2000 AD Prog Slog

Friday, August 31, 2007

Prog 203

The Mean Arena goes on a break just as I was beginning to feel less like sticking my head into a washing machine and switching it on every time I saw it. A recent fill-in episode drawn by Steve Dillon helped me to soften to it so that I was still in forward momentum when regular artist John Richardson returned. Its replacement this prog is the start of a fresh run of Future Shocks, the first written by superstar script robot Alan Moore. How can The Mean Arena compete with that?

I'm beginning to like Return to Armageddon. I like the dynamic between the heavily disfigured/constantly in pain, Amtrak, and his loyal robot, Seeker. It's just a shame that it has taken so long for the thrill to get to this point. Because Amtrak's condition means he cannot die, he was recently buried inside a block of concrete and used in the construction of a building by some circus freaks who had taken a dislike to him. I mention this because it seems very reminiscent to what Alan Moore is to do with the Marvel UK Night Raven text stories that he starts to write a couple of years from now. During Moore's tenure, the character becomes impossible to kill and increasingly disfigured. In one tale, he's led into a trap which is a room filling up with concrete. In Moore's defence, prohibition vigilante Night Raven doesn't go on to partner up with a loyal robot.

Sometimes, ideas seem to move quickly between thrills in 2000 AD. In Mega City One, the dead are sent to Resyk where their bodies are broken down into their basic constituents for use by the state. In Meltdown Man, the Yujee seem to have their corpses sent to a similar place called The Vats which predates the longer lasting Resyk, at least in publication order.

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  • I thought you might soften towards Return to Armageddon. I did too, I think at the point of feeling some sympathy for Amtrak for his physical agony. I was reading Graham Masterton's Devils of D-Day at the time, and this blend of SF and, what, horror? occult? satanism? just seemed to get more enjoyable.

    It made a welcome break from nuclear holocaust ;)

    By Blogger Ken Davidson, at 10:30 am  

  • I guess nuclear holocast is possible and our own invention whereas Satan isn't real or our fault if he is. Yeah, Return is working out for me.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 11:33 am  

  • Hey, I remember those Alan Moore Night Raven stories. That particular one you mentioned was definitely one of my favourites, narrated if I remember correctly by a gay character, which is the first time I can recall that happening in comics. All this took place in something called 'Daredevils', which was an amazingly good monthly Marvel UK title. After some OK back up early Spidey stories in its earliest issues, the magazine found its wings with (one) Frank Miller's Daredevil (two) Captain Britain written by Alan Moore and (three, and most excitingly) loads of articles, text stories etc., all pretty much written by Alan Moore. Amazing to think now that this wasn't a big seller. Wonder if you can pick them up on ebay?

    By Blogger dmstarz, at 10:40 am  

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