Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
 

Author Topic: Prog 2199 - Death Becomes Him!  (Read 3049 times)

BPP

  • Member
  • Posting Machine
  • ***
  • Posts: 1667
    • View Profile
    • Futureshock'd: At least the pictures are nice.
Re: Prog 2199 - Death Becomes Him!
« Reply #30 on: 16 September, 2020, 11:39:14 PM »
There are three types of Dredd epic: end of the world (Necropolis, Apocalypse War, Day of Chaos); political chicanery (Chief Judge's Man, Trifecta); and crime procedural (The Pit).

Only the first has been done to death. The last hasn't been done nearly enough.

The small house, the Dan Francisco arc and that-time-Texas-invaded would be political chicanery.
If I'd known it was harmless I would have killed it myself.

http://futureshockd.wordpress.com/

http://twitter.com/#!/FutureShockd

Andy B

  • Member
  • Page Numbering Droid
  • **
  • Posts: 151
    • View Profile
Re: Prog 2199 - Death Becomes Him!
« Reply #31 on: 17 September, 2020, 01:38:37 AM »
How grumpy, you sure you’re not all on Facebook.

It certainly is an unusual amount of negativity for this forum. I think it’s just disappointment: a 15-part epic from creators of this caliber sounded awesome, and it just... wasn’t.

Speaking of disappointment, still no Slaine? Tharg teases an unexpected return next week, but that cant be it: we’ve been expecting Slaine for months!

broodblik

  • Member
  • Evil Cyborg
  • ****
  • Posts: 2392
  • watkykjy?
    • View Profile
Re: Prog 2199 - Death Becomes Him!
« Reply #32 on: 17 September, 2020, 04:50:11 AM »
Speaking of disappointment, still no Slaine? Tharg teases an unexpected return next week, but that cant be it: we’ve been expecting Slaine for months!

It was even mention in the 2000AD websites news section that Slaine will return. I will disappointed if it does not but maybe understandable if you followed a certain thread.
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.

MumboJimbo

  • Member
  • Page Numbering Droid
  • **
  • Posts: 174
    • View Profile
Re: Prog 2199 - Death Becomes Him!
« Reply #33 on: 17 September, 2020, 06:19:27 AM »
Now I’ve had time to mull over End of Days, I think it was a big disappointment. The ending wasn’t as bad as I feared, but was still a lot of hand-waving fluff to dig itself out of a narrative hole that requires a suspension of disbelief that I find hard to summon up. The Bill and Ted style aspect of Anderson going back in time to fix things afterwards didn’t sit with me well either. And the “because it’s inevitable” explanation of why she never attempted to prevent this all from happening in the first place was feeble.

I enjoy the prog in general, The Out has been sublime, but this was a big misfire, for me. In interviews Rob Williams mentioned wanted to do a big old school epic like City of Damned. But that one, although it started off with great promise, ultimately failed to sustain that, so not a great place for inspiration in my book.

On that post Limitations of Comics I wrote a longish screed on aspects of compressed storytelling in comics that doesn’t sit well with me, and someone replied basically having the complete opposite view to everything I’d written. It made me think whether I was trying to make comics and 2000 AD in particular something it was never really meant to be, and whether I wouldn’t be better off reading more literary fiction or whatever if I’m looking for something deep and meaningful with satisfying character arcs. It made me question why I came back to reading the comic again, and whether it is ultimately a nostalgia thing or it’s actually the stories themselves. Certainly End of Days has had me questioning these issues a lot - whether I’m wanting the prog to be something it really shouldn’t be, but at my ripe old age an action heavy plot with not much in the way of character development or some deeper meaning does nothing for me whatsoever, but I can’t deny that’s something that the prog has always been doing, and it was far more prevalent in the 80s than the likes of Halo Jones. So maybe it’s not the End of Days, maybe it’s me.

broodblik

  • Member
  • Evil Cyborg
  • ****
  • Posts: 2392
  • watkykjy?
    • View Profile
Re: Prog 2199 - Death Becomes Him!
« Reply #34 on: 17 September, 2020, 06:29:51 AM »
“End of Days” was for me like a Michael Bay summer blockbuster popcorn movie. It was never about the substance and deep character build up but more about the over the top plot unrealistic action-fest. I have read it in that fashion. I do not want all my comics to be the deeper meaning of life and why do we exist stuff. Fluff is fine. That is why stories like “The Out” gets published.  Not everything can be the next “Watchmen”. I enjoyed “End of Days”.
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.

Greg M.

  • Member
  • Battle Hardened War Robot
  • ****
  • Posts: 3478
  • Demon is up in the attic to the left.
    • View Profile
    • The Beat of His Own Drum
Re: Prog 2199 - Death Becomes Him!
« Reply #35 on: 17 September, 2020, 06:52:16 AM »
So maybe it’s not the End of Days, maybe it’s me.
Compressed comics and character development are not mutually exclusive. Though his stories have become more slow-burning in the latter half of his career, John Wagner has always balanced the two with the skill of a master. Song of the Surfer and Return of the Taxidermist are perfect examples. Similarly, something like Pete Milligan's Bad Company I & II handle both with aplomb.

The problem with End of Days isn't that it's too compressed - seems to me there's still plenty of characters sitting around talking. It's that the characterisation, to my mind, is off, that Dredd doesn't do a whole lot, and that it's all a bit Steven Moffat, for want of a better phrase. I've got no problem at all with the idea of Dredd vs Four Horseman, or the idea of doing it as a round-the-world OTT action romp, and I don't think it needs a big prologue.

broodblik

  • Member
  • Evil Cyborg
  • ****
  • Posts: 2392
  • watkykjy?
    • View Profile
Re: Prog 2199 - Death Becomes Him!
« Reply #36 on: 17 September, 2020, 06:57:51 AM »
I think that was the main problem that the story was too compressed. Each of horseman was dealt quite quickly. I still believe an additional few episodes would have resolved these issues.
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.

Greg M.

  • Member
  • Battle Hardened War Robot
  • ****
  • Posts: 3478
  • Demon is up in the attic to the left.
    • View Profile
    • The Beat of His Own Drum
Re: Prog 2199 - Death Becomes Him!
« Reply #37 on: 17 September, 2020, 07:10:39 AM »
From my perspective, building extra floors on a house with dodgy foundations doesn't make it a better house.

broodblik

  • Member
  • Evil Cyborg
  • ****
  • Posts: 2392
  • watkykjy?
    • View Profile
Re: Prog 2199 - Death Becomes Him!
« Reply #38 on: 17 September, 2020, 07:14:21 AM »
True but building better support for the foundation does help
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.

MumboJimbo

  • Member
  • Page Numbering Droid
  • **
  • Posts: 174
    • View Profile
Re: Prog 2199 - Death Becomes Him!
« Reply #39 on: 17 September, 2020, 07:19:43 AM »
So maybe it’s not the End of Days, maybe it’s me.
Compressed comics and character development are not mutually exclusive. Though his stories have become more slow-burning in the latter half of his career, John Wagner has always balanced the two with the skill of a master. Song of the Surfer and Return of the Taxidermist are perfect examples. Similarly, something like Pete Milligan's Bad Company I & II handle both with aplomb.

Yes, you’re right. I remember the bit in Nemesis Book 5 (I think) where Nemesis kills a bus load of kids without any remorse. Had a big effect on me back then, and mad me start to question whether he was really a hero or just your enemy’s enemy. And that was probably done in 3 panels or so.

I guess my point was a general one that action focused stories are probably fine in modern 2000 AD even if I don’t personally get much from then. Certainly Dredd is not the most nuanced character in the world and neither should he be. A lot of that nuance back in the 80s was provided by the poor saps who had to live in MC-1 and make some kind of sense of their lives.

I would have still liked the final episode of End of Days to be spread out over, say 2 or 3 episodes as I think the revelations could’ve been given chance to land better. But, paradoxically I also with the whole thing had been shorter!

MumboJimbo

  • Member
  • Page Numbering Droid
  • **
  • Posts: 174
    • View Profile
Re: Prog 2199 - Death Becomes Him!
« Reply #40 on: 17 September, 2020, 07:34:17 AM »
“End of Days” was for me like a Michael Bay summer blockbuster popcorn movie. It was never about the substance and deep character build up but more about the over the top plot unrealistic action-fest. I have read it in that fashion. I do not want all my comics to be the deeper meaning of life and why do we exist stuff. Fluff is fine. That is why stories like “The Out” gets published.  Not everything can be the next “Watchmen”. I enjoyed “End of Days”.

I agree with most of that, but still think End of Days didn’t achieve what it set out to be very effectively. And Michael Bay movies are awful not because they’re big budget action fests but because he clearly has no interest in creating a coherent plot that even an action movie should have. And the hand-waving, just-go-along-with-it slapdash nature of a Bay movie does have echoes in End of Days.

As Greg point out, it’s not an either-or situation and action oriented stories can have some good character interactions that make you think or shed new light on aspects of their personality. It can even be done as part of the action, and seamless with the action. It’s a difficult trick to pull off, but then good creative is a high level skill.

TordelBack

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 26964
  • Thunder Chops is dragged off, gnashing...
    • View Profile
Re: Prog 2199 - Death Becomes Him!
« Reply #41 on: 17 September, 2020, 07:41:02 AM »
Ťhe idea that there is no place for rather silly magical quest Dredd stories with more action/gags than character development or wider implications seems to fly in the face of the history of the strip. It's absolutely fine not to like them, they wouldn't be my favourite, but they've been here all along. I wasn't looking forward to it, but End of Days was a bit of fun, and for maximum bonus points there wasn't an invisible ninja, a corrupt judge or a secret conspiracy to be seen. 

Plenty of gritty character-focused stompy-robot celeb-killing action over in the Magazine this month; I commend its purchase to the house. 

MumboJimbo

  • Member
  • Page Numbering Droid
  • **
  • Posts: 174
    • View Profile
Re: Prog 2199 - Death Becomes Him!
« Reply #42 on: 17 September, 2020, 07:55:02 AM »
There are certainly many a silly/magical Dredd quest in the annals - the Wizard of Oz parody when it went full colour springs to mind. I don’t think though we’ve ever had one that last for 15 episodes (or whatever). I guess that’s maybe where readers’ expectations were wrongfooted. We expected it be more the cerebral thing that a long form Dredd usually is.

TordelBack

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 26964
  • Thunder Chops is dragged off, gnashing...
    • View Profile
Re: Prog 2199 - Death Becomes Him!
« Reply #43 on: 17 September, 2020, 08:06:41 AM »
It certainly wrong-footed me going into it,  I was very grumpy indeed when I thought we were getting 4 months of Titan-meets-Judgement-Day, but when it turned out that there would be polar bears, psychic baboushka dolls and world-engines I relaxed and started enjoying it as an over-stuffed Dredd-does-Sirius-Rising.

To be clear though, this is not what I want from Dredd every week, but it's definitely the end of Williams' writing that I prefer.

Link Prime

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 5014
    • View Profile
Re: Prog 2199 - Death Becomes Him!
« Reply #44 on: 17 September, 2020, 08:11:36 AM »
I was about to comment with an amusing (to me) rant about the End of Days suck-fest, but decided against it.

Rob Williams is a very talented Script Droid and a very nice fellow, and I have enjoyed his work to varying degrees ("Thumbs up" to "Zarjaz") from 2002 to 2019.
I look forward to enjoying it again in 2021.