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Spoilers => Prog => : A.Cow 27 April, 2019, 01:19:00 PM

: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: A.Cow 27 April, 2019, 01:19:00 PM
Hmmm ... that cover is perhaps a little too murky?

(https://i.ibb.co/vVz2qtB/prog2129-print.jpg)

Judge Dredd: The Long Game (part 4) -- I normally like Michael Carroll's stories, but this one has not grabbed me. Too big a cast, with too many (needlessly-identified-by-name) throwaway characters.

Scarlet Traces: Homefront (part 4) -- enjoying this as usual.  Some subtle references (Richard Shops!) alongside not-so-subtle ones (Hobbs Lane/End).

Max Normal: How The Max Got His Stripes (part 6) -- has been so-so for me, but found myself extremely irked by the anachronistic references in gallery paintings.

Future Shocks: They Shoot Monsters, Don't They? -- satisfactory.

Kingmaker: Ouroboros (part seven) -- not my personal cup of tea, but others here are clearly enjoying it.
: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: Eamonn Clarke 27 April, 2019, 02:49:40 PM
From cover artist David Millgate's own feed:

(https://i.imgur.com/jZX1WRq.jpg)
: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: Eamonn Clarke 27 April, 2019, 02:59:45 PM
Could to see the return of Quatermass' Hobbs Lane underground station in Scarlet Traces.

And puzzling but intriguing last page appearance of a certain character (thats's Kurt Vonnegut again, isn't it?) which hints at something huge?
: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: Batman's Superior Cousin 27 April, 2019, 04:06:53 PM
And puzzling but intriguing last page appearance of a certain character (thats's Kurt Vonnegut again, isn't it?) which hints at something huge?

Well, it certainly looks like him.
: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: Colin YNWA 27 April, 2019, 05:30:16 PM
Well that is a BLINDIN' Prog, just superb. I got the last one just yesterday and that was great, to read the next, less than 24yrs later and for it to be even better is a joy.

Okay so the Future Shock wasn't a classic but it was solid and the art, while not as standout as last weeks has a lot of potential. Man these comp winners are certainly going all out for the gross out endings!

Dredd I really like the direct this one took BUT I kinda didn't like the idea that Dredd alone was so significent. Okay I fully accept that he's the finest Judge there's ever been and to crimes the very devil himself - as stated - BUT he is just one man and therefore can't individually just a thorn in the side of every criminal gang there is all the time... can he... so knowing where he is  useful like 0.2% of the time, or some such and no help if say Anderson, or Giant or Rico etc etc get onto ya tail... anyway that was a shame as overall this was really well done.

The rest are all sublime

Scarlet Traces was a deft and superb balance of action and character.

Kingmaker was a deft and superb balance of action and character with a ending that rolls our Brass world. What the... is that... how do... wow, just wow...

Pick of the pops however - even with that ending - is Max Normal - as I've said before I never, for one moment thought I needed an origin story for Max - until I read this. Just sublime, absolutely sublime. The balance between tense action of the past and the swamping melancholly of the 'present' is just brilliant. This is a blindin' thrill.

Thank you Tharg.
: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: Magnetica 27 April, 2019, 09:02:02 PM
Really liked this Dredd. It has the feel of the start of something..would be good to see Sage, the Parliament and the Kindred again. Best Carroll Dredd so far for me. I am though with Colin on the importance of Dredd...didn't think the line about keeping Dredd around because his replacement could be worse made much sense. It doesn't work like that...they just have Judges coming through, they wouldn't specifically make a "super" one to replace Dredd.

The rest of the Prog was treading water for me...until the last panel in Kingmaker. Oh my, does that mean what I think it does? Seems may be it does given others comments.

Max's origins aren't grabbing me. So he basically based his style  on some-one else...hmmm....where did he get his style from?
Didn't really get the future shock.
Scarlet Traces feels like part of a bigger story..looking forward to reading it again when complete.
: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: McNulty 27 April, 2019, 10:30:07 PM
they wouldn't specifically make a "super" one to replace Dredd.


They already did replace Dredd, when he took the Long Walk, Silver decided to use a replacement with the same genetic code to take Dredd's place. Dredd is more than a man, to many because of what he has done and what he stands for, he is a symbol of Justice. The criminals undoubtably see him in the same way.
: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: Geoff 28 April, 2019, 04:11:54 PM
Again, Sexton's art on Dredd was great, but the conclusion of the story didn't work for me for reasons already set out above.

Kingmaker and Scarlett Traces are still great reads, with quite a surprise in Kingmaker! Does that mean what I think it means...!?

The Max Normal strip I've mainly enjoyed but there has always been something that irks about it, I'm not quite sure what, but I felt it more this episode..still keeping with it though.

The Future Shock on the other hand was unpleasant rather than shocking and the art was a rather clumsy and unattractive mish-mash.

A mixed bag then...

: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: Leigh S 28 April, 2019, 04:28:46 PM
just back from my travels - no 2128 no 2129 - wassup, Tharg??
: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: Geoff 28 April, 2019, 06:23:54 PM
just back from my travels - no 2128 no 2129 - wassup, Tharg??


A lot of 2128s, including mine, fell prey to an Easter thrill-sucker outbreak, a replacement request may be in order.

Normal service resumed with 2129 for me... 
: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: The Enigmatic Dr X 30 April, 2019, 08:06:43 PM
I've no idea who the Einstein-a-like is at the end of Kingmaker. Who is it?

And the (I think) mid-page time jump was jarring too.
: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: Jim_Campbell 30 April, 2019, 08:11:20 PM
I've no idea who the Einstein-a-like is at the end of Kingmaker. Who is it?

I'm assuming it's the Kurt Vonnegut character who's been lurking about in people's heads in Brass Sun.
: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: The Enigmatic Dr X 30 April, 2019, 08:39:02 PM
I've no idea who the Einstein-a-like is at the end of Kingmaker. Who is it?

I'm assuming it's the Kurt Vonnegut character who's been lurking about in people's heads in Brass Sun.

It's all too much for me to remember!
: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: Trout 01 May, 2019, 01:38:07 AM
Fuuuuuuuck that's a good twist in Kingmaker. Shared universe stuff is always fun. Nice work.

I'm still loving Scarlet Traces and Max Normal, and I enjoyed that Dredd story. I appreciate my weekly anthology comic!

- Trout
: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: broodblik 01 May, 2019, 05:30:00 AM
Another good prog.

Highlights are Kingmaker (nice twist at the end) and Scarlet Traces. The Dredd story was great as well.

Max Normal I am enjoying more than I should since not the character or the artists was my favorites (both growing on me)
: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: Frank 01 May, 2019, 09:47:38 AM
Really liked this Dredd ...didn't think the line about keeping Dredd around because his replacement could be worse (didn't make) much sense. It doesn't work like that...they just have Judges coming through, they wouldn't specifically make a "super" one to replace Dredd.

Dredd is more than a man, to many. Because of what he has done and what he stands for, he is a symbol of Justice. The criminals undoubtedly see him in the same way.

All that's true, but that isn't the reason the strip gives for sparing Dredd. Boss Ginger figgers the ability to track the judge assigned to their case is an advantage.

Dredd's not pursuing a personal vendetta against Ginger, Matrix and Don't Speak because they've Taken his daughter or killed his dog; he's a just a cop assigned to a case. Take out Dredd and another Rozzer would take over the case. That's what's meant by 'his replacement', not a clone.

The script even tells you this is the reason. Then, just in case you missed it or aren't convinced, helpfully explains that it is a good reason.

(https://i.imgur.com/6AvYDdN.png?2)


: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: The Adventurer 01 May, 2019, 07:58:00 PM
I think it's more basic then that. They have an asset that can tell where one of the city's most prolific Judges is at nearly any time. If you killed Dredd, that asset would no long function. It's more useful to potentially manipulate Dredd, then manipulate no one.
: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: The Adventurer 01 May, 2019, 09:01:06 PM
PS: This chapter of Max Normal should win an Eisner
: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: TordelBack 01 May, 2019, 11:43:21 PM
PS: This chapter of Max Normal should win an Eisner

Seconded.  I don't really know what it is about it, but this strip has been pure gold for me, and this episode is the best so far.  It's just a damned good story,  sharp sharp dialogue,  beautifully illustrated and carefully paced.  I hadn't given Max a second thought for years until this, even with his appearances in Lenny Zero and various specials etc.  Now he fascinates me. I'm even rather hoping Joe himself rides to the rescue next week. Seriously good work gents.

Elsewhere, what a good Dredd this has been. Nice worldbuilding from Mike, and just stonking art from Sexton and Charles. I didn't even mind the torture scene,  and I normally hate those. Hoping for a swift return for this storyline.

Scarlet Traces does its thing, and it is such a wonderful thing. What can be left of Autumn's underground bolthole after all this time? What will Hemming find there?

Oh Kingmaker, couldn't you have stood on your own two feet a bit longer?  I like a good twist as much as the next squaxx,  but I've been really loving this strip and I don't know that I needed to see it fold into Brass Sun. Ah well, could be great.

Future Shock was a disturbing riff on Pokemon, and while the art had some really fantastic moments,  I don't think all of it was all the way there just yet. Definitely want to see more from this team!

: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: norton canes 02 May, 2019, 10:31:14 AM
Cover: Looks like a 90's throwback... in a good way! The colouring is a bit muddy but I like that the white glare prides a crisp contrast.

Dredd: I've really enjoyed Michael Carroll's story. It's been great that though Dredd is rarely there in person he feels like a constant presence and remains germane to the plot. We're clearly destined to hear more from The Kindred and The Parliament. Agree that keeping Dredd alive if you know where he is is a better option than wasting him.

Scarlet Traces: See, this is the problem I have with ST - it's a decently exciting episode but the drama and tension is undermined by the fact that the tone is all over the place. One minute we've got a horrifically burned soldier performing a last heroic deed; the next, the characters are using language like 'Spit-spot!' to hurry each other along. OK, there's nothing fundamentally wrong with mixing the approach but for me, this is too broad.

Max: This has been brilliant, but with a couple of caveats... as mentioned upthread, the anachronistic stylings of the hipsters in future MC-1 is a bit annoying, as is the continual use of rhymes in their hip talk - I know it's what Maxie baby does, but especially in the full-page panel it gets too much!

Future Shock: Promising work from a new brace of script and art droids

Kingmaker: Must admit I haven't read this yet as I was too tired alst night after watching the World Shuggy Championships too late, but I inadvertently skipped to the last page and saw... Donald Sutherland's character from Invasion Of The Body Snatchers..? Oh, it's Kurt Vonnegut. Haven't read the chapters of Brass in which he appears.

: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: TordelBack 02 May, 2019, 11:33:21 AM
Hey, remember recently when everyone thought Joe Deadd?  In a Mike Carroll story no less!  Well at least one guy knew he wasn't. Be interesting to see if Sage did anything with that info...

Other than the aforementioned Every Empire Falls series (which had plenty of other substitute judges as protagonists), has Mike done a largely Dreddless story since Caterpillars?  'Cos that was pretty good, and The Long Game has been great. I think we've been missing a decent ongoing underworld setup in the main strip since the Frendz went robowang-up and Ewing's Deller stuff wrapped up: the Kindred and the smaller fish implied by the Parliament's plight seem fit the bill. Get typing, Mike.
: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: broodblik 02 May, 2019, 01:15:32 PM
I like Mike Carroll's Dredd stories. I can see that he will now start world building around the The Kindred and The Parliament. This was definitely a good intro into the underworld.
: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: Southstreeter 02 May, 2019, 01:40:38 PM
The prog’s not really doing it for me at the moment. The Dredd was OK but most of this story has been a generic gangster tale that hasn’t really grabbed me. Scarlet Traces - have we seen these characters before? If we have I’ve forgotten them, and if we haven’t, then I struggle to see why I should care about them after just a couple of episodes. What happened to the main characters from previous series? Max Normal I find too wordy, Kingmaker is fine, and the less said about the FS the better.
So I’m marking time until the next clear out - next prog may prove an interesting diversion.
: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: staticgirl 02 May, 2019, 03:34:22 PM
Still haven't got this. I am not often getting the prog before it hits the shops, nowdays.
: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: Bolt-01 02 May, 2019, 03:49:51 PM
Scarlet Traces - have we seen these characters before? If we have I’ve forgotten them, and if we haven’t, then I struggle to see why I should care about them after just a couple of episodes. What happened to the main characters from previous series?

I 'think' that the rather plucky senior citizen running around in London is the reporter lady from the Dark Horse mini of a good few years ago. Which would make this a welcome return to a character from a previous book. However, I may be wrong - a re-read of the whole saga is long overdue for this Squaxx.
: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: Dark Jimbo 02 May, 2019, 04:13:06 PM
Scarlet Traces - have we seen these characters before? If we have I’ve forgotten them, and if we haven’t, then I struggle to see why I should care about them after just a couple of episodes. What happened to the main characters from previous series?

I 'think' that the rather plucky senior citizen running around in London is the reporter lady from the Dark Horse mini of a good few years ago. Which would make this a welcome return to a character from a previous book. However, I may be wrong - a re-read of the whole saga is long overdue for this Squaxx.

Aye, I think it's the protagonist from The Great Game.
: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: Tjm86 03 May, 2019, 06:46:17 PM
I like Mike Carroll's Dredd stories. I can see that he will now start world building around the The Kindred and The Parliament. This was definitely a good intro into the underworld.

Fair point.  My only thing though is that it was a tale about the wider MC1 world that was better suited to the Meg than the main Dredd strip.  I think for me if it had been run like that I would perhaps taken to it a bit more. 

It also suffered from a common flaw of Carroll's work of not completely landing properly.  It puts me in mind of a lot of the old STNG double episodes that always seemed to run out of steam / ideas before they got to the final scene.
: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: coastguardjackuk 04 May, 2019, 12:48:07 PM
Tharg! You made my day when I read the damage report, thanks! And a big shout to the wife for arranging it!!!!!
: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: broodblik 04 May, 2019, 01:08:36 PM
I like Mike Carroll's Dredd stories. I can see that he will now start world building around the The Kindred and The Parliament. This was definitely a good intro into the underworld.

Fair point.  My only thing though is that it was a tale about the wider MC1 world that was better suited to the Meg than the main Dredd strip.  I think for me if it had been run like that I would perhaps taken to it a bit more. 


I agree that it would have made sense to publish this story in the Meg but I do think that we will get more stories related to the Kindred and Parliament coming up. If you read the May solicitation about Dredd ", and Judge Dredd tackles organised crime in ‘The Fall of Barbarbara Grimm’ by Mike Carroll and Nick Dyer!". The reason for the prog running of the story.
: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: Proudhuff 04 May, 2019, 01:46:50 PM
Maybe its just me being tired and jaded, but with the notable exception of Scarlet Traces nothing is working in the prog for me just now.
 I've given up on Kingmaker, the FS didnt hook me, Max Normal feels like one of those slightly misjudged 'What ever happened to...' series from a few years back that missed the mark.

And the Dredd doesn't seem to be a Dredd story but a complex and on-going tale that would perhaps be better suited to a novel or a text story in the Megazine. I'm hoping this isnt world building: I've thought the big Organised Crime syndicates in Dredd stories seldom seem plausible, especially when they are portrayed as ongoing soap operas. and as mentioned above trying to remember minor characters from one-off stories from way back is beyond my feeble mind, having said that, au contraire! seeing the return of the main character from The Great Game in Scarlet Traces was a joy, along with Hobb's End and yes 'Spit-spot' which is totally in keeping with her character, especially after the heroic waste of life before it.

: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: TordelBack 04 May, 2019, 02:34:29 PM
Aye, I think it's the protagonist from The Great Game.

Yeah, it's Charlotte Hemmings the war photographer, the PoV character of The Great Game.  Hobb's End (of quasi-Quatermass infamy) Tube Station was where Robert Autumn, the protagonist of the original Scarlet Traces that ran/was reprinted in the Meg had his underground hideout. That's what she's looking for. 

We're up against that old chestnut of long-running stories and whether every tale should be self-contained in 5- or even 60-page chunks.  Given Scarlet Traces is a long-running alternate history stretching from the end of the 19th C to the 1970s (so far), losing the sense of decades passing by discarding older characters would be a bad idea.
: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: The Adventurer 04 May, 2019, 02:50:41 PM
I never read any of the prior-2000AD War of the World’s/Scarlet Traces series, and I had no problem understanding what was going on. I figured she was a returning character and was looking for something of prior series importance. Didn’t impact my enjoyment.
: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: norton canes 08 May, 2019, 11:28:39 AM
Cover: Looks like a 90's throwback... in a good way! The colouring is a bit muddy but I like that the white glare prides a crisp contrast

Well it sure looks muddy now because I spilled coffee all over it this morning.
: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: Theblazeuk 08 May, 2019, 01:37:12 PM
My theory is that going forwards most depictions of God in Tooth are going to look like Kurt Vonnegut just to make you nerds second guess yourself.
: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: DrJomster 27 June, 2019, 10:10:44 PM
I took a massive twelve (yes, twelve!) week break while not feeling in the mood for the prog... and now I’m back and this is good stuff.

Great to see new talent given a chance in the prog. More of that please!

The other thrills all worked really well for me. LOVED that single panel page in Max Normal. Love the colour palette in Scarlet Traces. Kingdom and Dredd also just bringing the awesome and roll on next prog... it’s the all ages special so let’s see what we shall see!
: Re: Prog 2129 - Once Upon A Crime...
: Funt Solo 06 May, 2021, 05:42:22 PM
(https://i.imgur.com/TOxPh5N.png)

Definitely one of those wtf, slap-in-the-face moments in the comic. While it certainly made me sit up and take notice, I wasn't best pleased that it seemed as if a great new story (Kingmaker) was going to fold into Brass Sun. I also like Brass Sun - I just thought folding one into the other would weaken both.

Given the subsequent completion of the arc, though, it seems as if they just share a representation of a supreme being - as if Q suddenly turned up in Star Wars. Or, given the material here, LOTR.