppie view of the world) re-read of Sinister Dexter shows how many times I'll need to say this. Folks always bemoan The War of the Moses for being to drawn out and bafflin,g but when I read it I was contactly amazed by the creative ways Dabnett found to keep new readers and old up to speed. Seriously give it a re-read and see.

'Nikolai Dante - The Chaperone' is a fun four parter that gives us some wonderful filling out of Sergeant Elena Kurakin  - a much loved character sometimes not given the attention she deserves.

More significently I can understand why Self Absorbed time Colin didn't get the importance of the reveal of Arkady, but surely folks fully versed must have been open mouthed at the end of this one.

So yeah some wonderful stuff to wrap up the year, truly top thrillage BUT I say that before I've even mentioned two other classics. Both by the mighty John Wagner.

My understanding is that 'Button Man IV' isn't as well regarded as previous chapters? For the life of me I don't know why. Its brilliant. Sure I'd have loved Arthur Ranson on board but if you can't Frazer Irving is as good a replacement as you'll get in my mind. Totally different in style yet somehow tonally very similar.

More importantly the move of focus away from Harry Ex is a masterstroke. Expanding the world and keeping things fresh. Just brilliant. Its got all the tension and excitment of the originals for me and absolutely deserves to sit alongside them.

Finally 'Dredd - Mandroid Instrument of War' is a another masterclass. There is so much about this story with Wagner joined by Carl Critchlow that we could praise as Slaughterhouse is once again cruelly manipulated and pushed even beyond the events of the first Mandroid series but its the final part that is the absolute peak of brilliance.

The way Dredd uses the frail and damged frame of the wife of the man trapped in the almost indestructable super body to defeat this incredible foe, is a genius contrast. Its just sublime. Having shown Dredd to be an absolute master of finding a solution when no solution seems possible, Wagner drops one more masterstroke. He uses that very solution to have other Judges, exposed by Dredd as not in his league, to sight his weakness as they see it. Setting up in just a couple of panels. The man is a genius cranking machine. Just brilliant.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #941 on: 26 May, 2020, 05:44:42 PM »


2007

Then I was thirty-five
It was a very good year


I've been waiting to use that one. See in 2007 I was indeed 35, married for the first and currently only time. No kids yet. Moved to a nice new house - would do that again alas (house even nice chill memories of what moving is like... Jez there's a Terror Tale and I was working on my nascent Nerdcave with the formal opening of the nerdattic. And beginning to take promenance in that lofty tower was a slowly growing 2000ad collection. I was chipping away at the gaps, and the new stuff was building... and me and 2000ad were getting it on again. I mean we were shaking the rafters together... But I'm getting ahead of myself. As of course I should be looking back before I... look back. Here's my prediction for 2007 last annual review...

Quote
Now YNWA is looking forward to see how 2007 takes our relationship forward. I think both Now YNWA and 'Self Absorbed' YNWA will be more impressed in 2007 and we'll be getting it on properly, but I think we're still on an upward trend and the absolute zenith of thrill power will be a year or two off.

And again the predictions are getting easier. This is pretty much exactly right. Tharg is starting to play a blinder. Self absorbed YNWA is starting to appreciate 2000ad for the delight it is and NowYNWA is not surprised its good comics. Tharg is starting to build up quite the catelogue of thrills. In this year we get:

Kingdom
Stickleback
Defoe
Greysuits

All starting - alongside others, but these four will add to the expanding roster for some time and to different degrees. The excellence Tharg is producing is probably best summarised last post when I discussed how when strips like ABC Warriors, Caballistics Inc and Stone Island drop off the roster he can draw on Sinister Dexter, Nikolai Dante and Red Seas to fill the gap. Notice none of the new arrivals are even mentioned there.

Simply put Tharg has an embarrassment of riches to play with in 2007 but most significently he's not resting on his green laurels he's building on these wonderful foundations quite relentlessly and it will serve him in good stead.

As Wagner continues to move away from Dredd Tharg is responding in two ways that 2007 shows very well. Firstly build new Dredd Droids so the dependence is quite there on the flagship strip. These droids aren't quite there, except arguably Grennie, but he's about to drift off, but Tharg's working on it. More significently he's makming sure the comic reliance on Dredd is continuing to deminish. Its never really been there but he's building so many fine strips he's really just underlining the point.

As it goes Dredd has a pretty good year in 2007. Origins is very good, its aftermath great and Mandroid exceptional and that accounts over 50% I'd estimate. Dredd is good in 2007. Dante is even better, but amazingly I still thing Self Absorbed YNWA is warming to things on that front and strips like Sinister Dexter, ABCs and Grey Suits remain his favs (none Dredd that is), with that new thing Kingdom wrestling for top spot.

Tharg's greatest achievement however is that good as 2007 is, particularly the second half, he's still building and will do so through out 2008, which I think will top this year? Are we 1999 or 2005 yet, maybe, maybe not, but we're getting better and 2008 will demonstrate that I predict. Though I still don't label 2008 as the holder of the nuGolden Age (TM) - that's still a tiny bit further off, but I'll happily have a fiver bet that 2008 will make it exceptional fun getting there!


Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #942 on: 26 May, 2020, 05:46:33 PM »
Sorry meant to add quick end of year break as is traditional - this time to read something called... Giant Days... I hear some letterer or other raves about it... should do its set in Sheffield I believe. I'll tell you all about it somewhere less self absorbed I'm sure...

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #943 on: 06 June, 2020, 09:20:00 PM »


pROG 2008

Back on the wagon after some fun detours. But this comfortable and often exhilarating journey is still what I enjoy most, however good the diversions. And Prog 2008 the last of 2007 / first of this new year exemplified why that is. Its an absolutel stonker. A glorious Prog. I'll not go into too much detail as I'll be discussing most of the ongoing thrills later as we get into their stories more. But check this for a line-up.

Judge Dredd by Wagner and MacNeil - and in world changing form and Joe pulls his favourite trick of threatening to resign to Hershey in his pre- I no longer accept your authority - days when he did he just manipulated it. Here he does so to try to force the mutant issue back onto the agenda and the marginalised into the city. Nothing could go wrong there...

Shakara - with a history
Kingdom - with a journey of Gene's own
Dante - with Burns and predictiona
Stickleback - with a need to sow fear
Sinister Dexter - at the movies - great episode this one, showcasing Simon Davis' glorious ability at capture folks
Strontium Dog - Setting up a Glum story

But it Caballistics Inc I come to discuss as this is the ending I remember. Forgot this epilogue was here. Its not an ending. I'm happy to discuss endings anytime. Its the storytellers privilage to call time, to define what the story was they were telling and this when it is drawn to a close. This however is set up. Its presenting new threads and at the time its lack of return must have felt infuriating to those more invested. I was luckly I'd just read the last story, so while this set up interesting stuff more wasn't too high on my priority list.

Now fair to say Grennie has now made good on the the zombie soldier line and new series Diaboliks seems to be taking us towards where the other plot thread was going - or a different direction given the passage of time wiho knows. But this must have been very frustrating at the time.

Still an absolutely cracking Prog and what a way to set up a year - when you see a Cradlegrave advert - you can have much hope for ... mind I don't think we get Cradlegrave until next year ...

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #944 on: 10 June, 2020, 09:12:06 PM »


Early 2008 - SHAKARA!

Well that's a great start to the year. Judge is on fine form as PJ returns and mutants are debated. Stickleback is tickling my fancy  in ways its not before. Kingdom proves its more than a one hit wonder and Strontium Dogs shows there's life in the... well old Dog yet.

But the first series to end and therefore I'd like to chat about is Shakara. This third volume (how can I check this stuff with Barney down?!?) really blows the world of Shakara open. Before it was a thrilling, engaging flash. A burst of energy and artist wonder. An explosion of design and execution. This tale of historys, Cinnabar Brenneka and fighting against your apparent destiny is fantastic.

Robbie Morrison works a wonderful trick by building the world around Shakara he alwos builds a character who simply shouts that word... and now occasionally more and starts to construct something just as thrilling but now a little bit more.

Amongst a very exciting start to the year this is one of the stars.