2000 AD Prog Slog

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Prog 74

If you think, just because this chapter of The Cursed Earth has cloned, ex-amusement park dinosaurs running around and eating people, that the theme of today's entry is going to be Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park, which was first published twelve years later, then you're wrong. Instead, after discovering that Satanus (the tyrannosaurus rex who, at the end of this episode is about to chow down on Judge Dredd) is the resurrected son of Old One Eye, the dinosaur who caused so much mayhem in the Flesh strip, I want to talk about the notion of the 'enclosed universe'.

In mainstream American comics, the 'enclosed universe' came about from a cool idea; wouldn't it be fun if this character we own here meets up with this other character we own over there. However, over the years, publishers have submitted to the logical (or semi-autistic) conclusion where events in one comic can now impact upon those in another. For example, you couldn't possibly breeze along just buying an issue of Superman every month. Before long you would be completely baffled by the plot, no matter how long you've been a regular reader for, because of it referring to a comic you've never heard of before produced by the same publishers.

2000 AD has never allowed their same worlds to lapse into a syndrome and stop being fun. For example, Judge Giant is supposed to be the son of John Clay from the strips Harlem Heroes and Inferno. Although, by the current Inferno story, it's not been established that the young John Clay has ever had sex let alone conceived a son, it hasn't stopped me ever believing that he could be decapitated in his next match. In fact, if you run with the logic, shouldn't Judge Giant be called Judge Clay, after all, "Giant" is a nickname. When you start to think like this, the imagination gets restricted and possibilities shrink. You shouldn't be thinking like this; you should be thinking, wouldn't it be cool if Judge Dredd had a fight with a tyrannosaurus rex.


  • Oh boy, I remember these episodes of the cursed earth vividly from when I was a kid; thrilling and disturbing all at once with a feverish nightmare quality that put my 8 year old head into a spin. I think it may be the next issue that has 'Satanus' perched on a blood-slicked spanish style church with Dredd hanging from his jaws by a chain on the splash page. Jesus!
    Cheers for the prog slog btw, very entertaining with many a pleasant nostalgic buzz. I'm in the process of filling the holes in my collection at the moment myself, and it's nice to read someone else's (re)take on these beautiful old comics.

    By Blogger mat_tait, at 7:59 am  

  • Thanks Mat. Many of the stories from around this time left young me breathless.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 12:11 pm  

  • I'm with Mat - the Satanus episodes were freaking weird/amazing and very scary. Regarding the 'universe' thing you're talking about, it's very hard to pick up any Marvel comic now as a stand alone as everything is so inter-related. I won't go on to talk about what a hole is burned in my pocket as the result of trying to keep up on events.

    By Blogger dmstarz, at 12:44 pm  

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