2000 AD Prog Slog

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Prog 153

What is it with Pat Mills and Old One Eye, the dinosaur that took weeks to die in the first run of Flesh? First their was Old One Eye, then her son, Satanus, who he wrote into The Cursed Earth, then her grandson, Golgotha, who appeared all armoured up on Mars in ABC Warriors and now there’s poor Rex Peters who has been slipped the blood of Satanus in a drink in the current Judge Dredd story. Dinosaurs aren’t that good, Pat. Let it go. I am kidding, of course. Actually, there’s something a touch thrilling about being able to trace the transformation that Rex is currently experiencing back through multiple strips.

This is a period of 2000 AD where it is understood that the comic might actually last for the foreseeable future and not encounter cancellation like so many of its peers have. This comfort seems reflected in many of the thrills that currently appear in it. There’s a sense of creative investment; of the rough edges that made the comic so appealing originally having been filed down.

My alcohol damaged memory tells me that this is a period of the comic where Mills keeps his contribution to modest levels on principle. It seems to me that this story, Blood of Satanus, is him making the point that 2000 AD is becoming relatively sanitised in comparison to the early progs by making connections between what it is now and the early, dinosaur thrill, Flesh. Even art robot, Ron Smith, who normally can’t resist acknowledging the absurd, draws this tale with an uncharacteristic savagery and pulpy nastiness.

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