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Prog 2243 – Terror From The Deep

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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.

Cover by Luke Preece:

Cover and Logo:

Barrington Boots:
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.

Leigh S:
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!)


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