2000 AD Prog Slog

Friday, October 19, 2007

Prog 260

It's only five years old and already 2000 AD is lying about its age. I was forty recently and even I haven't started doing that yet, although I could be just a very good liar and actually be fifty years old. Industrial action in the past has meant that there have been weeks at a time without a dose of thrill power so Tharg has decided to calculate the age of the weekly by taking the prog number and dividing it by fifty-two instead of referring to the actual date that issue one was released. This is a practice that he continues to use to this day (please refer to the recent thirtieth anniversary edition). To me, this is like someone spending the whole of the nineties in a coma and then taking ten years off their age. No one is going to fall for it. In fact, people feel slightly embarrassed and pitying towards you.

The Judge Dredd epic, The Apocalypse War, continues to be relentlessly grim but compulsive reading just the same. In this episode, some Judges led by Dredd, herd a bunch of citizens into a pit and execute them for collaborating with the enemy. The laughs have been non-existent in Judge Dredd recently. I think script robots Wagner and Grant have tried to lighten things up with a sub story featuring Walter the Wobot staggering around the ruins of Mega City One carrying Dredd's landlady and Block Mania victim "Mawia" but, I'll be honest with you, it isn't working. In fact, it makes me despise the characters slightly.

Wagner and Grant provide real light relief in the great ACE Trucking Co and the even greater Robo-Hunter. There is a classic sit-com dynamic at work between the main cast of these strips. In fact, I think I can see an Only Fools and Horses overlay here; you've got your Del Boy in Ace and Hoagy, your Rodney in Sam and GBH and your Granddad/Uncle Albert in Stogie and Feek the Freak. Okay, the association might be a bit loose but they all create similar warm feelings in me whenever I encounter them and that’s good enough for me.

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