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Author Topic: Thrill-Coma 2010  (Read 26588 times)

Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #150 on: 13 December, 2019, 07:03:40 PM »
When the horse steps out of the chaos of a destroyed cityscape to rescue and resuscitate a wounded Dredd: I knew it reminded me of something...

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Colin YNWA

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #151 on: 13 December, 2019, 08:56:02 PM »
I believe there is a new series in the works with Tiernan Trevallion on art duties. Looking forward to seeing it.

Even that's been a while coming though now. Seem to remember that was first mentioned maybe a couple of years ago now... certainly over a year. Would love to get it back some time. ...

...actually know I'm getting  a bit ahead of myself when was the last time we had any Brass Sun, feels like a while.

Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #152 on: 16 December, 2019, 06:45:05 PM »


2015 (Late Summer Shorts)

Leading up to the prog 1950 jump-on, there's a sequence of shorter, punchier thrills: reviewed here in order of most to least thrilling...


Dreams of Deadworld
(1946-1949)
Script: Kek-W, Dave Kendall, Letters: Ellie De Ville


Presented as four separate tales (Fire, Mortis, Fear and Death), this dares to reimagine four of the most iconic characters in the history of the Dreddverse. Set on Deadworld, before the time when Death first visited Mega-City One, this gently retcons Young Death by sidelining the Sisters of Death and introducing a much wider cast of dark judges. What this short series does is succeed in making the dark judges truly disturbing.

Judge Fire obsesses over a lost passion as we visit the undersea citadel of Sister Despair. Mortis toys with visiting aliens, subjecting them to his dead fluids wine, but seems tied to his toys: his watch and his machines. Judge Fear suffers from his own power: consumed by the memory of a victim who he could not cow. And finally Judge Death judges not only the living, but also his undead comrades if he feels that they are not being respectful enough of the order he has imposed.




The Alienist: The Haunting of Hex House
(1944-1949)
Script: Emma Beeby, Gordon Rennie, Eoin Coveney, Letters: Simon Bowland


A blinding opening episode sees the usual suspects (seers, mystics, sceptics) install themselves in a haunted house to fathom its mysteries. Things start to go terribly wrong almost immediately, and then a mysterious double-act show up and seem to offer a possible salvation. This is a blend of mysticism and alien horror that sets up an interesting investigative duo in the form of Madelyn Vespertine and her sidekick Reggie. It's not without flaws (the baddie tends to do a lot of posturing and pontificating to no effect) but hopefully will get a chance to refine itself in a follow-up series.




Grey Area
(1945-1948)
Script: Dan Abnett, Mark Harrison, Letters: Ellie De Ville


Continuing the Homeworld arc from earlier in the year, Bulliet and his stranded ETC squad persuade the Harmonious Free that all their warnings about a malevolent god-star descending from space to consume their planet is true. Now it's just a case of getting them to step up and defend themselves. It's a bit like "how do you persuade a planet of introspective hippies to pay attention", and Abnett has a lot of fun with it, even having a flyer that's powered entirely by a meditating psychic ringing little bells.




Judge Dredd: Ghost Town
(1948-1949)
Script: Ian Edginton, Art: Dave Taylor, Letters: Annie Parkhouse


A great premise and some astounding world-building: this story has it that the Mega-City (suffering from years of city-wide disasters) has shrunk down around the central sectors, leaving huge swathes under-populated and rife with opportunistic crime. Into that: a new cadre of rangers are sent out to be tested, with Dredd in charge of deciding the fate of the nascent program. In that regard, it's a bit like the set-up to The Hotdog Run.

The trouble starts when Dredd begins behaving like a run-of-the-mill corporate bad guy. Some writers get Dredd, and some of them just don't. Sending the muties back into the Cursed Earth didn't make any sense: sure, Dredd follows the law, but he also sometimes follows his own judgement - and sometimes those are at odds (which is why the character is interesting). This just didn't ring true. From that moment on, it's not like I'm reading a Dredd story at all: I immediately went to check the writer, because I knew it wasn't Wagner.




Tharg's 3rillers: Apocalypse Anonymous
(1945-1947)
Script: Robert Murphy, Art: S. O'Conner, J. Lynch, Colours: Abigail Ryder, Letters: Annie Parkhouse


The Predator meets The Blob: a team of gung-ho holy warriors drop into war-torn Aleppo to take down some hellspawn. The punchline is that the damage done to humanity by the hellspawn is difficult to discern from what's being done by humanity to itself. True dat.




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sheridan

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #153 on: 16 December, 2019, 08:23:44 PM »
And it's just occurred to me - I was amazed to note that Mike already knew who I was when I met him years ago; and I wonder if Chief Judge Walsh is called after me? Most probably not, it's the third most common Irish surname. But you never know; erstwhile boarder Johnnystress cropped up as a Dredd villain in the past.


Bad news - Walsh has slipped to fourth place - I see that my own surname (Kelly) has remained in second place, the same as two centuries ago!  One day we'll get ahead of the Murphys!




JayzusB.Christ

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #154 on: 17 December, 2019, 12:35:50 PM »
And it's just occurred to me - I was amazed to note that Mike already knew who I was when I met him years ago; and I wonder if Chief Judge Walsh is called after me? Most probably not, it's the third most common Irish surname. But you never know; erstwhile boarder Johnnystress cropped up as a Dredd villain in the past.


Bad news - Walsh has slipped to fourth place - I see that my own surname (Kelly) has remained in second place, the same as two centuries ago!  One day we'll get ahead of the Murphys!

I thought your surname was Wilde!
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Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #155 on: 19 January, 2020, 07:39:08 PM »


2015 (Fourth Quarter)

Taking us up to the end of 2015 there's a strong reliance on well-established stories, with Brass Sun's fourth series being the baby as a three year old thrill. Defoe's sixth series comes eight years after launch. Sinister Dexter turn twenty with their latest Generica-set piece. Old hands Bad Company hobble into view at a stately twenty-nine and Dredd dimly recalls his childhood after reaching an age only possible through the use of repeated visits to the rejuve clinic: thirty-eight. In order of most to least thrilling...


Judge Dredd: Serial Serial
(1950-1954)
Script: John Wagner, Art: Colin MacNeil, Colours: Chris Blythe, Letters: Annie Parkhouse


Wagner writing a PJ Maybe thriller, with Colin MacNeil on art: it's top quality before a page is turned. Here, PJ sets himself up as Dredd's assistant, drip-feeding information that leads to another serial killer: one who throws the Judges off the scent by updating his modus operandi after each set of eight kills (the serial serial killer of the title). PJ himself remains elusive (for us and Dredd, who finds the entire charade demeaning).

The final twist sees a patsy brain-washed to believe he is PJ, and locked up in a psycho cube. Of course, this gives Wagner the possibility of releasing a wannabe PJ into the wild at a future date.




Brass Sun: Motor Head
(1950-1959)
Script: Ian Edginton, Art: INJ Culbard, Letters: Ellie De Ville


This fourth series starts out bleak, with Wren captured and regularly tortured in an attempt to force her to reveal the secrets of the Blind Watchmaker: the AI remnants of a god that lives in her mind. There's something Brazil-like about her attempts at freedom and resistance in the face of surreal and implaccable foes. Ultimately, it's the decency of downtrodden folk that provide a spark of hope.




Defoe: The London Hanged
(1950-1960)
Script: Pat Mills, Art: Leigh Gallagher, Letters: Annie Parkhouse


The sixth book of Defoe sees the interesting characters of his wife and son soon sidelined as a new zombie outbreak leads Defoe to investigate the Vizards (aka Superior Heroes), who serve as utterly evil upper class perverts for Mills to vicariously beat up on. Wonderful art from Gallagher, strong storytelling and a compelling alt-history setting (grounded in strong research) lift this above the foundation of maniacal class war fantasy.




Sinister Dexter: The Taking of the Michael
(1951-1956)
Script: Dan Abnett, Art: Patrick Goddard, Colours: Eva de la Cruz, Letters: Ellie De Ville


On the positives: it's got great art and an interesting storytelling structure where most of the tale is told in flashback from the perspective of the investigation of a crime scene. Otherwise: it's not got much going for it. Sin & Dex are morally vacant glyphs with no arc who are so superhuman that their mistakes (allowing themselves to be spotted stalking their target) go unpunished: their skills so outstripping those of their opponents that they're effectively invulnerable. Perhaps, like Laurel & Hardy, the appeal is supposed to be that the characters themselves (deliberately arc-less) are so entertaining that to witness them at all is the prize. Probably this is best enjoyed by fans of The Fast and the Furious franchise, and Ocean's n.




Bad Company: First Casualties
(1950-1961)
Script: Peter Milligan, Art: Rufus Dayglo, Jim McCarthy, Letters: Simon Bowland


Hugely disappointing, given the source material. It's got Boris Johnson in it: reason enough to cancel any comic (even in 2015). It makes not one iota of sense, any of the time. Example: the head of a psychiatric clinic allows all of her patients to roam around heavily armed. When they kill people, there's no comeuppance. An insane general then ties the head psychiatrist (Doctor ... Malarkey - *groan*) to a chair so that they can shout at each other during moments that require exposition. It's just utterly, bafflingly bad: for seventy-four pages.

The plot is turgid nonsense: all the characters that died (or became alien god-beings) in previous outtings are now all living together in a retirement village. Danny Franks is still wearing the same hat and has the same haircut as during the war. Kano has a large chunk of open-air head and a wound that literally passes through his entire body, but still walks and talks. Maybe it works on some level as a comedy, but I don't think that's the intention.




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Buttonman

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #156 on: 22 January, 2020, 10:12:40 AM »
They really should install 'like' buttons on here. This thread you'd get 'thread of the year' hands down. Well, top three at any rate.

Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #157 on: 22 January, 2020, 03:40:38 PM »
Thank-you, oh Buttonman of impeccable taste. Congratulations, by the way, on your letter centennial. I've considered writing in, but as I'm still a few years behind there's only so much mileage I could get out of "letters from the past".

"Dear Tharg, I really enjoyed something you published four years ago. Etc."

About "likes": I do check the number of thread views to try and ensure that I'm not just whistling into the wind.

I'm looking forward to 2016: it's got prog 2000 in it (you know, the real one).
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Fungus

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #158 on: 22 January, 2020, 05:02:52 PM »
It’s a top thread!
Nice dissemination of recent past, always pithy and on-the-money summaries. Pics are welcome too 👍

Eg. First Casualties... It did just limp on, infuriatingly. Never did make its point. Maybe that’s reflective of War. Who cares!?!

Colin YNWA

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #159 on: 22 January, 2020, 09:16:06 PM »
I'm going to leave my previous defense of NuBad Compnay here. I really enjoy it... as I do Funt Solo's glorious musings as others have said.


Colin YNWA

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #160 on: 22 January, 2020, 09:17:40 PM »
I'm going to leave my previous defense of NuBad Compnay here. I really enjoy it... as I do Funt Solo's glorious musings as others have said.



Err okay that's annoying was preparing a post for my thread and clearly had the wrong address copied. SORRY! Let's try that again.


DrJomster

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #161 on: 22 January, 2020, 11:14:12 PM »
They really should install 'like' buttons on here. This thread you'd get 'thread of the year' hands down. Well, top three at any rate.

This. Good thread.
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Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #162 on: 23 January, 2020, 03:14:30 PM »
Hey Colin - I love your Calvin & Hobbes inspired "Danny and Kano". My wife helped me with the fact that it's an homage to an actual C & H strip (as opposed to just the style) as she's a big C & H fan.

Also: great reading of Bad Company (First Casualties): it's a sort of metaphysical war poem in comic form. That sort of depth often escapes me: I'm quite a dullard when it comes to deep poetry.

It made me think of bands that have great success and then start doing more experimental music, losing lots of their original fans in the process who don't get the new stuff. A friend once said Metallica had gone too "twiddly", for example.

I can listen to Dummy and Portishead for days on end without a break and still be in a state of bliss. Third left me cold, though.
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TordelBack

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #163 on: 23 January, 2020, 03:37:26 PM »
Yup. Funt thread is best thread.

I too bounced straight off the last few Bad Companies. I really, really tried to embrace the metabouttery of it all, and I never tire of looking at Rufus' vibrant art, but ultimately for me they didn't work as sequels or as standalone stories. The non-explanations of character resurrections -not to mention that of Earth itself -  the by-now clichéd Min Town false flag shenanigans, the improbable rampaging about and endless psychoactive wotsits... just didn't amount to anything for me.

Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #164 on: 27 February, 2020, 10:00:08 PM »


2016 (First Quarter)

A heavy reliance on established thrills continues, with mixed results. The high production quality throughout, and the never less than wonderful art lift up some tales that are somewhat lacking in consistent thrill-wattage. In order, then, of most to least thrilling...


Judge Dredd: Undercover Klegg
(1969-1972)
Script: Rob Williams, Art: D'Israeli, Letters: Annie Parkhouse


After the seriousness of the preceding Ghosts (see below), it took a moment to switch into full blown comedy Dredd mode for this tale of dangerous diplomacy with those masters of slicing and dicing, the Kleggs. Having a window into Dredd's mind, and his almost constant desire to murder Sensitive Klegg, produces a great throughline as their Odd Couple is waylaid on the way to the peace summit.

The final episode, where Sensitive Klegg descends into a song so interminable that it causes the opposing factions to unite against him, was tested for thrill-power by my singing it out loud to the resident seven-year old, who was chuckling away.  Test passed!




Kingdom: Beast of Eden
(1961-1972)
Script: Dan Abnett, Art: Richard Elson, Letters: Ellie De Ville


Always a favorite, this has been around long enough that it's in danger of running into its own cliches, but still manages to drive forwards as a beautiful mixture of Mad Max, Damnation Alley and The Omega Man. A bit of shame that Clara Bow gets relegated to Her Indoors status, but perhaps that's allowing a later thread to flourish.

Here we see the return of the Masters, popping down from orbit (somewhat suicidally) to study the effects of their attempts to neutralize the dominant insectoid Them that have taken over Earth. Once again, as we pass another chapter, some questions are answered and more are opened up.




Judge Dredd: Ghosts
(1963-1968)
Script: Michael Carroll, Art: Mark Sexton, Colours: Len O'Grady, Letters: Annie Parkhouse


This has a hugely powerful opening set-up but soon becomes derivative and, for something that seems almost city-shattering, gets sewn up too fast for us to revel in the potential threat. Like an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where everything gets reset at the end.

The idea of hidden shadows of Justice Department seemed acceptably twisted and just about buyable with The Judda, but when Smiley popped out of a secret office in the wall during Trifecta that was just hokum. Did he sneak out of a secret door at night to raid the snack machine? Now there's another gang of parallel Judges that have supposedly been hanging out in the city undetected since before Prog 2.

And why does Dredd summarily execute his prisoner at the end? I can count on one hand the number of times Dredd just up and executes someone who's at his mercy - and usually we get some reasoning (Griffin during The Apocalypse War, and some traitors in the same conflict) or it's just not Wagner (I can think of Grant doing it years ago, then Edginton recently with Ghost Town). Surely questioning this guy would be more useful?




Strontium Dog: Repo Men
(1961-1971)
Script: John Wagner, Art: Carlos Ezquerra, Letters: Simon Bowland


You can sort Strontium Dog adventures into three types: the dark post-apocalyptic apartheid analogy, the bounty hunter western and the shaggy dog caper. The latter is my least favorite of the three, and Repo Men sits clearly in that space - literally having a character named Shaggy who it turns out is at the centre of the entire caper.

That being said, it's a tale well told, even though there's a lot of talking heads and much of it is set on a deliberatly unremarkable planet. This is one of those cases where Wagner is in relaxed form and it's Ezquerra's remarkable art (always just so consistently great) that lifts things up.

I know Kid Knee is supposed to be irritating: the trouble being he really is. It's a rare moment as a comic reader where I want an [ignore] feature for a character.




The A.B.C. Warriors: Return to Ro-Busters
(1961-1972)
Script: Pat Mills, Art: Clint Langley, Letters: Annie Parkhouse


The first episode is dementedly highly entertaining as the Ro-Busters freak the hell out of a learner driver whilst trying to warn them away from impending disaster. Unfortunately, this then segues quickly into a standard Mills tale (or re-tale) of the workers against the evil suits, riffing off The Fall And Rise Of Ro-Jaws & Hammerstein (from progs 103-115).

As is too often the case with Mills' oeuvre, too much author polemic overshadows the plot. Sometimes the work manages to overcome it (Savage, Slaine, Defoe, Nemesis) but at other times the ranting is too powerful (here, recent Flesh, Greysuit, Finn) and the plotting recedes. I appreciate that 2000 AD gives their creators a lot of freedom, and that's a good overall policy, but this re-hashing of tales from the 70s with added layers of conspiracy theory leaves me cold.




The Order: In The Court of the Wyrmqueen
(1961-1972)
Script: Kek-W, Art: John Burns, Letters: Ellie De Ville


I really enjoyed the first series, and we were introduced to those characters at a good clip: so there was a danger of not being able to tell them apart in the chaos. This follow-up series turns the volume up to 11 and made me feel as if I'd been dropped into someone else's steampunk GURPS campaign in about year three.

Mostly I was just confused. Lots of shouting, something about a robot consciousness, big worms on fire: too many characters to track. The End. It probably deserves a third series, but on the strength of the first one: not this chaos. And motorbikes: no! (Balloon contraptions acceptable.)

There is also the problem that the main enemy is lots of worms. Not much personality there.


 

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