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Author Topic: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread  (Read 208831 times)

broodblik

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1230 on: 25 November, 2021, 06:09:56 AM »
My understanding is that the script is done for the sequel just waiting for the artists. So yes FTB was a great new edition to the prog
When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.

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.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1231 on: 25 November, 2021, 06:16:34 AM »
My understanding is that the script is done for the sequel just waiting for the artists. So yes FTB was a great new edition to the prog

Oh that's great news - I'd not heard anything so I'm chuffed to hear that. Thanks Broodblik.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1232 on: 26 November, 2021, 09:29:39 PM »


On the Outs

This is a very hard post for me to type.

Very hard.

Long term readers of my nonsense will be well aware of my love of Sinister Dexter. As many have drifted from their warm and charming murdeous embrace, I've seen the golden, bullet riddled glow is still there. The recent run with Steve Yeowell has seen the strip storm back to its very finest form, and its not as if it was bowed low before that raise. Its just got better.

Then Bulletopia hit and all the issues of timing killing momentum, that others, not me, OTHERS have rolled out struck me. In this instance it was right. Why now.

Well The Moses War (just to sight an example) was perfectly structured to support the story in short stories that built to the greater whole. Dabnett and Williams (and others as they came) handled it brilliantly. Giving you what you needed to read each tale in isolation, reward the long term reader with a steadily building epic. So it did kinda fumble the ending, rush to the line as if Dabnett got word of the disatisfaction and decided he needed to move on.

So move on he did. And well. Starting to skillfully craft a new reality for them, while respecting, playfully the old.

The Bulletopia.

Bulletopia is structured differently. Bulletopia is a story designed to be presented as a single epic (well I say that I of course mean from my reading, I have no idea of Dabnett's intent). Its about desperation, fleeing and horrible last stand. The ultimate example of our deadly duo having their worst moments when seperated. Its needs drive and focus and attention to build the sense of danger and awful flight... instead we get

a

drip

feed

of

stuff

which

just

makes

for

a

clumsy

read.

And that sinks it. SUCH a shame. This time. I have no doubt that the series will continue, will re-find its feet. I just hope whatever factors are needed are allowed to happen to give it what it needs. That's not happened with this story. We must move on...

... except this exposes another issue we will have to face together. As Self Absorb melds into NuYNWA its becoming harder and harder for the YNWAs to seperate themselves, for Self Absorbed to not be Nu and bound by Nu's thoughts. Here this problem is exposed.

In Prog 2185 Carrie said

Quote
'We think the rogue A.I. is about twenty two years old.'

Now that's a very specific reference. 22 years, not 20, not about 20, 22. Now while S&D doesn't move in a Dredd style year for year basis, this story is meta enough (I think) to have normally sent me flying back to the S&D stories of 1998 to see what hints this was leading to... or whether I was over reading... either way I should have been flying back.

I didn't. I acknowledged that I should... but I didn't and that's a sure sign that NuYNWA's disenfranchised feelings for this story are crushing Self-Absorbs YNWA's ability to view afresh.

The end is near...

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1233 on: 09 December, 2021, 09:46:56 PM »


Its the end of the year as we know it and even Skip Tracer is fine

Well fine might be over stating it. Skip Tracer - Hyperballard is pretty good, I mean its fun, it not exactly earth shattering but its a decent read and the foil of India Sumner works to soften the strip's needlessly 90s hardman lead.

All around it though the Prog is in fine form. There's been some fantastic Dredds from 'Carry the Nine' to 'They shoot talking horses don't they?' the epilogues to End of Days far surpassing the story itself, far surpassing them. That then leads into the brilliant 'Simply Normal' the latest (in self absorbed land) Ken Niemand story, quite superb.

The return of Stickleback after, what 6 years is pretty scaled up as the tale explodes into giant monsters battling over the soul of London. The very fabric of the world's softening and so many illusions to the Edgverse... oh and the Sherlock think forms a little backbone, but doesn't yet define the strip. Still its a pretty blistering return.

Speaking of returns Hookjaw's is quite the thing. Its a fantastic modern folk horror. Examining legend in the modern age and feature a giant morphing man shark tearing as many folks as possible apart in a way as brutal the original series. Its really is quite the thing and its brilliant fun and does a wonderful job of being its own thing, but holding hands tightly with the original.

This is all wrapped up with Fiends of the Eastern Front - Constanta a fantastic origin wrapped in layer of legend and myth. Its interesting as like Hyperballard it runs one familar ground when you look under the bonnett its not especially original. Its just told so well, so beautifully horribly rendered by Tiernen Trevallion it works on a whole different level to the strip I mentioned earlier. Just goes to show there are many things that go into making a thrill work.

And one of those is timing and Sinister Dexter - Bulletopia shows that. Its meant to be a nonstop desperate flight and when I read 'The Funt Outta Town' is fun and energetic, but is robbed of meaning given its seperation from the death of Finnegan and thus the impact on Ramone is lost and this problem will continue. Its interesting to revisit them and try to see them for themselves... it just tricky to do.

This is just a side show however as Sinister Dexter is back to be filler at the end of a run of stories and the end of 2020 has a bloody fine run of thrills and a fantastic year ends really well.

Barrington Boots

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1234 on: 10 December, 2021, 11:26:08 AM »
Was a strong year end that was. I vividly remember last year one of my Progs around this time going missing in the post and being mildy distraught as I was enjoying Hookjaw and Constanta so much. Even SinDex was interesting again for a bit.
You're a dark horse, Boots.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1235 on: 11 December, 2021, 03:36:33 PM »


2020 and the 2020 Specials

So let's try something a little different in the end of year write up, christ I've done 43 of these, there can't be much left to say can there... and yet as we mark Rebellion's 20th anniverary it seems that 2000ad does still have so much to say, while still reflecting back. And the year is neatly summariesd by the specials and so I'll review the year via those.

Firstly (well not actually cronologically, but for the purposes of this review) we get the '20 Years of Rebellion Sci-fi Special' and this does what Rebellion have done so well and the thrills of 2020 so demonstrate. First and foremost its brilliant. Its simply a brilliant, fun comic, possibly best demonstrated by Dredd - The Immigrant, in which Dredd meets Zombo (and narrowly misses meeting Tharg, now there would be a great read) and rather than being indulgent, its hilarious. Its a brilliant read and with Jake Lynch, now in full Jack Lynch mode it has fantastic art replacing Henry Flint who you might expect here. Yes its fun, yes it runs the risk of being cute and throw away BUT it avoids that and its just great comics.

The rest of the special does similar things, reprinting prime material from the past, but more importantly having great stories that mix the old with the new. Much like The Immigrant they always find a way to serve a new purpose. To not be there for just the fun of it, while being there for the fun of it. And that's what 2020 in the regular Prog so perfectly encapsulates.

We get a set of frankly superb stories, not everything is perfect, but to be honest not much misses the mark. We get tales that directly call back like Fiends and Durham Red. All there doing something fresh. We get thrills that less directly hark back buut utlimately do celebrate the past in there tone and innovation. So Feral and Foe, Proteus Vex, heck even the utterly different Brink all have the tone and feel of being 2000ad, in part because they do innovate and do stretch things.

We get the variety in 2020 as well, probably no more so than in Dredd. There are some storming stories and Kenneth Niemand really comes into his own here, but others do fantastically also. There are some clunking great misses too though. End of Day is bloody rubbish, while looking astonishing, ever it is with the anthology. Overall though even with its major story missing so many notes there's much more good than bad.

So yeah 2020, Rebellion's 20th year shows they understand the age old formula of the familar and the innovative, often in place at exactly the same time. It didn't take them 20 years to get to that perfect mix, but that 20th year does really highlight how well they do it and have been doing it for so long.

Then we get the FCDB issue. And wow do we get a deal here. 2000ad offers astonishing value and the all new villains material shows that perfectly. What it also demonstrate is the Prog moving in different directions to entertain new folks. The Regened might not alway hit the mark quality wise in 2020 and that's certainly true of the Villains Special (that I will note isn't officially a FCBD issue) there's a lot of misses. We should however applaud the drive to do new things to find new fans. We should celebrate and embrace that as if we don't we might lose the very thing we want and given the rest of the prog was so strong in 2020 I don't want that to happen and will support any experiments to stretch its audience.

All this and I've not yet even mentioned The Out. The Out alone typifies why 2000ad is so fantastic and deserves specific, seperate praise for doing what Brink does, being so wonderfully 2000ad while being so atypical. Its bloody brilliant.

So yeah I normally start these end of year recaps quoting what I said in prediction in the previous recap, so while I've not done that I don't want to lose sight of it entirely so...

In 2020 Regened will exemplify this growth and development. The restless experimentation. Things will again start, things will again end. Change is hard and we'll see that with the Regened. But for 2000ad change and growth is the very things thats need and we'll see that yet again. More of the same as things refuse to stay the same!

Yep

and going on to 2021, well it'll be so good it will feel like only yesteday! See you for yesterday and the end of this nonsense soon...

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1236 on: 14 December, 2021, 09:19:49 PM »


Prog 2246 Regened - rejoice

So we're into 2021... this year... weird. Reckon by the time I finish we will be into 2022 at least! and the final sprint finish of this re-read. Its gonna get emotional. Its also starting with a cheat, as like last year I've taken the opportunity to re-read the Regened  in one go, so that's Prog 2220, 2233, 2246 and 2256. Its hit and miss again, but I'd say largely hit. Prog 2220 is the weakest, with only a decent Cadet Dredd and the introduction of Mayflies really worth mentioning. Both 2233 - with a very strong Cadet Dredd, which leans in hard on the Joe Rico relationship and the return of both Department K and Pandora Perfect, both of which we will return to making this a bit of a standout. 2256 wasn't bad either, with 3 decent to very good thrills.

Its Prog 2246 that hits the formula perfecrtly though in my book. In a year of strong Cadet Dredd that strip is the one misstep interestingly. Its followed by a powerful Mayflies tale as with a dark and hopeful premise for this series to use when I hope it returns. The idea of a strip about a team of young 'superheroes' fighting to save refugees has a great tone and place in a comic like 2000ad. Its got a place for young readers and is vital enough to entertain anyone. I really hope this series returns for a full multiple part run.

This is then perfectly contrasted in true 2000ad with the gloriously sweet 'Splorers, funny, charming and somehow manages to avoid falling into sickly with enough sticky, slapstick humour to give it a cheeky edge. Followed by a nice Future Shock keeping the tone brisk and fun.

The Prog is topped by Chopper a wonderfully fresh take on how Chopper became a surfer. It knowing narrative style feels to this aged fan modern and new. Its funny, exciting and expertly told - the final page is just a delight.

Its the mix in darkness and light, all though with a fresh entertaining edge that makes this the all ages masterpiece it is. It has something for everyone (well the diehard haters aside) and everything has something for everyone if they are open to looking. This Prog for me is the perfect example of what a Regened should and can be and as Tharg ... I mean Joko is getting more and more experience with these issues I hope to see more and more like this.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1237 on: 22 December, 2021, 09:20:00 PM »
img]https://i.imgur.com/SuHrhej.png[/img]

This year... well after almost 6 years its weird to type that - started well, in the main. The final Slaine I'll skip over, the art is technically astonishing but, subjective as art is I don't adore it, rather respect it. The story itself leaves me cold. Proteus Vex and Durham Red I'm sure I'll reflect on when the time comes and there's a mixed bag with Dredd. I loved Will Simpson's art but it really kills Mike Carroll's story 'Desperadlands' - man that title is a stretch too! After that though there have been some simple fantastic one offs. Rob Williams doing a superb Mega Ciyy One beating you down tale in 'Health and Happiness'. Ken Niemand does a double bill of citzens with happy ending to chnage the typical tone of Dredd... well happy by Mega City standards which means not being arrested, or brutalised. 'Against the Clock' shows the pressure of a working mother with her bady strapped to her as she sky surfs against a deadline. And prior to that quite superly and hilarious we learn the risks of seeing folks in the buff in 'Naked City', which reveals a previously hidden shortcoming of the Justice Department. Fantastic.

The first the finish and the focus of this post is Hershey Book 2... and look I totally get that folks don't like the fact the story even exist. I understand there's a sense that the story strips the previous death scene of the power it has (it still does its still there, it now just has a cuning undertone). Fine if you can't get past that I can't chnage your mind... which is a shame its frankly superb.

Simon Fraser simply knocks it out the park. His page designs so dynamic, his colours so downplayed yet powerful, and the final execution fires the story onto a different level. Its simply amazing work.

The story is also superb. As I said above some folks can't seem to acknowledge it. Some who do claim it changes the characters of both Hersehy and Frank AND THAT'S THE CHUFFIN' POINT. The talk deals with two individuals driven to extremes by the roles they have taken that have defined them and shaped them to such an extent - when they are pulled from those roles they don't know what they have left and who they are any more. They need to find new meaning, purpose and most significently find their identities.

It does this wonderfully and with a brutal eye for detail and the characters histories. Its a fantastic strip if it can be viewed with an open mind.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1238 on: 24 December, 2021, 09:03:22 PM »


Endings that beg for more

Proteus Vex - The Shadow Chancellor ends with Vex an outcast and Midnight Indicating Shames (a name right out of the Dan Abnett Grey Area play book) due to be executed for being a threat to the citheronian's hive queens position. It ends with the line

Quote
This was of course a fate that she avoided in a most spectacular fashion...

Now don't we want to see that and learn what happens next.

Durham Red - Served Cold ends the busted old time cop, recapping the fate of Durham Red as she refuses his 'offer' of escape and allows herself to be arrested, guilt ridden by death her hunger cause. Tghe line that ends that one

Quote
Sentence yet to be determined

Now we need to know what happens next here too.

The reason however we need to know is not simply these tantalising endings, rather the engaging, wonderful action movies that get us there and make us demand to know.

Durham Red is such an unapologetic 80s action movie. Its Assault on Precinct 13 (that 70s actually isn't it) meets ... well meets just about any great movie you love. It starts with Durham arrested and handed over to the coolest old time cop you've seen since... well forever ... but able to escspe as a father seeking revenge against her sends a virtual army of cool mercanaries to bust her out so he can have his revenge.

What follows is high octane action, twists and turns, thrills and spins. Its none stop, relentless action movie fun... and end as we began with Durham Red in chains, but so much has happened in between I'm gagging to know what happens next. For folks that say 2000ad doesn't have the edge it used to this one pocks that idea firmly in the eye. Its fantastic.

Proteus Vex is dressed as a David Lynch movie. Its finely woven in a world that is magically atypical, that makes you think and stretch. Ultimately though there a solid thrilling action movie sown into its beautifully intricate fabric. The fine balance between world building and none stop James Bond action is perfectly taken. The otherworldly wonders are drawn with wonderfully human tricks and malignance. Corruption at the heighest level that is all too grounded alas. Its giant and other, while still being human and earthed.

It to ends with a situation that begs for more, but we are only begging because its been such a blast getting there.

Oh and while these two are running and Slaine takes a small break Dredd has fired back on all cylinders and this year is reminding us that 2000ad has lost none of its magic. Its still playing a tune that will keep us coming back begging for more.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1239 on: 27 December, 2021, 08:55:07 PM »


Thrills of the future - Shocks!

The shock is they've still not arrived yet. I mean sure we're not talking Helium or even Brass Sun level impatient tapping of toes but I do wish to know where:

Fiends of the Eastern Front: 1963 - promised in Prog 2213
Hope...in the shadows - promised in Prog 2226

I WANT THESE THRILLS THARG - stop chuffing teasing me... oh and Brass Sun...

... I would write to him and ask when they are coming but last time I did that - and got printed - I asked when Robo-hunter was coming back and ... well that was around 700ish.... and I got what I asked for... and we all know what that meant so.... I'll just whine impatiently here...

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1240 on: 27 December, 2021, 09:20:51 PM »


I should spend more time talking about the Dredd in the spring of 2021... I mean this year ... still... just... but I happen to kno w there's a fav JD of the year story and there's a strong chance two of these will appear in my picks there so I'll save that. Though I guess that tells us quite clearly that we're in pretty bloody fine Dredd territory here - just superb Dredd. I mean I'm actually considering having no Wagner in my top 3 Dredds of the year... which can't be right... but I'm close...

All I've really got to usefully say about Slaine, which finishes in Prog 2228 is... well it over.

There's a mixed bag of shorts with some absolute highlights in Visions of Deadworld and the second Intestinauts story which has marvelous fun taking on Venom.

The real highlight of this time though is... well actually much like the Dredd stuff I suspect I'll be talking about this more in the end of year votes. Suffice to say Thistlebone - Poisoned Roots is pretty damned excellent. It entirely soaks in the mystery. Its twists you, turns your eye and stomach ... all while quite probably being centred on madness rather than spirits... or natural drug induced shared hallucinations... or maybe its the dark spirits after all. ... as its so often said about horror, its what you don't see that really crawls into your head and lays creeping terror.

Thistlebone will be in my top three when I feel brave enough to decide my vote on what is already a year filled with fantastic tales.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #1241 on: 10 January, 2022, 09:11:49 PM »
img]https://i.imgur.com/SuHrhej.png[/img]

Plummet of the Progs

The run into Prog 2250 is a curious beast. It starts so very well, but then much like the cover of Prog 2234 it plunges by the end of Prog 2249. Something Tharg seems to have learnt to navigate is the 'end of run malaise as we get to a relaunch Prog. Here alas not so well.

It all starts so brightly... hey I've not done one of these for quite a while and so should squeeze one in before I finish this. There's a lot to say so let's hit summary time.

1. Prog 2234 springs into bright fun gear as Dredd leaves Rowdy Yates.

2. Grennie starts as he means to end with a shorts run of an ongoing series with Mechastopheles just getting going before it goes to soon.

3. Department K jumps from the Regened and with Dan Cornwell drafted on art is a real treat as it rifts off Kirby and does its own thing. Its interdimensional hijinks are such fun.

4. Chimpsky leaps into space in a story this character needed. Freeing him from Dredd he really grows as a character. We delve into him, his past while keeping the same narrative tricks in place. Brilliant.

5. In Prog 2235 Neimand shows what a master of Dredd he is as in one of his 'gentler' citizen focused stories he breaks heart rather than heads.

6. Though of course Wagner is still the absolute master as he shows with Removal Man. A story of a nice man, with the typical pressures of Mega City One who offers an alternative to PJ Maybe, but is just as driven a killer. All be it what drives him is very different.

7. Prog 2236 see a glorious end to Feral and Foe. A perfect example of how Dabnett blends comedy and action. Adventure and character. Nails a high concept setting and breathes into old ideas.

8. Skip Tracer 'Eden' shows that this series had potential to climb out of its 90 movie cliche... if it wanted ... it just doesn't seem to want to!

9. Aquila - Rivers of Hades Book One shows that it doesn't need to break out of its 90s movie cliche as it does it so well and add sword and sandel and sorcery to the muscle bound action. Its simply fantastic.

10. Prog 2240 hits this runs zenith as Wagner shows that while Removal Man was good he was just warming up and 'Now that's what I call Justice' starts, a truly sublime Dredd thriller, preocedural, calling on the past, playing with Dredd as mentor and tieing all that together in a wonderful Dredd. In the same Dredd sure we have Skip Tracer - though in one of his better tales - all be it cliche bound. Chimpsky's Law ends wonderful - the final page by PJ sees Noam looking out of the potential of his city and the scale of the work he has to do. As Kenny Who shows the potential of the story he can craft and shows he has the scale of talent to do it. All this and Aquila and Dept. K on wonderful form. This is a blistering Prog that sets a high... from which it can start to fall.

11. Sinister is the start of that... though interestingly as the quality of the Prog drops, all be it very slowly, my interest in Bulletopia starts to revive, all be it slowly.

12. Dexter continues the slow build back... though it provides no replacement for the exiting Dept. K which also ends by opening scope like Chimpsky.

13. The Terror Tale in Prog 2244 starts to evidence that the short filler used at this point isn't really thriller alas.

14. Prog 2247 shows that Ken Niemand is human as House of Bleaker Street is probably his weakest Dredd to date. I mean its far from bad but it not quite up to his standard.  There's a Tharg 3riller that does nothing for me. Skipperty and Dexter, which will improving still has work to do. A short Jaegir is left to do much of the lifting.

15. We limp to the line and Prog 2249 is one of the weakest for a long time... but we're talking 3 weak Prog in a run. The problem is the standard is so high this low really stands out.

16. Just wait a week though...