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Author Topic: Thrill-Coma 2010  (Read 38781 times)

norton canes

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #180 on: 08 June, 2020, 09:48:17 AM »


Ah, the prog that marked my return to 2000 AD after 27 years. WH Smiths had started getting the comic again and for a couple of months I'd flick though their copies, wondering whether to take the plunge. It was Alex Ronald's that finally did it for me, and fortunately, there were five thrill-packed stories waiting for me inside.

Judge Olde

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #181 on: 14 June, 2020, 02:52:04 PM »
Just read this thread from the beginning & up-to-date, stopping to re read various stories along the way. Now will need to wait for more. Great stuff!

Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #182 on: 19 June, 2020, 01:27:25 AM »


2017 (Mid Summer Glue)

Between a strong line-up starting the second quarter, and a fairly stable finish to the third, some thrills have the job of pasting it all together as mid summer glue. These are them, in order of most to least thrilling...


Judge Dredd: The Fields
(2035-2036)
S: Rob Williams, A: Chris Weston, C: Dylan Teague, L: Annie Parkhouse


SJS Judge Pin frightens the fuck out of me! Oh my god! This is a perfect blend of backdrop investigations (with amazing Chris Weston art) that allow us to meet the real, horrific threat. That it ends after only two episodes with Pin still active only serves to up the ante: it's as if part of the horror has seeped into the real world. Rob Williams: what have you set loose?




Grey Area
(2035-2044)
S: Dan Abnett, A: Mark Harrison, L: Annie Parkhouse


This marks the return of the ETC team from the Harmonious Free, and one of the key story developments is that Resting Bitch Face and Compelling Male Musk Odour have returned with them on a sort of cultural work exchange. (It's odd that nobody really thanks the team for saving the Earth, but hey-ho. That probably wouldn't make a very good story.)

The "Bitch" joke is old like "fork handles / four candles", and it's much more interesting either when she's the focus (as a fish out of water), or when the story moves on to the conflict between Bulliet's crew and that of a xenophobic, murderous rival who's more of a threat that any of the aliens.




Judge Dredd: The Wrap-Up
(2040)
S: Arthur Wyatt, A: Tom Foster, C: Chris Blythe, L: Annie Parkhouse


A perfect little monster-mash one-off with gorgeous art by Tom Foster and an old school vibe, with Dredd even getting a "one chance..." line.




Hunted: Furies
(2034-2043)
S: Gordon Rennie, A: PJ Holden, C: Len O'Grady, L: Ellie De Ville


If I had to quickly summarize, the main problem is that this comes across as latent fanfic. Jaegir has always succeeded well for me on two counts: it avoids treading on the toes of existing canon and it's got an entirely different vibe - less gung-ho heroics and more the dreadful nightmare of constant war.

Hunted shoulders into the extant narrative, which forces us to question how well it fits. In the original Rogue Trooper, we never heard of an instance where all the troops layed down their arms en masse due to information about aliens secretly running the war. In fact, the aliens stuff is what got us into the risible Hit sequence, so repeating that's like opting to play bum notes during your piano recital.

By the end, it feels like the aliens have just been a macguffin anyway, as that loose end seems to burn out in favour of soap opera-like melodrama (although the family betrayal is suitably ruthless). Fundamentally, we know this sits somewhere between the Quartz Zone Massacre and the eventual demise of the TG, so there's also a sense that nothing can happen.

The cast of thousands approach left me baffled: the doctor from the first series I thought was actually Jaegir. I don't understand why Venus Bluegenes is here at all, except to provide some wow factor. Summary: love Jaegir, wanted to love this but couldn't.




Judge Dredd: Ouroboros
(2041-2044)
S: Michael Carroll, A: Paul Marshall, C: Quinton Winter, L: Annie Parkhouse


WTF? Kill Vega. I do not understand what this is. It's not Judge Dredd - it's been mis-labeled. Non-ironic superheroes don't get to play in 2000 AD. No giant Cursed Earth puppies! Go directly to the cubes. Do not pass GO, do not collect 200 creds. (This could just pass muster for 2000 AD Regened.)



Y'see, when I saw that ^, I couldn't help it but to see this:



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The three best covers from this sequence of thrills:

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Colin YNWA

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #183 on: 19 June, 2020, 06:30:03 AM »
Grey Area has developed from what I felt was filler into a very strong series driven by strong characters. The fact that Dabnett and Harrison pushed on from the previous epic storyline into new and different spaces was fantastic. It just what Dabnett is repeating with Phil Winslade on Lawless.

AlexF

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #184 on: 24 June, 2020, 03:46:28 PM »
Quote
This could just pass muster for 2000 AD Regened.

Do you know, that's a great idea. Clearly you're not keen on Paradox Vega, and she is kind of annoyingly too competent (but still gets caught a lot), but I think she'd be a great Regened character. Dreddworld spinoffs for the young and reckless, giant puppies and all - why not?

(Alternatively, you could stick Judge Pin into a Regened Prog and see how many nightmares result...)

I've been doing a bit of a re-read of some Michael Carroll Dredds and while I think they're good I am tiring of his contstant setting up of story threads and characters and then not going back to them very often. Or, when he does, giving very little in-story reminders of who what where and why we should care.

Still waiting for the Psi Judge who's posing as Chief Judge of Texas City to do something interesting.

Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #185 on: 06 July, 2020, 07:20:37 PM »


2017 (Late Summer)

Late summer thrills all set to end just before the prog 2050 jump-on. In order of most to least thrilling...


Hope...for the Future [part 2]
(2044-2049)
S: Guy Adams, A: Jimmy Broxton, L: Simon Bowland


A disturbing film comic noire with a powerful art style that allows it to get under the skin and haunt the psyche. As with the best noire, the flirting is outrageous, but the outlook is desperately, desperately bleak.




The Alienist: Inhuman Natures
(2042-2049)
S: Emma Beeby & Gordon Rennie, A: Eoin Coveney, L: Ellie De Ville


A spooky thriller that mashes together horror, time travel and alien invasions whilst still managing to maintain a period feel. There's an air of mystery and a drip-feeding of details about who the characters are, what ultimately motivates them and what the end goals or origins are, which can be slightly frustrating, but then that's probably fundamental to the feel of the piece.




Tharg's 3rillers: Mechastopheles
(2045-2047)
S: Gordon Rennie & Lawrence Rennie, A: Karl Richardson, L: Annie Parkhouse


Another 3riller format tale that kicks it out of the park and cheekily refuses to wrap itself up in three episodes, instead serving as an obvious introduction to a longer series. At any rate: I hope there's a follow-up. Giant mechanized demons battling Godzilla-sized, city-smashing monster demons is pure gold: especially with Mechastopheles serving as a sort of Howl's Moving Castle for the band of heroes trying to rescue their world from a demonic takeover. More, please.




Judge Dredd: War Buds
(2045-2049)
S: John Wagner, A: Dan Cornwell, C: Abigail Bulmer, L: Annie Parkhouse


I found this entirely disappointing and a rare miss from Wagner, who I knew was the writer but kept having to double check anyway to make sure. This dispenses with the canonical idea that Judges don't really retire. In the past, they've either gone on to teach at the Academy of Law or taken The Long Walk (either into the Cursed Earth or the Undercity). This has it that they can just take a pension and hang out in bars reminiscing about that time they nuked East-Meg 1.

The other key flaw here is that Judge Dredd stands out as a terrible anachronism, because everyone else on The Apocalypse Squad has aged and retired, but he (when he was probably the oldest Judge back then) now seems like the youngest. Aren't all the Judges getting rejuve jobs? So, this story takes a pick axe to the foundations of Dredd's world. And then they put on sombreros.




Greysuit: Foul Play
(2040-2049)
S: Pat Mills, A: John Higgins, C: Sally Hurst, L: Ellie De Ville


Well, at least it's the final one. I dislike government corruption as much as the next person, but I really dislike conspiracy theories because they undermine efforts to investigate actually corrupt practises. This insults our intelligence again and again, and has as the solution to imagined crimes the response of punching people's faces off. Or keeping heads in fridges. That's the hero doing that. The hero of this story is a serial killer. (On balance, there is an amusing throughline where the guy whose head ends up in the fridge keeps doing malapropisms for modern 'Net speak.)




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broodblik

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #186 on: 06 July, 2020, 07:25:13 PM »
Mechastopheles like Survival Geeks is another Rennie 3riller that will get its own series.
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.

Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #187 on: 27 July, 2020, 06:35:15 PM »


2017 (Fourth Quarter)

Taking us out of 2017 we get a blend of old and new, highs and lows. Two of the signature strips are the worst things in the prog, with a lot of established characters coming across as tired and worn as they stretch my willing suspension of disbelief beyond breaking point. Still: there's a lot to love. In order from most to least thrilling:


Indigo Prime: A Dying Art
(2050-2058)
S: John Smith & Kek-W, A: Lee Carter, L: Simon Bowland


What was a seismic shift for fandom (Kek-W replacing John Smith on scripting duties part way through the series) is a seamless shift in the story, as we follow some crisis management from Indigo Prime after the events of Perfect Day (from 2014), where a psychic shock has knocked out most of the operatives the organization relies on.

One of the significant markers of many Indigo Prime tales (and much of John Smith's oeuvre) has been a sense in which you're reading more of a poetic narrative. The trick is to allow some of it to wash over you. You will not be spoon-fed the plot points, and the exposition, rather than revealing an easy set of stepping stones to get you from one side of the river to the other, tends to muddy the waters.

Even if that seems a bit ephemeral, there's always the idea that the Nihilist needs to be stopped somehow because otherwise: peril! In the midst of all this, there are rewards for long-time readers in the form of an unexpected Revere crossover, and even a callback to prog 490's Future Shock (A Change of Scenery), in which the nascent Indigo Prime was known as Void Indiga.

Lee Carter's art is simply magnificent:




Grey Area: Homeland Security
(2050-2053)
S: Dan Abnett, A: Mark Harrison, L: Annie Parkhouse


Grey Area's gone from being bottom of my picks to almost nabbing the top spot. Mark Harrison's art doesn't hurt, but there's also something very compelling about following the team on their most recent mission. It all gets quite Aliens in this one, in terms of the squad tactics and gung-ho action. Probably my favorite character is now Resting Bitch Face, because fish out of water schtick is good schtick. Better believe my truth!




Absalom: Terminal Diagnosis
(2053-2060)
S: Gordon Rennie, A: Tiernen Trevallion, L: Ellie De Ville


The more that Smug Harry is sidelined in favor of Tragic Harry, the more I get to enjoy this strip. The narrative tension is ramping up nicely beyond monster of the week and towards some kind of crescendo that (following the very clear foreshadowing) should mean the end of the strip.

Tiernon Trevellion's art is stupendous throughout and there's a real sense of animation during scenes where magic spells are being cast:




Slaine: The Brutania Chronicles, Book Four - Archon
(2050-2060)
S: Pat Mills, A: Simon Fraser, L: Ellie De Ville


Beautiful art from Simon Fraser and, of course, some very interesting ideas from Pat Mills, but the saga suffers under the weight of the diatribe. On the one hand, it is interesting to wonder about one's family history - and, the idea that a villain would attack Slaine's ego rather than just attack him physically is a cunning plot device. But, it's being stretched too thinly over too many pages.

The disembodied GOD SHOUTING dialogue is oppressive: not just for Slaine but also for the reader. And there's a sense of magic villainy that doesn't serve us but only the plot. The villains teleport to where Slaine and Sinead are accessing Macha's spirit, but there's no real sense of whether they're inside or outside, or where God/Archon is. It's just a scene that needed to play out - it could be happening on the moon, or inside a magic bubble dimension.

I feel like Sinead gets used as a vessel too much: she's a vessel for Macha, then a vessel for Danu. And all to serve Slaine. So, on the one hand, it's quite progressive (strong, warrior women who choose their own partners), but on the other hand there's too much focus on Slaine's needs. I probably wouldn't focus so much on that if it weren't that the narrative suggests that women do have power and should have power - but then it's all about their reflected value from Slaine's perspective.

It all improves immensely when God/Archon stops shouting, and Gododin (already defeated too many times) exits stage right. After that we're back to having a sense of place, and a plot that revolves around humans with human motives. Perhaps the best bit in the entire book is the people shouting their message from place to place. Also, I miss Ukko.




Tharg's 3rillers: The House of Gilded Peak
(2058-2060)
S: Eddie Robson, A: Steven Austin, C: Gary Caldwell, L: Annie Parkhouse


I almost placed this above Slaine, as it has so many interesting ideas and a plot that zips along. There's a weakness in never getting to grips with the real motivations of the down-at-heel Sir Aranchet: he seems both a wastrel and then noble, but with no explanation.

This is a world I would like to see explored more, and would have fit quite well as a Tale of Telguuth. Very D&D.




Judge Dredd: Black Snow
(2055-2060)
S: Michael Carroll, A: PJ Holden, C: Quinton Winter, L: Annie Parkhouse


A handcuffed, arrow-pocked Dredd surfs a dead wolf down a lava chute. Leather armor stops bullets. Spears beat guns. Meteorites are aimed at human targets with enough precision to kill them but leave everyone else in the room unscathed (when earlier in the same story it's been made clear that you have drop those big bastards miles away in a lake for it to be safe). Yak dung.

I know Dredd has its ups and downs, but - whoo boy - this is a serious down for what's supposed to be the comic's signature strip. It's like The Marshal blended with Inferno. Yellow Snow, more like. 




Sinister Dexter
(2050-2052, 2054-2057 & 2059)
S: Dan Abnett, A: Steve Yeowell, Jake Lunch & Paul Marshall, C: John Charles & Dylan Teague, L: Ellie De Ville, Annie Parkhouse & Simon Bowland


Billi No Mates (prog 2059) stands out as having great art (Paul Marshall) and an interesting (even if still frustratingly magical) plot. But then Sin Dex was always more interesting when it had a wider cast, and some oestrogen.

Otherwise, this is a dire span of tales. The forced puns are turned up higher than even eleven: all the way to eleventy-stupid. And there's no sense of danger whatsoever - the main characters just magically dance around bullets. Sinister even has a magic cannon that's about the same size as him but somehow isn't difficult to lift and has no recoil. What's the point of this? It's not funny. It's not dramatic. It's not interesting. Perhaps it's popular?




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broodblik

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #188 on: 27 July, 2020, 07:39:27 PM »
Hi Funt I believe it was Simon Davis whom was the artist on Slaine and not Simon Fraser
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.

Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #189 on: 27 July, 2020, 08:30:06 PM »
Hi Funt I believe it was Simon Davis whom was the artist on Slaine and not Simon Fraser

Old brain getting its Simons mixed up. Thanks for the correction.

(I also did a typo on Jake Lynch and called him Jake Lunch by accident.)

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Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #190 on: 07 August, 2020, 03:57:00 AM »


Judge Dredd: Echoes
(2018: progs 2061-2064)
S: Michael Carroll, A: Colin MacNeil, C: Chris Blythe, L: Annie Parkhouse


Following on directly from Black Snow, Dredd is trying to get back to MC-1, when a Sov bomb causes their H-wagon / Manta hybrid to crash. Only Dredd (badly wounded) and Salada survive, but as they try to find their way to some kind of civilization they come under attack from some form of malevolent psychic threat that can possess the living, the dead and even defunct droids.

This plays well as a bleak horror and makes good use of the backdrop of the nuked out remains of East-Meg One. Crippling Dredd works to up the suspense, and the technological explanation that gets blended into the mysterious threat provides an ending imbued with bitter pathos.




Judge Dredd: The Shroud
(2018: progs 2065-2068)
S: Michael Carroll, A: Paul Davidson, C: Chris Blythe, L: Annie Parkhouse


Serving as the third chapter after Black Snow and Echoes, this sees Dredd sold into slavery somewhere in Sov territory. Tasked with capturing giant, carniverous squidipedes, and with no equipment and no friends, Dredd must somehow survive and calculate an escape. 

This struggles to work well, immediately falling back on a supervillain as an enemy: Maul is a giant, bearded hulk with cloven hooves and horns, wearing nothing but underpants in sub-zero temperatures, shouting all the time and smacking people around. Turns out he's invulnerable to everything due to magical super-strong skin (and eyeballs, it later transpires - as blowing his head up has no effect).

Even if you manage to swallow Maul, the artist has chosen to draw Dredd as Stallone, which (kindly) is ill-advised. Lots of different plot elements then feel shoe-horned in: a villain from 2013 that I don't remember (Luka Shirokov), a woman who keeps talking in incongruous football references and a really forced method of removing Dredd's clothes but keeping his helmet on.



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broodblik

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #191 on: 07 August, 2020, 04:17:41 AM »
These Dredd stories was not my favorite. I felt that for too long period we getting Dredd stories outside of MC-1.
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.

norton canes

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #192 on: 07 August, 2020, 12:01:11 PM »
The Alienist: Inhuman Natures
(2042-2049)
S: Emma Beeby & Gordon Rennie, A: Eoin Coveney, L: Ellie De Ville


A spooky thriller that mashes together horror, time travel and alien invasions whilst still managing to maintain a period feel. There's an air of mystery and a drip-feeding of details about who the characters are, what ultimately motivates them and what the end goals or origins are, which can be slightly frustrating, but then that's probably fundamental to the feel of the piece

I really enjoyed The Alienist. Hadn't clocked that it was a Beeby/Rennie gig.

broodblik

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #193 on: 07 August, 2020, 12:24:38 PM »
The Alienist: Inhuman Natures
(2042-2049)
S: Emma Beeby & Gordon Rennie, A: Eoin Coveney, L: Ellie De Ville


A spooky thriller that mashes together horror, time travel and alien invasions whilst still managing to maintain a period feel. There's an air of mystery and a drip-feeding of details about who the characters are, what ultimately motivates them and what the end goals or origins are, which can be slightly frustrating, but then that's probably fundamental to the feel of the piece

I really enjoyed The Alienist. Hadn't clocked that it was a Beeby/Rennie gig.

I would also like to see the return of this series. Just as I really started getting intrigued by it,it disappeared from the radar.
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.

TordelBack

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #194 on: 07 August, 2020, 02:49:42 PM »
These Dredd stories was not my favorite. I felt that for too long period we getting Dredd stories outside of MC-1.

The globe-trotting sequence from 'Ouroboros' to 'The Shroud' was pretty much Carroll's weakest run of Dredd stories, IMHO, despite following threads from the not-too-bad Sector Zero stuff. I wonder if he felt this too, because not long after this he starts his loosely-linked street-level gangland stories and these are far stronger, including such modern gems as 'The Long Game' and more-of-this-sort-of-thing-please 'Fall of Barbarara Grimm'. I'm really hoping to get back to this storyline once we're out of summer blockbuster season...