Tuesday, November 5, 2013

2000AD Prog 1857

By Karl Richardson. Terrific depiction of Dredd and the monster. Richardson goes with the vambrace gauntlet thing that he used on the cover of 1845 but more of that later. Dredd has pretty impressive abs for a 70 year old, I don't believe they would show through a leather uniform but that's artistic licence again. My main problem with this cover is that it looks so similar to Prog 1826 by Paul Davidson. I'll be interested to see Pete Wells' 2000AD Covers Uncovered blog posting on this and what Tharg's brief was.

Dredd. Prey part three by T.C.Eglington, Karl Richardson and Annie Parkhouse.
Although the bad guy gets plenty of time to monologue his evil plan this final episode feels a bit rushed like a lot of the recent Dredd tales. It did seem that it might have another prog in it but once the beastie is dispatched it's all wrapped up in five quick panels.

Now for the medical content. Firstly I don't know how the nurse's medical band delivers the "anti-allergy medicine" into the body but I'm pretty sure it would need to be on the skin or fairly close to it. We teach patients that they can deliver their Epipen or Jext injection devices through a pair of trousers or tights in an emergency, but I don't think that would work through a pair of thick leather gauntlets with that wrist protector vambrace thing. We know that Dredd's costume is resistant against fire and a variety of nasty chemicals. I don't think it can do that and still allow a fairly small needle or gas powered injection device to fire through the back of his glove.

The second problem with this get out of jail device is the idea that this medical band has delivered "enough adrenaline to briefly counteract the neurotoxin". Adrenaline does not work like that, there are only a few medical emergencies that justify its use. The devices used by patients and doctors to treat allergic anaphylaxis do contain adrenaline but the way that works is to increase the force and speed of the heart pumping, as well as opening up the airways and making it easier for someone having an allergic crisis to breathe. It's not going to reverse the effects of a neurotoxin. Adrenaline was also used incorrectly to get Dredd back on his feet after major blood loss in Trifecta. And another thing, in America adrenaline is called epinephrine, in fact there is an attempt to get all countries to use the same name for drugs and epinephrine is the term accepted by the international medical community. Unless the nurse is from Brit-Cit she is using the wrong drug name. This sort of stuff stands out like a sore thumb to me (and I see lots of sore thumbs as well). There are better drugs and devices that might work in these situations, just ask me.

Having said that the detail about the Doctor developing new drugs from the Scrall venom does reflect real medicine. In recent years we have started using a blood pressure medicine developed from Pit-Viper venom, and a new diabetic drug comes from the saliva of the venomous Gila Monster. So hats off to Mr Eglington for that.

Brass Sun. The Diamond Age part eight by Ian Edginton, INJ Culbard and Ellie De Ville.
Stop me if you have heard this opinion already. The art is lovely and I look forward to reading the whole thing in trade, but it just moves so slowly. Having said that doesn't it also seem that the protagonists are getting chased through long grass by one of those strangely ineffectual Scythe robot things every third episode or so? I'll wait for the collected version.

Flesh. Badlanders part eight by Pat Mills, James McKay, Lee Townsend and Annie Parkhouse.
I'm growing to love the black and white art which reminds me of the early days of 2000AD but I'm still mystified by the storyline. Still we get a raptor versus a rodeo cowboy, Vegas shows off her boobs again, and next issue we might finally get Gorehead living up to his name.

Tharg's 3rillers. Rewind part two by Robert Murphy, Jesus Redondo, Eva De La Cruz and Ellie De Ville.
I really enjoy these three episode stories which introduce some new blood into 2000AD's line up. There is a slight problem with the time travel cop story which has already been pointed out on the forums, namely if you can go back and solve past murders, why don't you just go back a little further and prevent them in the first place?

As you might expect I also have some medical problems with this story. In the last prog one of the cops used a hand held device to identify the suspects as two adult males based on "exhaled DNA particles". There are all sorts of problems with this. Let's assume that we do shed some some lung lining cells and blow those out in each breath. Collecting enough of those and then extracting the DNA from them is going to be enormously difficult and way beyond the power of something you can wear on your belt. However if we can accept time travel for the story then let's allow Robert Murphy to have a CSI crime lab that can be carried on a utility belt. But you can't identify someone's sex from DNA, you identify it from the chromosomes made from DNA. And even if we reject that as just a quibble about names how does DNA analysis tell you how old someone is?

My other problem with this particular story is the size of the hole that Dick Turpin blows in Benson's chest with his flintlock pistol. Of course this allows for some Death Becomes Her fun as the artist draws his partner peering through the gaping wound, but even a large calibre musket ball would not make that size of wound. Look at the American civil war photographs of Matthew Brady to see the small but deadly wounds caused by musket fire.

Damnation Station. In Another Lifetime by Al Ewing, Mark Harrison and Simon Bowland.
Looks pretty but I have no idea what's going on. I need to go right back to the start on this one.

Pick of the prog is Dredd, but mainly through lack of competition. I'm off now for an adrenaline shot and a nice cup of tea.

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