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Author Topic: The Joy of (Tyranny) Rex  (Read 3006 times)

credo

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The Joy of (Tyranny) Rex
« on: 11 July, 2013, 02:06:55 pm »
In light of some conversation elsewhere, I thought I'd start a thread about every toother's favourite dinosaur tailed art terrorist, Tyranny Rex.

For those who missed out, Ms Rex appeared around the 500s, disappeared until the 800s when she came back for a 3 book epic of brilliance (Deus Ex Machina) then disappeared again until somewhere around the 1200s. She's been missing since. One of John Smith's first creations for 2000ad, she's important as a starting point for some of the Indigo Prime world (Fervent and Lobe, especially).

Best moments - attempting to destroy the universe when hired by Indigo Prime; infiltrating (and destroying) giant, floating whale/bug things (I may be remembering this story poorly); becoming a space nun and fighting off a hoard of deranged, bloodthirsty maniacs after god's skin (then dying).

Great stories, great art, some impossible to follow plots and some very, very poor scheduling from Tharg. I'd love to see her back in the prog, perhaps integrated into the revitalised Indigo Prime. To me, she's always seemed a natural successor to Halo Jones. Like Jones, she's inclined to drift around and lead a varied life (c'mon who else could be an art terrorist, assassin, model and space nun), and the world(s) she inhabits allow for a great variety of possible stories. Unlike Jones, however, I think she's far more self-possessed. Halo only made a single active choice in the entire saga (killing the General); Ms Rex might drift, but it never felt as if she was at the whims of fate.

Anyway, I'd love to hear what everyone else thinks/remembers about her. If the fabulous Mr Smith still knocks about these parts, It'd be great to hear from him too.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The Joy of (Tyranny) Rex
« Reply #1 on: 11 July, 2013, 03:49:26 pm »
The fabulous Mr Smith does indeed sometimes comes this way, or did at least.

As for Tyranny yeah as we've discussed elsewhere, love her and would love to see her back. Just finished Deux Ex Machina last night and it is truly brilliant and stands shoulder to shoulder with other Smith classics of that period.

Proudhuff

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Re: The Joy of (Tyranny) Rex
« Reply #2 on: 11 July, 2013, 03:55:16 pm »
I thought she was one of 2Ks low points: messy art and cobbled together stories, her random appearances reminded me of the last days of Rogue Trooper, a character in search of a story.
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credo

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Re: The Joy of (Tyranny) Rex
« Reply #3 on: 11 July, 2013, 04:40:48 pm »
The randomness of her appearances always felt like scheduling issues. The most obvious case is the Indigo Prime related story not being printed until after Soft Bodies, despite being absolutely essential to understanding the set up for that Story.  Similarly, one of her other appearances in the specials occurred after Soft Bodies, where she'd entered a convent, but made no mention of it.

I thought the art was great (especially Mark Buckingham on the initial episodes of Deus Ex Machina). For messy, I can only imagine you mean Will Simpson on Soft Bodies. His black and white work of the time was always very splotty (for want of a better word). Bloodlines in Dredd looks exactly the same. It does have the effect of making a confusing story even more difficult to grasp.

I, Cosh

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Re: The Joy of (Tyranny) Rex
« Reply #4 on: 11 July, 2013, 04:42:06 pm »
I liked her but I think she's probably run her course, particularly given the way John Smith tends to be more interested in coming up with original stories rather than keeping existing ones going. Have a vague memory of him saying that The Comeback didn't turn out the way he'd have liked.

The older stuff is enjoyable and Mark Buckingham's art on the first half of Deus ex Machina is fantastic. To be honest though, Tyranny's no Firekind or Revere and I'd always rather see js produce something new and standalone than revisiting his past. Obviously, this sweeping statement completely ignores the success of the new Indigo Prime.
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Frank

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Re: The Joy of (Tyranny) Rex
« Reply #5 on: 11 July, 2013, 05:17:35 pm »
Great stories, great art, some impossible to follow plots and some very, very poor scheduling from Tharg.

I liked her but I think she's probably run her course, particularly given the way John Smith tends to be more interested in coming up with original stories rather than keeping existing ones going ... The older stuff is enjoyable (but) ... I'd always rather see John Smith produce something new and standalone than revisiting his past.

Both of these statements are truth, particularly regarding the poor scheduling.  Whatever frustration I felt with the comic at that time was probably 90% to do with strips popping up for three or four weeks then disappearing for months, making it difficult to get into stories - particularly new ones. Having said that, I actually ended up enjoying the fact you couldn't make head nor tail of what was going on in Soft Bodies, which forced you to give up and just enjoy the writing and art on its own merits. I like the obscurity of Will Smith's stuff.

The analogy drawn in that first Steve Dillon story between cloning popstars and music piracy is one that's stuck with me. I agree that Smith's talent is for original ideas, and given his reluctance to pick a horse and flog it to death, I wish the nineties had consisted of Smith being allowed to devise brilliant one-off strips that established entire worlds and cosmologies, and then handing them over to the comic's roster of perfectly able journeymen writing talent of the time (Standley, Stone, Tomlinson) to flesh out into continuing dramas.


Colin YNWA

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Re: The Joy of (Tyranny) Rex
« Reply #6 on: 11 July, 2013, 06:22:07 pm »
I liked her but I think she's probably run her course, particularly given the way John Smith tends to be more interested in coming up with original stories rather than keeping existing ones going.

Also I was surprised recently when I saw quite how much Devlin Waugh stuff there actually is. He's the one character John Smith has returned to time and again and I still think he works.

While I agree its always great to see him create stand alone stuff, its always nice to have that combined with visiting old favourites. Its the very fact that 'Comeback' didn't turn out so well that means I'd love Tyranny to at least get a proper send off.

Frank

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Re: The Joy of (Tyranny) Rex
« Reply #7 on: 11 July, 2013, 06:31:49 pm »

D'oh! Will Simpson.


Sideshow Bob

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Re: The Joy of (Tyranny) Rex
« Reply #8 on: 11 July, 2013, 06:50:30 pm »
Also I was surprised recently when I saw quite how much Devlin Waugh stuff there actually is. He's the one character John Smith has returned to time and again and I still think he works.

While I agree its always great to see him create stand alone stuff, its always nice to have that combined with visiting old favourites. Its the very fact that 'Comeback' didn't turn out so well that means I'd love Tyranny to at least get a proper send off.

I personally would love to see another series of Devlin Waugh......My all time comic favourite !!!
Spoke to Sean Phillips at Thoughtbubble last year ( when he was drawing a Devlin sketch for me ) and asked him if he would be interested in doing another.......He said 'he doubted it, as he was busy with lots of other things, and it had been about 15 years since he had last drawn him"....
But would still look forward to any other artist 'having a bash'.....Quite liked Colin MacNeils'  take on him...
" This is absolutely NO PLACE for a lover of Food, Fine Wine and the Librettos of RODGERS and HAMMERSTEIN "......Devlin Waugh.

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Cactus

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Re: The Joy of (Tyranny) Rex
« Reply #9 on: 11 July, 2013, 07:15:49 pm »
Book 2 of Deus Ex Machina started at the same time I began reading the prog, and I think there was something incomprehensible in a Sci-Fi Special around that time. Consequently I got nothing from the story and loathed the character, but liked her nun outfit.

A quick check of Barney and my shelves reveals that I actually own all the Tyranny Rex strips. I might try reading it sequentially and see if I can make sense of it. I have The Complete Indigo Prime too. Which stories from there are relevant, and where should I insert them into the running order?
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Colin YNWA

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Re: The Joy of (Tyranny) Rex
« Reply #10 on: 11 July, 2013, 07:38:06 pm »
There pretty much independent of each other.

Soft Bodies has Fervent and Lobe are major characters in Soft Bodies but aren't working for Indigo Prime at the time. The appearance in the 88 Special is the main direct connect where Tyranny is recruited by Indigo Prime (the spoilers there aren't too bad by the way but its self contained and doesn't impact directly on IP. There's other superficial connections but reading Tyranny stories on their own you should be absolutely fine.

Cactus

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Re: The Joy of (Tyranny) Rex
« Reply #11 on: 11 July, 2013, 07:48:36 pm »
Cheers. I'll try that when I've finished Case File 20.
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The Enigmatic Dr X

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Re: The Joy of (Tyranny) Rex
« Reply #12 on: 11 July, 2013, 08:28:11 pm »
I'd prefer more Devlin. I think there is more mileage in the sci-fangs genre.

I made that up, BTW. Sci-fangs is (c) me.
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Sideshow Bob

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Re: The Joy of (Tyranny) Rex
« Reply #13 on: 11 July, 2013, 08:33:31 pm »
I'd prefer more Devlin. I think there is more mileage in the sci-fangs genre.

I made that up, BTW. Sci-fangs is (c) me.

Like that !!.....It could 'catch on'...... :lol:
" This is absolutely NO PLACE for a lover of Food, Fine Wine and the Librettos of RODGERS and HAMMERSTEIN "......Devlin Waugh.

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hippynumber1

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Re: The Joy of (Tyranny) Rex
« Reply #14 on: 11 July, 2013, 08:34:54 pm »
I'm sure Devlin Waugh is returning in the Meg with Pete Doherty on art; I think this was on the Forthcoming Thrills thread a while back but can't be arsed looking for it now...