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Author Topic: Thrill-Coma 2010  (Read 34606 times)

IndigoPrime

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #210 on: 14 December, 2020, 08:36:07 AM »
Quote
Armoured Gideon has been pinched from a few decades ago, given a crappy makeover and de-brained. I mean: why?
Mm. I get that thematically it sort of works to roll in that character. But the redesign is just weird and removing one of the main things that made the character memorable was as much of a misstep as having the Daleks no longer yell Exterminate!

Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #211 on: 02 January, 2021, 03:35:39 AM »


2018: Fourth Quarter
A selection of stories from progs 2100 to 2110, in order of most to least ghafflebette...


Brink: High Society [part 1]
(2018: progs 2100-2110)
S: Dan Abnett, A: INJ Culbard, L: Simon Bowland


Brink makes such a dense narrative impact that this feels as if we're much further along than just a third series. First, there were hints of a murderous cult, then came the revelation that they were organized enough to alter the geography of new build infrastructure in an attempt to accelerate the awakening of some kind of dark god. The trail has led the main character (Kurtis) to go undercover in an elite corporation.

Despite some clunky, distracting storytelling choices (research narrative cluttering up the frames and black-box censored real-world swearing), the rest of the story is so superbly realized that those are forgiven as the tension ramps up towards murder and disaster. The foreshadowing is masterful (an early corporate shooting pays off twice) and, as we reach the halfway point, everything has slotted into place to leave our protagonist in deep do-do.

The only slight logical flub is the idea that the same people who feel secure talking in private if the staff are behind a hologram then themselves hide behind holograms to overhear people. So: the holograms aren't soundproof. Everyone should behave as if they have that knowledge.

This seems like it could (should) be a television series - with most of it set indoors (despite the space setting), there's every sense that it would be manageable on a (relatively) modest budget.




Kingdom: Alpha and Omega
(2018: progs 2100-2110)
S: Dan Abnett, A: Richard Elson, C: Abigail Bulmer, L: Ellie De Ville


This eighth series of Kingdom doesn't mess around with distractions and dives straight ahead with the main thrust of the plot. It does feel odd that the build up of Clara Bow and the pups was just ended off screen while Gene was messing around up in space. Talking of space - how do the masters deal with the need for water and oxygen up there?

What began as Masters vs. Them has morphed as the series has gone on: now the factions bleed into one another, and there are Masters (in space or planet-bound survivors), Aux (pure bloods and not, loyal or not), Them, Augmented-Tick-Them and finally Original-Tick-Infested (including humans, Aux and Them).

Gene tries to remain neutral - sick of being tasked with choosing a side. The end of this sequence suggests that it might be the last for a while. Gene walks off into the sunset and is given a coda. The eternal war of evolution and species carries on, with the final frame mirroring the opening of the first series: a small squad of warriors, equipped for battle, defeats their enemy in close combat. Only now it's super-evolved Them rather than pure-blood Aux.

The art style seems to have gone through an ink-splatter filter, which has the effect of making it look like something went wrong at the printers but (I assume) was meant to provide a patina of grit.




Tharg's 3rillers: Infestinauts Are Go!
(2018: progs 2106-2108)
S: Arthur Wyatt, A: Pye Parr, L: Pye Parr


Spinning off from the first Regened issue (which was FCBD 2018), this takes the one-page Intestinauts, puts them into (relatively) giant combat mech suits and has them go to battle against acid-spitting skin lice.

This is all highly entertaining and should win some kind of Kevin O'Neill award for the most disturbingly 2000 AD-like thing in the prog for 2018. Like an insane mash-up of the hair-dwelling sub-plot from early Shakara (recall the horror of the "pubic depths") and Banzai Battalion, it's running on the same fuel as The Young Ones. Funny but smelly.

Looking forward to the scratch 'n' sniff sequel: I could see this as a short-form hit in the same structural vein as Captain Klep.




Fiends of the Eastern Front: 1812
(2018: progs 2100-2105)
S: Ian Edginton, A: Dave Taylor, L: Annie Parkhouse


The original Fiends (1980: progs 152-161) was a masterclass in horror comics from Gerry Finley-Day and Carlos Ezquerra: relocating European vampires to the warzone of World War II. In 2006 they were resurrected (in the Meg) by David Bishop and Colin McNeil, shifting us over to Stalingrad. And 2016 saw a one-off arise in the FCBD, where Fodder took the metaphor of blood-sucking to war-torn Vietnam.

1812 (naturally) takes us back in time, to where a youthful Constanta is involved in Napolean's failed invasion of Russia. As a premise, it's super-exciting, but it becomes problematic as an episode in the wider series when it mashes its myths together (a la Hellboy) and introduces zombies and Baba Yaga. Not that we shouldn't have a story that blends these myths - but it wasn't what this series did, so it feels out place.

For all that, this is highly entertaining and incredibly well produced, and has researched the strategic aspects of the war impeccably.




Judge Dredd: The Small House
(2018: progs 2100-2109)
S: Rob Williams, A: Henry Flint, C: Chris Blythe, L: Annie Parkhouse


The Low Life Dreddverse is an odd place that sits alongside the other versions but doesn't integrate well. There are cool set-pieces, gritty dialogue and inventive, interesting concepts - and great art - but it's just not really Judge Dredd (he's overly emotional and too heroic), and the central plot is flawed and retconny.

Smiley asks too much of us: he's a character brought in from British spy thrillers (like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and desposited here with his little tea set, magic room and department within a department that's become a Dredd-world trope and cliche. For a master manipulator who's lasted this long, he, in the end, is egotistical, lacking in foresight and far, far too hands-on.

File under: fun, but flawed. I don't believe that dead character is really dead, either.




Sinister Dexter: The Sea Beneath the City
(2018: progs 2109-2110)
S: Dan Abnett, A: Steve Yeowell, C: John Charles, L: Ellie De Ville


An entertaining "What if Sinister Dexter were Bond?" that could sit almost anywhere in the timeline without disrupting anything else. Ridiculous 70s robots alongside a villain who's part-Nemo, part-Goldfinger give us the backdrop for some great setups, which somehow include a workers' revolt sparked off by a plight-of-the-everyman conversation between two minor employees of the resident megalomaniac.




Skip Tracer: Legion
(2018: progs 2100-2108)
S: James Peaty, A: Colin MacNeil, C: Dylan Teague, L: Ellie De Ville


Turgid weak-sauce that turns all the lights to amber on the dull-ometer. Somehow, even maestro MacNeil on art duties can't enliven this macho libre ham-fest of overwrought melodrama dressed up as cyberpunk. It's missing the punk, is the problem. It's cybercorporate by way of jocksville, as brooding muscle-man with special "get away from me" powers does no skip tracing whatsoever and instead goes to psychic war with his equally brooding muscle-man brother. (Except they're all being exploited by the Associament. Sorry, the Governiety. The Fellowgarchy. Something.)

You will be sent an automated email: it will say "We value your feedback. In providing super-charged Thrill-Power, tell us how you think Skip Tracer did with it's new Legion adventure story ... choose from Awesome, Really Awesome or Fairly Awesome!"

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Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #212 on: 02 January, 2021, 03:36:31 AM »

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AlexF

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #213 on: 04 January, 2021, 11:47:05 AM »
I'm gearing myself up for a big Skip Tracer re-read, but I don't think I'll every be able to top your scathing summations! Like the corn-based snack it's (not) named after, it delivers a tiny sizzle on the tongue before melting into nothingness.

norton canes

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #214 on: 04 January, 2021, 01:09:03 PM »
And I seem to recall 'Legion' being by far the best-received chapter of Skip Tracer on this board!

Colin YNWA

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #215 on: 04 January, 2021, 01:43:35 PM »
And I seem to recall 'Legion' being by far the best-received chapter of Skip Tracer on this board!

Yeah I really enjoyed 'Legion' and it gave me hope that the first story was just a slow rev up and this was going to be more like it. Alas the next couple didn't see that hope through. I will say that the latest outing was much better again. Maybe not quite as good as Legion (I'd have to re-read them to be sure) but certainly a step up. I'm intrigued to see what any next one is like as much due to these contrasts as anything else!

Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #216 on: 04 January, 2021, 03:12:30 PM »
I think my response to Skip Tracer goes back to the anthology aspect of the comic: it's not that it's objectively poor - it's got great art, an interesting milieu, very high production values and good dialogue. It's just that it doesn't click with me. I assume the long-term continuation of the character is down to a strong fan base who don't fanny around on forums in their spare time.
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broodblik

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #217 on: 04 January, 2021, 04:08:12 PM »
Skip Tracer has not been a forum favourite so I believe the fan-base is not the folk that roams these pages. The second one for more has been the best to date. I do not mind that we have Skip Tracer. Since its debut we already had 5 series and would in some cases rather have more Brass Sun and Jaegir.
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.

Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #218 on: 07 February, 2021, 02:08:13 AM »


2019: First Quarter
A selection of stories from progs 2111 to 2122, in order of most to least ghafflebette...


Brink: High Society [part 2]
(2019: progs 2111-2118)
S: Dan Abnett, A: INJ Culbard, L: Simon Bowland


A masterful story that continues to tread a fine line of mystery between the ideas of mythic dark gods and unknown fauna. Woven into this enigmatic threat is a suite of mind-altering drugs, so that we're left at the end still guessing, despite having found our way inside a central conspiracy.

The double-length climax in prog 2116 is jaw-dropping and marks one of the most thrilling, chilling scenes in 2000 AD history.




Jaegir: Bonegrinder
(2019: progs 2117-2122)
S: Gordon Rennie, A: Simon Coleby, C: Len O'Grady, L: Annie Parkhouse


The relentlessly grim battlefield juxtaposed with Natalia's negotiations (in which she tries to escape the most recent betrayel she's found herself subject to) is utterly compelling. This is masterful action storytelling that often surpasses the source material, to the extent that the recent Hunted felt like an interruption.




Judge Dredd: Machine Law
(2019: progs 2115-2122)
S: John Wagner, A: Colin MacNeil, C: Chris Blythe, L: Annie Parkhouse


Eastenders meets Mechanismo, as Logan takes over the Queen Vic from an ailing Babs Hershey. The idea of a robotic bartender makes Joe Mitchell furious, but even he won't stand for a pub takeover when he's given a last minute warning from plucky newcomer Beeny.

This is good - it's got tension, drama, sacrifice and stoicism, and great art. The odd is that I don't really recognize this Logan against previous depictions, and it's difficult to marry his initial reticence to change his mind with a later about face. Ultimately, he comes across as terribly weak, which casts a shadow on Dredd and Hershey's initial decision.

Where it becomes increasingly difficult to follow the relationships is when you hold a mirror up between Wagner's depiction of Dredd and Hershey and that of Rob Williams. In the latter case, Dredd is openly hostile towards Hershey - in such a way as to entirely undermine her command. Such a relationship seems untenable, and it's not Hershey who would need to bend or buckle.




Fiends of the Western Front
(2019: progs 2111-2115)
S: Ian Edginton, A: Tiernen Trevallion, L: Annie Parkhouse


A dark romp that throws in an alt-mythology for the origin of vampires, and pits giant bat monsters against bi-planes. The bookend characters are lightly drawn, so there's a need to re-read in order to get things straight.

There's a great action sequence where one character seems helpless until they decide to play their hand.




Grey Area: Whistleblower - Shoot To Kill
(2019: progs 2118-2122)
S: Dan Abnett, A: Mark Harrison, L: Ellie De Ville


Continuing from the K.I.A. thread in 2018, this sees Kym and Bitch enacting a dangerous exit strategy in an attempt to get away from Grell's dark ops megalomania.

The tension is somewhat spoiled by a comedy cameo from an alien-ified Stan Lee, and the coda is a grid-like talking heads piece that seems inescabably dull, and uses what (for this sequence) has been the most pointless character on the team.




Skip Tracer: Louder Than Bombs
(2019: progs 2111-2122)
S: James Peaty, A: Paul Marshall, C: Dylan Teague, L: Ellie De Ville


This Strontium Dog reboot continues to explore Johnny's Nolan's new-found mutant eye powers, as he investigates a false flag plot to cover up an attempted genocide committed by his father the Associament Governiety Fellowgarchy Contrafibularity.

Whilst the lack of a bearded Viking sidekick or a cute alien medic seems like an obvious own goal, this does provide some action momentum as it chugs along to the unlikely climax of defusing a bomb by throwing a taser at it (using ESP). Just another day in the cube.





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