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Author Topic: Prog 2243 – Terror From The Deep  (Read 1482 times)

IndigoPrime

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Prog 2243 – Terror From The Deep
« on: 31 July, 2021, 11:08:31 AM »
A Saturday Prog and—shockingly—actually time to read it. Some thoughts:

Cover: A nice, moody piece by Luke Preece that, frankly, takes liberties with what actually happens in the strip. Still, it should grab eyeballs.
Dredd: Superb. John Wagner remains one of the most under-appreciated people in the comics industry. This is a template for how to do great anthology comics writing.
Skip Tracer: I got my hopes up for this a couple of weeks back, then we got the fridging and now we get the dream sequence with the offed woman being dead and asking whether the lead doesn’t love her any more. And then the hero wakes up incapacitated while the villain monologues his plans and unnecessarily tortures the hero… It’s all a bit cliché.
Department K: Deus ex Machina pays a visit, but works within the context of the strip. Somehow, the leads manage to avoid streaming FUCKING A or something, just to make parents even more “hell no” about buying the collected edition. Ends on a page that suggests where it’s going to go next. Quite nice. Would be happy to see another run.
Dexter: A solid single episode. Works pretty well. I like the art (by Tazio Bettin) and rather hope they split art duties to keep the Sinister and Dexter runs distinct. That said, I don’t really trust this strip to do anything big now. We’ve had the Malone feint and then Sinister shot dead and resurrected. I guess tentpoles always shift back to the status quo. I just kind of wish this one would shift back to its original one (or an original one), rather than the long-running and increasingly convoluted dimension-hopping thing.
Aquila: As I’ve said before, I never much liked this strip, but the latest run is really working for me. It’s endearingly old school, recalling the Strontium Dog journey to hell arc, in terms of its episodic nature. The horrors Rennie’s digging up are suitably nasty, not least his grim treatment of the titans.

A good Prog overall and better than last week’s. Dredd > Aquila > Dept. K > Dexter > Skip Tracer.

broodblik

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Re: Prog 2243 – Terror From The Deep
« Reply #1 on: 31 July, 2021, 11:24:20 AM »
Cover by Luke Preece:


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.

broodblik

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Re: Prog 2243 – Terror From The Deep
« Reply #2 on: 31 July, 2021, 11:24:41 AM »
Cover and Logo:


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.

Barrington Boots

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Re: Prog 2243 – Terror From The Deep
« Reply #3 on: 03 August, 2021, 09:47:41 AM »
I really liked the cover this week, eyecatching and loving the pink and green scheme: felt quite fresh and different. I loved Luke Preece's previous 80s-style SinDex cover as well.

Dredd: This is just brilliant stuff. So much packed into just a few pages. Awesome.

Skip Tracer: I've not written this off but now that I've kind of given up trying to like ST, it's just really uninteresting. Like IP said already here it's a mess of cliches. Nice giant skull spaceship on page 4 though.
 
Department K: Now that it's over, beside Dan Cornwell's amazing artwork and the refreshing choice of non-white-male leads I really don't understand what people liked here: simplistic plot, bland characters, basic script and unexplained superpowers handwave ending. Like ST I didn't find it actively bad, just very.. nothingy. If runnning stuff like this is, as some suspect, a way to generate more collected edition content for the younger reader that's fair enough (although with Pandora Perfect starting soon it raises questions over turning over a chunk of the Prog to Regened stuff, but the short answer is I'll go with it if it's what the Prog needs to continue) but if not then I guess I just thought this wasn't very good. Oh well!

Dexter: I did like the switch in artist and I would really like it if this continued with Yeowell drawing Finnegan and Bettin drawing Ray. I've not much else to say on this though: with characters dying and then being almost immediately restored there's no real stakes, the AI plot is unending and this strip is a sad shadow of what it once was.

Aquila: I remain slightly frustrated with the pacing, but at the same time it feels churlish to complain when it's bringing us concept and horrors like this. Ephialtes turned out to be exactly who we thought, and also a bit crap. The pace is actually very old school I guess and this is an enjoyable thrill. Every week I say this looks immense and it really does. Great final page and I really liked the opening shots of the snow and the frozen corpses too.
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Leigh S

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Re: Prog 2243 – Terror From The Deep
« Reply #4 on: 03 August, 2021, 10:25:10 AM »
Loved the "Technicality" gag in Dredd!  John Higgins not get the Mechanismo memo?
I  like the idea that Mechanismos are now so normalised they are just "Mek Judges" (if that hasnt been referenced before now!)

IndigoPrime

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Re: Prog 2243 – Terror From The Deep
« Reply #5 on: 03 August, 2021, 11:30:33 AM »
Loved the "Technicality" gag in Dredd!
That was really superb writing.

although with Pandora Perfect starting soon it raises questions over turning over a chunk of the Prog to Regened stuff, but the short answer is I'll go with it if it's what the Prog needs to continue
I think for me there’s also a question of quality. So far we’ve had Full Tilt Boogie and Dept. K. The former didn’t quite click with me, but I enjoyed its world-building and would very happily read more. But it feels like a strip that needs momentum, like Nikolai Dante, rather than something that would end up only rocking up sporadically.

With Dept. K, I thought it had more potential in doing Dreddworld meets Black Science, but that was waved away almost instantly with something more normal. I thought it was fine. Yes, it was quite simple and hand-wavey, but I’ve read much worse in the Prog. I’ll take something that meanders between fun and inoffensive and that has nice art over, well, Skip Tracer’s cliches.

But: Pandora Perfect. This is going to be very interesting. The first tale was by far my favourite thing in the entire Regened run to date. It was just wonderful. The second one didn’t quite hit that dizzy high, but I thought it also hung together really well and was funny. But how will this work in the actual Prog? I’m fine with a comedy series. I’m fans of the people behind it (I mean, come on, surely Roger Langridge needs to be in the Prog more often). But will this be a multi-part series, which might be tricky to keep going? Or a bunch of fun one-offs, like the Hogan/Hughes Robo-Hunter?

Either way, I have high hopes and, frankly, good comics are good comics. Not everything has to be miserable and gritty to exist within 2000 AD. Perhaps, if handled well, Regened series can provide levity and variety to Progs that would otherwise be very grim in nature.

broodblik

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Re: Prog 2243 – Terror From The Deep
« Reply #6 on: 03 August, 2021, 11:41:32 AM »
For me it is always about the balance of the prog although I can read "full" gritty/dark prog but will be more inclined to be miserable when the prog is trying to be "full" humor/lite.

Out of the regen world Full Tilt Boogie was a great series, so far Department K is fine and I am curious to see what Pandora will bring to the party.
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.

Barrington Boots

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Re: Prog 2243 – Terror From The Deep
« Reply #7 on: 03 August, 2021, 12:12:58 PM »
With Dept. K, I thought it had more potential in doing Dreddworld meets Black Science, but that was waved away almost instantly with something more normal. I thought it was fine. Yes, it was quite simple and hand-wavey, but I’ve read much worse in the Prog. I’ll take something that meanders between fun and inoffensive and that has nice art over, well, Skip Tracer’s cliches.

This is very true. Perhaps I've been a bit unfair on it: it held my interest more than (off the top of my head) Black Shuck and it is better than Skip Tracer. I'm always aware than in an anthology comic the strips should be different, and that means it's not always for me and that's fair enough.
I enjoyed Full Tilt Boogie: taking your point there about momentum, I actually think Dept. K could be better with a bit of momentum to flesh out these characters. I think in FTB the world it built, and the story it told, was just a lot more interesting, but there's tons of potential in both.

Quote
But: Pandora Perfect. This is going to be very interesting. The first tale was by far my favourite thing in the entire Regened run to date. It was just wonderful. The second one didn’t quite hit that dizzy high, but I thought it also hung together really well and was funny. But how will this work in the actual Prog? I’m fine with a comedy series. I’m fans of the people behind it (I mean, come on, surely Roger Langridge needs to be in the Prog more often). But will this be a multi-part series, which might be tricky to keep going? Or a bunch of fun one-offs, like the Hogan/Hughes Robo-Hunter?

I share this concern also: PP is my favourite thing in the Regened to date: it's original, it's funny and it's got that anarchic touch that I think works so well in comics for children (and adults!) but I've no idea how this will translate to a full length series. I'd be happy with a bunch of one-offs, or maybe a handful of two part tales. I've confidence that something special could be happen with it.

I'm also interested to see how it's pitched tone-wise: I do like a comedy strip in the Prog but I'm not sure if we've had one so... obviously all ages may be the best term for it?.. sitting next to something like Aquila, with bloody dismemberments all over the shop and a dude being eaten alive by soul maggots: it could really stick out. I remember as a youngster finding Zippy Couriers felt like a strip that belonged in another comic (Zippy Couriers being a strip I think would actually work quite nicely were it Regened!)
As I say though, I'm confident it'll be cool.

The wider point, about having a Regened strip as a regular or semi-regular fixture I guess depends a lot on the quality of the strips themselves - as you say, good comics are good comics but I think a genuinely all ages comic is probably very tricky to write. 
You're a dark horse, Boots.

Jacqusie

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Re: Prog 2243 – Terror From The Deep
« Reply #8 on: 03 August, 2021, 07:58:24 PM »


Dexter: this strip is a sad shadow of what it once was.

I couldn't quite believe how clunky the dialogue and plot (using the term loosely) has descended into Planktown... almost as bad as that Generican Dream business a few years back.

Surely this is all a bad dream and someone is going to wake up soon?

Wagner on Dredd saves the prog and Aquila does a decent job of supporting him, but they aren't up against much competition sadly...

Colin YNWA

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Re: Prog 2243 – Terror From The Deep
« Reply #9 on: 03 August, 2021, 08:31:36 PM »
Progged at last. And despite what appears to be the prevailing view here a good one in my eye.

Dredd is of course excellent. I do wonder if John Higgins doesn't like / get on with the new Robo-Judge design the way he kept it off panel. Utterly trival point but other than that this would just be more of the same ol' praise!

Skip Tracer now I accept it hard to argue with Indigo Prime's point about the fridging, on reflection it is pretty weak BUT I can kinda see some more potential here. Is the strip going to move into Lone Wolf and Cub territory - a psyhic Lone Wolf and Cub at that. I can really see some potential there. So I'll give this more rope and while this wasn't as strong as recent episodes it still much better than it was.

Department K look I think this was been brilliant. I really liked the ending and if we have The Fantastic Four and we got Galactus / Celestials and this is clearly been all very Kirby based I wonder if we're now moving onto a post Kirby Dark Phoenix Saga rift now. That I could live with. The ending really work, set up potential and I loved the post credit scene leading us into the next story. All in all a triumph for me this one.

Dexter I actually though this was pretty good. I am losing the will with Bulletopia after we were promised so much but this moves things on and calls back on elements clearly established to be drawn back on so happy with this in and of itself.

Aquila remains fantastic.


broodblik

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Re: Prog 2243 – Terror From The Deep
« Reply #10 on: 04 August, 2021, 05:01:50 AM »
An improvement over the previous prog. The cover is not my favourite.

Dredd – Again another talkative episode but a goodie. Wagner is defiantly building-up to the conclusion. Higgins and Hurst both are playing their parts. What I am enjoying in these last two Wagner Dredds is the investigation part and how he analysis the facts. Great sleuth caper.

Skip Tracer – We have another change off scenery and Nolan is now in a predicament but I can already see the way out so we will soon see some Baby Boss Family Business Part 2 in Action.

Department K – Well a good final episode. Overall, this was not a bad first series for K. One thing I did find lacking and can be address with feature series is that the characters all lack some exposition and depth. This almost created a sense of I do not care for any of the characters because I do not know whom they are (I am looking at you Nolan). I also would like the series the unbecome a superhero wanna be strip. The last page does suggest that this is not the last of our “superheroes”.

Dexter – I am not familiar with the art of Tazio Bettin but it worked for the strip. Now Sin/Dex feels like I am eating a side dish whereas I want the main course (preferable steak, but not any steak than South African style).  This episode did read like it might be the main dish so let’s see.

Aquila – The Odyssey in the underworld and I am enjoying the trip. Awesome last page and it sums up the whole adventure so far. Really enjoying this.
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.

The Corinthian

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Re: Prog 2243 – Terror From The Deep
« Reply #11 on: 04 August, 2021, 06:07:34 PM »
It might just be me but weren't the Department K lot supposed to be helping out some extradimensional starfish people with their problems? Did that all get sorted out off page?

norton canes

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Re: Prog 2243 – Terror From The Deep
« Reply #12 on: 04 August, 2021, 06:46:11 PM »
(Consults recent back progs)

Looks like the starfish guys last appear in prog 2238 (part 5) when Blackcurrant flies up to the big floaty pyramid thing. He tells them to "Assemble any hovercraft you can and be ready for trouble".

Not sure why vehicles that traverse land or water on an air-filled skirt would be especially useful, but there you are. Let's hope they were okay.

The Corinthian

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Re: Prog 2243 – Terror From The Deep
« Reply #13 on: 04 August, 2021, 09:45:32 PM »
It's not great though, is it? It's like the entire first half of the series is about moving all the pieces into place so the real story can start.

Barrington Boots

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Re: Prog 2243 – Terror From The Deep
« Reply #14 on: 05 August, 2021, 10:16:05 AM »
At the end they're shipping over some non-lethal macguffin darts to help the Starfish guys, so I think that basically is an off-panel wrap up. It did feel like a weird setup: the starfish dudes looked cool, but we could have had the big locust dead in our own dimension without impacting the rest of the story.
You're a dark horse, Boots.