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Prog 2265: Worlds at War

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Barrington Boots:
Just read three progs back to back and I am enjoying the start to this year.

Dredd This story is excellent. I like Dredd as the antagonist here and a threat rather than a chump.  Patrick Goddard draw's an incredible city and in a story that's moving at breakneck speed the action feels very kinetic. Superb stuff and whilst I feel Mona will survive there's a chance it will all end badly for her, looking forward to how this turns out.

Proteus Vex There is a lot happening here. The world building feels very intense and I don't really know where the story is going but that's not an issue. Vex and Ko are not as engaging as Vex and Midnight but that's kind of the point and having her back (assuming that's where we'll end up) will be a good thing. All the alien designs in this are awesome.

The Order Not much to add beyond what I wrote upthread. This episode started to feel more like the story coming together for me but sludgy Gideon is horrible.

Kingmaker Big fan of Kingmaker. I feel like this time the story has gone in an unexpected direction with Ablard and Ichnar ending up where they are now and again I'm not really sure where it's going next, other than that it is all kicking off. Visually stunning from Leigh Gallagher although I found the glowing armour effects in the previous episode made it tricky for me to follow everything.

Finally I'm glad to see Saphir back for a longer run. Looks incredible. I like the concept of the dream baby - the bad guy popping up at the end did seem a bit suddenly jammed on, but the last run seemed very compressed so we'll see where this leads.

The Corinthian:
I'm going to defend sludgy Gideon on the grounds that it's bringing him obviously closer to the golem of Jewish folklore.

I don't tend to have much time for the "The Order is too confusing" crowd but it can be a bit exasperating having different sets of disparate characters chasing around in different locations and often dropping out of sight for weeks on end. Inquisitor Brown showing up this week reminds me that the last time we saw him or even heard him mentioned was as a surprise cliffhanger partway through the previous story... that hasn't been followed up until now.

norton canes:
The good news is I'm over my inexplicable thrill-slump of last week. The even better news is that 'Working Girl' continues to ramp up the tension and excitement to almost unbearable levels. This is genuinely a top-tier Dredd that I'd include in any single volume featuring the lawman's very best stories. That panel with the Lawmasters dropping out of the Manta tank is absolutely epic - must've stared in awe at it for at least five minutes.

Have to say I'm on board with the consensus that some of the ongoing strips are rumbling on with no signs of conclusion. If I were Tharg I'd strongly consider imposing a blanket five or six chapter limit on every thrill. A possible exception might be Brink, as it looks like we're going to have chapters told from the perspective of other characters, addng variety and extending its shelf life. I feel that the Kek-W strips Deadworld and The Order particuarly are starting to get a bit directionless - the former has at least gained a new lease of life (or death) with the 'Visions' one-shot format, but the latter doesn't look like it's building to anything and the roster of characters with whom we're expected to be familiar grows longer (and our familiarity lessens with their absence). The first three chapters were some of my favourite thrills ever so it would be nice to regain a sense of momentum. I understand of course that constantly demanding new thrills from the script droids puts them under pressure but surely, it also allows them to fire up their square-one creative curcuits more frequently.

So while The Order withers a little this prog (and that full-length panel of the Gideon golem is awful, sorry), Proteus Vex and Kingmaker hit a sweet spot in their third chapters (they are their third chapters, yes?). PV remains a particular delight, Jake Lynch's slyly humourous art complementing Mike Caroll's baroque script. An intriguing return for Saphir - it looks like this is one strip geared up to deliver its thrills in serial format.

Excellent cover from the Roach Droid. Along with Cliff Robinson he's one of the prog's longer-standing artists whose work I didn't click with for ages, but who've now evolved seriously impressive styles.

I think, for me, it comes down to whether strips work well when they hit breakpoints. Kingdom, for example, is one overarching narrative, but each chunk of it was really satisfying on its own. There have been a couple of natural end points, but Abnett then set off from those again. Proteus Vex looks like it might exist in a similar space.

With Brass Sun, I’d say the individual bits were satisfying, but the threaded narrative was strong to the point it’s deeply frustrating if we don’t get any more. The Order, though, has more of a tendency to meander.

I certainly wouldn’t want a Diggle-style upper limit on chapters. Stories need however long they need. We’ve seen plenty of strips compressed into an arbitrary length to their detriment. Also, inspiration strikes when it strikes and many writers are busy. Others might have little interest in revisiting a past strip but a great idea for a new one. But there does come a point where the number of things being seemingly abandoned starts to mount up.


--- Quote from: IndigoPrime on 20 January, 2022, 03:48:43 PM ---I certainly wouldn’t want a Diggle-style upper limit on chapters.

--- End quote ---

Contractually obliged correction: the "shot glass of rocket fuel" memo from Andy, and the ten-episode (?) limit on stories were two separate things. The episode cap was imposed due to a re-print deal in the offing with a European publisher who insisted on a very strict page count for re-packaging purposes. The deal never came off, and the episode cap was duly lifted.


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