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Author Topic: Thrill-Coma 2010: Best of the Meg  (Read 6415 times)

IndigoPrime

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010: Best of the Meg
« Reply #30 on: 17 July, 2019, 10:47:48 am »
Quote
Lawless: Welcome to Badrock
I’m a bit jealous you get to read this one for the first time, and in a concentrated blast.

Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010: Best of the Meg
« Reply #31 on: 17 July, 2019, 04:52:51 pm »
The page count of the meg went up when American Reaper was in it so ‘it took up too many pages’ arguments are a bit redundant.

I wondered about that and had to go and check - the size of the Meg is the same before and after Reaper (books I & II, at any rate - as I'm only up to Meg 355).

Maybe you meant strip pages?  There were 37 before Reaper, then a sequence of 51, 46, 47...

So, yeah: you must have meant strip pages.
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TordelBack

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010: Best of the Meg
« Reply #32 on: 17 July, 2019, 05:06:25 pm »
So, yeah: you must have meant strip pages.

Are there any other kind?  ;)

Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010: Best of the Meg
« Reply #33 on: 17 July, 2019, 05:50:02 pm »
So, yeah: you must have meant strip pages.
Are there any other kind?  ;)

Not in my current Meg catch-up: I just don't have time to read all the articles.  The Interrogations alone would form a mighty tome.  Thrill-Power Overload was about 250 pages, and the Interrogations (from 2004 to 2014) are 900 pages!
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IronGraham

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010: Best of the Meg
« Reply #34 on: 16 September, 2019, 01:53:35 pm »
Looking forward to more updates to this.
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Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010: Best of the Meg
« Reply #35 on: 16 September, 2019, 06:50:16 pm »
Thanks, IronGraham - I've been dividing my time a bit this summer between:

 - a mega overview starting from prog 1 (there's a thread "2000 AD in Stages"), which has really sucked me in, time-wise. It's way too much fun.

 - taking a bit of a break from my Thrill-Coma catch-up, but I've started up again and am currently in the first quarter of 2015. More reviewing as and when: but the Meg takes longer to generate content. I really need to get caught back up to 2019 ... but it'll probably be 2020 at least before I manage that.

 - enjoying a three-week vacation in sunny Scotland, where it rained. That's over now, but having a young family is keeping me on my toes, and the holidays are done and it's back to full-time teaching. Curses! (But I love the wages.) How did I survive three weeks without my PC? Barely, is the answer.

 - starting up a solo game of the Pathfinder card game, because clearly I need another hobby vector.
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Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010: Best of the Meg
« Reply #36 on: 12 October, 2019, 03:38:28 am »


The first half of 2015.  In order of publication:


American Reaper [III] & Reaper Files
(megs 355-360)
Script: Pat Mills
Art: Fay Dalton, Clint Langley
Lettering: Annie Parkhouse


In this part-comic part-photo-story ("It's a little bit more complex than that!"), strap in for mucho melodrama and some double-bluffing, carpet-pulling twists and turns as we try to figure out if Detective Matherson's daughter (Jessica) has had her mind replaced by an evil older woman intent on an extended life and a new, younger bod.

One of the key plot elements has been whether or not the Reapers can trust their identity theft detection goggles: which (perhaps unintentionally) leaves open the question of whether Matherson accidentally offed his son in the first series.

Seguing into over-wrought silliness at times (a fraught but extended conversation being held between father and daughter as she dangles precariously from the door of a burning flying machine) there's also a disturbing sense that Jessica only exists to be owned by men (whether that's her father or the bad guy). The oddly pitched supernatural coda (Happy Deathday, Detective Matherson) only reinforces that idea by pushing key female characters into unseen relief.




DeMarco P.I.: Déjà Vu
(megs 355-357)
Script: Michael Caroll
Pencils: Steve Yeowell
Inks: Lee Townsend
Lettering: Ellie De Ville


In a plot most video games would be proud of, DeMarco wakes up in the street with no memory of how she got there, a gunshot wound in her abdomen and with all her bank accounts empty (when apparently she was rich before).

The shaggy dog story that follows of course fills in the blanks on the way to the denouement, but the tone strays a little close to Minnie the Minx territory, with some rapscallions hired to throw half-bricks at Judges who chase after them shouting "Oy!" I mean, if someone chucked a rock at Dredd he'd shoot them in the legs just as an opening gambit.

The finale sees Jack Point relegated to sub-par Mel Gibson-isms:




Judge Dredd: The Cop
(megs 355-360)
Script: Al Ewing
Art: Ben Willsher
Lettering: Simon Bowland, Adam Brown


A convoluted plot that's heavy on the style might leave the audience wondering who's who as Dredd and, erm, someone else eventually take part in a short remake of Dredd, the movie The Raid. The incongruous inclusion of a Holocaust 12 partial reprint (meg 359 after M3.20 & M3.21; Script: John Smith, Chris Standley; Art: Jim Murray) left some of the readership scratching their heads until the next issue, when it turned out to be a well-timed reminder.




Angelic
(megs 356-359)
Script: Gordon Rennie
Art: Lee Carter
Lettering: Annie Parkhouse


Something of a tour de force, this re-imagines Pa Angel as a somewhat sympathetic character by telling a tale of his early years (pre-Angel Gang), up against a group of corrupt Texas City Judges who've murdered his wife.

Visions of the future from a mutie psychic suggest that this could be an alternate timeline, and the plot structure demands that we pay attention with a flashback within a flashback to contend with.

Adding to the angelic veneer we also get the superbly timed Tales From The Black Museum: Rising Angel (meg 358, Script: Michael Carroll, Art: Nick Percival, Lettering: Ellie De Ville), with a stupendous cover of an aging Mean Machine.




Anderson Psi-Division: Mutineers
(megs 359-360)
Script: Emma Beeby
Art: Andrew Currie
Colours: Eva De La Cruz
Lettering: Ellie De Ville


Somewhat confusing storytelling had me thinking that I'd missed part one, but I eventually got to grips with the structure so I could follow a tale that sees Anderson's Daughter and Cadet Flowers investigate a giant insectoid menace threatening a mutie township.

Frank would know.

IndigoPrime

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010: Best of the Meg
« Reply #37 on: 12 October, 2019, 02:11:26 pm »
DeMarco feels like a constantly missed opportunity. I’m not sure why she was stripped of her millions. To me, that actually added to the character, rather than forcing her into the more conventional PI character. I’d quite happily never see Jack Point in her life again (a very reductionist decision by Spurrier), and she needs another big ape sidekick, because that was a lot more fun and MC-1.

Angelic: whatever happened to that? Did Gordon Rennie just stop writing it? I thought this was an interesting soft reboot. Fab Carter art, too. Also, the sole saving grace of an otherwise dire Hachette volume.

DrJomster

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010: Best of the Meg
« Reply #38 on: 12 October, 2019, 11:09:09 pm »
Re DeMarco, the latest story is hitting the right notes in my book.

Good point re Angelic! Is that coming back at all? The art was gorgeous, as you say. More please, Tharg!
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Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010: Best of the Meg
« Reply #39 on: 18 December, 2019, 01:35:24 am »


The second half of 2015: powerful thrills from masters of the craft.  In order of publication:


Judge Dredd: El Maldito
(megs 361-364)
Script: Gordon Rennie, Art: Carlos Ezquerra, Letters: Annie Parkhouse


In an Amazon-run a company-run facility in the Cursed Earth, a private security operation is violently subjugating the (latinx) work force, which is poorly paid and over-worked. A shadowy figure, El Maldito, stalks the alleyways of the settlement, gunning down those who would hurt the innocent.

As Dredd arrives to investigate the killings, there's a question as to who he has to fear the most: the ghostly freedom fighter, seemingly a spirit of vengeance, or the corporate guns guarding their investment.

Played out like a western in the atmospheric mould of High Plains Drifter, but also telling a very modern tale of a forced economic underclass, this manages to send a message as powerful as that of Third World War, but with a grander subtlety.




Storm Warning: The Relic
(megs 361-366)
Script: Leah Moore, John Reppion, Art: Tom Foster, Colours: Kirsty Swan, Letters: Simon Bowland


Brit-Cit Psi-Judge Storm is given an immediate origin story in the first episode and then sent on a mission to find a mysterious object [see title] that she is instructed not to take too great an interest in. Strange & Darke (from 2012's Megazine) feature as background characters in a clever way (they're either talked about or blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameos) that provides this tale with a sense of place and depth without getting in the way.

There's a great sense of foreboding about the titular relic, and a sense of dread and the kind of unease that Tales of the Unexpected was great at engendering. Storm herself is an uncomfortable character: she hates to be touched (the psychic horrors she has witnessed tend to spill over into the other person's consciousness), and stalks from place to place - determined and taciturn.

Despite all the gloom, there's also a lightness and a humour in places. The scene where a citizen nervously fires at approaching Judges only to apologize embarassedly does the job of lightening the mood just prior to a rug-pulling moment of tension. Also, setting some of it at the seaside provides a quaint Britishness usually missing from Brit-Cit set stories.

There's something about the computer-assisted art that leaves some scenes too neat and empty - as with the trenches and the lone tree at the beach, but nothing that the 20th anniversary Director's Cut can't fix. Altogether, a great thrill that the Meg can be proud of, and hopefully one that will spawn sequels.




Lawless: Between Badrock & A Hard Place
(megs 361-366)
Script: Dan Abnett, Art: Phil Winslade, Letters: Ellie De Ville


Actually two adventures sewn into one sub-title, the ongoing tales of Colonial Marshall Metta Lawson's western-styled tenure in the new frontier of Badrock have become vital reading in the Megazine (to the extent that - like Dredd - it's getting so's I can't imagine the Megazine without her as a cornerstone character). Of course, Dan and Phil need a break from time to time, so unless a raft of other artists are drafted in I doubt I'll get my wish.

The first half follows the targeting of a Munce Inc. accountant by hired killers, which leaves the inexperienced Pettifer in the line of fire. The second part expands on the idea that Metta might have a mysterious past by introducing a new Judge figure who calls her out as an imposter. Ultimately, this thread leads Lawson out into the badlands, and a disturbing cliffhanger.

One of the joys of this story are the strong characterizations, from the hard-drinking Lawson to the fractured (ex-Marshall and psi) Hetch (who we never know when to trust), through to every denizen of the town. You can't help but crack a smile as Pettifer snorts at bounty hunter Rondo's flirting while he's teaching her how to shoot. It feels like a real place: they feel like real people.




Judge Dredd: Terror Rising
(megs 365-367)
Script: John Wagner, Art: Colin MacNeil, Colours: Chris Blythe, Letters: Annie Parkhouse


Marking twenty-five years of the Megazine, we get a tale featuring Judge Beeny: still haunted by the death of America Jara at the foot of the Statue of Judgement, and the Judges in their turn still stalked by terrorist group Total War. The tale is a procedural investigation, trying to track the hub of various terror cells that are murdering Judges across the city: including a high-ranking member of the Council of Five.

Wagner, MacNeil: the America saga. It doesn't really get much better than this: the action and the plotting are always just super-taught, and the ongoing story of Judge Beeny seems like a natural part of an amazing arc. I'm not sure who else in comics gets to do this - a twenty-five year arc that itself is part of a much longer one, overlapping with the less personal story of Hershey's rise to Chief Judge.

There have been periods when the Megazine has seemed less vital, but here's another example of where the weekly readers who don't buy both publications are really missing out on important work.



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Frank would know.