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Messages - McNulty

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Announcements / Re: Alan A Grant RIP
« on: 21 July, 2022, 06:17:57 PM »
RIP Alan Grant. You are one of the greats.

Prog / Re: Dredd: The Citadel
« on: 27 April, 2022, 10:17:55 PM »
Upon reading this story I was hit by several aspects that confronted me. Winterton's version was told in a plausible way throughout this story. Everything he told the priest could have happened as he stated. Even as a long time reader of 2000AD it has been canon that Dredd can be hard hearted especially in times of crises. However the murder of his clone was a red flag to me. This was completely out of character for me given the motive of trying to silence someone who was going to report him or simply because he didn't like him. Then Winterton goes off the rails and attacks the priest, bringing into question his veracity as a witness by demonstrating insanity.
Then we have Chopra's testimony of the event. Dredd killed his clone because he surmised that the Sovs had cloned him and were wanting their Dredd to infiltrate the Mega city one forces. They had planted him already within the Citadel to gain information from the captive judges there and now saw their chance to have an agent within the higher command structure. Dredd's reasoning was sound and again everything he said was plausible. The reasons he stated for suspecting his clone made sense but crucially, we don't get to find out if he was correct. We don't get to see if the clone's badge had a tracker on it.
So what are we to make of this story. We are told by Chopra that Winterton was made a judge but his experiences and his injuries drove him increasingly insane to the point where he had to be imprisoned and silenced. But according to Winterton he was never made into a judge and was imprisoned because he wouldn't do what he was told and play along with the official version of what happened. What you believe is based on who you believe Chopra or Winterton. As a reader, we have seen Winterton attack a defenceless man and laugh hysterically afterward, which surely would give us doubts of his truthfulness. Chopra on the other hand is telling a version where Drerdd does kill his clone, but in order to stop a potential Sov infiltration that could tip the balance of the war in favour of the enemy.
So what do I believe? Looking at both stories I can only say that both versions are at least plausible. The events as they are told all happened in both stories. it is only the motives and the perceptions that are open to interpretation. So who is right. I find myself considering these two points...
If the Sovs had actually captured Judge Dredd during the war, they would know what an important person he was in Justice Department. After all, he has personally foiled two earlier Sov plots against Mega City One before the war had even started. Knowing this, is it likely that upon capturing Dredd would the Sovs had sent him to the Citadel? Or would they have tried to get information from him through interegation or torture? Would they have tried to use brain surgery on him to turn him into their puppet like Griffin, or put him on television in a show trial to show the World that they had him and were to execute him in order to demoralise their opponents? If this is the case, then Dredd's theory that his clone was sent to impersonate him in order to gain information from the judges in the citadel seems more likely.
But there is an issue with this. The Sov's cloning technology was far inferior to Mega City One's science . Sov clones were apt to various levels of genetic flaws. We saw this with the War Marshall himself as he had to wear special goggles in order to function because of his weak eyes. Even later clones after the war were not much better as with the wheelchair bound defector. Even if the Sovs did manage to obtain Dredd or Fargo's genetic structure, how did they manage to create such a convincing clone of Dredd? How was it produced. If the Sov's had acquired Mega city one cloning technology as well as Dredd's genetic material then that might answer this question but if they did, why is their cloning so inferior all these years later?
So what do I believe? Speaking as someone who read the original run of the Apocalypse War at the time, I want to believe Chopra's version of events. Despite the plot hole, I believe when Dredd threw his clone to his death, he believed he was disposing of a dangerous Sov infiltrator. I'm sure some will not agree with me, but the way this story has been presented and unless something new is said canonically, that is what I will believe.

Prog / Re: Prog 2262 – The Spirit of Xmas Future
« on: 21 December, 2021, 07:00:09 PM »
I think 2000AD has a case for suing Sony and Marvel if the latest Spiderman movie is anything to go by...

Prog / Re: Prog 2262 – The Spirit of Xmas Future
« on: 18 December, 2021, 09:35:04 PM »
This is why I love the 2000AD community. By and large they can agree and disagree with each other without it becoming toxic and when it ever dips into bad territory more often than not it can be resolved without anyone calling for anyone else to be cancelled or doubling down on the insults.

Merry Christmas fellow Squaxxs and Happy New Year.

Prog / Re: Prog 2260 - Judge Klegg Superstar
« on: 29 November, 2021, 09:35:37 PM »
An absolute cracker of a prog for me this week.
The standout is the Judge Dredd strip with lots of memberberries. If I had to nitpick I would ask how Max Normal is in the chorus line in this story. I know he is an important character in Dredd's story but surely Max and Dredd's professional relationship wouldn't be common knowledge? It is a small point and one that doesn't detract from the story.

Sin/Dex: Velociraptors, Tyrannosaurus Rex and Spinosaurus, what's not to like?

The remaining three continue or conclude their stories strongly. Diabloliks suffered initially for me as it wasn't really a fan of the story it spun off from, but it is still eminently readable. Scarlet Traces has problems with me as there are too long a gap between episodes. It would be a lot more easy to follow if in a collection. The Out is enjoyable enough to read but it was a talking heavy episode this week. But there is no harm in that.

Still, Dredd was my favourite this week.

Prog / Re: Prog 2222 - Reach For The S.T.A.R.S!
« on: 08 March, 2021, 09:48:36 PM »
Tharg's 3rillers: I'm going out on a limb here but I suspect Father Chippin to be the murderer. He had opportunity to commit the crime at the tea shoppe. As a robot, he would not leave any forensic evidence to be found.
"But McNulty, you charismatic but incredulous Scotsman," I hear you cry, "It COULDN'T be the good Father. Don't you see? He is a robot and as such is compelled by the 3 laws of robotics to not harm or by inaction harm a human. And as a clincher, the new by spunky assistant already linked with him electronically to confirm no wrongdoing! Your theory doesn't hold water."
Ah, but I say unto you that this is all smoke and mirrors on the part of the writer. It is entirely possible we are dealing with a robot that DOES have the capacity for murder! This robot is a PROTOTYPE programmed to minister to whichever denomination he is tuned to. The mere FACT that his information was given in such an off-hand way by the inspector is the writer's way in giving us a clue without bringing too much attention to it.  I suspect that the Father has developed a fault in its programming that has led it to believe that killing humans is a humane thing to do. Remember that this an ALTERNATIVE Earth, where a disease has ravaged the world's human population. It is not inconceivable to deduce that perhaps some of the surviving humans founded a death cult that espoused the belief that the disease was a holy judgement and the remaining humans should all die. What would happen if a robot programmed to minister to humans religious beliefs came into contact with one of these death cultists? Either by design or by accident, the robot has become murderous and even worse, this computer virus is TRANSMITTABLE to other robots. Is it a coincidence that the Inspector was attacked in the back of the church by a robot? The Father could have had ample opportunity to infect the gardener robot, and alas, I suspect that the Inspector's assistant has similarly become compromised!
"But McNulty, you meandering but compelling sleuth" I hear you persist, "if Penny-Z8e/4.81 has indeed been compromised, why has she not attacked the Inspector since she interfaced with Father Chippin?"
Oh ye of little faith! I reply. The assistant might be infected with the murder virus and merely biding her time for when they are both alone or it could be that as a sophisticated complex robot capable of multiple police functions and the ability to make outstanding sandwiches, she perhaps might take a while to fully succumb to the new programming.
So Father Chippin, J'accusse! You are one robot who definitely DIDN'T get the memo!

Prog / Prog 2221 - Taking the Biscuit!
« on: 27 February, 2021, 03:40:06 PM »
As soon as this week's prog was opened this morning I instantly saw the reference to a much earlier cover by a great master 2000AD artist. PJ Holden even managed to incorporate Ezuerra's trademark broken black lines into this homage and I for one greatly appreciated seeing this again.

The Dredd story in itself sets out another adventure for everyone's favourite Chimp do-gooder who vows to give justice to one of his fallen. Surely it must be only a matter of time before there is a Chimpsky/Heston crossover story!

Slaine: Continues apace with an amazing final panel or explosive art.

Thistlebone: I'll be honest, the horror stories in 2000AD aren't really why I buy it, but I understand that this is an anthology and some people like to be creeped out.

Proteus Vex: An exposition heavy episode

Durham Red: This episode fundamentally changes Durham Red as a character for me. Before she was a character driven by a bloodlust but confined herself to sating that urge on the guilty. When she was young she fed on her parents with their permission, then on the homeless but not enough to kill them. After which she was recruited into the S/D agency by a veteran Stront. But now I learn that even with the opportunities this life gave her to keep her bloodlust in check, she would still resort to drinking from the innocent and worse than that she would murder them while doing this. This new character and the one I knew before this at at odds. In this week's episode she justifies her actions and blames it on the thirst. Sorry but I'm calling BS on that. In all her interactions while she was a Stront I didn't see any evidence of this at all. Outside of giving Ronald Reagan a bite, I've never seen this thirst drive her to the extent  that a feral beastial side would take over and she would murder without hesitation. Going forward I am going to be veiwing this character very differently.

Prog / Prog 2217 In a Crime-Ridden City... ...He is the Law!
« on: 01 February, 2021, 02:46:54 PM »
Dredd: The most wonderful thing about Judge Dredd strips is that they can be literally anything - From high drama to low comedy. Sedate, ponderous musings on the essence of existence or zany, fun-filled action that doesn't take itself too seriously. It can gently get you to think about a relevant topic of the day or just aggressively push an agenda in your face and tell you to believe what the writer tells you. Every week they story can change and I wouldn't have it any other way. This week's offering is a great fluff piece not to be studied too closely, but great fun for what it is. Strangely enough, the most confusing element about this week's story is that I can't tell what sex the protagonist is. The name suggests male but the ponytail suggests female.

Durham Red: I was getting Die Hard II vibes from this week's episode.

Proteus Vex: Still getting used to new art style in this strip. Story's coming along well though.

Slaine: Can't fault the art this week. Very exciting action. I have a feeling Mr Mills is trying to send a message with the treatment of the condemned that may be his way to speak about another persecuted minority, not just an anti-imperialism message of this overall story arc.

Hershey: What did she expect was going to happen? Frank is a seriously damaged individual, dealing with a huge amount of guilt for deaths at his own hand. Did she think she could just keep giving him orders and it would be all okay?

All in all a very above average prog. I know that Slaine, Durham Red and Hershey have been getting flak on this forum for a while now but I have no problem with them as stories.

Prog / Re: Prog 2208 - The Powers of London!
« on: 23 November, 2020, 06:06:18 PM »
Didn't get my subscription prog this week, so I got a copy at the newsagents before it was too late.

Prog / Re: Prog 2191 - Let's Boogie!
« on: 20 July, 2020, 08:19:30 PM »
I don't think it's a good idea to evacuate citizens to the Undercity - it's got troggies, rogue robots, criminals evading arrest, werewolves, xenomorphs and vampires.

Prog / Re: Prog 2169 - 43 Years of Blood, Sweat and Tears
« on: 25 February, 2020, 10:53:49 PM »
Thank you to everyone. It really does mean a lot.

Prog / Re: Prog 2169 - 43 Years of Blood, Sweat and Tears
« on: 15 February, 2020, 10:57:22 PM »
It's been a while, but here are my thoughts on this week's prog.

Dredd: By far my most favourite story this week. The dark artstyle was very atmospheric and the writing was spot on. I enjoyed lots of elements of this story. Dredd brought the case up but left it to others to sift through the minutia in order to crack it. The use of the robot judges shows that Dredd is not above seeing their worth in certain areas. Dredd goes about his day while the painstaking process goes on. And in the end he isn't even in on the final bust. I really liked this story.

The Zaucer of Zilk: I like this colourful art and insane story. True, this is less of an action orientated episode, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Proteus Vex: This one has been harder to get into. Flint's art is excellent as always but the story is difficult to get into. However that is true of any original story when you have to balance universe building exposition, character motivations and action and drama from scratch. I can still find myself enjoying this but it will require re-reading.

Feral and Foe: Eight episodes in and I still can't emphasize with the primary characters. Frankly I can see Orsola's motivations a lot clearer than the other two. The art's great and I do like the story (been playing Warcraft for years now). So I will keep with it, unless it goes too far into Kingmaker territory.

Next prog we are getting the Regened takeover, which I wasn't in love with last time, but I will give it a chance.

I was especially fond of the Dredd story this week because it harked back to an earlier time in 2000AD's history. This was important for me because I lost my Dad last Sunday. It was Dad who introduced my family to 2000AD when it started back in the late 70s. I was a bit young for it then, I was only about 6 or 7, but I still remember the bionic stickers that came with prog 2 when it arrived. As the years went on I gradually started reading the progs that he would buy and eventually read the back progs he collected in earnest. Later my younger brother would read them as well. Happy memories included talks we had about things that Dredd, Rogue, Alpha and Slaine were doing that week, although my favourites of that time were more Robohunter and Ace Trucking. Eventually, the task of collecting the progs fell to me and it was one I was happy to continue. Dad would still read the progs but now he had to wait until I has read them. Even in later years when he was less fond of the newer stories and artstyles that were coming over, he still had good things to say about 2000AD. I can say that he read 2000AD right up until the end of his life. And for that I want to thank everyone at 2000AD for this shared memory.
I am going to keep reading 2000AD, mostly because I can still get enjoyment from the progs and partly because I want to keep those memories. 

Off Topic / Re: RIPs
« on: 22 January, 2020, 07:37:02 PM »
Really sad to hear that Terry Jones has passed on. Really one of the greats of British comedy.

"He's not the Messiah - He's a very naughty boy!"

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