I'm finding it harder and harder to recall some of these strips that I read a few months ago so I really need to start jotting down notes as I go along. Anyway:
Journal of Luke Kirby: The Night Walker 800-812 - More great Ridgeway art but this time it's in colour. Luke meets a mysterious tramp called Zeke and together they battle a devious vampire. It's a slow burner but worth a read.
Flesh: Legend of Shamana Book 1 800-808, Book 2 817-825 - This is like a team book but instead of a varied group of super heroes working together and squabbling, we have a myriad group of dinos who form the dirty half dozen. They are led by a girl who was left abandoned in the jungle when she was just a youngster. Together they fight the big corporation of trans time and although Pat Mills has since remarked he didn't like the art in the series (Carl Critchlow who's art here looks nothing like his later work) I thought it was very fitting.
Wireheads Book 1 803-811 - This involves something about paraspace morpheus data zones and I only got half way through before giving up.
Finn: Finn Book 2 807-816 - Just as with the first installment I just couldn't get into this. Could be Mills' worst 2000 ad output?
Revere: Written in Water 809-814 - Confusing as all get out and even the moody gothic art can't save it.
Robo-Hunter: Aces of Slades 813-816 + Serial Stunners 819-822 - Less said about this the better.
Brigand Doom: Spirits Willing 815-818 - Inspector Nine is still tracking Doom but is still suspicious of his motives. Is he a bad guy or just a vigilante with good intentions? I was hoping for actual story but at least the art is good.
Dead Meat: Dead Meat Book 2 812-820 - More silly meat-free based action/comedy but it's not a total stinker.
Strontium Dogs: Return of the Gronk 817-824 - I can't remember the exact details of this expect that it involves some mad professors who are trying to capture Feral and The Gronk. It also involves The Gronkinator and some great art by Nigel Dobyn.
Kelly: Armed Response 821-830 - Tripe and a waste of Brett Ewins art. Kelly is a one man killing machine who also happens to be indestructible (but runs from bullets) and fights topless most of the time. The story is pointless and one note as well.
Robo-Hunter: Keith the Killer 825-827 - Avoid.
Bad Company: Kano 828-837 - Danny Franks has now become the Krool heart and Kano is seeking peace and solace on a remote planet away from all the war and killing. He starts seeing spirits and ghosts and to be honest the story is quite wishy washy and even Ewins art isn't up to standard.
Firekind 828-840 - Brilliant. Unfortunately when it was initially published, part 7 was missed out and only added after the conclusion of the tale. Poor show Tharg. Luckily the whole this was reprinted in Xtreme Edition 8.
I suggest you go on ebay and bag a copy. This is a tale of a sciency guy being taken in by a alien culture as he attempts to learn as much as he can form the planets indigenous population. Of course, man and his war machines follow to smash down the locals who also ride flying dragons. It's all quite 'Avatarish' but in a good way. Great writing and great art by Paul Marshall. Some say Cradlegrave is John Smith's best work but maybe some of those people haven't read this.
Armoured Gideon Book 2 828-840 - Simon Jacob produces his best work to date especially when he's drawing massive chaos beasts and demons. Gideon is in trouble and only Frank Weitz can save him. But does he want to? The pictures are nice but the plot and overall story somewhat confusing.
Purgatory 834-841 - Prison break in the world of Dredd. Stripped back dialogue, excessive violence, big bold characters. Sounds like Millar would be a perfect fit as Dredd's lead writer. If only that were the case.
Big Dave: Target Baghdad 842-849, 869-872, 904-907 - Manchester's hardest man. He loves a shellsuit, has killer bulldogs with spiked collars, enjoys being jobless. He's also patriotic, xenophobic, homophobic, sexist and into mindless violence. Of all the Millar/Morrison 2000 ad works, Big Dave has pretty much no hallmarks of any previous 2000 ad stories. Pure satire with no sci-fi elements. Dave smacks around Saddam Hussein, the royal family, his dad and nazi germany. Aside from some slightly funny parts of the last tale, in which Dave and his mates end up playing in the 1994 World Cup and voodoo witch doctor Nelson Mandela raises former England players from the grave, there is very little to like here. Unless you like truly offensive material. Having said that, this actually did quite well at the time and is even fondly remembered by some even now.
Maniac 5 842-849 - Hhhmm, a Mark Millar story that isn't naff. Alien invaders, cyborgs and big guns. It's pretty thin on anything of substance but like I said, it's not completely naff.
Really & Truly 842-849 - Weirdness for weirdness' sake doesn't do it for me and this a right flop. According to Morrison, "I took a couple of Es and just wrote all 48 pages in a day"
Slaughterbowl 842-849 - This is probably the most generic A to B story from John Smith so far. A wrongly accused (?) man is forced to either stay in prison and watch his wife die, as they can't afford the surgery cost, or opt into the Slaughterbowl, a death race of epic proportions. It maybe straightforward but it's a good ride and as the story unfolds, our protagonists fate and that of his wife starts to become all too clear. Good stuff.