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Author Topic: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread  (Read 43663 times)

TordelBack

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #615 on: 06 October, 2018, 05:02:17 pm »
The real problem with Wilderlands is that it's a Megazine epic shoehorned into the Prog. It's the culmination of the Mechanismo storyline (all in the Meg), and the quite brilliant Prologue + Tenth Planet storylines that ran in the Meg just before the epic proper started.

Hmm,  I tend to lump Tenth Planet into Wilderlands,  in the same way I throw The Connection in with Origins - one really only exists to set up the other.  As a result I notice that my list of "important things" from the latter are actually all in the former.

For the record,  and given the week that's in it, at the time I loved Ezquerra's compu-colouring in Wilderlands. I thought it was amazing.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #616 on: 06 October, 2018, 05:14:31 pm »
Actually now you mention it AlexF its completely true that Wilderlands is eddentially a Meg story cramed into the Prog. Given that all the stories set up in the Prog never really took off and Wagner moved back across it kinda makes sense to bridge things but is jarring for the pure Prog reader as I am (in simulation) now. Damnit though this makes me want to go back and read all the Meg stories that lead up to this...

...thank Tharg I'm too lazy to actually do it. Someone hand me Prog 921 will ya...

Greg M.

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #617 on: 06 October, 2018, 06:16:08 pm »
Hmm,  I tend to lump Tenth Planet into Wilderlands,  in the same way I throw The Connection in with Origins - one really only exists to set up the other. 

I re-read them both within the last month, and was struck by how marked a difference there is in quality between Tenth Planet and Wilderlands. The former is superb - very focused, with some brilliant Dredd / McGruder scenes and strong characterisation. Wilderlands, however, is hamstrung by the format (though it's all right - there's still a couple of good McGruder bits.)

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #618 on: 07 October, 2018, 05:16:46 pm »
The start of 1995 is dominated by endings, lets look at the first couple...

923 sees the The Corps reach its hard and bitter end... which in the context of the story resolves things exactly as you expect. The trouble is the context of the story isn't that interesting. Its more Millar than Ennis, folks being hard and Tarantino is such a mustache twirling villian and the conversations between commanders Keitel and Vess I think are meant to be shocking and chilling revalations that 'The Brass' think of their troops as just weapons and no more is beyond hamfisted. Ennis will do this sort of thing sooo much better in years to come, as it is he manages to makes a story about cool space Judges fighting Kleggs pretty dull and the ending exemplifies that.

924 Does have an end but has a very amusing bit in 'Output' half of the Nerve Centre as Pete Milligan gives an apology to Jurgen Klinsman of whom he says in a recent Bix Burton:

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...The Klinsman involves falling down dead as though hit by a bullet although nothing in fact has touched you.

shortly before signing Klinsmen signed for Milligan's team Spurs... I can empathise with the slippy hypocrisy of football fandom.

925 brings Soul Gun Assassin by Shaky Kane to a mind bending conclusion. Last time I read this I said

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Read Soul Gun Assassin last night. While the art had progressed and got even better I felt the story was a bit stagnant (in relation to the first series) and didn't really develop things any further. Shame a fun read but a bit disappointing after the first series.

and the sadly missing Grant Goggins countered

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The bad guy smacks our hero in the head with the moon, and it's stagnant?

I *love* Soul Gun Warrior...

And of course Grant is completely right. I think what I was trying to emphasise was the fact that 'SG Assasin' covers similar ground as 'SG Warrior' its predecessor ... but when that ground is a man shooting himself through the head to enter psychic fisti-cuffs with various enemies, in this case an evil US President intent on using the tensions in Jerusulum to bring the world tumbling (gulp) the story is stretching quite enough barriers to keep us going. A glorious ending to this glorious series. Shame we don't get any more (I think... I keep saying that and then seeing covers when I'm sorting the Progs into order that prove me wrong!

ANYWAY join me next time as we skip 926 as it has no ending but hit the conclusions big time the next Prog...

Greg M.

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #619 on: 07 October, 2018, 05:39:34 pm »
Ennis will do this sort of thing sooo much better in years to come, as it is he manages to makes a story about cool space Judges fighting Kleggs pretty dull and the ending exemplifies that.

Ennis complained that his scripts on this series were very heavily rewritten. Of course, the little scamp didn't even write the last episode himself at all - he 'outsourced' it to an uncredited Si Spencer!

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #620 on: 07 October, 2018, 06:20:35 pm »
Ennis complained that his scripts on this series were very heavily rewritten. Of course, the little scamp didn't even write the last episode himself at all - he 'outsourced' it to an uncredited Si Spencer!


Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #621 on: 07 October, 2018, 06:22:32 pm »
Ennis complained that his scripts on this series were very heavily rewritten. Of course, the little scamp didn't even write the last episode himself at all - he 'outsourced' it to an uncredited Si Spencer!

Errr what I meant to say was I did not know that. It certainly did read unEnnis like as a story and by the final episode I'd have not noticed if it was Ennis or not.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #622 on: 07 October, 2018, 09:52:37 pm »
So 927 clears the decks.

9 part Dredd story The Exterminator story ends and its been a blast... if you don't think about the timey whimey stuff too much. There's been some lovely character touches in a high octane time twister seeing Dredd hunt down parasite plague carriers in the near future 2001. Okay so we got teased a little with John Burns doing the art on the first couple of parts. But his sub Emilio Frejo isn't too shabby, though I don't remember seeing him before or since? He doesn't half go to town on the shoulder eagle mind!

SkiIIIzz well I said this a good few years back

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As much as I enjoyed it, I think mainly because of Baikie’s great characters I do think it could’ve been stripped down. At least one plot thread could have been removed without affecting the over all thrust of the story and thus it could have been 4 or more episodes shorter.

And unlike my thoughts on Soul Gun Assassin at the same time, I stand by what I said back then. The end however and I am meant to be here talking about ends after all... is frankly a bit rubbish. The various plot threads were always going to struggle to be brought together and that shows here terribly. It kinda ends by just saying...arh then this happened that made that bit alright and these things folks just settled with and then the Titanic crushed those other folk (no really).... its not terribly satisfying.

Which frankly neither is the ending to Timehouse which is just as wishy washy as the rest of the series. Shame the fresh tone to this one should have been welcome, but its no Zippy Couriers that's for sure.

Finn - The Origin ends after being recycled from Crisis (I assume?) ... I wasn't interesting in Finn's journey from Paul in Crisis to 2000ad before reading this and was no more interested having read it... I'd also completely forgotten it existed! It ends as it began with Skinner convincing Little Patty that its cool as I look on and worry if Pat will ever be cool again.

And so with all that we're cleared the decks from a none too stella start to 1995 and I should be glad and excited for the fresh stories a comin' right...

Dredd: Crusade...More Fleisher Harlem Heroes (I thought we were done there!)... some Finn (see above)... at least Rogue Friday has Henry Flint art and you know you've not in for a good time when your thinking thank fuck for Armoured Gideon!

So all

Greg M.

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #623 on: 07 October, 2018, 10:31:47 pm »
9 part Dredd story The Exterminator story ends and its been a blast...

Really? I think it's bloody awful, one of Wagner's weakest multi-part stories, quite literally a Terminator story with the serial numbers filed off (which is what it started life out as.) I like Frejo's art though.

AlexF

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #624 on: 10 October, 2018, 08:03:59 pm »
Chalk me up as an Exterminator fan. I get that it's a repurposed Terminator story - but actually, it's a stroke of genius having Dredd be, as it were, a killer robot from the future. The guy does a great Arnie impression.

The only downside is that as it's a Judge Dredd story, we know he can't be the bad guy. If Wagner had been able to spin things out a bit, it would've been really neat to have Dredd apparently being a scary assassin in 20th century America.

Greg M.

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #625 on: 10 October, 2018, 08:42:48 pm »
Spin it out? Crikey, I felt it was excruciatingly paced at the time! I don't mind it so much when you read it all in one go, as in the Case Files - it'd work all right as a couple of issues of a US-format monthly title - but 9 weeks of it was too protracted.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #626 on: 10 October, 2018, 08:52:20 pm »
Yeah I really liked the way it played with the fact it was a Terminator story. Wagner of course knew what he was doing, but the necessary spin on it all and had such fun with his inspiration.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #627 on: 13 October, 2018, 09:50:24 pm »
Prog 928

Shite - Armoured Gideon is by far the best thing in this Prog... and I suspect a number to come...

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #628 on: 15 October, 2018, 09:28:21 pm »
Okay so Rogie Trooper disappears after a short time, as it starts to find the most convoluted, pointless and blandly dull way of smooshing our two Rogue's together. Why oh why... well actually since it backs off quickly, alas leaving its one good thing Henry Flint behind it, that means at least Armoured Gideon gets backed up by Brigand Doom. Both strips that really define the middle ground of thrills often elevated in the 90s to top thrills by the stuff that surrounds them.

Both come to an abrupt end in Progs 935 and 936

Now lets just be clear I like both thrills. Both are different but both have much to enjoy, not least gloriously consistent art throughout. Alas both get wrapped up* within a Prog of each other and neither really gets the end it deserves.

Armoured Gideon starts off really well the start of this story 'Trading Places' see Frank mistreated... well if you think being butchered with chainsaws is mistreating... might not be the right word... anyway, dead he's cast into the Gideon and all sorts of fantastic stuff happens... and then abruptly it stops. In Prog 935. Franks thinks he wakes up outside Gideon's body but isn't and so shuts at the Collector (the chappie who throw all those forgotten 2000ad folks together in our last outing) and lickety split he's back in Frank all repaired and THE END... such a shame as up to this point it'd all been great fun.

Brigand Doom hadn't been quite as good as before. This time facing off with financial vampires, in a bit of a tired attempt to be witty and clever. Agent Nine is used as bait in what reads like a lazy story were Alan MacKenzie is getting bored but needs to do something to wrap it all up. Who knows, but vampires are shot up easily enough and. THE END.

If I'm right and this is the end for both its a real shame. Both have been good, solid strips. Not brilliant at any point. But rarely bad or dull... rarely and deserving of a better send off. They've held the middle ground during the 90s when so much around then has been rubbish. Even at the end this is absolutely brought into sharp focus, surrounded as they are by Dredd Crusade - which gets worse on every reading, Finn a strip I just don't like and Harlem Heroes which I'm barely even reading by this point.

Still hats off (three pointed or otherwise) off to these stalwarts of the early to mid 90s. Rocks standing firm as all around them crumble, or raise to higher ground.

*I say wrapped but I'm learning a lot about how poor my recollection of some of the stuff doing the rounds at the moment is. I thought there was not more Fleisher Harlem Heroes, thought previously we'd done with Millar Robo-hunter. I have to be honest before now I'd forgotten I still had a Brigand Doom story still to come. All in all I guess I'm warning you that this might not be the end of either series... but let's treat it as though I'm right.


Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #629 on: 16 October, 2018, 09:46:27 pm »
Some quick thoughts on early(ish) 1995 which I've not got to yet:

1. Roxilla is spreading his / her wings into movie reviews. It's all still very specific and self important.

2. Loving the little Shakey Kane - Beyond Belief panels... in some progs they're the best thing in there.

3. Computer generated Thargs are my least favourite Thargs

4. The cover the Prog 930 is one of my least favourite

5. But its possibly not as bad as the one to Prog 931 which tried to cash in on the whole US gold enhance cover shenanigans

6. Early computer designed Nerve Centre pages really haven't aged well have they...

7. Arh you gotta love the Tharg's first e-mail address tharg@richb.demon.co.uk  ... I wonder who set that up...

8. How long does a hook take to fall in Crusade? The time it take to chat for 66(ish) words... all of them badly written... still packs a punch mind.

9. I loved the Alphabet Man set up and the art is stunning... I worry that its leads to nowhere fast.

10. Oh yeah the cover to Prog 938 is another I really don't like... we're not in a good spell of covers here are we.

11. Paul Marshal seems to be temporally very influenced by Colin MacNeil in 'Escape from Kurt Russell'... I don't think it lasts

12. I'd also forgotten how many superficial similarities there are between that story and the 2012 film... even though others have mentioned it before.

13. Mark Grudgefather as another strip I'd forgotten comes back.

14. I'm sorry but I much prefer Nigel Dobbyn to Mark Harrison on Strontium Dog

15. Oh Jonny Kiss and The Marshall's are back... alas I do remember that one...

16. We're 5 months into the new year and still we're to have a Prog with a positive balance ... I worry about my end of year review and all this talk of recovery...