Friday, May 9, 2014

2000AD - Prog 1880

Cover by Simon Davis. What a beautiful piece of art by a lovely chap who I have met and if I meet him again I will ask him to sign this for me, but although it would not look out of place on an art gallery wall is it a comic book cover? I honestly can't make up my mind. Part of me thinks that Tharg should push at the boundaries with interesting art and design, but I also want to see Slaine with a big axe because I think that would look better on the shelves and sell more copies. I'm going to have to stare at this for a while before I decide whether it will make my top covers of the year list.

Judge Dredd. Shooter's Night part 2 by John Wagner, John McCrea, Chris Blythe and Annie Parkhouse
Wagner gives us some good detective work by Dredd as he works his way towards the shooters club and McCrea's art does the job nicely, it's cartoony but that is no bad thing. Interesting to see a human psychiatrist in a very old world office filled with books and papers, not a computer or iPad in sight. I don't understand the last panel though, whose door has Dredd turned up at, and why are all those pictures or mirrors on the wall? A bit of a jump there, but presumably all will be explained next week.

As ever Wagner can probably write this stuff in his sleep by now. And while it hasn't got the same tension as the Mega-City Confidential story this one has a more human angle which strikes a chord with me.

Indigo Prime. Perfect Day part 1 by John Smith, Lee Carter and Simon Bowland.
I have a problem with 2000AD stories where I wasn't there at the beginning, and I wasn't there at the start of Indigo Prime. I know that they have to fix problems in alternate realities but apart from that I'm a bit confused, and it doesn't help that in this first episode it is not immediately clear who the central characters are, and whose adventure I am supposed to be following.

The story certainly starts with some arresting images of the crucifixion, the sort of thing that used to get comics banned, and it gets even weirder with the Planet of the Apes style stuffed bodies in Buckingham palace. The last page reveal is perhaps less surprising as everybody wants to tell an alternate history story where the Nazis won the war, and we all knew they were really giant lizards anyway, at least we did if we watched Wogan back in the 80s. Anyway there is enough here to keep me intrigued and reading for now.

Slaine. A Simple Killing part 7 by Pat Mills, Simon Davis and Ellie De Ville
The Giant's Causeway turns out to be exactly that as all manner of monsters cross from the island (or to the island?). Davis' art is absolutely stunning in this episode, the image on the fifth page of Slaine riding away from the camera and his eyes in the sky is particularly breath-taking and might have made a better cover than Sinead's profile.

Meanwhile this story is proving to be anything but the simple killing of the title. Episode 7 and we still haven't got Slaine to the island yet? Oh well, just look at the lovely pictures.

Tharg's 3rillers. Colony part 1 by Kek-W, Vince Locke, Adam Brown and Ellie De Ville
One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich meets the colour from space. Better dead than red as they used to say in the last century, but in case they will probably end up being both. If I hadn't read the Solzhenitsyn novel I might be more interested. The dud of the issue for me.

Outlier part 7 by T.C.Eglington, Karl Richardson and Annie Parkhouse.
Bit of a talky episode this week and Richardson's art is mostly static as well. The character of Carcer still seems underused to me and I'm disappointed that we haven't seen more of his enhanced optic abilities as this has gone on. The world of Outlier hasn't been fully explored yet and I found this confusing rather than compelling this week.

Pick of the Prog is almost Indigo Prime which is a surprise but goes to the ever reliable Dredd yet again.

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