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Author Topic: 2000 AD in Stages  (Read 8745 times)

Swerty

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #180 on: 27 October, 2019, 03:50:45 pm »
I assumed he'd retired.His Rogue Trooper work certainly looks great.

Tiplodocus

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #181 on: 27 October, 2019, 06:06:27 pm »
Much as I have grown to love Ron's DREDD (it wasn't entirely my cup of tea at the time), I still have no love for his Rogue Trooper stuff. It just looks wrong to me with some poor design.
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Funt Solo

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #182 on: 27 October, 2019, 09:37:02 pm »
Wait, given that Dredd took the long walk, isn't there an untold story - the bit between walking out of the gates and meeting the sisters?

(Mind you: much like the Kessel Run, perhaps this is best left untold.)
Frank would know.

Funt Solo

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #183 on: 02 November, 2019, 11:37:21 pm »



Stage #20: Necropolis (progs 671-699)

This stage demonstrates well the importance of strong, identifiable characters to the popularity and longevity of a good story. Necropolis has the Sisters of Death, who are a bit hokey (winding Kraken up with playground taunts or giving chilling weather reports to a captive citizenry) but definitely memorable. On the other hand, Universal Solider stars ... a guy. And Chronos Carnival also has a guy (in a wheelchair), and that woman. And Dry Run has people in it. And horses. Say what you like about Armoured Gideon: you don't forget him.




The Harlem Heroes *SOFT REBOOT*
It's Beverly Hills 90210 meets Rollerball (with a structure not unlike 24), as a gang of easily identifiable (but attractive) misfits (leader, vixen, driver, tough & hacker) are forced into service as mercenaries by a shadowy government organization, and then betrayed. Also, they have jetpacks. Everything explodes: whether it be escaping convicts in a mole machine, or computer terminals infected with an explodey virus (?). Then there's lots of budda budda and posing. Nobody ever changes their clothes, so if this was presented in smell-o-vision, you wouldn't like it. All of the work-a-day henchmen that get casually offed by the "heroes" are reminiscent of Austin Powers and The Henchman's Wife.
This continues (as agents are sent to track down Fleisher and take his typewriter away, by force if necessary) into the next stage...

Judge Dredd: Necropolis
The Countdown to Necropolis continues the setup: Judge Death's psychic claws had formed a link between Deadworld and Mega-City One, which the Sisters of Death use as a bridge in order to exert control across the dimensional void. The Necropolis epic is in three acts, starting with a build-up (674-684) in which the Sisters enact their plan to release their brothers from captivity. Once the city has fallen we have a coming together of the heroes (685-692), which include Dredd and ex-Chief Judge McGruder (both visibly scarred from their respective Long Walks), young Cadet Giant and a wounded Anderson. The third act (693-699) sees the fight back against a regime where sixty million have already fallen victim to the Deadworld denizens.

The Judge Dredd Annual 1991 has Judge Dredd and Johnny Alpha (& Wulf) team up in the time-traveling shenanigans of Top Dogs.

Post-Necropolis tales occupy much of the next stage...

Rogue Trooper [Friday]: The War Machine
Hamburger Hill meets Blade Runner, as Trooper 19 (Friday) confronts his maker (Clavel) and demands an explanation for the pointless death of his comrades. Even though the build-up to this point ignored Norts and Southers, here they're visually represented as two sides in a designer war, engineered by Clavel to generate profit. Despite later retcons, the dialog here suggests that this is a clean reboot of the original Rogue Trooper, as opposed to a shared universe.
Friday returns (with a new story) in the next stage...
 
Armoured Gideon *NEW THRILL*
A psychic press photographer unwittingly captures images of the titular giant robot who splits his time between wiping out the demonic life of The Edge (a demon-dimension linked to Earth through plot-convenient temporary portals) and chasing down anyone who's taken his photograph. Fun things about Gideon are his emote-screen (an idea stolen from Mek-Quake), the inventive ways in which he eliminates enemies and of course his single catch-phrase ("Annihilate!"), which reminds us (latterly) of Shakara. The 1990 Sci-Fi Special has the medieval fantasy one-off Starhavon's Edge.
We next get to see Gideon in No, No, Nanette (prog 722)...

Shadows *NEW THRILL*
Ahead of its time: a cyberpunk thriller cross between Johnny Mnemonic and The Net (both from 1995), with a climactic nod towards The Matrix (1999), as Nina (an elite member of a heirarchical future society) loses her status and becomes a shadow-person.
The rather gloomy denouement left no clear path to a sequel so this is a one and done.

Universal Soldier: [Book Two]
Uhm...it's like The Magnificent Seven (minus six), but that's okay because this one guy's got a magic crystal that can turn him into Galactus. He drops that later, but gets a shag. Also, there are some men riding giant rhino-things.
Returns with The Indestructible Man, starting in prog 750...

Chronos Carnival *NEW THRILL*
Uhm...so there's this theme park inside a (big) spaceship, and sometimes dangerous triangular portals to other worlds open up inside some of the attractions, so the staff are also heavily armed (in case anything bad pops through), and adventurous. Like Scooby Doo, but with laser guns. The second adventure sees a tour around The Caverns Of Colony Five go awry as a superpowered neanderthal troll is set free.
And that's it for Chronos Carnival.

Indigo Prime
If you ever wondered what the H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks is going on in Indigo Prime then you need to read prog 678, which has a guided tour of their facility and operatives, plus a back-cover diagram of their organizational structure. After that we get a set of adventures with paired operatives in Winwood & Cord, Downtime (680-681) and Fegredo & Brecht, How The Land Lied (which has two episodes both in prog 682).
More from the cast of thousands in the next stage...

Strontium Dog, The Final Solution
This section starts with a catch-up episode (sensible given that it started in 1988) before getting down to business: a business so impactful that it later gets referenced by Mike in the tv show Spaced (2001), as an attempt is made to rescue everyone trapped in a hell dimension. What's depicted here as a very permanent end to a major character (they disintegrate into a pile of bones) is re-considered to have been a tale from an untrustworthy narrator by the time 2010 swings around. As retcon shenanigans go, the level of salt it engenders is wonderfully dampened by the two decade gap and consideration of the wishes of various creators.

Following the grand tradition of prefixing Strontium Dog sub-titles with the world "Incident" (as was done with Incident At The Back O' Beyond, Incident On Mayger Minor, Incident On Zeta and Incident At The Birth Of The Universe) we now get Incident At The End Of The World (in the 1991 Annual), in which a criminal gets his just desserts.

The next Strontium Dog (singular) tale is in the 1992 Sci-Fi Special, but we don't see another series until the year 2000. On the other hand, Strontium Dogs (plural) starts up a non-Alpha sequence in prog 750, and pre-Final Solution Alpha guest stars in the Judge Dredd epic Judgement Day in 1992.

Bradley Goes Mental
Aciiiieeeed!
Bradley returns in the 1990 Winter Special...

Medivac 318: Arcturus
Medivac moves into orbit around Arcturus, where anti-human riots blend with anti-psychic pogroms to make for a dangerous rescue mission. A great ensemble piece where every character has something to do.
That's all she wrote for this.

Slaine: The Horned God, Book III
Having sought the four treasures (the spear, the sword, the cauldron and ... the other one) in the first book, and found them in the second, now Slaine gets to use them. The "never trust a woman" motif of much of the author's work comes to the fore here with Cathbad entoning almost exactly that with "you can never trust a female": in this case the Earth Goddess herself. Slaine slays Slough Feg, the old horned god, to become the new one: then there's a great flood. 
Slaine returns in the 1992 Yearbook, but skips the prog until 1993...

Dry Run *NEW THRILL*
Set on a post-apocalyptic earth, a group of telepathic warriors are blackmailed into carrying out a desert-set mission (a *cough* dry run) to retrieve a McGuffin. There's lots of riding around, swords flashing, flying jellyfish, giant crabs, half-buried submarines and so on: but much like Beyond Zero, it might be considered a lot of shouting about nothing.
Uno y listo.

---

Special Mentions

Bix Barton: The Full English Breakfast
The 1990 Sci-Fi Special presents Marmite on toast as a possessed breakfast proves no match for a deftly handled brace of croissants, and a clear nod to camera.
More Marmite in the next Winter Special...

The Journal Of Luke Kirby: The Dark Path
The 1990 Sci-Fi Special presents a follow-up tale to Summer Magic. In standing up to some local bullies, Luke Skywalker Kirby realizes that there's a dark side path to the force his powers.
Returns in 1992...

Lost In Zero [after Beyond Zero, after Night Zero]
The 1991 Annual features a tale that's a cross between Big (1988) and Ted (2012). There's always something creepy about kids with adult minds gettin' jiggy, and that's no different here.
Returns for another series in prog 731...

Moon Runners: The Homecoming
The 1991 Annual takes us on one final trip (pretty much literally), as the psychic navigator drops a bad tab.
And that's it for Moon Runners.

---

References:
 - Barney
 - The 2000 AD ABC
Frank would know.

JayzusB.Christ

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #184 on: 03 November, 2019, 09:26:52 am »
I hadn't really noticed the Blade Runner connection to The War Machine till you pointed it out, but now it's staring me in the face.  Even though my favourite Rogue story is Cinnabar (hear some Mick with a weird voice enthuse about it on Eamonn's podcast), I feel that something like the Friday story might be a better angle for Duncan Jones to introduce the character and his world.

Also I'd forgotten about the great little twist at the end: The wrecked, filthy planet Friday was sent to turns out to be our planet.  Of course, this was all retconned in later stories where it was suddenly called Nu-Earth again and there'd been Norts and Southers there all along.  Then there were two Nu-Earths as the original Rogue met Friday and everyone knew it was time to pack it in, seriously.

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Funt Solo

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #185 on: 09 November, 2019, 10:31:44 pm »



Stage #21: Rough in the Diamonds (progs 700-722)

The backwash from an explosion of struggling "grown-up" comics threatens to drown whatever made the golden age so damned shiny in the first place. There are still diamonds here (in the form of Shamballa in Anderson, Nightmares in Dredd and the surreal wonder of Hewligan's Haircut) but we are also faced with a mixture of curios and misfires that bode ill for the future.




Judge Dredd
We get a strong collection of post-Necropolis tales in Theatre Of Death, Nightmares, Wot I Did During Necroplis and Death Aid. Stand-out amongst these is Nightmares, which serves as a vital post-script to the epic in the same way as Tale of the Dead Man is a vital precursor. As Dredd undergoes reconstructive and rejuvenative treatment, Cadet Giant is sent out to provide aid to Yassa Povey, the young Cursed Earth boy to whom Dredd is terribly indebted. Death Aid marks a big change as John Wagner steps back to give Garth Ennis a pop in a follow-up story about The Hunter's Club.
More mixed-author Dredd in the next stage...
 
Time Flies *NEW THRILL*
Subpar 'Allo 'Allo depictions of World War II era Germans introduce this (predictably nouned) romp. It's Carry On Doctor Who, as broad, slapstick humour refuses to give way to anything approaching sublety. Also, there's a running set of (often homophobic) gags about how unmanly and untalented the twins from the popular beat combo Bros were.
Returns from the drawer in 1996 for a second series...

Nemesis & Deadlock: Warlocks & Wizards
Deadlock meets up with Nemesis, so that they can fight to the death in order to be reborn. Well, it serves as an excuse for a fight, anyway. (Also, the rest of the ABC Warriors are still hanging around with Deadlock.)
The pair return in the next stage...

Hewligan's Haircut *NEW THRILL*
A surreal and quite sweet adventure about an off-kilter young man (with an accidentally mystical haircut) and his more adept traveling companion Scarlet O'Gasmeter: both trying to solve the mystery of why the world's got it in for Hewligan.
Tis a one and done.

Anderson, Psi-Division
Shamballa (clearly labeled a pre-Necropolis story) has Anderson team up with Sov PsiKop Amisov from East-Meg 2 as they investigate violent global psychic phenomena (linked particularly strongly to real-world Tibetan Buddhist mythology) that seem to herald the end of the world. Engram sees Anderson violently hallucinating after an encounter with three witches in the Cursed Earth.
Engram continues after a thirty-nine prog gap...

The Harlem Heroes *SOFT REBOOT*
The poor person's Leonard Smalls (an unnamed "deadly assassin" with bionic eyes) flags down a passing high-speed train and then, when he realizes it's going to Albuquerque rather than his prefered destination of Los Angeles, he murders his way into the engineers's compartment and forces them to de-couple all the other cars (which tumble to their doom) before demanding to be taken to LA. It doesn't take Sherlock Holmes (or even Shaggy from Scooby Doo) to realize that if LA is in the direction of current travel, one assumes he'll still have to pass through Albuquerque, because this is a train that travels (like trains do) on rails. If it's behind them, then he's going the wrong way (and has blocked the track with crumpled train cars). He couldn't just go to Albuquerque and get a connecting train?

Then there's an ED209 from Robocop, and more shooting and stuff so that the "Heroes" can clear their names by making sure that the public realize they're not those hired killers.

Despite multiple artists being drafted in to put this one out of its misery, it returns for a new series in prog 745...

Silo *NEW THRILL*
Perhaps inspired by a scene in WarGames (1983) featuring the two-man rule and definitely borrowing heavily from both The Shining and Die Hard, this is tonally a blend of 70s and 80s horror movies. Dark, bloody and somewhat confusing.
Tis a one and done.

Junker *NEW THRILL*
Probably more at home in the rough end of a stack of Starblazers, a knock-off Han Solo (more sexist shitheel than loveable scoundrel) and his non-human sidekick reluctantly help a distressed princess (with an outlandish hairstyle) by taking her for a spin in their hunk-a-junk spaceship.
Continues in the next stage...

Rogue Trooper [Friday]
The splash made by the rebooted Rogue Trooper with The War Machine (see previous stage) perhaps led to the decision to publish the 1991 Rogue Trooper annual, which features classic Rogue reprint alongside new Friday-Rogue tales. Decoys is a cargo cult-inspired tale of desperate cunning to survive against the odds. The Undeath Project is a bit like a mash-up of Road Warrior and Countess Dracula with added zombies. Bio-Death has Friday go up against a giant swamp scorpion with the help of some holdouts who don't know the war is over. (As original Rogue discovered, it's not much of a story if the war is over.) Circus Daze repeats the classic horror offer of "we'll have you for dinner", and gifts us the only Hicklenton::Rogue interface.

In the prog we get The Golden Fox Rebellion (set on an Earth still torn apart by war - so the war doesn't seem to be over), which is as barmy as all the other Fleisher stuff clogging up the prog. For example, the security system on a stolen aircraft only kicks in once you've taken off, and then flies you into space. Whereas original RT had the clear cut sides of Nort and Souther, this war seems global and chaotic, with endless faction-fighting. This is probably more realistic a mirror of modern wars, but it's difficult to follow. Rogue joins up with the Golden Fox (Gaia from The War Machine) to battle the lazily-monikered Commander (a knock-off human Mekon crossed with Mandroid from The Eliminators), by doing things like jumping on and hot-wiring a cruise missile whilst it's in flight.
 
Continues in the next stage...
 
Brigand Doom*NEW THRILL*
It's D for Vendetta, as a motiveless, murderous and unbeatable drug-addicted zombie-thug in a Dick Turpin outfit has weird eyes in a bleak dystopian metropolis. In terms of window-dressing, it's 1984 meets Taxi Driver. High on aesthetic but low on explanation, it may also have been ahead of its time as it predates (and latterly is reminiscent of) Complicity (Banks, 1993), Dark City (1998) and The Mask (John Arcudi, 1991).
Returns in the 1991 Sci-Fi Special...

Danzig's Inferno
Densely weird surreal world in which ... I don't know. Ask John Smith. (Mentally ill part-cyborg trapped in a lab tries to save the world from demonic mad-men by turning them into barbie dolls. Or Sindies. But most of what happens isn't that.)
Tis a one and done.
 
Indigo Prime
The 1990 Winter Special has  Fervent & Lobe: Holiday On Ice, which is sort of The Shining meets Skegness. Almaranda (from Fervent & Lobe: The Issigri Variations) returns for Alamaranda in 'Solstice' (720-721), which is a frying-pan-to-fire tale of just desserts.
Tremble...Indigo Prime returns in prog 735...
 
Armoured Gideon: No, No, Nanette
A one-off that features the titular giant robot and a delusional man but fails to provide forward momentum to the over-arching plot. (I mean, the main character of the first series wasn't the robot. And still isn't. But where's Frank?)
Gideon next surfaces in the 1992 Sci-Fi Special...

---

Special Mentions

Bradley and the Social Worker
In the 1990 Winter Special we have moved on from the previous set (Bradley's Thesaurus of Modern Music) of tales and Bradley ends up being sectioned, much to the relief of his exhausted parents. If you take Bradley's tales at face value, this might be seen as justice. But most of his complaints (please let me dress myself, please let me choose my own music) seem reasonable. Him dismembering kidnapped women is something else: but perhaps he's exaggerating to try to liven up the social worker's day (as he suggests at the beginning of the tale).
Bradley's Bedtime Stories start up in 1992's prog 795...

Bix Barton: The Disproportionate Man
This is in the 1990 Winter Special and features the ususal mugging to camera as a man causes things to be out of proportion, including (meta) the art in the strip. I guess this is like Deadpool if he was from Eton.
The Marmite continues to be spread in prog 723...

---

References:
 - Barney
 - The 2000 AD ABC
Frank would know.

Richard

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #186 on: 09 November, 2019, 11:40:22 pm »
I'm a bit late, but I loved Shadows, it's great. It's a shame it's not more widely recognised.

"Like Scooby Doo, but with laser guns" makes Chronos Carnival sound better than it is.

AlexF

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #187 on: 12 November, 2019, 01:38:58 pm »
Funt Solo, I am jealous of how thorough, pithy and accurate your reviews are! A real treat to read.
I'm very much looking forward to your sarcasm circuits being fully engaged, perhaps even overloaded, as we go through the next 3-5 stages!

IndigoPrime

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #188 on: 12 November, 2019, 01:44:22 pm »
This has been one of my favourite threads on this board. Really great stuff. The only disappointment is when someone bumps the thread (like, er, I’m doing now) and it’s not a new entry!

Dark Jimbo

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #189 on: 12 November, 2019, 01:45:52 pm »
This has been one of my favourite threads on this board. Really great stuff.

Yup.

The only disappointment is when someone bumps the thread (like, er, I’m doing now) and it’s not a new entry!

Also yup!

Funt Solo

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #190 on: 12 November, 2019, 06:59:19 pm »
Thanks for the kind words - very buoying. Naming stages is fun, and having a re-skim of the old progs has been interesting. 

I'd completely forgotten the ending to Shadows, and would have imagined it to be much more upbeat (like in Hollywood). Instead they went for the double-twist.

I'm also trying to switch off my prejudices about certain strips and give a neutral account, but some things (*cough* Dry Run) make that difficult. They have a bit in that where some horsemen attack the heroes in one frame, but are skeletons in the next. Oops. Nobody has come out in defense of Dry Run, but usually there's a Squaxx for every thrill.
Frank would know.

Aaron A Aardvark

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #191 on: 12 November, 2019, 07:32:53 pm »
This has been one of my favourite threads on this board. Really great stuff.

Yup.


Yup yup from me too. Great thread.  Fantastic work.
The only disappointment is when someone bumps the thread (like, er, I’m doing now) and it’s not a new entry!

Also yup!

Funt Solo

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #192 on: 19 November, 2019, 04:43:05 am »



Stage #22: Full Colour Potential (progs 723-749)

Prog 723 launches as the first full colour prog, with a series of three Megascans (fold-out posters with reprinted stories in them). There's a sense now that the reserves are being brought on as several established properties are given over to new creative teams. Now, if Novak Djokovic is having a bad day, it's just not going to work out the same if he hands me his tennis racket and asks me to give it my best shot. The same is true when Robo-Hunter and Rogue Trooper get passed around as if strong creative teams aren't a vitally important part of the equation.

Cinnabar (see stage #18) worked because the character and the setting were honoured, even if the writing style was different. On the other hand, The Golden Fox Rebellion writes the trooper as just another action hero. You can swap Rogue/Friday out for Action Man, or Rambo (after First Blood), or G.I. Joe: there's simply no character there anymore. The setting has become a generic war zone, rather than the understandable binary conflict and poisonous atmosphere of Nu Earth.

Robo-Hunter suffers from the same issues: the character has become action-hero cheese with Arnie-like muscles (rather than hard-boiled detective, or the later comedic put-upon hard-boiled detective), the setting is just urban Generica and the writing style has gone from hi-jinks to troubled PCP-fueled delusions. The 1991 Sci-Fi Special has an article that talks about the intention of getting back to the more serious version of Sam presented in Verdus, but aims and results don't seem to match up well (and Gibson's amazing robot designs are sorely missed).

Holding our head above the water are often known quantities: Wagner gives us a sorry tale where Mean Machine becomes the victim in Travels with Muh Shrink, John Smith treats us to Killing Time and Revere while Steve Dillon raises Emerald Isle up to a classic status that belies it's haphazard tone. Simon Coleby manages a similar trick with the otherwise gung-ho and forgettable Saharan Ice-Belt War and then Myra Hancock's Tao de Moto manages to hold interest with a shorter format mini-epic tale of alien surrogacy.




Judge Dredd
In Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home, a hold-out Citi-Def unit from the Apocalypse War wage hit and run attacks against what they imagine to be a Sov occupation. Emerald Isle is an odd mix of drama (an armed insurrection) and Looney Toons (the spud gun) as Dredd visits Murphyville and we first meet Judge Joyce. Return Of The King also strikes an odd tone as Chief Judge Silver (usually portrayed as gritty but flawed) comes back as a whimpering zombie: a precursor of the writer's obsession with zombies as we'll see in a later epic.
In the next stage: democracy!
 
Nemesis & Deadlock: The Enigmass Variations
It's a comedy whodunnit (or, rather, who's-doing-it) as Nemesis hosts a party of all the most powerful warlocks in the galaxy (sci-fi and fantasy tropes, one and all): but one of them has brought along a demonic entity that is murdering the others one-by-one. Nemesis dresses up as Sherlock Holmes (masterfully shaking us free of our willing suspension of disbelief) to solve the mystery.
Nemesis next shows up in Bride of the Warlock, in the 1992 Winter Special, whereas Deadlock returns next stage in the classic Khronicles Of Khaos...

Robo-Hunter(*) [*HARSH REBOOT]
Hoagy's all muscly and evil, Cutie (a tiny robot that's basically metal tits and orifices) magically reforms herself (after having died in 1979, on another planet) because she feels like it (that's the literal explanation) and then Sam and her snog, but his voiceover mysoginistically complains about ugly girls being easy. The writer casts himself as a second Robo-Hunter (that, far in the future, watches MTV and listens to music from 1991), and he and Pseudo-Sam buddy up and go on the run from murderous robots - the main antagonist being a Terminator knock-off.

The 1991 Sci-Fi Special continues the travesty in Return Of The Puppet Master, in which Pseudo-Sam deliberately gives his nephew a killer robot toy as a birthday present because he hates him. The 1992 Yearbook has Killer Grannies, which is an extended rip-off of the Hell's Grannies Monty Python sketch.

Continues (inexorably) in the next stage...

Bix Barton
It's Carry On Marmite as Bix tracks down the murderous cast of the Carry On movies with the copyright-baiting and aptly titled, erm, Carry On Barton. Next up a love plague descends on England and people start doing a mass lemming impersonation off the cliffs at Dover in Love Sick World.
Continues to divide the audience in the next stage...

Rogue Trooper [Friday]
We get the final episode of The Golden Fox Rebellion, which is highly entertaining: Mandroid is defeated by making him bump his head. Then, when the suddenly resurrected Golden Fox (Gaia) and Friday are flirting, Mandroid sneaks up on them and steals her molecular disassambler ("it is, I suppose, some kind of audio-vibratory-physio-molecular transport device"). As he attempts to escape through the floor, smugly boasting of his future evil machinations, Gaia snatches it back, causing an amusingly deadly floor::villain interface.

The Saharan Ice-Belt War ditches Gaia and moves continents (pausing on the way to rip off Jaws) and rinses and repeats the idea of Friday being with one gang against another gang, whilst continuing to dangle the carrot of shadowy villains pulling strings (which is pretty much the plot of The Hit). Hollow Town (in the 1991 Sci-Fi Special) sees Rogue and random new aquaintance fall under the spell of a psychic vampire whilst The Arena Of Long Knives (in the 1992 Yearbook) sees Rogue and random new aquaintance get forced to battle to the death in a millenia-old alien arena (on Earth) but with no explanation of how the aliens got there.
 
Returns in prog 780...

Tao De Moto: Forbidden Fruit *NEW THRILL*
Tao (a dancer fallen on hard times) gets offered tons of cash to be surrogate mother to an alien baby. When she tries to back out the Mysterons force the issue. This is interesting, but seems like it doesn't get anywhere in the time it has.
The 1993 Winter Special provides a coda....

Junker
Princess, jewel (that causes plot-handy malfunctions), space pirates (yay!), grenade-tossing sidekick, grumpy Junker, reveal of cunning battle skills, sexist Junker, reveal of hidden secret agenda justifying Junker's hatred of women, sudden multiple genocide, BOOM: the end.
Irresistably, it's junked.

The Mean Machine: Travels with Muh Shrink
Mean's first solo series in the prog sees him hypnotized and regressing to his peaceful younger self. Like that bit where people start taking photos of Kong (or the monster in Young Frankenstein), we can hazard a guess at what's going to happen next. 
Mean had his first solo story in the 1982 Annual with Mean Machine Goes to Town, and has his next in the 1994 Judge Dredd Yearbook with Judgement on Gosham...

Below Zero [after Beyond Zero, after Night Zero]
Tanner starts behaving a bit like Deadpool, referring to flashbacks as if he knows he's in a comic. The story is Zero crossed with Total Recall, as punters in their hired alternate realities are somehow being murdered (killing both their electronic and real selves). It has a tricky third-act as Tanner spends several episodes being invincible whilst the antagonists stand around shouting at each other.
For Tanner and Zero City, the fat lady has now completed her song.

Indigo Prime: Winwood and Cord - Killing Time
Murder on the Orient Express meets Jack the Ripper by way of Cthulhu, as Winwood and Cord take a steam train ride through time in an attempt to stop an occult entity from leaking out of its cage and destroying reality. More than any other Indigo Prime tale, this one stands up as having a clear beginning, middle and end.
Indigo Prime next shows up (in mufti) in 2008's Dead Eyes...

Dead Meat *NEW THRILL*
A militant vegan's wet dream, in which Inspector Raam (a humanoid ram) in a future flooded England is part of a totalitarian police force that has outlawed meat eating (it's considered murder) - even for animals. Which is pretty fucked up, because if you follow that logic then most of the animal kingdom needs to be locked up and starved to death. We're all just sunlight anyway, man!
A second series goads us into submission in 1992...

Revere: Finder's Edge *NEW THRILL*
In a future London, global warming has turned England into a baking desert, and Revere stalks the ruins: a boy with mystical powers and a floating-head zombie mum. Then it gets weirder.
The second book comes out in 1992...

[The] Harlem Heroes featuring Slice: Death-Sport
CLAK | SNEK! | KLUD | THWAM | POOMM | BOOM | CLAK | KBLAMMM | WHROOOM | KA-RAAASH | KLIK | WHOCK | FWIP | CHONK | KLIK | KABLAM | WHUD | KZAAAKT | HCHUP! | AAAAAAA
Because you demanded it, sports fans, we get another slice of the Heroes in the next stage...
 
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Special Mentions

Brigand Doom: Scary Monsters
The 1991 Sci-Fi Special has this Ghost of Christmas Doom tale as the Brigand's spirit shows the possessed inspector the reality for many of the downtrodden citizens.
Returns to the prog in the next stage...

Slaine: The High King
In the 1992 Yearbook Slaine beats the crap out of a good-looking guy and then gets told by a zombie that instead of being ritually killed at the end of his kingship, he'll be sent through time to do the bidding of the Goddess. This is the set-up for what will be a series of Quantum Salmon Leap adventures (or Conan Does Time Tunnel) that dictate the direction of the strip for years to come.
Returns to the prog in 1993...

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References:
 - Barney
 - The 2000 AD ABC
Frank would know.

Colin YNWA

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #193 on: 19 November, 2019, 06:21:45 am »
So many thrills so little thrill-power. You get to the nub of this problem so well Funt and I think that summary of NuHarlem Heroes is about the best I've ever read!

TordelBack

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Re: 2000 AD in Stages
« Reply #194 on: 19 November, 2019, 08:56:00 am »
Lorta'mercy I can feel my love of the Prog slowly dying as I read this entry. A few twinkling jewels (Killing Time, mainly) but so much ho-hum.  Although...

Dead Meat *NEW THRILL*
A militant vegan's wet dream, in which Inspector Raam (a humanoid ram) in a future flooded England is part of a totalitarian police force that has outlawed meat eating (it's considered murder) - even for animals. Which is pretty fucked up, because if you follow that logic then most of the animal kingdom needs to be locked up and starved to death.

... maybe Tharg has a claim on some Zootropolis cash?  Inspector Raam partnered with Officer Judy Hops, I'd watch/read that. (I'd watch anything with Hops in it, even Dead Meat 2)