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Author Topic: Prog 2215: Fire From Above  (Read 2117 times)

broodblik

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Re: Prog 2215: Fire From Above
« Reply #15 on: 20 January, 2021, 01:28:11 PM »
Best wishes CyberMatt
Old age is the Lord’s way of telling us to step aside for something new. Death’s in case we didn’t take the hint.

The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp.

SmallBlueThing(Reborn)

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Re: Prog 2215: Fire From Above
« Reply #16 on: 20 January, 2021, 03:07:17 PM »
Hoping CyberMatt has fully recovered.

The prog is in one of those middling phases for me at the moment- with Slaine being sensational to look at, but a bit wobbly on the story. Durham Red is probably the best strip (if one were to apply a points system based on clarity and skill across the various disciplines), with Hershey being either absolutely brilliant or shockingly bad, depending on your point of view. The shifting shoulder pads this week- as pointed out elsewhere by eagle eyed Albion were distressing.

Vex was clear and easy to follow this week, but I still have absolutely no idea what it's about. I really should go back and read the first series again. And Dredd is... well, sorry, but it's not great. The first page this week briefly made me think things had improved, but then the constant wash of purples and lack of definition between characters and backgrounds just lost me. Maybe it's the printing, he says hopefully.

Beautiful cover though.

SBT

TordelBack

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Re: Prog 2215: Fire From Above
« Reply #17 on: 20 January, 2021, 04:52:42 PM »
I seem to be in a contrary mood this week, because I rather liked both Dredd and Sláine.

While I suffered some jet-packer confusion, and sighed a bit as Competent New Sidekick released perennially helpless Dredd, voted "Justice Dept Officer most likely to be incapacitated in the line of duty 10 years running" I'm actually finding the colourful gory action to be a lot of fun. Very old-school styles from both Carroll and Simpson, no doubt about it, but entertaining.

Sláine ticked my boxes, lovely action and design, and this is the first episode where I've seen any sign of Manco having even a hint of Bisley in his work (which has thus far been closer to Power or even Staples to my eye), coinciding with much clearer storytelling.

I don't really understand how or why Duban is manifesting the way he is (using Sláine as a sort of conduit?), or why Sláine seems obsessed with his paternal line when he's been busily asserting Macha's primacy in his origins. I also wonder is Duban even dead. The last thing we learnt about him is that he took his family away from the now-lost lands of the Sessair to live in Albion. Either way,  it's an interesting development.

As to the rest of the plot,  I don't think it is particularly repetitive, or unoriginal. New Troy and Brutus were introduced way back in Books of Invasion I: Moloch (2003) as providing the Formorians with a foothold in Albion, way back when the Tuatha de Dannan still existed in 'this' dimension. It's outside New Troy that he takes revenge on Moloch.

Since Sláine left Ireland to Gael's people, he's been bumming around Albion as an independent contractor doing random things, mourning Niamh and his people, and generally moping about rudderless, until in Brutannia Chronicles he again finds the Trojans enabling the Drunes with their foothold on Monadh, and finally decides to get a shave and take action against them. So Dragontamer represents Sláine's return to the role of liberator of the Goddess' land in fulfillment of plot threads that go back almost 20 years. It's less a 'Slaine fights another set of baddies' redskins,  and more a culmination of the long 5th phase of his story (Outcast, High King/Horned God, Warrior in Time, Defender of Ireland, Wanderer).

As a final thought, what are these "sacs" Sláine is going on about?  I initially thought they might be bags that would go over the dragons' heads to calm (tame?) them, but then I started wondering if this might also be the 'Bolg' (usually translated as either bag or stomach) that gave the Fir Bolg their name, one of the invading tribes of the actual Book of Invasions (the Lebor Gabála) that IIRC haven't yet shown up by name in Sláine*.

Perhaps tellingly the current story is apparently set in Mayo and Sligo, the putative locations of the Battles of Magh Tuireadh, at one of which the Tuatha Dé fought the Fir Bolg.

So as you can see,  I'm getting a lot of fun out of it!


*Although many of the tribes of the Goddess we have met would technically be their descendants or members, most notably King Sláine himself, the order of things in Sláine is...  novel.

TordelBack

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Re: Prog 2215: Fire From Above
« Reply #18 on: 20 January, 2021, 04:56:19 PM »
Sheesh,  for 'redskins' read 're-skin'. Pat's no Robert E Howard.

norton canes

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Re: Prog 2215: Fire From Above
« Reply #19 on: 21 January, 2021, 11:40:43 AM »
Excellent cover - I'd be more than happy to see Mark Montague put on regular cover duty.

The ruse pulled by Duban on the dragon commander is a nice conceit and a better alternative than two further pages of hack-and-slay, though I'm not quite sure it convinces us the guy is a family-loving man at heart. Also, I don't think knowing that tyrants 'secretly lose' is much consolation (or that it's true at all). When it comes to tyrants I'd greatly prefer that they very publicly, comprehensively and unambiguously lose - every time, no exceptions.

Elsewhere Vex and Red are rattling along brilliantly, with Jake Lynch particularly putting in some excellent work. Does Commander Tross have one leg on backwards? Superb stuff. It's a shame Mike Carroll hasn't brought any of Vex's lightness of touch to his current Dredd story, which I'm afraid is lumbering along somewhat. Hershey is a good read, the Academy backstory adding interest to the still slightly underwhelming boxing plot. I know pugilism has always made for gritty subject matter but you'd have perhaps thought that with 2000 AD being sci-fi and all that, Frank might have been involved in a more fantastical gladiatorial endeavour..?

Wishing Matt a full and speedy recovery.

TordelBack

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Re: Prog 2215: Fire From Above
« Reply #20 on: 21 January, 2021, 11:51:38 AM »
. Does Commander Tross have one leg on backwards?

I think she has three legs,  one of which indeed points backwards. I wonder is this an indication that she too,  and maybe all of Vex's people, just inhabit custom-made bodies as vehicles?

broodblik

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Re: Prog 2215: Fire From Above
« Reply #21 on: 21 January, 2021, 12:12:53 PM »
. Does Commander Tross have one leg on backwards?

I think she has three legs,  one of which indeed points backwards. I wonder is this an indication that she too,  and maybe all of Vex's people, just inhabit custom-made bodies as vehicles?

Yes, she has three legs as stated by Tordel. I like your theory related to the bodies are custom-made or something like Alter Carbon where you can re-sleeve or in this case take it for a ride (so on home planet these bodies are maybe coin-operated)
Old age is the Lord’s way of telling us to step aside for something new. Death’s in case we didn’t take the hint.

The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp.

TordelBack

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Re: Prog 2215: Fire From Above
« Reply #22 on: 21 January, 2021, 12:28:59 PM »
Im going to have to dig out Series 1 for a re-read, get a sense of the rules for the little pilot-guy that is Vex himself.

This is my habitual definition of success for a strip: I want to re-read the previous series because the current run has me engaged.  Otherwise I tend to shrug, and just assume I've missed something.

broodblik

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Re: Prog 2215: Fire From Above
« Reply #23 on: 21 January, 2021, 12:38:22 PM »
Vex is a flesh-pilot. The term is used in the end of the episode 5, prog 2166 and then in beginning of episode 6 more is revealed about them.
Old age is the Lord’s way of telling us to step aside for something new. Death’s in case we didn’t take the hint.

The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp.

Andrew_J

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Re: Prog 2215: Fire From Above
« Reply #24 on: 26 January, 2021, 07:45:39 PM »
I'm enjoying this Dredd story. Will Simpson does good chaos. His combat scenes on the last two pages are particularly energetic and frenetic. Compare that with Ben Wilshire's Durham Red art work which is at the opposite end of the spectrum: tightly choreographed and beautifully draughted.

It sums up what I love about the prog that only a page turn separates these two styles. Both of these stories are working for me for different reasons. 

Slaine is thoroughly enjoyable. Pat Mills is on a roll here, and Manco's art is fantastic. I love his full page bleed with floating panels.

Proteus Vex has to be top thrill for me at the moment: a bonkers storyline, brilliant characters, great dialogue, lovely art.

DrJomster

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Re: Prog 2215: Fire From Above
« Reply #25 on: 28 January, 2021, 08:21:24 PM »
This is the first prog of the year that’s starting firing on most cylinders for me. I wasn’t sure why at first but think it’s because Dredd has picked up and that crucial first thrill slot sets the tone. That seque-ing into Durham Red, with its excellent Willsher action art and we’re into a good momentum.

How long though did it take Manco to do some of this Slaine? It must have been ABSOLUTELY AGES. Some of its stunningly detailed, it really is. This will make a gorgeous collected edition.

Proteus Vex is getting easier to follow for my addled old brain, which is nice. Plus it looks totally bonkers which is always great. And the Hershey flashbacks worked well*.

*I’m still not sure we needed her back though, but’s let not re-open that old chestnut again.
The hippo has wisdom, respect the hippo.

Sean SD

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Re: Prog 2215: Fire From Above
« Reply #26 on: 06 February, 2021, 01:46:12 AM »
Same ratings order as last prog for me

1st - Proteus Vex - Enjoyable series will have to go back and reread series 1
2nd - Hershey - Flashbacks were cool
3rd - Slaine - insane art

Durham Red also going well.

Hope CyberMatt is fully back on deck by now

Sean SD

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Re: Prog 2215: Fire From Above
« Reply #27 on: 06 February, 2021, 01:47:34 AM »
also wow!! what a cover