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Author Topic: Prog 2246 Regened - It's a Monster  (Read 3124 times)

IndigoPrime

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Re: Prog 2246 Regened - It's a Monster
« Reply #45 on: 26 August, 2021, 10:29:52 AM »
so Dredd's a dick, then?
Dredd was always a dick in early 2000 AD too. But the context was different in two key ways. First, back then most heroes with white men in their 20s and 30s. Kids today mostly want to read about characters their age. Secondly, Dredd is now depicted as in that age group—a contemporary. And he’s a dick. So there’s no distance.

But I’m not sure how you deal with that. If Cadet Dredd is supposed to exist within continuity, you can’t have a personality transplant. In a strip ultimately about a fascist lawman—and centred on that character—where does any subversive element come from? Also, does it matter? It would be really interesting to discover what feedback has come more widely about this character/strip/approach among the target market.

From a personal standpoint, I find it curious that, on average, Dredd has been the weakest ongoing strip in Regened, and yet is frequently almost the most consistently successful strips in 2000 AD’s modern history. But then even Chopper lacked that rebellious and anarchic edge. So that points at wider issues with the strips that sit within the Dredd continuity. (If, indeed, Rebellion considers them issues. Perhaps it wants a children’s comic that is less anarchic than even The Phoenix’s adventure tales—despite that being at odds with the comic’s roots.)

Quote
It's TOO NICE! Regened surely doesn't mean squeaky clean, does it? Shouldn't it still be 2000 AD? Does All Ages mean pandering to the most conservative parent?
As a parent, the only moment in Regened that’s gave me pause was that one almost-swear. And that’s because ‘profanity = bad’ has been drummed so heavily into children at local schools; mini-IP would have a hell of a time if she let one slip at school. (Consequently, she now tells her parents off when we swear, or asks for explanations as to why we did, in context.) But it feels like certain aspects of Regened are playing it very safe, with no edge. Oddly, the Treasury specials also aimed at this age group didn’t have that problem.

Mostly, it feels like the Dreddworld stuff still needs to find a voice that isn’t a bit dull. If we look at ’Splorers, that’s safe too—but it’s also zany, bright and anarchic. Mayflies is safe, but gritty and with deep ideas about overcoming oppression. Full Tilt Boogie felt otherworldly and weird, despite ultimately being quite safe. Cadet Dredd is safe, but the overriding theme is to obey the law, be oppressed, conform and behave. It’s Judge Walter, when kids would surely be more aligned with Judge Dennis.

(Also, as Barrington Boots said, it’s good to see such constructive discussion about Regened going on here.)

Funt Solo

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Re: Prog 2246 Regened - It's a Monster
« Reply #46 on: 26 August, 2021, 04:19:56 PM »
I think this episode of Cadet Dredd could have worked if he'd sentenced the urchins (who had been misled by a charismatic Fagin character) to community service - perhaps delivering groceries for senior cits using their jet-boots. Or something: something where Dredd can still dish out punishments, but in a way where they fit the crime. You could do that and still hold true to the core spirit of the character.

I've not really found the earlier episodes problematic in terms of Judgement calls, mostly because they wisely play him as the hero against long odds. Having him punch down has hardly ever been part of the core character - with notable exceptions being complex stories like Democracy (which occur within a carefully constructed context).

A quick run-down of the previous Cadet Dredd outings:

Crowd Control had him take down an armed perp and punch out a velociraptor. (He also arrested both teams and the entire crowd, but it was very much part of a jokey punchline frame, rather than being personal.)

Cadet Dredd vs. Grudzilla had him take down a preening artiste who just so happened to also be a rampaging monster. Plus, Rico got pooped out of the perp. Nothing to criticize here.

School Trip had him up against anus-faced alien invaders.

Combat Ready wasn't very good - riffing too much on established continuity (where it's probably best to leave a classic like The Shooting Match alone). Dredd vs. mad droid.

Bad Seeds - Dredd vs. gang of dangerous psychos.

Tooth and Claw - it's Rico who's the dick (playing well to his character arc) and Dredd the peacemaker.

Coming to America - the perps are comic dealers - they deserve everything they get.

Suboptimal - Dredd vs. insane AI shopperama.

Lawbreaker - Dredd foams up some rioters, but this is really more about Rico bending the law.
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Colin YNWA

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Re: Prog 2246 Regened - It's a Monster
« Reply #47 on: 26 August, 2021, 05:17:05 PM »

Tooth and Claw - it's Rico who's the dick (playing well to his character arc) and Dredd the peacemaker.

Lawbreaker - Dredd foams up some rioters, but this is really more about Rico bending the law.

These to are prime examples of what I mean about 'Cadet Dredd' working best when Rico and his development is used. It takes the edge off the fact that Dredd is a twat by having a bigger twat, in these examples Rico.

Now clearly this will wear thin quickly (I've never read Green's Grudge War but Conrad's musings on it seemed to show that as a prime example) but the principle can be used in lots of ways by folks more talented than me in such matters:

  • A tutor out to get Dredd
    Cadet Dredd on a Hot Dog run against any number of horrors and terrors out there
    Heck just about any criminal that's a bigger monster than the Justice System

Come to my addled mind, but folks will be able to do better than that I'm sure. I think the key is to not play Dredd off against citizen's too much as that leaves him exposed and not fun for folks looking for someone to root for?

IndigoPrime

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Re: Prog 2246 Regened - It's a Monster
« Reply #48 on: 26 August, 2021, 05:36:30 PM »
Which is effectively how Dredd is best played in the comics: that whole “when you’re being mugged, who do you want riding up—me or your elected representative?” thing. So you can root for him when there’s a bigger danger, or love to hate him when there isn’t. The problem with young Dredd is the latter of those things is heavily eroded and he just becomes a spoilsport.

Tjm86

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Re: Prog 2246 Regened - It's a Monster
« Reply #49 on: 26 August, 2021, 08:31:08 PM »
I think it's also worth reflecting on the fact that this is 'Cadet' Dredd.  So it's his early days and he is learning.  The idea that the challenge is the training system he is being put through, the fact that he and Rico are clones and that there were issues with the other cadets (IIRC from one of the earlier Dredd strips that reflected on his experiences ...) could perhaps do with being drawn out more.

Perhaps by shifting the focus to Dredd's experiences as a student is something worth exploring?  Thinking about it from the point of view of the target audience, there may well be more scope for stories that resonate better. 

At the moment the focus in the stories is on how 'perfect' Dredd is at times when we know that is far from the case.  Given that he has had doubts in the past and even given up the badge, perhaps experiences that show him grappling with what at this time (in the narrative, taking Origins as the basis for the conclusion) is a very formative Justice Dept.

Richard

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Re: Prog 2246 Regened - It's a Monster
« Reply #50 on: 26 August, 2021, 10:39:09 PM »
If you think adult Dredd isn't a dick, read the early Democracy stories, or any of the Daily Dredds.

Funt Solo

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Re: Prog 2246 Regened - It's a Monster
« Reply #51 on: 26 August, 2021, 11:12:06 PM »
Having him punch down has hardly ever been part of the core character - with notable exceptions being complex stories like Democracy (which occur within a carefully constructed context).

If you think adult Dredd isn't a dick, read the early Democracy stories, or any of the Daily Dredds.

Clearly something we're both aware of.
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broodblik

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Re: Prog 2246 Regened - It's a Monster
« Reply #52 on: 27 August, 2021, 10:29:39 AM »
B/W Cover:

When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.

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.

norton canes

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Re: Prog 2246 Regened - It's a Monster
« Reply #53 on: 27 August, 2021, 01:59:04 PM »
Probably as well they got rid of the tongue. It looks like... no, never mind.

Even as a self-confessed curmudgeon who hasn't been getting much joy from the Regened issues I have to say this one finally nailed five out of five well-written and entertaining stories, at least on their own terms.

The clear stand-out was 'Splorers, shot through with the same magic that pervaded Survival Geeks and performing an effortless balancing act satisfying the tastes of squaxx young and old. Mayflies continued its impressive start though yes, we could have done with a character recap - even just some captions on the panel of the squad in the cockpit on the first page would have helped (and yeah, how crazy was it that the trafficking vehicle on the last page was actually a lorry, like something from Ace Trucking?)

'Trash Culture' was perhaps less Future 'Shock' then Future 'Gentle Surprise' but to be honest, its simplicity was a tonic after recent convoluted Terror Tales.

As for the recruits on attachment from the regular prog... The was a lot to like about Chopper - the fourth wall breaking made it read like a Kenny Niemand strip at times, and the W. Shakespeare angle was inspired - but the tone of the whole thing was just way too light, with the characters beaming throughout and the token bad guy letting out a token "Lawks! That's me done for! Jolly good luck, chum!" as he tumbled towards the tarmac. Top marks for the garbage droid going completely 'Boris' though.

And Cadet Dredd? Agreed, it tried to have its munce and eat it - either the guy's a dick or a hero with a heart, don't try and hedge your bets. Or perhaps start him out with a conscience and show how the Academy chips away at it, leaving him the stone-faced authoritarian we know so well. Just don't throw both those sides at us in the same page.

judgeurko

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Re: Prog 2246 Regened - It's a Monster
« Reply #54 on: 27 August, 2021, 03:16:13 PM »
These things must be successful I guess. But 2000Ad should just bite the bullet & create a separate comic rather than disrupt the regular prog again

Funt Solo

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Re: Prog 2246 Regened - It's a Monster
« Reply #55 on: 27 August, 2021, 03:32:53 PM »
These things must be successful I guess. But 2000Ad should just bite the bullet & create a separate comic rather than disrupt the regular prog again

We all completely agree and so does Tharg, who's now going to do just that.  :o
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pauljholden

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Re: Prog 2246 Regened - It's a Monster
« Reply #56 on: 27 August, 2021, 07:19:31 PM »
I'm sure Jim will pop along shortly to once again patiently explain why it's not just a simple matter of 2000ad deciding to do a new comic. You have to bring your distributors/retailers along with you which is neither easy nor cheap.
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judgeurko

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Re: Prog 2246 Regened - It's a Monster
« Reply #57 on: 27 August, 2021, 07:34:02 PM »
I'm sure Jim will pop along shortly to once again patiently explain why it's not just a simple matter of 2000ad deciding to do a new comic. You have to bring your distributors/retailers along with you which is neither easy nor cheap.
Jim?

Funt Solo

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Re: Prog 2246 Regened - It's a Monster
« Reply #58 on: 27 August, 2021, 07:36:46 PM »
He means Captain James T. Kirk, also known as Jim to his friends.
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Jim_Campbell

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Re: Prog 2246 Regened - It's a Monster
« Reply #59 on: 27 August, 2021, 10:03:33 PM »
These things must be successful I guess. But 2000Ad should just bite the bullet & create a separate comic rather than disrupt the regular prog again

Seriously. Do all you folks have me on ignore, or are you actually just trying to wind me up…?
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