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Author Topic: The Millsiverse  (Read 1544 times)

credo

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The Millsiverse
« on: 23 September, 2011, 12:33:52 PM »
My bookshelf currently contains several volumes of Pat Mills finest waiting to be reread, including ABC Warriors, Savage and a soon to arrive Flesh: Dino Files.  It occurred to me that Prof. Mills' work has maintained a pretty consistent universe, which he seems to be increasingly trying to tie together.

Savage, from the rumblings I hear about the prog (I'm trade only these days), seems to be heading towards an intersection with Hammerstein's War Diaries and the start of the robot led Volgan War.  That essentially gives us a link between the stories of Bill Savage and Torquemada's Termight, with a few key holes missing:

1. What happens to the ABC Warriors after Mars (First Mission), that ends up with Hammerstein (with a new head) in Ro-Busters?
2. What happens between "The Rise And Fall Of ..." to get us to the Terran Empire and then Termight?
3. How do Trans-Time and dinosaurs fit into all of this (since Old-One Eye, Satanus and Golgotha link everything together, continuity-wise)?

I think that's a fantastic story waiting to be told.  I hope Prof. Mills does so (and I'm not usually a fan of filling in backstory). 

My thoughts are that the Flesh stories give us a glimpse of the beginnings of meddling with time travel, which will eventually lead to the Black Hole Bypass, the Time Wastes, the destruction of the overworld, and the rise of Terra/Termight.

Would love to see some Nemesis back, and this might be the way to do it. A history of the Warlocks would also be good: Gandarva's a great name for a series, don't you think?

Sorry for the ramble.

The Enigmatic Dr X

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Re: The Millsiverse
« Reply #1 on: 23 September, 2011, 02:53:35 PM »
I concur with my learned friend.
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Mardroid

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Re: The Millsiverse
« Reply #2 on: 23 September, 2011, 03:34:13 PM »
Considering the Mark one Hammersteins and Blackbloods that feature in Savage, I find myself wondering about the model ones that appeared in back-flash sequences of the earlier ABC Warriors stories. (I remember them appearing in The Black Hole, and I think they might have appeared in the first volume too, although I'm not sure.)

From those earlier stories, I got the impression that mark 3 was the Hammerstein model, although it seems his basic form was used right from the start (according to the Savage books). I guess it could be argued that there are in fact various mark one model war droids. Similar programming but different appearances, if that makes sense. We did see a cameo of Mek-Quake, or a similar model droid, in the last volume after all. The Hammersteins were just the ones deployed in Wales.

I'm probably putting way too much thought into this, but I like trying to marry up continuity.
« Last Edit: 23 September, 2011, 03:37:10 PM by Mardroid »

Dark Jimbo

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Re: The Millsiverse
« Reply #3 on: 23 September, 2011, 09:37:57 PM »
What happens between "The Rise And Fall Of ..." to get us to the Terran Empire and then Termight?

Okay - *deep breath*

Humanity goes on developing space travel (as seen in 'Rise and Fall...'), continuing their exploration and expansion to other worlds, like the industiral colonies of Mars, but Earth grows abused and overcrowded in the meantime. In time mankind begins to move downward, hollowing out the planet itself for more room, and this presumably brings about the first re-naming of the home world - Terra, rather than Earth. Terrans build huge cities beneath their planet's crust - Necropolis, Agartha and Mausoleum among them - and a vast network of travel tubes to get about.
Having settled underground, mankind looks to new symbols of worship beyond the traditional, but increasingly obsolete, worship of the sun and moon. The worm becomes a symbol of the cosmic mother, with the Black Hole venerated as a great worm-hole in time and space - the worm's soft, flexible shape encouraging a friendly, benevolent attitude to aliens. The matriarchal worm religion exists alongside the more aggressive, partiarchal termite religion, suggested by the likness of Terra's underground warrens to insect mounds - and indeed this religion views men as mere insects, obsessed with work, cogs in a machine.

The pace of outerspace exploration obviously isn't going fast enough for one Emperor Zalinn. He orders the creation of an artificial black and white hole on Terra itself - the greatest engineering achivement of all time, a highway to the heavens that enables Terran troops to conquer and subjugate a thousand planets, until Terra is the heart of a sprawling galactic empire, built upon purloined alien wealth.  Thus the 'Classical Age' of Terra begins. Belieiving their empire will last forever, they call themselves 'The Eternals.'
But this moniker has a double meaning - a byproduct of the black/white holes is the release of tachyon particles. The engineers do their best to ensure the planet isn't affected, but some leakage is unavoidable - seepage into overland renders the Terran surface a bleak, inhospitable and hostile place. Humankind's elite choose to see this time radiation as a great benefit. It enables them to extend their lifespans to a previously undreamt-of degree - 'regression' - allowing Zalinn to oversee the entirety of the two-century long black hole build, and cementing the dominance of the classical age.

Then the rot sets in.

The secrect of time radiation leads to a huge population explosion, and the dreaming spires of the Eternal cities start to become a seething, nightmare nest of humanity - never have they more resembled a termite's nest. People begin to question the wisdom of Zalinn's bequeathing such a dangerous legacy to threaten future generations. Time waste of the disposed anti-tachyon particles begins to cause other dangerous instabilities, such as they caused on the planet's surface centuuries previously. The empire starts to decay under a sucsession of weak rulers, culminating in the supremely decadent reign of Emperor Thano III, who permits alien and human intermarriage and remains oblivious to all concern or protest as the Terran empire begins to rot around him. Thano dies in the destruction of Agartha by the Monad, an event which signals not only the end of the Classic Age, but heralds the Fall of Science.

The inevitable backlash allows the Chief of the Tube Police, one Tomas de Torquemada, to seize power in a particularly bloody coup. There are few to oppose him and his force of terminators. Science and alien culture are scapegoated as the twin evils that have brought disaster to mankind. All alien life is ejected from Terra and mankind's space expansion becomes ruthlessly agressive. Books are burned, computers destroyed, the secrets of robotics are lost and thousands of scientists are butchered in anti-science riots. The alien-friendly nature of the cult of the worm makes it suspect under the new regime, and its followers are persecuted and burned as alien-lovers and heretics. In its abscence, humanity turns wholeheartedly to the termite religion. Torquemada declares himself head of the Church of Termite - unifying church and state - and renames Terra 'Termight' to ensure that the old religion could never emerge again.

Et voila. Enter Nemesis.
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credo

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Re: The Millsiverse
« Reply #4 on: 24 September, 2011, 01:22:04 AM »
I'd love to see that story played out in more than a single episode of the Black Hole saga. Especially the early part. I think the connection to Flesh could be really interesting. I also think the birth of the knights matial is a brilliant story waiting to be told.

Scrub that. I want a proper rise of tomas story complete with countless lengthy fascistic rants from the future grandmaster. Art by O'Neill or Flint of course.

For the Gandarva idea I'd go with Flint, O'Neill or Langley (pre photoshop).

strontium_dog_90

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Re: The Millsiverse
« Reply #5 on: 24 September, 2011, 08:27:00 PM »
Seconded.

Let's also hope the Nemesis property will make it to the big screen one day, if the Dredd movie is a hit and opens up the floodgates for more 2000ad strips. Can you imagine how cool that first sword fight between Nemesis and Torquemada would look up in 3d? That would be awesome!

Eric Plumrose

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Re: The Millsiverse
« Reply #6 on: 25 September, 2011, 12:35:28 PM »
    My bookshelf currently contains several volumes of Pat Mills finest waiting to be reread, including ABC Warriors, Savage and a soon to arrive Flesh: Dino Files.  It occurred to me that Prof. Mills' work has maintained a pretty consistent universe, which he seems to be increasingly trying to tie together.

    Well . . . it used to be. The Millsverse often dovetailed into itself (as well as the Dreddworld stuff) so effortlessly it almost seemed by design rather than due to Pat’s sheer creative ingenuity. For example:

    What happens to the ABC Warriors after Mars (First Mission), that ends up with Hammerstein (with a new head) in Ro-Busters?

    Originally, the second Volgan War happened at some point between 2050 (‘Hammer-Stein’s War Memoirs’ name-checks HARLEM HEROES) and 2070 (certainly no later than 2071, that's if Hammerstein was recalled from Mars to fight the Judges), when Booth initiates the Atomic Wars. By 2078, Hammer-Stein is employed by Ro-Busters (Disasters), Ltd., which means his timeline previously went something like this:

    Mid 21st Century (between 2050-2070/2071):
    • The second Volgan War (ABC WARRIORS, first series). Hammerstein (sans hyphen, now that's geekitude for you), a Mk. III wardroid, is given some TLC (ABC WARRIORS ‘The Black Hole’) before being deployed by the US Army (RO-BUSTERS ‘Hammer-Stein’s War Memoirs’)

    Mid 21st Century (pre 2070/2071):
    • The ABC warriors are sent to Mars (ABC WARRIORS, first series)

    2071:
    • Back on Earth, Hammerstein serves under General Blood 'n' Nuts in the Battle of Armageddon (q.v. JUDGE DREDD 'The Cursed Earth'). Surviving an assault by the Judges, Hammerstein is reactivated several years later and enters Mega-City One (HAMMERSTEIN), where he's later sold as army surplus (RO-BUSTERS).

    2078-2080:
    • Hammerstein is employed by Ro-Busters (Disasters), Ltd. until owner Howard Quartz decides he could do with making a nice little insurance claim (RO-BUSTERS)

    Everything fitted together just fine. That was, until Pat started ignoring his own dates. HAMMERSTEIN is set in 2114, IIRC. At the time, I assumed this was probably an editorial change just so the hard of thinking wouldn't get confused with what then was the current Dredd dateline; however, in ABC WARRIORS ‘The Volgan War’, it’s clearly stated the second Volgan War takes place from 2082-2084. If you squint hard enough you can pretend the 8 is actually a 6, which would fit without overwriting RO-BUSTERS from Hammerstein's timeline.

    Dates can be explained away (as typos, f'rinstance, such as Giant's supposed tomb in INFERNO giving a date that's a full century after when the strip was set), but Pat now has mek-troops featuring in SAVAGE. Bar their look, it doesn't actually contradict established continuity but it's too incredulous for me. Soldiers using powered armour? Sure, no prob. But actual stompy robots? With human brains? In 2011? In a strip I was hoping to catch up with 'coz it seemed like a sci-fi tinged SECRET ARMY?

    Bah. Best attribute it to a reality breakdown caused by some leakage from the time wastes. And metal fatigue.
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    Mikey

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    Re: The Millsiverse
    « Reply #7 on: 25 September, 2011, 12:44:43 PM »
    Dark Jimbo and Eric Plumrose are my heroes. Good work fellas!

    So, is it all design by Pat to tie all his creations together to stop anyone else having a squeak of a chance to pen a yarn without getting bogged down in the continuity?

    M.
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    Re: The Millsiverse
    « Reply #8 on: 26 September, 2011, 04:08:59 AM »
    Bah. Best attribute it to a reality breakdown caused by some leakage from the time wastes. And metal fatigue.

    Don't forget the timeline being constantly rewritten resulting from the copious amount of time travel involved.

    Or, failing that, Thoth buggering about in the Time Wastes.
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    Richmond Clements

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    Re: The Millsiverse
    « Reply #9 on: 26 September, 2011, 09:55:18 AM »
    Some quality nerding on this thread!
    Brilliant stuff guys!

    O Lucky Stevie!

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    Re: The Millsiverse
    « Reply #10 on: 26 September, 2011, 11:09:44 AM »
    Agreed.

    Stevie's been reading since Prog 6; that's a good two years before discovering Arthur C Clarke filed on the shelf above Terrence Dicks in the Gepps Cross Primary School library. Always prefered Nemesis to Dredd. The first American comic he ever bought that wasn't a media tie-in  was Metalzoic.

    Yet only reading Dark Jimbo's post above has he consciously recognised how vastly, beautifully Stapledonian Mills' vision is.
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    Mikey

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    Re: The Millsiverse
    « Reply #11 on: 26 September, 2011, 12:41:28 PM »
    beautifully Stapledonian Jimbo and Eric's memories are.

    Fixed!

    M.
    To tell the truth, you can all get screwed.