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Messages - IndigoPrime

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Prog / Prog 2294: East Wired
« on: 06 August, 2022, 11:38:56 AM »
A suitably grim cover by Alex Ronald and the promise of more Dept. X and we hit the Dredd finale. It all feels a bit muddled to me, to be honest. The final page is a bit of blunt commentary on the present day. Fine.

An Alan Grant obit wisely sits in the Prog rather than the Meg, before Brink ramps up considerably. (Also: part 23? Wow. Nice to see Tharg agreeing to play the long game with this. It’s going to be a chunky collection when reprinted!) Twisty McTwisterson, too.

Skip Tracer is… quite good this week, when taken on its own merits. Sure, it’s cliched, but it’s at least barrelling forward, looks good, and has some solid plotting. My guess, though, is it’s heading towards Blake’s great escape and he ends up going off with his kid. If not, fair enough, but enough with the parent killings, yeah?

Dexter ends well, although AI-Sinister looks deeply weird in the final frame. And then there’s Jaegir, which is also really good, with an interesting last page in all sorts of ways.

Brink > Jaegir > Dexter > Dredd = Skip Tracer

Prog / Re: Prog 2293 - Leave no trace!
« on: 06 August, 2022, 11:33:50 AM »
A solid Dredd, but, yes, he’s being a dick. He does love brinksmanship. Brink starts a shift from talking to doing. Skip Tracer presumably writes out another cast member, although the story itself is solid. Dexter is a lot of fun. And Jaegir picks up. Oddly, I think Dexter might have been my favourite thing this week.

Dexter > Brink = Jaegir > Dredd = Skip Tracer

General / Re: Forum’s Fav Thrill - Halo Jones vs. Shakara Rd 5 Heat 5
« on: 06 August, 2022, 11:30:39 AM »
Not sure what the official count was, but I make that roughly 2:1 in favour of Halo Jones. Like Colin said, that in itself is quite interesting for the later stages.

Announcements / Re: 2000 AD - The Ultimate Collection
« on: 06 August, 2022, 11:26:22 AM »
I wonder how much of the Kot Devlin we get in that book. Curious they go all-in on the lesser run by McConville and don’t even mention Kot in the write-up but perhaps it’s more palatable to the masses.

General / Re: Forum’s Fav Thrill - Low Life vs. The Out Rd 5 Heat 8
« on: 05 August, 2022, 09:33:12 PM »
2000ad has a ton of female characters both in titular roles and in important ancillary roles.

I don’t really examine the gender of helmeted background characters nor would I jump to conclusions on gender from general body shape.
Oh, give over. It’s pretty clear most artists are drawing themselves. Several have admitted as much here. The vast majority of people in Dredd are white, say, despite those demographics making no sense for the US 120+ years from now. And, sure, not every background character that presents as a man will be male; but really? I mean, I think Dredd is one of the most underrated strips in modern comics history, but defending it on the basis of any inclusivity would be extremely tough.

As for 2000 AD having a ton of female characters, only if that number stands in isolation. There are far, far more male characters. That’s hardly surprising, given the comic’s origins and target audience. But that doesn’t change that basic maths.

General / Re: Forum’s Fav Thrill - Low Life vs. The Out Rd 5 Heat 8
« on: 05 August, 2022, 11:25:19 AM »
Having female lead characters is a precious commodity in 2000 AD
I don’t see Funt’s comment as remotely controversial. And that comes across when you see things like multi-character covers that include few if any women. Balance is somewhat better these days, but far from perfect, and, as I’ve said on other threads, that permeates entire strips right through to background characters. (How often do we have a Dredd with a named important female Judge, and so she’s, rightly, drawn as a woman. But then literally every other Judge in the stripe defaults to a man?)

It also looks like we’re approaching the point where nostalgia takes over to enough of a degree that certain strips will sail through. I hope that’s not the case though. It’d be a bit sad if the last eight are all strips from the early 1980s.

General / Re: Forum’s Fav Thrill - Low Life vs. The Out Rd 5 Heat 8
« on: 04 August, 2022, 12:38:33 PM »
rather than wandering aimlessly through the Universe so...
That feels unfair. Yes, the protagonist is exploring and seeing where her adventures take her. But the strip itself is a long way from being aimless. In a short time, it’s done an awful lot, along with giving us multiple gut-punch twists.

I’ve never really understood the appeal of VCs. I find it… fine. But it’s just another future war story with the odd quirk that feels formulaic and honestly fades into the background with all the others. The reboot did nothing for me.

Fiends is the opposite of formulaic – a strip that has managed to reinvent itself meaningfully a couple of times now. The most recent run had its problems (really wants to be Hellboy; not sustainable if the lead and his foes are immortals, punching each other’s face off), but the imagination and art from that original GFD run through to the present showcase this as something special, rather than something fairly ordinary.

I’m certain the VCs will win this, but Fiends takes it for me.

General / Re: Forum’s Fav Thrill - Low Life vs. The Out Rd 5 Heat 8
« on: 04 August, 2022, 09:51:51 AM »
Lowlife was great, bringing some real depth and heart to a part of the Dreddworld that had until then mostly been played for laughs. I’m not keen on where it ended up, but then Titan and such are Judge Dredd strips, not Low Life strips and so don’t count here.

However, The Out is my favourite strip since Kingdom at the very least. I think it’s superb on every level. It has gorgeous visuals, and interesting structure, and has already in its short life packed several emotion wallops along with providing quite a few mirth-filled moments. Also, in a comic that’s still so geared towards male leads, it’s good to have another strip that’s resolutely based around a woman.

I was happy when I got Low Life in HC via the UC. I was bloody overjoyed when I heard there was a webshop HC of The Out on the way. So: The Out. Honestly, it’s not even that close either – which says a lot, given how much I enjoyed Low Life.

Lack of paper, most likely. It’s an industry-wide problem.

It's *subjective*, IP!
Well, sure. I figure it’s obvious that whatever I say here is opinion, not a set-in-stone fact. Like I said, if Sláine wins, I’d like to know why. So it’s good to see people putting down their reasoning… some at length! ;)

General / Re: Forum’s Fav Thrill - Halo Jones vs. Shakara Rd 5 Heat 5
« on: 03 August, 2022, 10:05:41 AM »
Well, we all know Halo Jones is going to win this. And it is a really strong strip, which did some important things for 2000 AD. Most notably, it gave the Prog a rare female lead, and provided a strip largely devoid of machismo. Even when it dipped into war, it did so in a manner that had the blackest of black humour – like the moon war in Dredd but taken to a dark and horrifying extreme. I’m fine with how it ended (well, IMO), and never thought it needed another six or so books.

Shakara gave the Prog a kick up the arse in a different way. Visually, it’s stunning and striking. Wiping out humans from the off was entertaining and different. But also, what initially looked like a one-note Nemesis knock-off quickly evolved into something that could sit alongside the best of that strip – and in terms of consistency bettered it in all sorts of ways. Honestly, it probably nudges ahead in terms of the book I’d rescue from certain doom if one was destined to be shot by an arrow or something.

So: Shakara, by a nose. Heck, a sliver of a nose.

Good grief. If Sláine wins this, I’d love to know why. Yes, some (not all) of those early strips were fantastic – despite whiffing of Conan, it brought something different into the Prog, and mashing in bits and pieces from actual Celtic mythology was a very smart move by Mills. It brought the strip an air of authenticity similar strips don’t have. Sky Chariots is a high for the Prog. Horned God is as well, visually at least. (On re-reading it in the UC, it… doesn’t stand up as well as I remembered it.)

But Sláine also had years of meandering crap, and even of late had descended into something akin to borderline parody. It felt like Mills was tired and the strips themselves were tiresome, despite lovely art. Taken as a whole, the strip isn’t that strong for me – probably better than Rogue Trooper, but below other 2000 AD heavy hitters.

Strontium, Dog was an odd one on an UC re-read as well. I liked quite a few of the classic strips less than I remembered, but the reboot stuff a bit more. However, there are at least as many highs in the classic run as Sláine had (The Killing; Rage; some great moments on Portrait of a Mutant), and the art is relentlessly high quality. There are some issues. Final Solution is heavy handed. The Life and Death of Johnny Alpha is humourless grimdark Strontium Dog that feels bitter. It’s far, far too long, and I vehemently disliked what Wagner did regarding Hogan and Feral. Even so, on paper, this looks like Man City vs Liverpool, but ultimately it’s more like Man City vs Leicester – a titan vs an opponent that has had some big highs but mostly exists in a range of good to mediocrity.

So: Strontium Dog, and it’s not even close.

General / Re: Forum’s Fav Thrill - Stickleback vs. Brink Rd 5 Heat 3
« on: 02 August, 2022, 01:15:00 PM »
Quote from: The Mind of Wolfie Smith link=topic=48810.msg1089622#msg1089622 dae=1659433881

a homage to halo jones is obviously a good thing. but, y'know, the original is still best.

Are you sure you're not thinking of The Out?
Mm. I can see bits of Halo in The Out, but Brink is mostly a procedural cop thriller with some horror in the mix, set in space. There’s no obvious overlap with Moore’s story.

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