2000 AD Prog Slog

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Prog 233

The current run of Strontium Dog ends with the final part of The Kid Knee Caper. In it, the mutant bounty hunter, Kid Knee (of the title), whose nerves are so frazzled from the job that he can no longer hold a gun, is killed by his bounty, The Mutator. Obviously, his partners on this job, Johnny Alpha and Wulf Sternhammer, avenge his death as they are contractually obliged to the readers to do.

Like Johnny, Kid Knee is a mutant but unlike Johnny, he can’t put on a pair of sun glasses and pass for human as his head isn’t on his shoulders but in his right leg where his knee should be. Poor Kid Knee. One recent scene has the bounty hunters eating their dinner and he has to lie on his back with his leg in the air to swallow his food.

At this time, in 1981, I am not reading 2000 AD, instead, I am coming towards the end of my New X-Men phase. The mutants here could almost always pass for human except for Nightcrawler, who has a hologram thingy to conceal his looks if he wants to, and The Beast, who is too cuddly for anyone to want to hunt down and destroy and besides, isn’t a full member of the team anyway. Contrary to the movies, during this time, the prejudice theme of the hugely popular comic-book seems played down and the X-Men function more like a superhero soap opera, only being referred to as mutants so that the creators don’t have to think up origin stories for them all. In Strontium Dog, there’s no pussy footing around; the mutants are treated like absolute scum and they look ridiculous. There’s Middenface McNulty, whose head is covered in lumps, Clacton Fuzz whose face is all hairy and The Torso who had no head or face at all. Unlike the X-Men where Storm has prematurely grey hair, Wolverine’s back is a bit hairy and Cyclops has to wear glasses all the time. Ah, did-dums, X-Men, ya big babies!

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  • I always thought the idea of the X Men were a truly crap allegory for tolerance anyway. I'm all for us showing more respect to people who are DIFFERENT, unless that is that difference consists of having all kinds of scary abilities (like being a human switchblade, able to play with your mind or to fire destructive beams from their eyes) coupled with a tendancy to get into far more than your fair share of fights.

    Frankly i'd have been all for throwing most of marvel's muties in a jail and throwing away the key. Well except Hank McCoy, the Beast maybe, I always liked him...

    By Blogger Tam, at 10:01 pm  

  • And Beak, Tam, from a recent run written by Grant Morrison which is great. But I see your point - it is a bit insulting if you've been on the receiving end of homophobia, say, to be told that the X-Men is about that.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 6:02 pm  

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