2000 AD Prog Slog

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Prog 19

This prog features the last part of the opening Flesh run making it the first of the original strips to be removed from 2000 AD’s line up. I have no idea if this was down to a lack of popularity with its readers or for some other reason. Even though Tharg hadn’t started running voting forms at this stage, he still often asked readers to let him know what their favourite strips were in his editorials (all of which I also intend to re-read during this experiment) but I would still be surprised if this were the case.
I remember reading this the first time around and feeling uncomfortable at the bias in favour of the dinosaurs, that were rampaging around their era eating everyone, over the humans, even the “hero” Reagan. Now as an adult, rapidly racing towards forty, I totally appreciate this narrative preference.
Reading this many progs inside a week has made the strip seem relentlessly brutal. I can imagine a kid reading this weekly when it was originally published and becoming frustrated by Ol’ One Eye’s refusal to die. Even in the final episode, she collapses, appears to be dead, is picked at by some other meat-eating dinosaurs, then suddenly heaves herself up for one final feeding frenzy.
Hopefully, I will have succeeded in posting a picture of my favourite Flesh cover from this run with this entry. A fighting mad tyrannosaur enters a time machine at the same time as three ranchers, and exits in the 23rd Centaury with three human heads instead of its own. Considering that this was meant as a comic for children, I love the fact that playing this for laughs was avoided as the three heads are drawn expressing absolute terror. In the strip, other rangers shoot the beast dead to put the men out of their misery.
Given that 2000 AD’s predecessor, Action, received such negative press because of its violent content, I wonder if this influenced the strips end in the comic.


  • Excellent synopsis of the first Flesh saga. Like you, I was disconcerted by Flesh back as a 6/7 year old. I remember being heartbroken when Earl Reagan's deputy, Joe, was finally dispatched (by giant spiders, I think, rather than dinosaurs). I suspect that the story was always meant to be relatively short, given the tendency for major characters to get eaten at a moment's notice, however like you I appreciate it much more now than at the time. I suspect that it ranks second, after Judge Dredd, out of the six strips that made their initial runs in the first (two) issues. Pat Mills once said the purpose of the story was to see how many characters the dinosaurs could eat each issue. My own 'favourite' memory of Flesh was the episode where Old One Eye devours a school trip. They really pushed the boundaries back in the day :)

    By Blogger dmstarz, at 1:51 pm  

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