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Author Topic: Another 2000AD read thread  (Read 2180 times)

feathers

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Another 2000AD read thread
« on: 21 October, 2016, 02:43:12 pm »
Not wanting to hijack or derail existing re-read threads (which are at a different place or happening at a different pace), I thought I'd start one to have somewhere to get some of my thoughts down as I read through 2000AD - largely for the first time.  I'm aiming to read 2 progs a day, and having started in April I'm a little behind that target having just finished Prog 320.  Quality has been improving and I can well believe that I'm into the golden age of the comic.  Current regular line up in preference order: Dredd, Skizz, Rogue Trooper; Robohunter.  Looking forward to the return of Nemesis, Ace Trucking (hopefully) and feeling ready for some more Strontium Dog.  I'm trying not to look ahead too much to see what's coming but at the moment it's a joy to read, and I wish I could spend more time doing it!

sheridan

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Re: Another 2000AD read thread
« Reply #1 on: 21 October, 2016, 05:02:35 pm »
having just finished Prog 320.  Quality has been improving and I can well believe that I'm into the golden age of the comic.  Current regular line up in preference order: Dredd, Skizz, Rogue Trooper; Robohunter.  Looking forward to the return of Nemesis, Ace Trucking (hopefully) and feeling ready for some more Strontium Dog.  I'm trying not to look ahead too much to see what's coming but at the moment it's a joy to read, and I wish I could spend more time doing it!
As you've mentioned it - off the top of my head I think you have about forty or fifty progs to wait until Ace Trucking Co returns.

Colin YNWA

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Re: Another 2000AD read thread
« Reply #2 on: 21 October, 2016, 06:29:02 pm »
Always good to hear the thoughts of folks reading things for the first time without the rose tint of nostalgia must of us view this stuff through. Here's hoping you find lots to say.

Out of interest where did you start? What time did you start to feel things started to improve? My own re-read is rapidly approaching the time many would say the 'Golden Age' start about 100 Prog behind where you are now.

feathers

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Re: Another 2000AD read thread
« Reply #3 on: 25 October, 2016, 12:09:36 pm »
As you've mentioned it - off the top of my head I think you have about forty or fifty progs to wait until Ace Trucking Co returns.

Good!  It seemed such an unsuitably abrupt ending, them all being sent to prison.  I loved Belardinelli's art in the earlier progs, but felt he was a bit wasted on Meltdown Man, which I didn't particularly enjoy.  Ace Trucking seems the perfect fit for the bits of his work I live best - so I hope he returns with it!


Out of interest where did you start? What time did you start to feel things started to improve? My own re-read is rapidly approaching the time many would say the 'Golden Age' start about 100 Prog behind where you are now.

I started at Prog 1 back in April.  There's always been something to enjoy in it, I think since Nemesis started in the early 200s the quality has been consistently high.  I wasn't keen on Meltdown Man or Return to Armageddon - they both went on far too long for me, and now that Mean Arena has gone too, I don't think there's anything I don't look forward to.  The huge number of Alan Moore Time Twisters/Future Shocks certainly helps keep the standard high.

The Day the Law Died was the point where I think Dredd became unquestionably the best strip, and it's got better since (although having just finished Prog 328, the werewolf story unfortunately seems like the weakest extended plot for a while, especially the early parts which were a bit of a muddle).  I do miss the Ro-Busters/ABC Warriors, liked the first Stainless Steel Rat but not the second.  Captain Klep and Dash Decent were awful, but the Mind of Wolfie Smith was better than expected.  Robo Hunter is a bit of a mixed bag, sometimes good, sometimes not.  I'm getting close to the start of Slaine, which I kow has run for a long time, so curious to see how that weighs up too.

feathers

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Re: Another 2000AD read thread
« Reply #4 on: 25 October, 2016, 09:39:49 pm »
Prog 329 - a spacey episode of Robo Hunter takes it away from what I prefer in the strip. The early Brit-Cit adventures have been best for me, where Sam can play off an unsympathetic guest cast, and this week there's only the regulars and a distant villain.  The dissenting clone personality isn't adding anything interesting to the dynamic either. 
After a couple of hurried seeming middle episodes Skizz moves towards a conclusion and the surprise colour spread at the end is really effective at communicating the awe of the spaceship's interuption.
Dredd is happily back on form with the bizarre weather concert after the rather too straightforward werewolf story, looking forward to the next part of this.  And Rogue Trooper is making more use of Mr Brass and Mr Bland which I thoroughly approve of.  Does the reappearance of the traitor general mean Rogue might complete his mission?  Perhaps, but I don't mind if he doesn't.  Fort Neuro went on a bit, but the news drone story that followed felt strong and inventive, so it doesn't feel like the ideas have dried up yet. 
The two page Future Shock is too brief to get any real depth of feeling out of it's story, but I can't say it really needed to be longer either. overall, another good issue!

feathers

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Re: Another 2000AD read thread
« Reply #5 on: 25 October, 2016, 10:45:57 pm »
330 - Slaine!  Instant impact with art which reaches a level of murky detail anything I've previously seen in the comic, and some great world building in the text.  Less bare sensationalism than I'd expect from Pat Mills, and instead the suggestion of steadily paced grandiosity to come.  Good start!
Robo-Hunter ends in an all-action showdown, but with Sam still in the clone body, what was really at stake here?  Not a great story.
Dredd on the other hand is great, especially Clayderman's Tubular Bells style announcements, and his urging on of his to his strangely complicit orchestra is nicely deranged.  The succinct, deadpan final frame is a perfect fit too.
Skizz ends as well, and it's brief run feels like it didn't really live up to it's potential.  Roxy and Van Owen should have both been more, Cornelius, by being more limited character, ironically emerges as the most fully formed.
Rogue Trooper is as good as last week, and promises more for next week.

feathers

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Re: Another 2000AD read thread
« Reply #6 on: 27 October, 2016, 03:04:43 pm »
Last read: 333.  So, after being impressed by A Mills' artwork on the first installment of Slaine I am completely perplexed by Belardinelli taking over from the second installment.  I though it might be a one-off from a deadline issue, but 2 weeks later he's still there.  What's going on?  As noted before, I like Belardinelli, but the original artwork had such a feeling of dirt and squalor about it that he does not come close to replicating.  It doesn't help that Slaine, Ukko and the jailor (whose name escapes me at the moment), are reminiscent (in sizes at least) to Blackhawk, Zog and Ursa - and that recollection seems to comfirm a much later fantasy tone taking hold.  The depiction of the warp frenzy is the only reassurance.

Robo Hunter continues to flounder in what hopefully IS Sam's last case.  Rogue Trooper doesn't disappoint in the face off with the traitor general, and the fate of Mr Brass is a welcome unexpected twist.  Dredd continues to be great.  Carlos Esquerra has such a distinctive style and had done so much work on Strontium Dog, Stainless Steel Rat and the Tharg stories that when he first returned to Dredd as  a regular artist it seemed a bit of an odd match (I know he designed the character originally, but McMahon, Bolland and Smith seemed to have defined him), but during the Apocalypse War Progs he really won me over with the fluidity and economy on his pages.  They read so fast and so easily!  It feel really good, and right,  to have him back after a number of issues away.

feathers

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Re: Another 2000AD read thread
« Reply #7 on: 27 October, 2016, 03:07:42 pm »
That should have been 'a much lighter fantasy tone'

AlexF

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Re: Another 2000AD read thread
« Reply #8 on: 01 November, 2016, 12:15:16 pm »
I always liked Belardinelli on Slaine, but mostly for the amazing scenery he provided - trees and waterfalls and such. His Wicker Man is a wonder to behold as well (which you'll see shortly). But you're right, it's a real shame Angie Mills Kincaid didn't get to draw any other episodes, her earthy style set the tone perfectly. Apparently it took a lot of time and pain to get it to that stage, so I guess Tharg was disinclined to give her more work. Boo.

Magnetica

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Re: Another 2000AD read thread
« Reply #9 on: 01 November, 2016, 12:25:58 pm »
I also liked Belardinelli on Slaine. You are right about the scenery and waterfalls. For example the page where he cools down after the warp spasm in Bride of Crom is amazing.

Also agree re Angie Mills. The Slaine T Shirt I have is from that first episode.

Colin YNWA

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Re: Another 2000AD read thread
« Reply #10 on: 01 November, 2016, 09:07:32 pm »
I've mentioned this on my re-read thread and its something I suspect I'll return to when I get to Slaine. Over in early 200s land I've commented that I find Belardinelli's work on Meltdown Man really inhibited by his representation of Nick Stone. I don't find his work on human, particularly the 'typical' hard man carries any great strenght. I also find his work on the 'arting' of his characters is stiff and lifeless.

I agree other elements of this work, animals, scenery and the worlds he creates can be really good. Alas its not often populated by people that convince me.

Hawkmumbler

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Re: Another 2000AD read thread
« Reply #11 on: 02 November, 2016, 02:55:59 pm »
Belardinelli was a supremely talented artist, however as others have pointed out he was spectacular in some respects, less so in others.

feathers

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Re: Another 2000AD read thread
« Reply #12 on: 15 November, 2016, 03:25:16 pm »
343 - Yes, Belardinelli has settled in on Slaine, and as many have said it's the scenery that does the work - especially the single image opening pages that allow him to place the characters in a wider context teeming with dirty, sordid detail and that then sets the tone for the rest of the strip.  Faces do seem to be a weak point though, and sometimes keeping the sometimes stiff figures in proportion - I think this is why he's best on Ace Trucking as there's no requirement for realism, and characters can be any shape they want from one frame to the next.  If Ace's hand gets slammed in a door and it swells up in the manner of the Beano, this isn't inconsistent with the feel of the stories.

What else?  The Graveyard Shift wasn't good, rather than feeling like an episodic 'and then-and then' grasping for the next idea rather than the different events piling up into a picture of breathless exhaustion which seems to have been the idea, and the left-hand-leaving criminal is too small time for the ending rise above the rest of it.  Hoping the next one is better.

Nemesis - much as I like it, it seems such a shame that the centre pages are being given over to this only to have what seems to be usually a wash of one or two colours across the whole thing - especially when that colour turns out to be a whitish-yellow!  Johnny should be listening more to Wulf, but The Moses Incident could surely be improved by affording colour to the wonderfully sinister Malak Brood and his disembodied brothers?

Rogue Trooper is still pretty consistent.  Going into this I didn't think it'd be one that I'd particularly enjoy and knowing how long it goes on for I thought it might be a chore, but it isn't.  For what it is it's well done, easy to read, and I never get to it and think 'maybe later'.  Having said that, I pretty much enjoyed the VCs too, so maybe I have more of a taste for military sci fi than I realised.

feathers

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Re: Another 2000AD read thread
« Reply #13 on: 09 January, 2017, 02:23:44 pm »
379 - Late summer 84 and things are great.  Outlaws is so far the best Strontium Dog story ever.  I wasn't really gripped by Portrait of a Mutant (it was good, but seemed much like a straightforward war story, and the youth-of-a-popular-character idea was better done for Ro Jaws and Hammerstein), but this sequel builds on it so effectively that it grows in retrospect.  Dredd Angel is also gripping, and another successful revival of an old character with Mean Machine.  His dial goes up to 4 and a 1/2 now!  Liberace's tomb is an hilarious pretext too. 

Halo Jones I've read before in a collected edition, I was surprised to see the first installment get colour, but only a little disappointed it didn't continue to get it.  Of course, I'm enjoying it.  Ace is back as well, so far so frenetically, but they're aboard Speedo Ghost so everything's getting back in placeo and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next.

Rogue Trooper keeps on keeping on, it's still thoroughly reasonable and although it's not often spectacular I'm more and more convinced that it's a bit under-rated.

feathers

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Re: Another 2000AD read thread
« Reply #14 on: 18 January, 2017, 11:54:57 am »
388 - Outlaws ended well, and didn't do anything to diminish my previous enthusiasm for it.  After the fillerish Gator story (the first week reminded me of the text-light bits of Nemesis book 2) Dredd is in interesting territory as his loss of objectivity leads to questions about his fitness to continue as a Judge.  It's nice when longer plots aren't telegraphed with part numbers, but build through individual connected episodes as this does.  Having said that, it's been interesting to see the increase of in-issue trailing recently.  Maybe it's filler for unused advertising space, but I like it.

Helltrekkers is two issues in, and so far isn't showing much promise- it seems quite dated in a way that would have fit into the comic early on, perhaps as a sequel to the original run of Flesh following another group of survivors from Carver City - but this just shows how far things have come in 7 years.  It isn't being done any favours by being run with the hugely polished Nemesis book 4, either.  Mekquake seemed an odd but throwaway continuity injoke in the previous book, but now Ro-Jaws has appeared too.....very odd!  Ace is still fun, but feels a long way from where it started.  Will it ever be the same again?  Rogue Trooper seems to be winding down now into real filler mode, I think it got 3 pages in the last issue.  It's had a long run, but feels like now could finally be the time for it to take a break.