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Author Topic: 2000 AD in Stages  (Read 40418 times)

Funt Solo

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #435 on: 27 September, 2020, 10:49:13 PM »
I could buy into that argument if I didn't enjoy the experiment so much. Like - you buy a sub and suddenly four issues are replaced by The Beano - that might be cause for upset.

I suppose there's just no mileage in the idea of launching a spin-off title because of the cost involved? (I've always just assumed that's a non-starter, and what Tharg would prefer to do if it were possible.)
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Jim_Campbell

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #436 on: 27 September, 2020, 11:12:37 PM »
I suppose there's just no mileage in the idea of launching a spin-off title because of the cost involved? (I've always just assumed that's a non-starter, and what Tharg would prefer to do if it were possible.)

You could chuck a million quid at a new title launch to do it properly, plus maybe another half million in running costs between launch and actually finding out if the launch was successful, due to the horrific cash flow of high street distribution. That would have been a hell of a gamble in pre-Covid times. Now, it would just be insanity… sadly.

I’m sure Rebellion would love to bolster the business with a stable of ongoing titles, but I don’t think the economics of it make any kind of sense.
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AlexF

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #437 on: 28 September, 2020, 10:46:11 AM »
I've never read any Dredd:LotF so am loathe to specualte too much - but I wonder if it was a really useful place for Rennie and Morrison to get out their inner Dredd fanboys, re-hashing old Wagner/Grant ideas. Garth Ennis had to do his cover-version work in the main Prog, and still gets a lot of flak for it (at least, he does on the Drokk! podcast). Whereas Rennie especially bt Morrison too already had their own Dredd voice going pretty early on in their days of writing Dredd for Meg and Prog.
(I suspect I've got some timings wrong, and Rennie had already written a bunch of Dredds before workin on LotF...)
Just a theory.

JayzusB.Christ

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #438 on: 28 September, 2020, 02:34:07 PM »
Would I be right in saying that Gordon's first crack at Dredd was True Grit, the Missionary Man crossover in one of the yearbooks?  Probably not.

I do remember quite a few early Morrison Dredds in the Megazine of the early 90s, though I couldn't say for sure whether they came before or after LotF.
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Funt Solo

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #439 on: 28 September, 2020, 03:08:39 PM »
A quick look at the Barney-Oracle says that Rennie did a DC Dredd published in late '95 / early '96.  There was that "truegrit" (sic) crossover in the 1995 Yearbook (so published in Autumn '94).

LotF was published in 1995-1996, then there's a Rennie-Dredd in the prog in May 2000:



However, he has some Meg-Dredds starting in 1994.

---

Robbie Morrison's first prog-Dredd seems to be prog 1226 in 2001, but he has a first Meg-Dredd from 1993:



---

Conclusion: they'd both already proved themselves capable of doing Dredd before being passed the Chalice de Stallone.
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GordonR

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #440 on: 28 September, 2020, 03:57:08 PM »
Quote
Conclusion: they'd both already proved themselves capable of doing Dredd before being passed the Chalice de Stallo

Yeah, I don’t think that follows at all.

My first Dredds from that 90s period were all terrible, and I have every confidence Robbie’s probably were too.

Funt Solo

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #441 on: 28 September, 2020, 05:30:01 PM »
Conclusion: they'd both already proved themselves capable of doing Dredd before being passed the Chalice de Stallone. Your theory seems sound, AlexF.
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Funt Solo

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #442 on: 03 October, 2020, 03:13:55 PM »
Oh man - my 2K stages site got taken down by Webnode without any notification or explanation - now I'm left not knowing why.

It helpfully says that I should contact their "abuse" email, but I've no idea what wrong the site committed. Like, was it because I dropped the F-bomb? Or did Rebellion make a copyright complaint cos of the cover thumbnails? Or...?

Anyway - bums. I didn't think I was stepping on anyone's toes there.
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Jim_Campbell

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #443 on: 03 October, 2020, 03:20:19 PM »
Or did Rebellion make a copyright complaint cos of the cover thumbnails? Or...?

I have the impression that Rebellion are pretty chilled out about fan-sites and even if they did think you were crossing a line with use of copyright material, I suspect you'd have got an email asking you to do something about it before they went to the lengths of getting your site yanked.

No inside info, here, just the impression I've got from involvement in fan projects over years gone by…
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Funt Solo

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #444 on: 03 October, 2020, 04:18:15 PM »
Yeah - I expect it's something weird like Webnode are super-touchy about swear words or something. It's odd that I didn't just get an email but I don't know how these corporate systems work things. Guess I'll just have to be patient and wait till they get back to me about it. I wonder if my linking out to imgur is bugging them?

---

Slightly on topic, Twitter have warned people that wishing death upon The Trumpet is a no-no, and a bunch of people have railed in and said "That's funny - when I complained about death threats made against me you said it wasn't against your terms & conditions".
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Funt Solo

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #445 on: 05 October, 2020, 02:56:30 PM »
Ah - puzzle (sort of) solved. The site is back up and I got a message explaining that an unruly A.I. was to blame.

(I've asked for detail so I can avoid triggering the A.I.'s mechanisms in the future, and suggested they could change their email support line from "abuse" to something more neutral.)

Feckin' Skynet.
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Funt Solo

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Funt Solo

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #447 on: 11 October, 2020, 03:40:23 AM »
The webnode service was starting to prove problematic for a few reasons* so I've switched the 2Kstages site over to github pages, at this link:

2000 AD in Stages [Currently this covers things up to 1995.]

The new site has allowed me a bit more freedom to practice my rusty CSS skillz and have a bit of fun with drop-shadows. I think the layout is better, and the comic stacks on the front page were interesting to build and turn into polygonal links.

* 1. Limited scope for layout alterations. 2. Clumsy access to CSS. 3. Even they didn't know why their AI shut down the site for three days but think it might have something to do with linking to an http page (as opposed to an https). 4. When they put the site back up it was missing key parts of pages.
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Funt Solo

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #448 on: 14 October, 2020, 03:30:47 AM »


Stage 35 - Double Whammy!
Progs 950-963: 1995

The much-maligned Stallone-starring Judge Dredd movie of 1995 was obviously something 2000 AD wouldn't want to ignore (except, perhaps, in hindsight), and so Tharg went all out in celebration and rebranded all the titles with similar banner logos (and renumbered everything but the prog as relaunch issue ones):



Stallone grunted his way onto the cover of prog 950, but inside Dredd remained with the original design, and the movie-version was instead launched into spin-off comic Judge Dredd: Lawman of the Future, along with the transforming lawmaster (with new, improved hover mode) and an enormous silver codpiece strapped onto the uniform.

While Satan landed in the Megazine to bother Mega-City One, the prog became engorged on movie hype and grew to forty-four pages, with the extra room given over to a second Judge Dredd slot. Double-barreled Dredd must have seemed like a great idea, riding high on the back of a Hollywood blockbuster.



Judge Dredd
The Pat Mills scripted Flashback 2099: The Return Of Rico is a stylish, full colour, eighteen-page remake of the six-page original from prog 30, with the same incongruous ending riffing on The Hollies' "He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother" lyric. There may have been as assumption that the Titan penal colony was only for Judges, but this story has it that merely a portion of the inmates are Judges, and that they get treated particularly poorly. The body horror involved in operating on the prisoners to acclimatize them to working in a vacuum is here brought back to the originally horrific version, rather than the dialed down (but simpler to draw) "metal nose" that was used during the Purgatory / Inferno debacle.

In a sequence of one-offs from John Wagner, there's a sense that Dredd is being reintroduced for anyone who might be swinging into the comic on the Hollywood vine. In a bizarre demonstration of unwarranted machismo, Chief Judge Hadrian Volt challenges Dredd to a bout of no-holds barred day-stickery in order to negotiate a piece of departmental policy (in The Decision). The retconned Awakening of Angels is thrown out to resurrect Pa and Junior Angel so they can be used in the Megazine's The Three Amigos.

I'm fairly sure that Bad Frendz introduces the criminal organization of the Frendz, and has Vitus Dance use weird scorpion magic to assassinate otherwise untouchable witnesses. This is not the last we'll hear of the Frendz, or crime lord Nero Narcos. Alongside this introduction we also get The Cal Files, where Judge Jura Edgar (head of PSU) manipulates Dredd into uncovering what seem to be shocking revelations from the past. This story also serves to introduce an upcoming epic by having Dredd appointed as Chief of Sector 301: The Pit.

It's off to the Northwest Hab Zone in the next stage...


Rogue Trooper [Fr1day]: Angels
Following the new rule that you're not allowed to do a Rogue story unless you reboot or retcon part of it, now Nu Earth has no poisonous chem clouds - or, wait - which Nu Earth is this, anyway? Maybe this is the one without chem. But it does have Norts. Oh dear Grud...

Anyway - Fr1day makes friends with a jet pilot and they both squeeze into the same seat, but then crash-land in the desert, which involves one of the wings being ripped of the jet. A man in a jeep rescues them and they go and fetch a bunch of fuel and a handyman, with which they refuel the jet and glue back on its wing (true!) before taking out a Nort bogie.

More wt-actual-f action next stage...


Slaine
For season two of Quantum Salmon Leap we get The Name Of The Sword, which posits the idea that women from different moments in time are just a sort of shell into which a Niamh-like spirit is poured, and that Slaine's some kind of eternity-surfing rolling stone.

Slaine (with Ukko in tow) plays the part of Robin Goodfellow in the Norman era, where dark-god worshipping landowners have made the earth goddess ill. He chats up Maid Marion (a nunnified pseudo-Niamh) and takes a few Norman heads with Brain Biter, not thinking it too many.

The sequence continues directly in Lord of Misrule, where Slaine transmogrifies into a flying beastie to go hunting for Niamh/Marion. The moral of the story is that if you try to get nekkid and jiggy with Slaine then you're a free woman, but if you don't then you're the slave of a dark god that's trying to enslave humanity.

We have to wait 31 weeks for the final four episodes in the next stage...


Urban Strike [advertisement]
With tongue planted firmly in cheek, this was partly a joke, and partly a cynical marketing ploy for a classic helicopter gunship game (sequel). Whacking "TM" next to the title was either subversive or a legal requirement: it's not clear which. The heavily-armed "Mystery Machine" is crewed by a bunch of action movie stereotypes who use polite metaphors in place of swearing, whilst also providing the birthplace of the expletive portmanteau beloved of Sinister Dexter: funt. They take gung-ho to new heights (or depths) in their mission to ... blow stuff up. Usually innocent bystanders (like in Team America, but without the humour). The joke is over by the first episode, but this spins out of control for another five.
It's over and done with after one series. We can rest easy that at least you'd never catch Rebellion doing anything like this - I mean before you knew it, all the stories could be replaced by some kind of zombie army of mindless game tie-ins...

Vector 13: [Caseload #1] *NEW THRILL*
Clearly inspired by The X-Files, each of these standalone terror tales cases is introduced by the inhuman-seeming Men In Black, who act as a narrative cipher. This manages to drop the most effective thing about The X-Files, which was that Mulder & Scully tied the series together and made it more than just a sequence of Twilight Zone episodes. On an editorial level, there's a definite angle here: rather than serving as a new anthology alongside the existing Future Shocks, this series sets itself up as a replacement.
Lights up! Another caseload drops onto Tharg's desk next stage...

Janus Psi Division: House Of Sighs *SPIN-OFF*
An intriguing one-off in which Janus (the psi from Inferno) is invited to a secret inner circle of Psis.
She's back next stage in a longer tale...

The Journal of Luke Kirby: The Old Straight Track
A leyline-based mystical road trip in which Luke and his uncle Zeke visit various friendly green and pleasant hermit-wizards on their way to an important moot. They are stalked along the way by one of those evil 80s villains who watches the heroes' progress through a crystal ball and sends agents out to stop them (like in Krull or Hawk the Slayer). The villain calls himself Nathair Nathrach, which as far as I can divine means "Serpenty Serpent", although Zeke mentions a "winged serpent". The "ha ha - just kidding" ending marks this as the weakest of the Kirby adventures, so it's perhaps not surprising that this tails off.
We get a finale next stage...

Maniac 5: Maniac 6
In an unlikey cross between The Fugitive and Robocop, the one-armed Maniac 5 (a man's mind trapped inside a cyborg) is on the run from the forces of President ... Hilary Clinton (and a maniacal Ross Perot). As Frank (Maniac 5) is mostly invincible and tearing through regular troops like a hot knife through butter, and knows the sewer system really well, the only thing that they can use to hunt him down is the deranged and murderous Maniac 6. Cue nonsensical carnage!
Franks swims off into the sunset here, never to be heard of again.

Strontium Dogs: The Mutant Sleeps Tonight
Feral has transmuted into a weird, non-verbal cross between a butterly, a bat and a donkey. The blind lady is looking after him, socializing him. He then goes into a chrysalis.
The story says it continues in Durham Red's Deals (below), but it really doesn't. Instead, there's a new series of this in the next stage...

Durham Red: Deals
When Durham offed the a Gothlord in Island of the Damned (see stage #20), she made an enemy of the Goth King, and here she sets up a contest to win his amnesty.
The stage is set for the Night of the Hunters, starting in prog 1000...
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JayzusB.Christ

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #449 on: 14 October, 2020, 02:14:07 PM »
Loving this as always - top work, Funtington.

For me, the Old Straight Track was the second best of the Kirby adventures - I really liked it; not much of a plot but a lovely, folksy pagan atmosphere, and I actually learned a bit about cairns (I've come across a few of them on hiking trips).   I'm a sucker for the old folk horror / rural magic stuff though; if I wasn't such a cynical, skeptical bugger I'd join the Wiccans.

I also thought Urban Strike was lots of fun, but that's just me.

I remember really enjoying the prog in its Sláine-and-Two-Dredd period; Wagner was back and Dredd was on form again, Sláine had picked up a lot, Ennis and Millar had left the building.  The film's awfulness hadn't spilled over into the prog; fair plays all round.
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