2000 AD Online Forum

Spoilers => Prog => : Richard 24 April, 2021, 12:49:46 PM

: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: Richard 24 April, 2021, 12:49:46 PM
A good prog this week. Visions of Deadworld is back for a two-episode story, but the first episode works perfectly well as a one-off story in its own right. I really like these stories.

A Penitent Man reaches its penultimate episode. Not much to say that hasn't already been said, it's a good tale. Looking forward to seeing how it ends.

Feral and Foe is full of innuendo and smut, which is entertaining.

Thistlebone isn't for me I'm afraid, but I'm sure the people who like it will enjoy it this week.

There's a Future Shock with art by Glenn Fabry. Story-wise, I enjoyed the first five pages, and I thought it was going to end in a particular way, but then the sixth page disappointed me, and also made much of what had happened earlier seem irrelevant. It reads (to me anyway) as if the writer originally had another ending in mind and then was told to change it, but didn't adjust the rest of the story. I'll be interested to read what others think about this one. I'd still like to see more stories from Mark McCann though.

The cover is by Dermot Power; when did we last see him round this way?
 
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: davidbishop 24 April, 2021, 01:27:33 PM
The late 1990s, I believe.
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: broodblik 24 April, 2021, 02:27:30 PM
Cover by Dermot Power :

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EzkXTZVWQAEGabe?format=jpg&name=large)
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: broodblik 24 April, 2021, 02:27:54 PM
Cover and Logo:

(https://dyn.media.forbiddenplanet.com/Izf5x6phX59VX54pxmTW43MVPYU=/trim/fit-in/779x1024/filters:format(webp)/https://media.forbiddenplanet.com/products/19/c5/6632dcc548386536e4b80638fb21be33e9d4.jpeg)
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: broodblik 24 April, 2021, 02:29:46 PM
The cover is one super Powerful cover. Awesome
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: Colin YNWA 24 April, 2021, 03:08:22 PM
The cover popped up on Facebook, not that long ago as something he did for fun to scratch an itch as I recall. I might be miss remembering but I'm sure that was the case. Tharg must have seen it and not surprisingly thought it shouldn't languish on fansite and bitter biters and commissioned it as a cover. Lovely one it is too.
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: Colin YNWA 24 April, 2021, 03:08:41 PM
Phew didn't dream that...

https://m.facebook.com/story/graphql_permalink/?graphql_id=UzpfSTU0MDIzNzgxMDpWSzoxMDE1OTY0MzQzNzAwODUxNA%3D%3D (https://m.facebook.com/story/graphql_permalink/?graphql_id=UzpfSTU0MDIzNzgxMDpWSzoxMDE1OTY0MzQzNzAwODUxNA%3D%3D)
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: Art 24 April, 2021, 03:51:01 PM
I like it. Bit of a Bill S vibe.
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: Colin YNWA 24 April, 2021, 08:45:13 PM
Enough cover talk let's get into the meat under that cover.

Dredd remains superb. No real suprises after last week, but a neat way to turn the table and some clearly off screen Dredd grit make this story an ongoing delight with astonishing art.

Thistlebone likewise does offer too many surprises as the tale from the past seems to reach its conclusion and then the past calls Seema. Great stuff.

Visions of Deadworld a two parter that does not mess about at all cutting stright to the action and building really well. Looking forward to where this one goes next week. Excellent.

Future Shocks
from the same team that brought us the triumph that was Congested Anima back in 2146. This one isn't quite as good and took me a couple of goes but its a good story.

Feral and Foe The gags are smutastic this week and feel curiously more embedded even as they get more Carry On. Exciting cliffhanger to- Good stuff.

Yeah so this is a great Prog. Everything is at least good, some things better. Can't really ask for more.
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: JayzusB.Christ 26 April, 2021, 07:41:25 AM
I haven't read it yet but that's a lovely cover.  Kind of reverse-Terminator; stomping on skulls and all.  Though someone needs to tell the Power droid that lawgivers have changed since his day :)
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: BPP 26 April, 2021, 10:36:09 AM
It might just be me but is his gun bending?

Still it’s bloody lovely.
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: Barrington Boots 26 April, 2021, 11:27:29 AM
What a great cover that is! Awesome to see Power's work gracing the Prog again.

Dredd All building up to a conclusive confrontation. I've probably said before how I like Niemand's take on these tales: his inhabitants of MC1 are often more sympathetic, with Dredd and the judges as looming threats rather than the central protagonists. It lends things more of an optimistic and tragic air, the droids brave yet pointless stand being a good example of that. Great art, top story, top stuff.

Thistlebone Not much to say about this episode that hasn't already been said. It's slow, but that's ok: I guessed who didn't make it off the scout trip, and I have no idea what's going to happen next.

Visions of Deadworld Loved this. All action, all horror - the designs on Mimir and Fenris are really good - Fenris's mouth splitting wider than it should as he confronts the engineer is just so grotesque. These bleak little snapshots are some of my favourite things in the Prog at the moment.

Future Shocks I wasn't hugely into this one. Nice twist with the focus on the strip not being on who you think, but overall didn't really work for me.

Feral and Foe Brilliant stuff again. Less meta, more smutty. Can't get enough of this. That's a serious looking woodgood. WOOD FOR THE WOODGOD!

: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: JayzusB.Christ 26 April, 2021, 12:09:04 PM
It might just be me but is his gun bending?

Still it’s bloody lovely.

It did occur to me. It's a mind-twistingly hard thing to do, that type of foreshortening of geometrical shapes.  I feck it up all the time in my murals and window paintings, and the Power droid is a million times better than I'll ever be.  So as you say, all good - bloody lovely indeed.
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: JimmyNailz 26 April, 2021, 06:31:30 PM
AstraZeneca had me feeling rundown and emotional when reading Dredd, and THAT is why the sewage droids made me cry, your honour.😭
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: Link Prime 27 April, 2021, 09:20:45 AM
Cover by Dermot Power :

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EzkXTZVWQAEGabe?format=jpg&name=large)

You still got it, champ.
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: broodblik 28 April, 2021, 04:29:16 AM
Another week another entertaining prog. Just loved the cover !!!

Dredd – This episode is all about the build-up heading for the grand finale. Will The Pertinent Man survive and will Dredd get his answers?

Thistlebone – The past story is now all stitched-up as we are heading back to the present. I liked the technique Davis employed telling us the past tense. The episode ends in a cliff-hanger as we are still in the dark if Thistlebone is real or not.

Visions – Another interesting back story as the creepy return. A lot of action and a more straight forward story but that might change next week

TFS – Conceptionally this was an interesting Shocker but it felt a little bid bland at the end. We have a good build-up and then the story started in another direction. The ending did not quite get there for me.

Feral & Foe – This round something we all knew but did not know what it was revealed. Krodgun is soulless. The rest of the gang is enjoying the feast soon realize they are literally part of the feast. Enjoying this series and kudos for Abnett/Elson telling us a very entertaining story.
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: The Corinthian 28 April, 2021, 08:57:45 AM
The rest of the gang is enjoying the feast soon realize they are literally part of the feast.

Given F&F is poking fun at a lot of genre conventions, I spent most of this week's strip assuming that the whole "fattening up" thing was a red herring and waiting for the real twist.
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: broodblik 28 April, 2021, 09:19:01 AM
You might be spot on Corinthian all might not be what is displayed on the last page. It would be "great" if it is not as straight forward.
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: TordelBack 29 April, 2021, 06:35:29 AM
I'm with The Corinthian on expecting a bit more overturning of convention in Fortnum & Mason, but maybe next week? Liked the woodwose designs.

Thistlebone too maybe errs on the predictable side this week. Love the final linked panel of Seema and Malcolm, and the random one-eyed granny.

Future Shock. I'm grateful that a schoolgirl changing-room underwear fight was rendered so resolutely un-sexily by Fabry, even one in a virtual-reality prison. When I saw the great man was back again, I was wondering why Tharg wasn't trumpeting it on the cover, but it may be for the best. Marks to McCann for a thoughtful setup, but I'm not sure I fully understood it in the end.

Dredd remains solidly solid plotwise, elevated by the art. Loyal robots an unexpected pleasure, but the 'lawgivers don't work here' thing is horribly old. Sort that out, TekDiv, or let writers do the Tower King reboot they so often seem to crave.

Cover highlight of the week. Interesting to see Power and Fabry back in the prog at the same time. 
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: gogilesgo 29 April, 2021, 08:23:57 AM
Took me a while to warm to Tom Foster's art in the Dredd story but my god, that panel on the second page with Judge Copper dwarfed by the two SJS droids put a lump in my throat.

Incredible sense of scale.
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: norton canes 29 April, 2021, 10:47:05 AM
Cover: Lovely stuff, glad it was rescued from obscurity. The bullet hole in the shoulder pad is a great touch. Was it a near miss or a flesh wound? Perhaps that explains the bared teeth...

'A Penitent Man': A brilliant story that would have graced any era of Dredd. The scale of the SJS droids does indeed elevate them. The exchange between Asher and the droids on the first page is a fantastic example of how to give extra value to an already tremendous story - just a little moment that helps bring it to life. You know how occasionally - very occasionally, I should say - strips in the prog don't completely fire up the thrill-circuits? Often it's not down to some intrinsic flaw, but because little things like this don't happen. 'Value Added Material', I think they call it.

Anyone else getting a Go West vibe off that huge wrench?

Feral & Foe: Love it. And it's great that in the middle of all the smutty innuendo we get a poignant moment where Krodgun wonders whether he really has lost his soul. Excellent.

Deadworld: Absolutely one of the best Visions so far

Thistlebone: Some great ideas (and artwork of course), all still rather hampered by the rather humdrum nature of Seema's investigation

'Regarding Henry': I did slightly lost as it went on, but McCann is an arrestingly literate writer and I'd love to see what he'd come up with for a full series.
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: broodblik 29 April, 2021, 11:00:54 AM
Some B/W action on the cover:

(https://2000ad.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Dredd_RobotStomp_BW-Copy-721x1024.jpg)
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: Colin YNWA 29 April, 2021, 11:14:14 AM
That black white image is fantastic - some very mid-period Kev Walker to it to my untrained eye.
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: broodblik 29 April, 2021, 11:22:29 AM
That black white image is fantastic - some very mid-period Kev Walker to it to my untrained eye.

When I first saw it I also said Kev Walker
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: Bolt-01 29 April, 2021, 01:04:19 PM
It is weird isn't it - looking at the linework I can see things that remind me of Parkhouse, Baikie, Cam K, Jock and goodness knows who else.

It is a lovely piece of work but I wish it wasn't such a straight on angle.
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: broodblik 29 April, 2021, 01:16:35 PM
This year has so far produced two memorable covers this one and naturally the one by Dan Cornwell for prog 2217:

(https://images.rebellion.click/productVersion/5e/a1/00.default.jpg)

and

(https://images.rebellion.click/productVersion/44/a0/00.default.jpg)

: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: JayzusB.Christ 30 April, 2021, 12:09:01 PM
Well, that was a very decent prog.  My favourite for a while.  I love that Ken Niemand is a regular Dredd scribe now - with all due respect to Mike Carroll et all, this is the Dreddiest non-Wagner Dredd since Al Ewing.

The Future Shock - well, I think I understood it, not entirely sure though.  Kind of a Black Mirror vibe, which is fine by me.  Great to see Fabry back - while he's not really giving it Sláine levels of detail, he's getting the job done.

F and F - great fun.  Kind of folk-horror-by-numbers (seeming nice, rural society welcomes you in to take part in rituals, turns out you're a sacrifice), but perfect for the time of year and with a bit of piss-taking involved too.

Speaking of which, I need to read Thistlebone from the start.  I lost track a bit - my fault, not the story's - but I really want to read it now.

Deadworld is always great.

That black and white version of the cover is lovely.  Reminds me of Greg Staples in pen-and-ink mode more than anything else.




: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: low down dirty drokker 02 May, 2021, 02:04:42 AM
Prog 2229: cover: swear dredd is smiling, must have a hard on for shooting big holes in droids.
                     Penitent man: fab.
                     Thistlebone: not my cup of tea.
                     Future shock: fab.
                     Feral and foe: MEH...
                     Tales of dead world: fantabulastic.
                      For what it's worth, that's my tuppence. ( and that lawgiver is slightly skew whiff )

                     
                     
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: MumboJimbo 06 May, 2021, 07:27:48 AM
Can anyone help me decode Regarding Henry?

Are Janet and Henri actually interacting in the Empathy Simulator? Or are they having separate simulations?
Whose POV are we watching in the simulator?
Is Henrietta herself in simulator (abusing Jane) or Jane or the green Rorschach Test thingy?
Why is Jane’s mum called Janet? Isn’t this confusing enough?

My working hypothesis is that the two girls’ simulations are linked. Henrietta is Rorschach Henry, and Jane is Janet. So Henrietta being Rorschach Henry allows her to hear Jane/Janet’s thoughts, and become thereby gain some empathy and become a better person.

But...the technician woman says that Jane character is based on Janet, which implies that Jane is just something made up by the algorithm and that Janet herself is not actively involved in any of it.

Are we meant to imply that before they each were plugged into the Empathy Simulator, Henrietta bullied Janet in the same way simulated Henrietta bullied Jane in the simulator?
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: Colin YNWA 06 May, 2021, 08:05:52 AM
Okay I have a history of getting these things wrong but this was my take (and I've not read it for a week so apologies if I get anything mixed up.).

In the 'real' world both are hooked up to the empathy simulator and Henriette (red head) as been bulling Jane (brunette). The simulator is however making Henriette experience the world through Jane's eyes so in the simulation we see things from the POV of Jane / Janet i.e the bulled BUT this is actually Henri's experience to try to teach her the consequence of her bullying.

Oh god I've probably got this so wrong!
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: TordelBack 06 May, 2021, 08:40:22 AM
You've both done better than I. I get the overall point, but the mix of identities defeat me. I suspect there's some sort of confusion occurring between script and art, because McCann's setup and concept are strong, and the artist is no less experienced a hand than Glenn Fuppin' Fabry, and it really feels like it should make sense. But as it appears on the page, not to me.
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: MumboJimbo 06 May, 2021, 11:30:13 AM
Ok, thanks Colin that helps.

Here’s my take after a bit of cogitating at what’s going on.

Both Janet and Henrietta are taken to Covington Institute on the same day, to “correct” there personality defects. The difference between them is that Henrietta is actually bad: a disruptive, vicious bully whereas Janet only has the potential to be bad, as she’s been screened by the anti-social liability monitors and found to be lacking empathy. This would appear to be accurate as she witnesses a dog being fatally run over and has no visible reaction to it.

After they both arrive at the Institute, Henrietta and others intimidate and bully Janet. They presumably see her as easy prey as she is sullen and withdrawn rather than outwardly hostile and imposing like the other patients.

The Institute is aware that the patients will bully each other before they are given treatment, and this is actually part of the process. The treatment works by capturing the victim’s memories of being bullied and then playing them back to the bully as a kind of scenario whereby the bully becomes an incorporeal confidante of the victim that can understand the victim’s private thoughts as she lives through being bullied. It’s basically forced empathy.

When Janet’s thoughts and experiences are played back to Henrietta in the treatment room, her name is changed to Jane. This might be a patient confidentiality thing. I guess Jane’s mum being called Janet in the scenario is a clue that “Jane”, an imaginary construct in the sim is borne from Janet, the real girl and fellow patient. Interestingly, everything we have seen of Janet’s experiences is played to Henrietta in the sim, including the diagnosis, the decision to be sent to the Intitute for treatment, and the dog dying. I believe this is to help Henrietta identify with “Jane”: they both probably resent the treatment, and Jane’s lack of reaction to the dog probably (in a interestingly parodoxical way) help them to bond: Henry finds it easy to empathise with Jane as they both lack empathy.

At the start of the treatment, Henry is resistant. When Jane is asking questions of her, the answers are dismissive: “I don’t know Jane. not my dilemma” etc. When Jane finally retaliates with her filed down toothbrush, Henry finally sympathises with Jane’s plight and with her “Me, too Jane” response finally expresses remorse for the way she treated Jane or Janet. At this point this strange of the treatment end and she is exited from the Sim.

The last panels show us that Janet is also having similar treatment and reliving the same scenarios. Or possibly sharing the same scenario. It would seem to be an iterative process where the aim is they act a bit nicer each time as they gain empathy. Possibly they’ve never actually met in the real world and that the bullying in the institute has only ever been in the simulator. This would appear to make more sense as Janet is seen to on the point of gouging out one of the bullies, eyeballs. So I actually think all the bullying that happened inside the institute is actually simulated and maybe even all the other girls are computer generated characters, although this is left ambiguous by the story.
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: MumboJimbo 06 May, 2021, 11:36:40 AM
Think about it some more, I actually think it’s clear Janet and Henrietta are participating together in the same scenario. Everybody else in the simulation is an NPC. Janet knows Henrietta as Henry, and Henrietta knows Janet as Jane to protect patient confidentiality. They’ve never really met, and it’s probably designed to that they will never meet. Changing their names helps maintain that.
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: broodblik 06 May, 2021, 11:38:18 AM
Great now everything makes more sense. The only thing that still does not add up for me is the part on the first page where the dog gets run over. This does not add anything to the story.
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: MumboJimbo 06 May, 2021, 12:31:01 PM
I think the dog running over bit is to emphasise Jane(t)’s lack of empathy. I think the very first panel is Jane watching the dog being run over dispassionately. She finds is confusing as she’s unsure what she’s meant to feel, and asks Henry. Henry doesn’t know either as she’s Henrietta who equally lacks compassion.
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: GordonR 06 May, 2021, 12:36:20 PM
Short version: it’s a VR Prison story.
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: MumboJimbo 06 May, 2021, 02:11:28 PM
Longer but still short version: it’s a story about a machine that links people telepathically in a VR scenario to teach them empathy
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: I, Cosh 06 May, 2021, 03:17:18 PM
Longer but still short version: it’s a story about a machine that links people telepathically in a VR scenario to teach them empathy
Either I'm a psycopath or the bit everyone else seems to be missing is that the actual twist is that what Henrietta learns from the Empathisator is that doing bad things can be fun. Especially if you're going to have it empathised out of you later anyway.

Or, to put it another way: "I was cured alright!"
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: MumboJimbo 06 May, 2021, 03:29:33 PM
Ooh, I think you’re right, Cosh. Only, to my reading, it’s Janet that breaks bad. Henrietta gets cured as intended.
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: Sean SD 12 May, 2021, 12:21:24 PM
Dredd All building up to a conclusive confrontation. I've probably said before how I like Niemand's take on these tales: his inhabitants of MC1 are often more sympathetic, with Dredd and the judges as looming threats rather than the central protagonists. It lends things more of an optimistic and tragic air, the droids brave yet pointless stand being a good example of that. Great art, top story, top stuff.

I agree I think these Niemand Dredd's are great in the way they explore MC1 a bit more rather than just have Dredd and the judges as 'central protagonists'
: Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
: Sean SD 12 May, 2021, 12:28:24 PM
My Top 3 for Prog 2229 :)

Same order as Prog 2228 basically for the same reasons as well

1st - Dredd - Niemand Droid and Loyal Sludge-Jock droids
2nd - Thistlebone - Art style changes for memories of the past
3rd - Feral & Foe -  You need to stay for the festival  ;) ;)

Usually don't mind the Visions of Deadworld one offs and shorts but this one didn't work for me this time