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Author Topic: Prog 2215: Fire From Above  (Read 2651 times)

Barrington Boots

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Prog 2215: Fire From Above
« on: 18 January, 2021, 11:37:34 AM »
After moaning about the last couple of Progs, I was keen to take this one in a more measured manner when it dropped through the letterbox bright and early this morning, and a (reasonably) quiet morning at work meant I've been able to read it. Here we go!

Dredd. Not enjoying this story at all I'm afraid. Everything seems tremendously contrived and it lacks any wackiness or any interesting hook to draw me in. Will Simpson's painted art isn't working for me either - at its best it can be tremendously atmospheric but here I find it awkward and messy and what's more I can't shake the negative connotations it brings back to me of reading terrible 90s comics. Nice bit of graffiti on the side of the shipping container thing Dredd and the others are sealed up in though.

Slaine Dragons attack and Slaines new magic Dad talks them into killing themselves. Try as I might to appreciate what might be our last take on the character, this is just dreadful. Looking for positives it's far from the worst Slaine story I've read and it still looks just amazing. The dragons themselves are a real highlight.

Durham Red More time for this now I'm understanding the story more as a Precinct-13 style siege. It's one of those episodes where a lot happens, but nothing also happens in terms of moving the plot forward, which is fine because the plot is 'fighting'. I do like Ben Willsher's designs.

Proteus Vex Top thrill again. Once again there is a lot of dialogue but unlike, say, Slaine it feels interesting and fully realised. I haven't got much of a clue what is happening but I assume this is intentional. Little weird touches in the art like the guys on the bridge of the ship are great, and Midnight is becoming the star of this strip: she's a good foil to the stoic Vex.

Hershey Why is anyone training Frank to be a boxer when he only has one eye? Minor niggle but when you're negatively disposed towards the strip anyway these things crop up. Digging a lot of the art, especially the facial expressions , but it all just still feels wrong.

Cool cover though!
You're a dark horse, Boots.

broodblik

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Re: Prog 2215: Fire From Above
« Reply #1 on: 18 January, 2021, 11:57:02 AM »
Cover by Mark Montague:

If you can remember he won the 2000AD Art Stars competition in 2018:
https://2000ad.com/news/interview-2000-ad-art-stars-winner-mark-montague/


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.

broodblik

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Re: Prog 2215: Fire From Above
« Reply #2 on: 18 January, 2021, 11:57:25 AM »
Cover and logo:


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.

Barrington Boots

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Re: Prog 2215: Fire From Above
« Reply #3 on: 18 January, 2021, 11:59:14 AM »
That is especially lovely without the logo etc. Could be on an 80s D&D sourcebook.
You're a dark horse, Boots.

Colin YNWA

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Re: Prog 2215: Fire From Above
« Reply #4 on: 19 January, 2021, 08:34:24 PM »
I'm going to say something controversial at the start here... I prefer the art on the cover to the art on Slaine the strip. Both are technically really very good. There's something fresher about the colours on the cover that keep the energy and verve of the image. Where the colours on the strip and amount in a similar palette panel to panel can cramp and kill the energy at time in the strip. Clearly one cover image is very different to 7 (plus) pages of strip but the comparison did strike me,

ANYWAY.. that's not why we're here really.

Dredd - you know this is feeling quite average now. I'm not blown away by the art in places and the script just feels like so many old ideas rolled out again. Its  not horrible but its not great.

And then the action section of the Prog starts. Durham Red is fun, frisky and energetic. Its is straight forward action but its entirely engaging.

Slaine on the other hand. Well how much dragon riding, axe chopping, side turning, fire breathing action be so... well dull. The comparison between this and Durham Red is striking. Slaine feels overblown and bloated. Durham Red lithe and energetic.

Proteus Vex seems to be continuing the action episode theme with a brisk start but then flips and starts to craft worlds and place. Its a great episode, with a fun, gross ending.

Hershey well what can you say it superb. The balance between to two story strands, the way the interweave their theme which being independent and insightful in and of themselves. The grit of the end. Its sublime. I know some folks seem on the outs with this one on principle but really this should be read in its own right as its fantastic and the art is utterly dynamic.

Overall there are some real highs in this Prog its just not consistent enough to be great.

dweezil2

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Re: Prog 2215: Fire From Above
« Reply #5 on: 20 January, 2021, 12:52:57 AM »
I'm going to say something controversial at the start here... I prefer the art on the cover to the art on Slaine the strip. Both are technically really very good. There's something fresher about the colours on the cover that keep the energy and verve of the image. Where the colours on the strip and amount in a similar palette panel to panel can cramp and kill the energy at time in the strip. Clearly one cover image is very different to 7 (plus) pages of strip but the comparison did strike me,


Not sure what size it was originally painted in, but I think Manco's glorious art really would really benefit from the oversized hardback treatment when it comes to collecting.
The Prog's dimensions seem just a little to cramped to let the art breath and fulfill its potential.  :thumbsup:

broodblik

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Re: Prog 2215: Fire From Above
« Reply #6 on: 20 January, 2021, 02:50:02 AM »
A good solid prog with some little bumps on the road.


Dredd – The story for me is the part that keeps the whole thing running. We have a setup, and the last part is where the action is kicking in and we have now one final stretch to the finale.

Durham Red – Action heavy episode with no time to breath but only to absorb Willsher’s glorious art.

Slaine – As I was reading this episode, I could not put my finger on it but this whole story has a very déjà vu feeling to it. This is familiar ground we have been here before another Mills story that is repeating itself. Slaine leaves, in his absence his tribes get bullied by (fill in your historical name here), he comes back, he saves the day, he kills the new boss level, load the next level (wait is the final boss?). Art thou are still fantastic, story wise I am not totally bought yet.

Proteus Vex – As the action was heavy the last episode, we now have time to delve deeper into the main story.  This is just great sci-fi story and the nice thing is that Lynch’s art does not hold back. Lovey stuff all around.

Hershey – An awesome episode, I just like the way how the past storyline interwoven with the present. Can not say how good Simon’s art is, fantastic use of the colour palette. This and Vex my highlights of the prog.
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.

Judge Olde

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Re: Prog 2215: Fire From Above
« Reply #7 on: 20 January, 2021, 10:23:48 AM »
Dredd: The art of Dredd, is mostly terrible and it pains me to say it. Was always one of my favourite droids, but this isn't good. The odd bit is great, but overall it feels messy.


The Enigmatic Dr X

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Re: Prog 2215: Fire From Above
« Reply #8 on: 20 January, 2021, 11:21:13 AM »
Not enjoying my prog, save for Vex. The reasons have been articulated in the last few prog threads by various forumites.

But that's the joy of it. New strips soon enough.

Lock up your spoons!

sintec

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Re: Prog 2215: Fire From Above
« Reply #9 on: 20 January, 2021, 11:31:37 AM »
Really struggling with Dredd. The whole thing just feels a bit messy. I think there's an ok story in here somewhere but I'm struggling to follow it.

Durham on the other hand is some nice straightforward action. It's a solid episode.

I really want to like Slaine. Those dragons are stunning. That ending splash page is superb. The story is just a bit naff though. Dragon rider is guilt tripped by magic into killing his comrades and it's all over, meh.

Which brings me to the highlight of the prog Proteus Vex.  This is really going from strength to strength. As the action wraps up we get a bit more plot and a gross out ending from Midnight.  Surprised not to see a collected edition of this on Thargs list for 2021 - it'll be a must buy from me when it eventually lands.

Hershey looks amazing, Simon's use of colour and panel layouts is masterful. The young Hershey backstory is nicely interwoven with the current plot lines. This one is building up nicely.


Anthony Garnon

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Re: Prog 2215: Fire From Above
« Reply #10 on: 20 January, 2021, 12:06:04 PM »
Sorry to hear about Matt. I hope he recovers (or recovered) fairly quickly.

TordelBack

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Re: Prog 2215: Fire From Above
« Reply #11 on: 20 January, 2021, 12:51:46 PM »
Sorry to hear about Matt. I hope he recovers (or recovered) fairly quickly.

Just read the Damage Report too - very best wishes to CyberMatt and family.

Jim_Campbell

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Re: Prog 2215: Fire From Above
« Reply #12 on: 20 January, 2021, 01:02:48 PM »
Just read the Damage Report too - very best wishes to CyberMatt and family.

I hear that The Mighty One applied a couple of medical-grade Rigellian Hotshots and told him to get back to work. There's nothing like excrutiating pain and a cut in your oil rations to focus the self-repair circuits, so CyberMatt is now back to working us all like our non-attendance at Mek-Quake's lair depends on it.*


*Which it does, obviously.
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Link Prime

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Re: Prog 2215: Fire From Above
« Reply #13 on: 20 January, 2021, 01:09:19 PM »
Confirmed - raw Thrill Power is unfortunately not a vaccine.

Best wishes to TMO & family.

Colin YNWA

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Re: Prog 2215: Fire From Above
« Reply #14 on: 20 January, 2021, 01:13:49 PM »
Just read the Damage Report too - very best wishes to CyberMatt and family.

I hear that The Mighty One applied a couple of medical-grade Rigellian Hotshots and told him to get back to work. There's nothing like excrutiating pain and a cut in your oil rations to focus the self-repair circuits, so CyberMatt is now back to working us all like our non-attendance at Mek-Quake's lair depends on it.*


*Which it does, obviously.

That's good to hear and hope all is well in the Nerve Centre. Its depressing that lack of coverage we are getting about the impact of Covid disease on Droids. Its as if the press think these childhood fantasies of 2000ad being produced by robots is a work of fiction deserving of no attention. Scandalous