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Author Topic: 2000 AD in Stages  (Read 7443 times)

Funt Solo

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2000 AD in Stages
« on: 23 July, 2019, 10:57:01 pm »
Stage #1: Launch (progs 1-35)



Invasion
Cockney rebel Bill Savage defends Britain from invading Russian Volgans.
Continues in the next stage...

Flesh [Book I]
Cowboys from the future harvest dinosaurs from the past: what could possibly go wrong?
A second series turns up in prog 86...

Dan Dare
It's like Star Trek, except they kill all the aliens.
Continues in the next stage...

M.A.C.H.1
The Bionic Man crossed with 007.
Continues in the next stage...

Harlem Heroes
Basketball meets Rollerball (minus motorbikes, plus jetpacks).
Returns in the next stage as the sequel series Inferno...

Judge Dredd
Dirty Harry filtered through Death Race 2000.
Continues in all subsequent stages...

Shako
If Jaws were a polar bear...
This is the only series of Shako.

Tharg and the Intruder
Alien editor deals with various assaults on thrill power.
Returns in prog 129...

Tharg's Future Shocks
Usually one-off tales with a twist.
More in the next stage...

---

Links are to the The 2000 AD ABC
fate amenable to change

sheridan

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #1 on: 24 July, 2019, 12:27:57 am »
How have you decided when the stages are?  I always think of the first 19 progs as the first stage (i.e. the end of one of the original line-up: Flesh) though I guess Dan Dare ending and being replaced by Future-Shocks (by way of prologue Intruder) could act as an alternate stage.

Funt Solo

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #2 on: 24 July, 2019, 12:47:17 am »
The first thing I thought of was how to see a snapshot of the make-up of 2000 AD in a particular era (inspired by the thread about "when did 2000 AD get good again"), and my first thought was to look at a year.

But then years don't always end neatly (certainly not in the earlier years), and so then I started to look at jump-on points, figuring that a perfect jump-on prog would suit the graphic view of the stage. 

Even here, things aren't necessarily neat, though.  Pure 100% jump-on progs are sparse in the early years: it goes something like 1 - 86 - 335.  You can imagine the tabular way of representing the data gets too deep if you allow the stage to go for too long.

So, prog #36 is a sort of pseudo-jump-on, if you follow Barney's method of splitting up stories like Invasion, Dan Dare and M.A.C.H. 1 into segments.  The line up in #36 is:
  • Inferno (1)
  • Invasion [Jump Jet]
  • Tharg's Future Shocks [Play Pool]
  • Dan Dare [Star Slayer: 1]
  • M.A.C.H. 1 [M.A.C.H. Woman: 1]
  • Judge Dredd [The Troggies: 1]

My second stage ends at prog 85, ready for the Starlord merger in prog 86. I figure there's a ton of different ways this could be approached, all with pros and cons.

I like that in this first stage we don't just get the original line-up, but also a thrill that never returns (Shako, filling the gap left by the first book of Flesh), the first Tharg story and the start of the Future Shocks (a key launch pad for new talent, even if sometimes they leave the reader cold).  Of the starting line-up, it's really only Dan Dare that doesn't echo down the ages (although his being here was an echo from an earlier time).
fate amenable to change

Colin YNWA

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #3 on: 24 July, 2019, 06:25:59 am »
Oh this is going to get very interesting and massive well done for doing it. The phases of 2000ad is something I've thought about in very broad strokes so really interested to see how you do this. The amount if detail you seem to be adding is also going to be really cool by the look.

So is Shako the marker here?

sintec

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #4 on: 24 July, 2019, 11:57:21 am »
Oh this is going to get very interesting and massive well done for doing it.

Seconded - as a relative newcomer I find this kind of historical analysis really interesting.

Dark Jimbo

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #5 on: 24 July, 2019, 12:33:23 pm »
Oh my God, I love this. With every new thread, Funt, you remind me just why I lamented your long, long absence from the board.

Tiplodocus

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #6 on: 24 July, 2019, 12:39:04 pm »
I'll be watching with interest.

Will Dredd have his own Phase categorisation?
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sheridan

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #7 on: 24 July, 2019, 12:47:39 pm »
I'll be watching with interest.

Will Dredd have his own Phase categorisation?

Dredd's a strange one - loads of one-offs (even the first 'epic' was less than 10 episodes long) followed by Luna-1, which is also a series of short stories.  Then it's The Cursed Earth immediately followed by The Day the Law Died - the phase after that would go up to the Apocalypse War.  Post-Apoc it'd be less easy to split into phases, though mega-epics are a good base.

Frank

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #8 on: 24 July, 2019, 01:25:36 pm »
The Cursed Earth immediately followed by The Day the Law Died - the phase after that would go up to the Apocalypse War.

You've made The Judge Child cry, mate.  For 25 weeks.

And The Mega-Rackets, for that matter, although Punks Rule (110) and Cityblock (117-118) represent more significant marker points, representing the closing-out of an era that lasted for most of the first 100 issues.

Punks Rule, more than The Day The Law Died, feels like Wagner marking his territory and making it clear that even former shed-mates weren't going to be taking a turn with his toy anytime in the next decade.

And it's essentially a rewrite of Harris's first published Dredd strip, replacing the angst and heroism with the dickish obduracy that would become the character's single note until A Question Of Judgement (387) and A Letter To Judge Dredd (661).

Cityblock is even more important, introducing as it does the concept of near-total unemployment and shifting the focus of the strip from Judge Dredd encountering wacky crimes to citizens whose lives in Megacity eventually lead them to cross paths with Judge Dredd, sometimes only in the last panel of the strip.

But since Funt's focus is on 2000ad as a whole, I just typed all that guff for no reason.



Tiplodocus

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #9 on: 24 July, 2019, 01:35:43 pm »
I was thinking more of the evolution from action movie heroics to police procedural.
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TordelBack

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #10 on: 24 July, 2019, 01:45:58 pm »
Damn, this is a cool project. I've always mentally bundled Shako into 'initial 2000AD stories' category, seeing it as essentially a duller continuation of Flesh's themes: very interesting to see how that plays into a more thoughtful chonological grouping, didn't twig that Future Shocks were a parallel development, I would have unconsciously placed them into a second phase. Watching with excitement!

Dandontdare

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #11 on: 24 July, 2019, 02:10:53 pm »
I often think of the prog in phases, but in a much more vague and less-rigorously researched way, basically:

1977 - 1980 - Finding its feet
1980 - 1987 - First Golden Age
1987 - 1995 - Gradual decline
1995 - 1999 - WTF are they doing???
2000 - present - Return to form - Second Golden Age *


*as an old fart, anything beyond 2000, whether it's music TV or progs is filed under "New and current " in my brain, even though it's almost 20 years worth, so this last category could probably be subdivided further.

sheridan

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #12 on: 24 July, 2019, 02:15:25 pm »
The Cursed Earth immediately followed by The Day the Law Died - the phase after that would go up to the Apocalypse War.

You've made The Judge Child cry, mate.  For 25 weeks.


Funnily enough I did think of City of the Damned, but forgot about Owen's earlier appearance!


sheridan

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #13 on: 24 July, 2019, 02:20:20 pm »
I often think of the prog in phases, but in a much more vague and less-rigorously researched way, basically:

1977 - 1980 - Finding its feet
1980 - 1987 - First Golden Age

I'm currently on prog 76 / Starlord 13 (prog slog gets published a few days after I read them) and finding that the presence of The Cursed Earth and Robo-Hunter are making a big difference to the finding-it's-feet / whatever-I'd-call-the-next-stage.

Pyroxian

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #14 on: 24 July, 2019, 02:26:44 pm »
1995 - 1999 - WTF are they doing???

1995-1999 is the embarrasing teenage years that we'd all rather forget...