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Author Topic: Thrill-Coma 2010: Best of the Meg  (Read 4088 times)

jabish

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010: Best of the Meg
« Reply #15 on: 23 August, 2018, 01:23:11 pm »
Well if there was ever going to be a last page of Dredd this would do. It had me in tatters when I read it first...



TordelBack

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010: Best of the Meg
« Reply #16 on: 23 August, 2018, 01:38:27 pm »
In many ways that is the final page of Judge Dredd (and one of my favourite single pages, and central image, of any comic ever) - but it didn't need to be.  The next episode, The Days After, set up a new world, with a humbled and broken Dredd and Justice Dept struggling to just keep going, to do what they can and to make amends. 

It could have been a radically new direction, effectively watching the remaking of the Judge system in an even grimmer post-apoc environment than before, but it would also have represented the killing of Rebellion's golden goose, just as the movie seemed to be promising renewed popularity.  Without a single enormously productive and creative writer (or cohesive team) to shape a new direction, everything just fell back into the old rut.

Wagner's sporadic post-Chaos strips are included in that, despite generally being excellent stories - does the cameras-in-the-walls scenario, or Block Judge, PJ Maybe and Dark Justice, or even Harvey, really continue the story that he left us at the end of DoC?

Dark Jimbo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010: Best of the Meg
« Reply #17 on: 23 August, 2018, 01:57:00 pm »
...everything just fell back into the old rut.

Right down to Hershey jumping back into the CJ's chair, like nothing had ever happened...!

broodblik

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010: Best of the Meg
« Reply #18 on: 23 August, 2018, 04:07:44 pm »
As the meg is currently setup we might only get continuity issues when there is mega epics running in the prog. There was a stage when they tried the cross-over story line and people complained about it. The only story recently that I can recall started in the prog and continued in the meg was done by Mile Carroll. The Grindstone Cowboys (Prog 1973-1977, Meg 371-373) started in the prog and ended in the meg as well the story reclamation (Prog 1986-1990, Meg 374) story.

Colin YNWA

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010: Best of the Meg
« Reply #19 on: 23 August, 2018, 04:28:06 pm »
In many ways that is the final page of Judge Dredd (and one of my favourite single pages, and central image, of any comic ever) - but it didn't need to be....
It could have been a radically new direction, effectively watching the remaking of the Judge system in an even grimmer post-apoc environment than before, but it would also have represented the killing of Rebellion's golden goose, just as the movie seemed to be promising renewed popularity.  Without a single enormously productive and creative writer (or cohesive team) to shape a new direction, everything just fell back into the old rut...

Yes all this really. Its such an astonishing image and could quite happily have been the end of Dredd.

As it is, while I wouldn't say current Dredd is 'in a rut' as that underplays what I think are some fantastic storylines in the same fantastic formula, it does feel a shame that a bolder world building line wasn't taken.

Dark Jimbo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010: Best of the Meg
« Reply #20 on: 23 August, 2018, 05:20:20 pm »
There was a stage when they tried the cross-over story line and people complained about it. The only story recently that I can recall started in the prog and continued in the meg was done by Mike Carroll...

'More crossovers' is not really what Funt was advocating...

broodblik

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010: Best of the Meg
« Reply #21 on: 23 August, 2018, 05:43:19 pm »
'More crossovers' is not really what Funt was advocating...

I was only trying to point out an alternative to keep a degree of continuity. I believe this will not be a popular choice. Personally I don't mind it since I am getting both

Magnetica

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010: Best of the Meg
« Reply #22 on: 23 August, 2018, 10:02:46 pm »
It's interesting.  One feeling I get on my mass-read is that the Megazine has to play an odd game.  It's the Judge Dredd Megazine, so nearly everything it does is set in the Dredd-verse.  But then it can't really change Mega-City One: it's more like it's the poor cousin that only gets scraps from the table.

Over in 2000AD, for example, we had the Chaos Day arc, which decimated the entire city.  In the Megazine at the same time: nothing happened.  As the city burns (say, around, prog 1784), in Megazine 324 we get The Adjudicators, a joke story by Simon Spurrier about a justice department PR wing.

So, the Megazine has a problem.  The MC-1 in 2000AD isn't the same MC-1 in the Megazine.  With so much Dredd content, and so many writers with so many angles: it's just impossible to hold it together as a believable, consistent fiction. 

I tend to agree. I have always considered the Meg as an accompaniment of the Prog and that if anything major was going to happen to Dredd or Mega City One it was going to happen in the Prog, not the Meg. So whilst I read it every month, it has never been “essential” Dredd.

It is though perfectly possible to have fantastic stories set in the Dredd-verse that don’t need to impact on Dredd or MC1 continuity. Prime examples being Insurrection and Lawless, which I would argue are as good, of not better than anything in the Prog. But those two do benefit from brillant writing and art.

Frank

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010: Best of the Meg
« Reply #23 on: 23 August, 2018, 10:30:31 pm »
It's interesting.  One feeling I get on my mass-read is that the Megazine has to play an odd game.  It's the Judge Dredd Megazine, so nearly everything it does is set in the Dredd-verse.  But then it can't really change Mega-City One

I tend to agree. I have always considered the Meg as an accompaniment of the Prog and that if anything major was going to happen to Dredd or Mega City One it was going to happen in the Prog, not the Meg. So whilst I read it every month, it has never been “essential” Dredd

Even during the brief period when Wagner was only writing for the Megazine*, the one story he wrote that moved The Big Story forward was the very end of the final Mechanismo - and that was so it could dovetail into his taking up the reins at 2000ad once more with Wilderlands.

Next time Eamonn's interviewing Dave Bishop, he should ask whether it was explicit policy that only the 2000ad stories were allowed to kill characters off and change the status quo.**


* 1992-1994

** Unless Megazine stories were tying into 2000ad epics, like Volt eating a bullet during Doomsday

Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010: Best of the Meg
« Reply #24 on: 27 August, 2018, 04:51:15 am »
Judge Dredd: Great Executions
(2012: megs 325-327)
Script: Robbie Morrison
Art: Dave Taylor
Letters: Annie Parkhouse


A disturbing futuristic re-imagining of Great Expectations with beautifully evocative art.  It's a complex, tragic morality tale about the danger of obsession.

There's a misogynistic streak to the main character: he forms a lifelong obsession with his first sexual partner even though she's always been remote and cold with him and shown not even the remotest interest in anything beyond an initial dalliance of her youth.

There's a sense that the story wants us to have a concrete reason to accept that perhaps she deserves her ultimate fate, and yet it seems a steep price for someone to pay for being self-serving.

Certainly, there are no heroes here: only a doomed romanticism.

fate amenable to change

Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010: Best of the Meg
« Reply #25 on: 23 September, 2018, 03:36:30 am »
Some of the best of the Meg from my catch-up read...

Snapshot
(2012: megs 322-330)
Script: Andy Diggle
Art: Jock
Letters: Clem Robins


Beautifully set in San Francisco, this is a movie-like action thriller fueled by fast-pacing and dynamic framing.  It's a fish out of water tale, in which a comic shop worker accidentally finds himself embroiled in a deadly game of cat and mouse with a shadowy killer.



Jock's art is superb and the setting well researched - that's definitely San Fran we're seeing - although there's a clear British sensibility sneaking in with references to Axel Pressbutton and Zenith.



The narrative drive is frenetic and the puzzle-pieces come together fast enough to keep our interest without explaining everything.  Ultimately, though, like many movies, this has a tricky third act and at one point it drives off the rails with a metaphysical (and terribly coincidentally located) endless corridor of somehow non-rotten severed body parts.  The end is ultimately ambiguous but getting there is still a wild and worthwhile ride.


Anderson, Psi-Division: Stone Voices
(2012: megs 327-331)
Script: Alan Grant
Art: Boo Cook
Letters: Ellie De Ville


There's often been a sense that Anderson's judgement is flawed: as far back as her accidentally releasing the dark judges by transporting herself to Deadworld (progs 416-427, 1985) without bothering to tell anyone.  The other narrative sometimes explored is that the emotional detriments of the job drive her to seek escape, as in Postcards From the Edge (M2.50-M2.60, 1994). 



This tale brings both those threads to the fore as Anderson (beautifully rendered by Boo Cook) tries to solve a spate of grisly yet mysterious decapitations whilst being hamstrung by an administration that doesn't fully trust her.



Ultimately, Anderson wins out over the immediate threat but the suggestion during the denouement is that she may once again seek to leave the Justice Department.


Hondo City Justice: Revenge of the 47 Ronin
(2013: megs 332-334)
Script: Robbie Morrison
Pencils: Mike Collins
Inks: Cliff Robinson
Colours: Len O'Grady
Letters: Ellie De Ville


Judge Inaba and Cadet Asahara investigate a supernatural threat to Hondo City that begins with a flashback to the ancient legend of the titular 47 ronin.  The flashback sequences are beautifully framed and styled and give a sense of depth to the setting.



In classic runaway zombie style, each person killed by the resurrected ronin rises as a new threat and so the story becomes a race against time to stop them before their numbers grow too large.  The early scenes of peace here foreshadow the later threat:



Ultimately, our heroes prevail, but we end on a cliffhanger that informs us that the ronin's puppet-master has a familial connection to Inaba, and for reasons unknown wishes her demise.
fate amenable to change

Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010: Best of the Meg
« Reply #26 on: 24 January, 2019, 04:19:58 am »
The best of the Megazine from 2013, in order of publication:

American Reaper [II]
(2013: megs 332-337)
Script: Pat Mills
Art: Fay Dalton, Clint Langley
Letters: Annie Parkhouse

Ostensibly a second series, this is narratively a continuation. Detective John Slaine is a Reaper: tasked with tracking identity thieves who are stealing young peoples' bodies to use as their own (a one-way switch of consciousness in which the "donor" is erased). 

SlaineReaper

It's sort of sits between gritty noir thriller and gaudy soap opera in terms of styling, and (like series one) causes marmite-like audience reactions with its photo-story style art.  Whatever you think of that, you can't deny the level of commitment on offer here as you don't just get 79 pages of body-theft action (and gala dinners), but you also get world-building extras (ads & movie reviews) and even an entire spin-off strip (Reaper Files).




Insurrection III
(2013: megs 334-342)
Script: Dan Abnett
Art: Colin MacNeil
Letters: Simon Bowland

With two series behind it with a narrow focus this wisely expands our universe and becomes somewhat the story of a new character in a new insurrection.  I don't want to spoil the plot any, just in case, but suffice to say it's grim, with the merest hint of hope.



I think the series does reach a natural conclusion here and whilst it would be great to see more of Abnett and MacNeil's galactic Justice Department, it's also wise to end strong.  This is hands down the best space Judge stuff that's been done, with The Corps & Maelstrom (back in '94) being the main contenders (and to some extent having laid some groundwork).


The Streets of Dan Francisco
(2013: megs 335-339)
Script: Arthur Wyatt
Art: Paul Marshall
Colours: Chris Blythe
Letters: Elle De Ville




An intro like that deserves to be applauded: it's just madly beautiful.  Post-Chaos Day Mega-City One turns out to be a great place for a redemptive tale about the media savvy ex Chief Judge.  He stalks the ruins but is in turn stalked by gang violence that is in the ascendant.  There's this brewing feeling that Judges have become far more vulnerable.


Dredd: Underbelly
(2013: megs 340-342)
Script: Arthur Wyatt
Art: Henry Flint
Colours: Chris Blythe
Letters: Ellie De Ville

Movie Dredd (the good one) in an action procedural that blends in some of the mutie themes presented in the comics that spawned the movie that spawned this comic.  The only double whammy here is from bone-breaking action blended with the bleak realities of futuristic organized crime. 

Check out the bravura framing of this double page raid:

fate amenable to change