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Author Topic: 2000 AD in Stages  (Read 3811 times)

Dandontdare

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #30 on: 24 July, 2019, 11:06:35 pm »
I've only been including strip content for these overviews, but those without the progs might be interested in the wide array of alternative content that graced the early era of 2000 AD and sometimes isn't visible through great resources such as Barney.

Prior to Star Pin-Ups, there was diagrammatic content in the form of various strip-related Futuregraphs:
(like the Harlem Heroes Power Gear in prog 2 and Mega-City 1 map in prog 3).

Progs 8-11 provided a collectible Flesh card game: in which Squaxx were told to cut up their progs to create the game. 

Progs 19-43 hijacked the cover for Supercover Saga: there'd be an image on the cover relating to a short text story inside (often part of the Nerve Centre).

Progs 26-32 have a (cut and mount) collectible poster series called Futurefocus, which imagines things like a Space Hospital and Star Warriors (which are just Stormtroopers).

Supernova (46-51) is a sci-fi (cut out) card game along the lines of Top Trumps.

Progs 54-57 contain a short-lived series of text stories with a single accompanying image, titled Encounter.

Prog 74 sees the first Star Pin-Up (early name for Star Scans), of Artie Gruber, the villain from Inferno.

Progs 75-80 contain a collectible Cursed Earth game.

...aaand this is why I have no intact early progs. I used to cut out every piece of those bastard fiddly board games, and IF I could ever persuade someone to have a game, it would turn out either to be tediously simple or mind-bendingly complicated. I also put up all the star scans (I still have Artie Gruber up!), assembled all the "action" figures, and created scrap books and exercise book decorations with the mangled leftovers. *sigh*

Funt Solo

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #31 on: 25 July, 2019, 07:14:12 am »
Stage #3: Starlord Merger (progs 86-126)

The merger with Starlord pushes back publication of some ongoing thrills, but injects new found strength into the nascent prog with the inclusion of Strontium Dog and Ro-Busters (which soon morphs into The A.B.C. Warriors).  The line-up of the jump-on prog 86 is ridiculously strong (Dredd, Ro-Busters, Flesh & Strontium Dog) and echos down the ages: thirty-six years later prog 1862 features Dredd, The A.B.C. Warriors and Strontium Dog (with the most a Flesh series having just completed its run in the previous issue).

Prog 100 sees the chance to fold back in the missing second part to Robo-Hunter's Verdus storyline and Dan Dare returns for the final segment of his tenure.  Prog 119 provides the next mini jump-on but the wind is picking up: there's a tornado on the way...



Judge Dredd
Seems like Dredd can't catch a break: after getting out of that dead end Luna posting he had to crawl across the Cursed Earth to save a city he only ends up nuking later anyway.  Finally he gets back to the city for some R&R but before he can sentence a juve to six months in a cube for wall scrawling he's been framed for murder and the maniac Judge Cal (who bears more than a passing resemblence to one P. Mills) has sentenced the city to death (starting with Aaron A. Aardvark, naturally) in The Day the Law Died. It's after these back-to-back epics that Mega-City One (perhaps a character as important to the longevity of the strip as Dredd) gets a chance to show us what makes it tick, and we move into a sequence of shorter stories.

Ro-Busters
Thunderbirds, but with robots!  The best bit is The Terra-Meks in progs 98-101.
Mills soon morphs this into The A.B.C. Warriors...

Flesh, Book II
Like Flesh, but fishy.
Returns with The Legend of Shamana starting in prog 800 (13 years from here).

Strontium Dog
Clearly iconic thrill that's vital to 2000 AD: arguably these earliest entries in the prog (The Galaxy Killers and Journey into Hell) aren't as strong as the subsequent set.
Returns in the vital prog 178...

Angel
A sort of British Bionic Man ... wait!  Didn't we already do this in M.A.C.H. 1?
It's over and done with.

Robo-Hunter, Verdus [part 2]
Sam Slade concludes his time on the crazy planet of Verdus.  If you haven't already, this is worth catching just for the sheer volume of droids that Ian Gibson is capable of conjuring into existence.
Sam's back on Earth in prog 152.

Dan Dare, Servant of Evil
I should confess that I'm not really sure what happens in this one: anyone else got a summary?
This is really it for Dare in the prog, although a version of him turns up in Revolver in 1990, and there's a Dan Dare 3000 AD in the prog 1034 supplement (but I don't own a copy).

Rick Random: The Riddle Of The Astral Assassin
Fifties thrill in a seventies punk comic sounds a bit too random: anyone else remember this?
It's over and done with.

Disaster 1990
Rather than fend off an invading army, this prequel to Invasion sees Bill Savage deal with a high water table. This may all have been a fever dream of Bills, though, as the global flood seems not to have happened at all nine years later.
Continues in the next stage...

The A.B.C. Warriors
Hired to clean-up Mars: seven robotic warriors spread the word.
Continues in the next stage...

Project Overkill
Some kind of uncovering of an AI world takeover plot: anyone else got a better summary?
It's over and done with.

---

References:
 - The 2000 AD ABC
 - Albion British Comics Database Wiki
 - Barney
 - Touched by the Hand of Tharg
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IndigoPrime

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #32 on: 25 July, 2019, 10:15:38 am »
url=https://youtu.be/n9__bcLRzss]Dan Dare, Servant of Evil[/url]
I should confess that I'm not really sure what happens in this one: anyone else got a summary?
I don’t remember much about the strip itself. I do remember it ends up a bloody great cliffhanger.

DrJomster

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #33 on: 25 July, 2019, 10:57:49 am »
Lovely thread this!

*wallows happily in nostalgia*
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TordelBack

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #34 on: 25 July, 2019, 02:04:52 pm »
Wow, I'd no sense that ABC Warriors was only separated from Ro-busters by a fortnight.  In my head they're virtually different eras of the comic.  Which may be why I'm tempted to draw an eopchal line at 119 rather than 126...

Steve Green

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #35 on: 25 July, 2019, 03:16:38 pm »
The last Dare story? Something along these lines...

Dan Dare returns to Earth with Sondar - he is put under arrest following a claim that he nicked the crystal of life/cosmic claw(?), the claim apparently backed up by the princess from the previous story.

Smelling a rat (or rather a shapeshifter), Dare and Sondar bust out, taking the claw with them and head up to orbiting Mos Eisley, Topsoil - where the lost world expedition started.

They find the shapeshifter in a bar, a fight starts and they escape - the Krulgan is then attacked and killed by the pet pterodactyl of a woman that the Krulgan had already crossed.

With the Krulgan dead, Dare must find another way to clear his name and they fuck off into space, never to be concluded.

Leigh S

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #36 on: 25 July, 2019, 04:06:48 pm »
It was to have been revealed that the Sondar in the strip is the original Sondar from the 50s Dan Dare, who has time travelled to stop Dan having the accident that makes him go all punk rocka in the first place - someone somewhere on the net has started to create that final storyline, where 2000AD Dan would be written out of history?

Funt Solo

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #37 on: 25 July, 2019, 05:31:03 pm »
The Starlord merger was foreshadowed editorially by Mek-Quake and Ro-Jaws showing up in the Nerve Centre (as early as prog 78) and serving as foils to Tharg.  Ro-Jaws can often be heard decrying Tharg as a "daft nerk". Somehow Mek-Quake is also in Walter the Wobot's strip in progs 84 & 85.

As part of the merger we get a new editorial regularity in the shape of Ro-Jaws and Hammerstein's Laugh-In, running from progs 86-103, then petering out with a final hurrah in progs 116-118.

Prog 99 sees a film report on Superman.

Holiday to Mars is a diagrammatic poster series (progs 96-102) with some space-faring kit that would get Elon Musk drooling.  (Apologies to those for whom mention of Musk results in hives.)

Progs 119-122 sees the collectible Book of Robots to tie in with the launch of The A.B.C. Warriors.
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Colin YNWA

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #38 on: 25 July, 2019, 09:17:48 pm »
The Starlord merger was foreshadowed editorially by Mek-Quake and Ro-Jaws showing up in the Nerve Centre (as early as prog 78) and serving as foils to Tharg.  Ro-Jaws can often be heard decrying Tharg as a "daft nerk". Somehow Mek-Quake is also in Walter the Wobot's strip in progs 84 & 85.


Loved the way Ro-Jaws and Hammerstein (amd Mek-Quake) were added to the editorial staff. It all sublimented the idea that there was this 'cool' club thing going on and Ro-Jaws kinda represented us scruffy kids.

Funt Solo

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #39 on: 25 July, 2019, 09:32:52 pm »
It's been fun throwing data at this thread but I'm off on holidays for a few weeks and won't have access to my Spreadsheets of Ultimate Geekery (+2, +5 vs. Zragians).  Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible. 
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sheridan

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #40 on: 26 July, 2019, 11:49:02 am »
Ant Wars
Them!: giant ants meet humans with predictable results.
One run and done, but ... don't get too comfy.


Interesting that you call Greysuit a reboot of MACH One but consider Ant Wars a one-and-done, when it very clearly has a sequel?  Zancudo, bringing it into the Judge Dredd universe

DrJomster

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #41 on: 26 July, 2019, 03:02:41 pm »
Have a great break!

Btw - do you know what would be lovely? Adding the names to multi part stories for some of the other major ones, like you have for Dredd. Not as lovely as going on holiday however!
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AlexF

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #42 on: 26 July, 2019, 03:22:38 pm »
I'm in love with this thread and all who sail in her.

Funt Solo

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #43 on: 27 July, 2019, 05:20:54 am »
Ant Wars
Them!: giant ants meet humans with predictable results.
One run and done, but ... don't get too comfy.


Interesting that you call Greysuit a reboot of MACH One but consider Ant Wars a one-and-done, when it very clearly has a sequel?  Zancudo, bringing it into the Judge Dredd universe

My “don’t get too comfy” was referencing exactly what you kindly put in spoiler tags (as the connection was something of an Easter egg). It might be a similar issue in chatting openly about Trifecta, although this thread is in the spoiler section of the msg board, so..?
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Funt Solo

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #44 on: 15 August, 2019, 01:39:58 pm »
Stage #2.5: Starlord

Starlord (or is it Star Lord?) ran (for 22 issues) concurrently with 2000 AD progs 64-85 before being merged with the longer-running title.  Good luck searching online for info because you'll just get a bunch of Guardians of the Galaxy hits.  This Starlord is the editor of the comic: a sort of Dan Dare in a cape dude who's a bit cheesy next to Tharg's nacho-like goodness.

Reading the plot outlines it starts to become fairly clear why it was Ro-Busters and Strontium Dog that made the leap.




Planet of the Damned
The Bermuda Triangle meets Death Planet (which started a fortnight before this in 2000 AD): a passenger jet gets Triangle-warped to an inhospitable planet [see title] and has to cope with other survivors from through time.

Timequake
Time cops stop timequakes (i.e. fuck ups in the past shitting up the future).
Oddly pops up in 2000 AD way after the merger for just four episodes (in progs 148-151 in early 1980).

Strontium Dog
This initial run introduces Johnny Alpha and Wulf Sternhammer as interstellar bounty hunters and establishes key story devices and motifs such as the time bomb, ranged blasters, the Gronk and the Smiling Chukwalla.  A few things that don't seem to stick so well: time drogues, mini-nukes, Alpha's possum ability and Marci (his niece).

Key to the politics of the strip are that Strontium Dogs are disliked by standard cops and that mutants (such as Alpha with his ability to force-read minds and see through walls) are hated by many non-mutants.
Continues with the 2000 AD merger of prog 86.

Ro-Busters
Thunderbirds, but with robots and industrial relations.  Odd couple Ro-Jaws and Hammerstein form the focal point of a work force overseen by their irascible owner Howard Quartz - who thinks nothing of having recalcitrant workers dismantled by Mek-Quake (his demented enforcer).
Continues with the 2000 AD merger of prog 86.

Mind Wars
A simple story of psychic fraternal twins and high stakes interstellar war.

Holocaust
Clint Eastwood (here playing Carl Hunter of the FBI) attempts to foil a plot hatched by telepathic alien rats.  It's Dirty Harry meets Close Encounters (meets The Pied Piper of Hamelin).

---

References:
 - Albion British Comics Database Wiki
 - Barney
 - Touched by the Hand of Tharg
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