2000 AD Prog Slog

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Prog 52

In American comics, exposure to radiation usually results in bizarre, sometimes exciting, but usually concealable powers. In 2000 AD, the results are baldness and invisible skin and muscles. Writer Pat Mills must have thought he had come up with a cool twist on the Invisible Man idea when he came up with The Visible Man, a character through whom you can see their internal organs, but once the premise was established, where else was there to go?

Essentially, The Visible Man had to run around naked to maintain any real visual impact and after a couple of pages that stopped making sense. Fortunately, artist Carlos Trigo, didn't draw Frank Hart standing in front of plants and strategically placed tea cups to conceal his modesty. Instead, he just didn't draw his penis or, if he did, the printing was so bad that it ended up being hidden by an inky smudge.

The thrust of the story has Frank on the run from elderly scientists who want to see the effect that spinning him around really fast has on his internal organs. This is interspersed with fun gross out scenes like an angry mob witnessing him eat a cake and being able to see it slide down inside his neck and into his stomach. In the end, he is caught by the authorities and fired into space so that they can see how zero gravity affects his insides. Frank fiddles with the controls, altering the rocket's trajectory, and leaves the human race behind forever.

Unlike American comics, death in 2000 AD is often cruel and nearly always permanent. The Visible Man remains one of the most memorable characters from this period despite having only ever appeared in six episodes. Unlike poor old Peter Silk who must have appeared in around forty episodes of Invasion as a loyal support to the lead character, Bill Savage, and who remembers him?


  • Visible Man was a really odd little story, but basically it was all about seeing his guts, so it was a one trick pony at the end of the day.

    By Blogger dmstarz, at 2:01 pm  

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