“I saw Simon in Italy and asked him if he had any interest to do the book , he said yes and got a green Light from DC and it happened.” - Jimmy Palmiotti
I’m close, oh so close to being caught up. Prog 1973 begins with this great little damage report.
Judge Dredd: The Grindstone Cowboys 1973-1977 + Meg 371-373 - After a series of attacks on Mega-City outposts, Dredd and some rookies head into the cursed earth and grudammit, shit goes down.
There’s loads of story here as the Megs supply lines have been cut off, Brit-cit demands action re Dredd and Joyce’s involvement in the Murphyville spaceport massacre and Texas Chief Judge Oswin crops up to be a potential fly in the ointment. Through the story Dredd maintains his Dreddness and this scene is a cracker.
Dredd gets knocked out of commission and Rico takes over.
Colin MacNeil keeps the lines crisp and clean and there’s some top notch colouring with the dusty desert scenes looking particularly good. The Meg issues feature Henry Flint on art duty and follow up the story of the head cowboy hunt (who just happens to be a brute!). It gets a bit mad maxy but that’s a good thing and the action comes thick and fast. I got the feeling throughout that this was all building to something massive and indeed it was. Koburn rocks up and discovers that some of the bad guys have puncture wounds on their palms which is indicative of early lawgiver verification as used by…Texas City. Uh Oh!
Judge Dredd: The Lion’s Den 1978-1985 - PJ Holden turns in some career best work here and we get a taught tense thriller as Judge Joyce is to be shipped back to Brit-Cit to stand trial but things don’t go to plan and his shuttle gets attacked. We then get a man-on-the-run story and it’s a good one. Familiar faces pop up, motives get questions and all the while it feels like the walls are closing in on Mega-city 1 and CJ Hershey in particular. Needing help, she calls Texas Cit and 2000 judges arrive on scene. Oswin also begins to throw her weight around.
The tension seems to escalate page on page as Mike Carroll yet again delivers the goods.
Survival Geeks: Geeks Fatales 1973-1977 + Lord of the Ringers 1978-1981 - I know this gets some stick but I really like it. Not all the comedy hits but the gorgeous Googe art and wacky plots are enough for me to forget the short comings.
Aquilla: Charon’s Mercy 1973-1978 - Paul Davidson wouldn’t have been my first choice of replacement artists for this title but he has proved to be a good fit. There’s a Dr Moreau feel to it as our heroes(?) battle hacked together mythological creatures in a bid to find the location of Ammit the Devourer who has Aqullia’s soul. It’s quite graphic but then I think it needs to be. Good stuff.
It doesn’t seem like The Mighty Tharg is a fan of Elektra in the DD show.
Tainted: The Fall of Deadworld 1973-1981 - The Impending doom and desparation is well done and Kendall’s art is pitch perfect for the tone of the tale but something just didn’t click with me. It felt a little disjointed and I wasn’t really sure where it was going. I think it’s about a character who resists evil rather than just showing us how the dark judges came to be. Fairfax is the lone uncorrupted Judge but even his bike has a beef with him and constantly spouts off harassing dialogue with no real explanation. I didn’t dislike it but it didn’t wow me.
Tharg’s 3rillers: Repossession Orders 1973-1975 - A rubbish ghost story.
Future Shocks: Tour Guide 1976 - Nice art and although the ending was a little predictable, new script droid Rory McConville did a good job.
Tharg the Mighty: The Secret of Prog 1977 - I didn’t understand this at all. What was the punchline?
I have to run for a train now so I’ll update tomorrow.
Your binge read has encouraged me to do the same with my own…I am a lot further behind than you are though.
The Damage Control usually makes me chuckle. I’d rate them higher on my rank of preference than the current Anderson series too.
The Thrillcast has a star studded lineup this week with Brian Bolland, Peter Milligan and Kev O’Neill on it as well as Gordon Rennie. Only problem is they don’t really get much time.
It’s pretty rare to hear Bolland interviewed, he seems a very pleasant chap and I hope they call him back for a full length thing.
It also got me thinking he must get paid a hell of a lot for his covers, he hasn’t done a full length interior job for nearly 30 years and works digitally so can’t sell original art but seems to get by fine. Either that or the Killing Joke royalties are very good.
I thought Bolland did a lot of non-comics work? I’m sure I’ve seen his work on posters and magazine covers. I would suspect (based on no knowledge at all ) that those things pay more than comics.
Looking at his profile it seems he does some rather than a lot, he even says in the interview he isn’t doing much at the moment and has spare time.
Saying that he’s turned 65 this year so it is retirement age.
Right, finished my catch up in time for Saturday’s epic Prog. I’ve left the reviews particularly bland and spoiler free as I know a few peeps haven’t got round to reading the issues yet.
Future Shocks: Meat 1989 - I’m not the world’s biggest Davis-Hunt fan and the uninteresting story and meh ending meant this wasn’t for me.
Judge Dredd: Reclamation 1986-1990 + Meg 374 - Holy Cow. these last three Dredd tales have been one of favourite stretches of Dreddness in ages. Not saying I haven’t liked other Dredd strips this year but these could easily go into my all time to 20. Throughout, I was gripped by the action and the ramifications of all the shit that was going down. I also came to the conclusion that I’d be happy with Dredd taking a more permanent backseat in the overall scheme of things as it’s been proved recently that the supporting cast are more than capable of carrying a hefty story.
Brink 1978-1992 - Wow, after 3 eps I was hooked. It’s a sci-fi space police procedural action drama thriller and it’s great. Twists, turns, great dialogue, interesting characters and everything seems to have a purpose. Just great comics. Could be my fave new strip of the last 5 years.
Slaine The Brutania Chronicles: Book 3 Psychopomp 1979-1988 - Boom! A massive rumble arc and whereas I usually find Slaine either hard going or difficult to follow, this was really enjoyable. We learn more of Slaine’s origin and get to see his badass Ma in action. Simon Davis is crushing it on this series.
Black Shuck: Sins of the Father 1986-1992 - I didn’t actually hate this as much as others, in fact I thought it was okay and was happy to read each ep.
Grey Area 1982-1987 - This is how you write a feel good ending to an epic arc. I need to do a complete reread of this excellent series but this was another strip I really enjoyed. Abnett is cooking on gas at the moment what with this, Brink and Lawless in the Meg.
Outlier: Survivor Guilt 1990-1999 - Again, I didn’t hate it but am glad it’s over.
Jaegir: War Child 1996-1999 - Always like me some Jaegir and this was no exception.
Anderson: The Candidate 1993-1999 - Not for me. Boring and by the numbers with unsuited art.
Tharg’s 3rillers: Mindmine 1993-1995 - Didn’t like this. too ‘all over the shop’.
Scarlet Traces: Cold War 1988-1999 - Yes, yes, yes. Brilliantly rendered, exotic, venusian art by D’Israeli and a gripping yarn from Edginton that follows an excellent path from Earth to the stars with each ep adding the original stories’ mythos. Here’s a catch up.
Judge Dredd: LadyKiller 1991-1999 - No one tells a PJ Maybe tale like the Wagner Droid and here he again does a great job. I still preferred Mike Carroll’s three preceding Dredds but this is still good. I know Bruce has argued against it but I did feel that Maybe’s death was a bit rushed and perhaps out of character for him to come to a sticky end so easily.
Overall, an absolutely fabulous bunch of strips with a high quality mark that has eclipsed big ‘prog catch up reads’ that I’ve done over the last few years.
The Eagle has landed. I ended up with the cliff robinson cover.
Now to try and ditch the family so I can read it.
That sounds wee bit drastic. Maybe if they just went out for a couple of hours
I am afraid that I’m only up to 1974 or thereabouts.
I left myself open for that…
You’re all jealous because I started reading 2000AD with issue 1
The postman is going to get his baws kicked.
Mines never arrived today, I had plans to read it while Strictly was on.
According to latest PodCast Brian said that he asked Matt Smith a few years ago if he could draw a Dredd strip, preferably incorporating the Fatties.
John Wagner wrote it and it sat for years waiting on Bolland and eventually they all had to admit defeat and get the OK from Brian to give it to someone else.
Toying with going to 40th Anniversary con next February.
My new plan is to read 2000 ad on a weekly basis. I’ll likely read the previous week’s prog first to use as a mini catch up before the current one. That’s the plan anyway. So, Prog 2000 then…
Edit-Sorry Bruce. The reviews were very vague but I’ve spoilered them anyway.
[spoiler]Dredd: Private Contract - Anytime Dredd and Alpha team up you know you’re going to get plenty of action and some dead bodies. In fact there isn’t a great deal of either here and although it was good tale I wouldn’t say it was great.
Nemesis the Warlock: Tubular Hells - Bit of a nothing story really. Nice to see the O’Neill droid back on art though.
Rogue Trooper: Ghosts of Nu Earth - Is this going to be a regular strip with this creative team? If so I hope it doesn’t take Elson away form Kingdom. Re the story itself, I wasn’t impressed. Rennie is doing great things on sister title Jaegir (and I imagine a crossover is in the works) but this just felt flat and uninspired.
Anderson: A Dream of Death - Fairly light but nice art and hopefully this creative team will do more Anderson work soon.
Sinister Dexter: Replica - Having spent the last year offworld hunting for Holy Moses Tanenbaum our heroes have returned home but due to some space time continuum nonsense, no one now knows who they are. This acts as kind of a soft reset and could lead to some fresh stories.
Counterfeit Girl: Counterfeit Girl - Milligan and Dayglo give us an old schoolish 2000 ad tale of mistaken identities, shadowy corporations and inventive future sci-fi. Looks intriguing. [/spoiler]
There are a few additional one page segues from McMahon, Gibbons and others and it’s nice to see these alumni one more time in the galaxy’s greatest but overall I was left disappointed by the whole package. Barring Counterfeit Girl, nothing was very new reader friendly and it had the feel of a summer special rather than a landmark Prog.
Flicked away when I realised that was a Prog 2000 review and actually read any of it. Any chance of popping that in spoilers Bobby?
I’ve been reading Predator vs Judge Dredd vs Aliens on Comixology (#2 just became available after the price drop). It’s fun, but doesn’t really feel like proper Dredd. Maybe that’s just the format of the story; we’re 2 issues in and it has been all build up so far. I hope the proverbial hits the fan soon or this is going to be quite disappointing.
The artwork, on the other hand, has been excellent throughout - it’s got a real Lee Weeks vibe to it. What else has Mooneyhan (sp?) done?
Made a big dent in the prog reread mission over the last month but didn’t write anything down and even with a short time having elapsed I’m already struggling to remember some of the following stories!
Halo: Book 2 405-415 - I remember liking this series when I read it for the first time about 10 years ago but Book 1 left me wondering what all the fuss was about. Book is an improvement and follows Halo’s space voyage. The prologue that opens this book takes place waaay in the future and Jones seems to be a key figure. There’s some dude who maybe isn’t s a dude but actually might be who slinks around the space ship, the Rat King tale is good and Toby going mental was unexpected but a nice twist.
Halo: Book 3 451-466 - Book 3 focuses on the war that has been simmering in the background. Halo meets Life Sentence, a grizzled war vet who is part disillusioned and part aggressive motivator. General Luiz Cannibal finally gets a starring role and although I’m not as high on this as others, I did think it was good (not great) but was disappointed it never got an official ending.
Anderson: Four Dark Judges 416-427 - Anderson gets her first solo strip and it’s pretty standard stuff. Fairly uninspiring.
Anderson: The Possessed 468-478 - Creepy demon smashing. Reminded me a bit of Chaos from WH40K and it was much better than the preceding story. Ewins produces some great art and the balance of action, intrigue and creepyness is spot on.
Strontium Dog: Max Bubba 445-465 - This is the big one where Wulf bites the bullet. The time travel bits were a bit naff and I’m not sure if this story has cult classic status but for me it doesn’t crack the top 10 SD all time stories.
Future Shocks - Some crackers from John Smith, Grant Morrison, Neil Gaiman and Jamie Delano.
Ace Trucking: The Croakside Trip 428-433, The Dopplegarp 451-472, The Garpetbaggers 475-498 -
Nemesis: Vengeance of Thoth (Book 5) 435-445, Torquemurder (Book 6) 482-487, 500-504 -
Mean Team 437-447 - Full on 80’s style action with brooding macho hard men and evil corporations all rendered brilliantly by Bellardinelli. Really enjoyable.
Mean Team: Return of the Mean Team 525-541 - Wow, what a come down. The hard boiled fighting areana is replaced with a whimsical, fairytale land full of weirdos and rhyming siblings called Bloo Baloo. Oh yeah and the mystical power rod. Junk.
Robo-Hunter: Farewell, My Billions 435-443 - Ridiculous convoluted storytelling with career best art from Gibson. Enjoyable.
Bad City Blue 468-477- Skipped the second half of this poor man’s Sin City. Amazingly it’s listed as being written by but in fact it was Alan Grant using that pseudonym.
Sooner or Later 468-499 - Not for me. Way too out there.
Metalzoic 483-492 - What the hell is going on here? Not sure I care to be honest. Wasted use of Kev O’Neill on a kind of metalic robotic woolly mammoth tale.
I had found it enjoyable but a bit slow but I hadn’t been able to put my finger on why. I think you’ve nailed it with the format though. A huge majority of Dredd stories I’ve read are told in 6 page instalments and these all get the reader up to speed, move the story along and leave them on a cliffhanger in a short burst keeping everything ticking along at a brisk pace - I think that’s what this is why it feels so decompressed and taking an age to actually get going.