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Author Topic: ACTION Special review  (Read 1087 times)

dweezil2

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Re: ACTION Special review
« Reply #15 on: 21 March, 2020, 03:49:43 PM »
Mine turned up today too, as part of the specials bundle, looking forward to diving in!!!  :thumbsup:

Tomwe

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Re: ACTION Special review
« Reply #16 on: 23 March, 2020, 09:59:23 AM »
LOVED IT! An antidote to the Regened special. Do rebellion ever age-grade their books on the cover? The repro of the banned issue was lovely to have as well.

Bolt-01

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Re: ACTION Special review
« Reply #17 on: 23 March, 2020, 11:05:09 AM »
As much as I really enjoyed it I thought the lettering throughout was weak - especially on Dredger.

Bad City Blue

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Re: ACTION Special review
« Reply #18 on: 23 March, 2020, 11:26:54 AM »
As much as I really enjoyed it I thought the lettering throughout was weak - especially on Dredger.

Dredger lettering is awful

IndigoPrime

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Re: ACTION Special review
« Reply #19 on: 23 March, 2020, 01:45:06 PM »
Mm. Not sure what was going on there. As for the special itself, I guess they’re all a crapshoot, but this one didn’t really click with me at all. It felt oddly slight. I did like the battle of the two ‘giants’ though.

AlexF

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Re: ACTION Special review
« Reply #20 on: 23 March, 2020, 01:57:17 PM »
I'm genuinely surprised by the tenor of this thread - I bloody loved the Action 2020 Special!
I'm not an old school Action reader, and until reading the free bagged original comic (pre-washed for perfect shrinkage), I didn't really know what it was like. But that 1976 slice of mentalness was AMAZING! Sure, the storytelling was simplistic compared to 2000AD but that's what you get with just 3 pages. The violence levels satisfied a need in me and if anything reminded me what was so fun about reading 2000AD for the first time.

In that vein, the 2020 Special didn't disappoint either! Kids Rule OK, with it's 'plague killing off adults' couldn't be more timely. That strip and Hell Machine in particular both gave off that vibe of something bigger going on in those worlds that isn't remotely explained but left me itching to know more. Maybe if I'd read the strip in the 70s I'd want it to feel more 'British' but frankly if kids today took over the world at least 50% of their cultural references would come from the US and beyond - isn't it kind of the point of angry teens that they latch onto things that make us grumpy grown-ups say 'weren't like that in my day, we'd of had people rebuilding Nelson's Column'? If my 10-year old son had the run of London he'd turn it into a living Fortnite/Minecraft hellscape soon as.

Shako vs Hookjaw was cute; Dredger I guess my least favourite in both comics but I'm not into spy thrillers typically. And this one at least had an epic headshot panel!

Please can you get more of this sort of vibe in the Regened progs? I genuinely hesitated to leave it lying around for my children to read, and that's a sign that it's doing it right!
If there's more Action, can we get some Death Game going in it - talking of things that make no sense but charm their way from panel to panel?

Seriously, this was a triumph, by far my favourite 'Treasury' special.

Professor Bear

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Re: ACTION Special review
« Reply #21 on: 23 March, 2020, 03:06:41 PM »
KIDS RULE OK -I suspect this was an inventory or short story the writer had in a drawer somewhere that they padded out with a 4-page action scene and submitted to Action Ed, but in its favor, it does actually have an ending, which sounds like an incredibly low bar to clear, but it's sadly one which other stories in the special don't quite manage.  I'm not quite as down on the ending as some though I understand the criticism that it seems "very American", but I will play devil's advocate and point out that the British don't value Liberty and never have, so there isn't an equivalent icon in British culture to go with for the money shot - so why not just use something universal?  Let's face it, UK culture is just appropriated from America anyway.
HELLMAN - what should have been cheeky fun - the Krauts are the protagonists! - slips into Both Sides polemic at the end, but then it's probably a conscious decision to channel Pat Mills or something.  A good read, all the same, and makes good use of its limited space to tell a story that feels like it has a bit of weight to it.  I'm not familiar with the original strip, so can't comment if the "traitor general" trope is something native to it or something Ennis chucked in, but surely this has to be a no-brainer for a follow-up OGN or US-format one-shot given the creative pedigree?
Oh, and Mike Dorey doing art - YAAAY!
HELL MACHINE - some good ideas - particularly liked the UK government reinvented as a decentralised terrorist organisation - but it just sort of cuts off and I felt cheated, like I was reading a pilot episode of something rather than a self-contained story.  A good riff on CUBE, all the same, with a dash of the old Hunger Games thrown in.  It's hard to go wrong when you let Henry Flint draw what he wants to.
HOOK JAW - normally I'd be all over a psycho wildlife story, but while it's still one of the better strips and the art is lush, the ending suffers from Pilot Episode Syndrome.
DREDGER - I can't actually remember much about Dredger beyond that it was quite bombastic and that Al Ewing did a piss-take in a small press comic that basically just recreated some of the strip's high points and it worked just fine as a parody.  This is pretty much just landfill - neither good nor bad, with no standout scenes or one-liners, just... mechanically sound.  I guess if you squint, you can read something into a British secret agent going to a non-white country and killing a native with an altruistic agenda, but like I say, you'd have to put some work in on your end and the strip doesn't really require that kind of commitment.

Overall, a bit of a disappointment.  I'm kind of jealous of comicsgate losers because at least they'll look at this and feel an actual emotion - even if it is just fury that someone is wearing a turban in one of the strips - but reading it just felt like going through the motions for me.
I felt it could have been a bit more headline-baity like the original, like if one of the strips was about a heroic terrorist fighting the British or something, or if before they shipped the issues they paid someone to tipp-ex out all references to "a virus" in the KIDS RULE OK strip and write "Covid-19" in biro and then Action Ed gave an interview to the Daily Mail where he said he did this to frighten children into thinking their parents were going to die.  Or how about one of those hobby pages you used to see in UK comics about sports stars or whatever, but instead it was about notable football hooligans, or a step-by-step guide to making a Molotov Cocktail?  As it is, this just felt a bit too safe and unadventurous.  I mean, I laughed at the cover of the repro issue that came free with this - it has "COMMIT SUICIDE!" right on the bloody cover, and the first thing you read inside is the editor telling you a pointless anecdote about how he went to a comic con and got plastered - I wished the special had even a fraction of that carefree energy.

IndigoPrime

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Re: ACTION Special review
« Reply #22 on: 23 March, 2020, 03:39:33 PM »
"I genuinely hesitated to leave it lying around for my children to read, and that's a sign that it's doing it right!”

Because of the red? I found plenty of things in other specials trickier from a young kids standpoint, due to their psychological elements.

SmallBlueThing(Reborn)

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Re: ACTION Special review
« Reply #23 on: 23 March, 2020, 05:07:24 PM »
I must admit that I was underwhelmed by the spesh too. Largely because it didnt feel at all like the old Action in the least- and I was all ready to come here and moan about it all. But do you know what? I really liked Hellman. I'd read more of that. Hell Machine was okay- a bit long- and would have worked in the prog as a short series or a Threeler, and HookJaw (despite my *absoluting hating* "silent" comics) was worth it for the pretty art and final page. If they were to add some speech balloons and have that as the first part of an epic in weekly form, it may well become my favourite thing ever*. But I loath silent comics.

So, on reflection, not bad. I'm afraid Dredger and KROK did nothing for me.

The amusingly tiny Action reprint was a lot of fun- I'd much prefer if the Meg Floppy were on that paper stock and maybe wouldnt even balk at that size.

Would I welcome another go round at this next year? Absolutely. Just needs more oomph, more edge and more attitude. And more words in the HookJaw.

SBT

*Seriously, can we do that? Reprint it with words and make it the first part of a series?

AlexF

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Re: ACTION Special review
« Reply #24 on: 24 March, 2020, 12:05:16 PM »
"I genuinely hesitated to leave it lying around for my children to read, and that's a sign that it's doing it right!”

Because of the red? I found plenty of things in other specials trickier from a young kids standpoint, due to their psychological elements.

Partly the red - My 10-year old daughter has now refused to watch all Spielberg movies after finding both Jaws and Ready Player One a bit too horror. But also Kids Rule and Hell Machine both have that proper subversive (in the original sense) of not trusting adults or people in authority generally, which is both scary for children and scary for adults if you imagine children embracing that message.

matty_ae

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Re: ACTION Special review
« Reply #25 on: 24 March, 2020, 02:28:44 PM »
HELL MACHINE stopped so suddenly I looked to see if it continued elsewhere in the special.
Really weird and abrupt ending - I really liked this one.

Richard

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Re: ACTION Special review
« Reply #26 on: 24 March, 2020, 06:18:30 PM »
Hell Machine is a mental story! I'd like to see this continued in the prog.

broodblik

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Re: ACTION Special review
« Reply #27 on: 25 March, 2020, 02:40:06 AM »
The Digital Version includes the Bagged Banned Version

Richard

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Re: ACTION Special review
« Reply #28 on: 25 March, 2020, 06:32:50 PM »
I've now read the whole issue, and none of the stories disappointed. Hookjaw was was just right. Hellmann has the perfect choice of creators: the original series artist, and Garth Ennis, who knows how to tell a war story. I didn't have any problem with the Dredger story (except the lettering!). Hell Machine, as I've said, is brilliant and possibly my favourite, but maybe jointly with Hellman. Kids Rule OK was my least favourite because there wasn't really a story, but it was okay, and the artist is excellent (Henrik Sahlström). In fact, all of the artists did a great job. Jake Lynch did a fantastic impression of Henry Flint, and I wouldn't have known if they hadn't told us. Mike Dorey should do the next Rogue Trooper story. I'd like to see more from Dan Lish too. And I liked the last panel on page five of Dredger.

Hope to see another of these next year.

The banned issue bagged with the online purchase is a nice touch, a piece of comics history. Saving it for the weekend.

broodblik

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Re: ACTION Special review
« Reply #29 on: 27 March, 2020, 02:26:43 PM »
A very enjoyable special. Two great stories, one good and two not bad at all.  The one thing that is the standout in this special is the great art of all the stories. 

Both Kids Rule Ok and Dredger my least favourite stories. Dredger’s story felt a little bit flat and was let down as already mentioned by the lettering (at least we had Staz on art duty here to save the day).

Hook Jaw was a good showcase of how to do a story without any words. The art the drives the story and action with the last page of the story a great what if? finale.

Now we come to the highlights of the special, Hellman and Hell Machine. It is great to see Ennis back in action and doing what he has been doing for the last few years, writing great war stories. I was never a fan of Mike Dorey’s work but what a surprise I got. The B/W art just works brilliantly with the theme.  Next, we have Flint’s work and hopefully we will see some more of this in the prog or other specials (what about the meg?). Hell Machine is one zany, whacked over the top, what the hell is going-on, brutal action fest of a story. The world building is in overload mode here.

Overall, I can say the special was a winner. More please, next year!