Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
 

Author Topic: Meg 375: Crazy Train  (Read 23419 times)

Jacqusie

  • Member
  • Prog Stacking Droid
  • ***
  • Posts: 542
    • View Profile
Re: Meg 375: Crazy Train
« Reply #105 on: 02 September, 2016, 06:38:10 PM »
I've only just had the chance to read Carousel.. and leaving aside the question of whether, and to what extent, Dredd should rejuvenate and the whole roundhead and cavalier business I'm left wondering about something...

Someone has just attempted a highly organised assassination attempt on Dredd:

1) How/where/from whom did they get the information about his whereabouts and condition?



I don't think this sort of plot development matters anymore, it certainly didn't in the latest Dredd saga over the summer by the same writer. Elements of detail, back story and credibility in what we are being told to just accept & go with don't seem to be on the agenda for the future of Dredd.

I know many people are Carrols biggest fans on here, so I expect to be shot down in flames when I say this, but I sense that he wants to take the strip into this 'last action hero' figure and with this rejuve story, it clears the board of any Dredds personality pertainig to his aging body.

I'm not sure how one minute MC1 has just been overrun by Texas Cift in the fastest coup / reclaimation story in town & the next, the Tek and Med Judges have this lined up for old Joe & the rest of his aging clan. The fact that they can replace whole vascular systems in humans now means the medical budget for the Justice department must not be the same one that needed aid for food a few months ago...

Like I said, what does the plot significance & relevance matter any longer? This sort of thing seems to be the future of the character, lurching from one mega-epic to the next with miraculous results every time (with quite a few plot holes brushed under the carpet by Walter the Wobot).

It's just my opinion before I get castrated, last I heard they are still free, unlike growing whole skeletons & bones for full body replacements. I'm not against Dredd going on & on & on, I realise the owners needed to solve this problem to keep the character in play, no matter what his age, but I'm much more fond of the 'In the bath' type stories which I can relate to for one who ages in normal time.

Si

Trent

  • Member
  • Sentient Tea Bot
  • **
  • Posts: 431
    • View Profile
Re: Meg 375: Crazy Train
« Reply #106 on: 02 September, 2016, 07:53:03 PM »
Different strokes I guess. Wagner tales these days are often very much procedural cop stories (which personally I love) and Carroll seems to lean towards more action based stories which by their nature with brisker pacing (Lion's Den excepted) will tend to have plot holes. The feeling seems to be, 'hey, that's comics' which was fine when 2000AD launched for 8 year olds but today's readership is more sophisticated.
I enjoy rereading much earlier Dredd which cracked along but Wagner is much more deliberate now. The only recent exception is Dark Justice but that was intentionally written as an action movie and was penned some time ago with Greg taking a couple of years to paint it.
I like that Carroll was given an epic of his own and it was better than many in the past but the pacing issues, underdeveloped Texas City aspect and plot holes were hard to ignore. A shame as I thought the whole Cursed Earth aspect was excellent, helped by MacNeil and Flint, but the Brit Cit sidebar shoehorned in to give us Dreddless Dredd felt exactly like what it actually was and robbed us of a couple of months of proper storytelling re the Texas coup.
The rejuve story felt more like Ennis Dredd and sadly sidesteps, nay steamrollers, many of the most interesting elements about Dredd that have been cultivated over the past 20 years.
I still have great hope for Carroll as some of his stories have been exemplary but he clearly has a way to go before we consider him a successor for Wagner.
On that very point, the whole notion of a new 'showrunner' for Dredd once Wagner finally walks away may be flawed anyway. I recall the enthusiasm in the past for Rennie and Ewing both of whom then moved on by their own choosing. There is no guarantee anyone other than the original creator would want to be attached long term to Dredd.

TordelBack

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 27641
  • Droning on and on relentlessly since the 70s
    • View Profile
Re: Meg 375: Crazy Train
« Reply #107 on: 02 September, 2016, 10:57:16 PM »
While I've been critical of this month's tale, I would observe that those looking for another John Wagner to take on Dredd will be a long time waiting. We should be grateful that there are such entertaining writers working on the strip currently and recently, but even Dredd's other parents, Mills and Grant, never approached the particular genius of that man writing for his creation.

Fungus

  • Member
  • Evil Cyborg
  • ****
  • Posts: 2401
    • View Profile
Re: Meg 375: Crazy Train
« Reply #108 on: 03 September, 2016, 01:13:38 AM »
No issue with your interesting take on recent events, Jacqusie. I personally enjoyed the re-juve episode, it was logical and overdue (I've read the Hachette Trifecta this week - Dredd looks like a doddery corpse in appearance (though not in action)). The recent split-mag 'epic' felt all over the place to me and I read much of it feeling that I was missing key points, even more than normal...! As a consequence, it did nothing for me.

GermanAndy

  • Member
  • Page Numbering Droid
  • **
  • Posts: 228
    • View Profile
Re: Meg 375: Crazy Train
« Reply #109 on: 07 September, 2016, 09:50:18 AM »
I have to say that Lawless is the only series I absolutly loved in the last year of the Meg. I am deeply tired of the summer of Carroll here and in the prog. For me his work misses the essential fun elements of Dredd's world. It is just one dull and too long political intrigue too many after the other.

Same goes for The Carousel, which just didn't work for me. This was like a low budget flick, a couple of stock-characters killing a couple of incompetent red-shirts in a dark warehouse. The medical-center must have been the only Mega-City facility without robots. It is not that the idea was bad - even if it read in parts as a direct contradiction to From the Ashes a month before, where Dredd was given the okay by the medical chief -, but if you do the rejuvenation-story, why stop in the middle and not do it right, give him a new body? Now an old heart and old glands must work double-time to power new muscles? It doesn't make sense and was half-hearted. Either do it right or don't do it at all. (And shouldn't such an important progression in the character - regardless how well it is executed or not - not be done in the prog?)

Realm of the Damned  is just another concept done to death. Van Helsing? Really? At least it is done competently after a very shakey start. Frankly at first only the violence and the nudity kept me reading. If you have to do the newest variation of the vampire-world tale, at least do it right. In this regard this is okay. But I won't miss it when it is over.

Blunt is nice. It has Boo Cook, so even if it didn't make sense - which it does - you get great art.

Lawless was perfect. Dan Abnett is hit-and-miss with me, but here he hit the jackpot. This is fun in any regard and will be the only new series of the last years I will buy when it - hopfully - gets collected.

But on the whole the Meg is disappointing at the moment.

Spaceghost

  • Member
  • Battle Hardened War Robot
  • ****
  • Posts: 2655
  • A bastard with no manners.
    • View Profile
Re: Meg 375: Crazy Train
« Reply #110 on: 07 September, 2016, 03:58:20 PM »
I must say, whilst being a fan of Carroll, I'm SO sick of almost all Dredd stories being about Judges clashing with other Judges.

I like to see a bit more satire/social commentary centred around cits rather than endless power struggles within Justice Department.
Raised in the wild by sarcastic wolves.

Previously known as L*e B*tes. Sshhh, going undercover...

Fungus

  • Member
  • Evil Cyborg
  • ****
  • Posts: 2401
    • View Profile
Re: Meg 375: Crazy Train
« Reply #111 on: 07 September, 2016, 04:58:35 PM »
I must say, whilst being a fan of Carroll, I'm SO sick of almost all Dredd stories being about Judges clashing with other Judges.

I like to see a bit more satire/social commentary centred around cits rather than endless power struggles within Justice Department.

That's fair, and possibly why recent Brit-Cit/Texas City conflicts haven't done much for me. Too many 'epics', less 'crazy citizen tales' recently. MC is perfectly up to delivering those, so hopefully they'll stage a comeback.

The current PJ tale is a big step in the right direction, though. Black humour worthy of TB Grover himself.

Frank

  • New Arrival
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 8607
  • Bad Boy
    • View Profile
Re: Meg 375: Crazy Train
« Reply #112 on: 07 September, 2016, 06:30:16 PM »
whilst being a fan of Carroll, I'm SO sick of almost all Dredd stories being about Judges clashing with other Judges.

Too many 'epics', less 'crazy citizen tales' recently.

I agree, but Wagner's made the Department the focus of the strip since Edgar and The Pit, twenty years ago. He certainly doesn't seem to have any wacky citizen strips left in the tank, and I'm not sure any of Tharg's droids list an aptitude for comedy on their CVs*.

It's probably safer to avoid chuckles anyway - an action or horror strip can be enjoyed on other levels, but if a comedy strip doesn't tickle your funny bone it's more painful than Richard Branson taking a header off a bike. Look how divisive Undercover Klegg and Big Dave are.

Plus, one-off funnies are more difficult to package as trade collections than multi-part drama.


* Abnett and Williams are hilarious, but one doesn't do Dredd and the other is (let's face it) only ever going to be an occasional visitor to these parts

Spaceghost

  • Member
  • Battle Hardened War Robot
  • ****
  • Posts: 2655
  • A bastard with no manners.
    • View Profile
Re: Meg 375: Crazy Train
« Reply #113 on: 08 September, 2016, 03:30:25 PM »
For me it doesn't necessarily need to be an out and out chuckle fest, 'classic' epics such as The Judge Child Quest, Block War, The Apocalypse War, Necropolis - even more recent Wagner epics like Tour of Duty and Day of Chaos featured the odd wacky citizen aside.

If nothing else, it helps to give these alarmingly regular catastrophes a bit of scope when we see the regular folk reacting in a Mega City stylee.
Raised in the wild by sarcastic wolves.

Previously known as L*e B*tes. Sshhh, going undercover...

Frank

  • New Arrival
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 8607
  • Bad Boy
    • View Profile
Re: Meg 375: Crazy Train
« Reply #114 on: 08 September, 2016, 05:19:19 PM »
For me it doesn't necessarily need to be an out and out chuckle fest ... it helps to give these alarmingly regular catastrophes a bit of scope when we see the regular folk reacting in a Mega City stylee.

That's a very good point, and one I endorse. My only caveat would be that there's a modern orthodoxy concerning consistency of tone that probably mitigates against light relief.

We can point to things from our childhoods that danced nimbly between horror and hilarity [1], but storytellers have been clearly telegraphing what kind of emotions audiences should feel and what genre conventions to expect for at least quarter of a century.

Moore Bonds were basically variety shows, with honking comedy following nasty violence and important dramatic turns. Daniel Craig spent three films crying over a girl Connery would have murdered himself, then made a crap joke about her being out of breath. [2]

I think there's a good case to be made that Tharg should buck such trends, but even the Squaxx seem to have bought it. Remember the stramash that ensued when a light hearted story about boobs and dancing followed the deaths of 400 million people? [3]


[1] Like Fred Astaire wearing a hat made from severed heads

[2] Even Robocop's gone emo.

[3] I'm not having a go, just taking the piss

sheridan

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 6190
    • View Profile
    • Wilde Wood
Re: Meg 375: Crazy Train
« Reply #115 on: 08 September, 2016, 05:33:00 PM »
Or if 1970s/1980s Bond isn't your thing, Shakespeare often contrasted dramatic scenes with comedic one following directly afterwards.

TordelBack

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 27641
  • Droning on and on relentlessly since the 70s
    • View Profile
Re: Meg 375: Crazy Train
« Reply #116 on: 08 September, 2016, 06:05:02 PM »
Exhibit A: Lowlife. By turns a grim tale of corruption, mental illness and oppressive poverty,  and the struggles of sensitive alien crocodiles and their shark-headed corporate masters. Serious and hilarious by turns.

Inconsistent (or rather, diverse) tone is the Dredd strip's greatest strength. In fact,it's the hallmark of so many2000AD strioe. But it's very hard to do right. Surprise exhibit for the prosecution: CalHab Justice.

Jacqusie

  • Member
  • Prog Stacking Droid
  • ***
  • Posts: 542
    • View Profile
Re: Meg 375: Crazy Train
« Reply #117 on: 11 September, 2016, 02:01:18 AM »
I must say, whilst being a fan of Carroll, I'm SO sick of almost all Dredd stories being about Judges clashing with other Judges.

I like to see a bit more satire/social commentary centred around cits rather than endless power struggles within Justice Department.

That's fair, and possibly why recent Brit-Cit/Texas City conflicts haven't done much for me. Too many 'epics', less 'crazy citizen tales' recently..

I was just thinking the same thing, the editorial pacing seems to be a bit gung ho with one big event after another which not much explanation or follow up story. I like the short runs between the epics & the Dredds do seem to be heavy, serious and the cits of MC1 seem to get ignored in all the wham bam story telling.


TordelBack

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 27641
  • Droning on and on relentlessly since the 70s
    • View Profile
Re: Meg 375: Crazy Train
« Reply #118 on: 11 September, 2016, 08:49:49 AM »
What epics are we talking about here? I remember Day of Chaos (2011-12), Trifecta (2012, which was the very welcome dessert course for DoC in many ways), then Enceladus (2015, more of a brief existential threat than a Megaepic) and then Every Empire Falls (2016).  That's the same time span that contained Cursed Earth/DtLD, Judge Child and Apocalypse War, at the very least. I know we've slowed the pace since the early days, but is this not more an artifact if our old-man perception of the passage of time?

TordelBack

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 27641
  • Droning on and on relentlessly since the 70s
    • View Profile
Re: Meg 375: Crazy Train
« Reply #119 on: 11 September, 2016, 08:53:07 AM »
Bah, no edit function: I meant 'events' not 'epics'. But I fully agree about the corrupt/rogue faction/foreign judge thing: enough for now.