2000 AD Prog Slog

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Prog 304

While the prisoners riot in one Gerry Finley-Day scripted thrill, Harry Twenty on the High Rock, Rogue Trooper continues his tour of Fort Neuro in the other. Fourteen episodes ago, Rogue decided, along with Helm, Gunner and Bagman, that they needed a break from their search for the traitor and the best holiday location that they could think of was a Souther fort under siege from the Norts. How they thought that this might be relaxing, I don’t know, unless of course, the only other available option was a First Choice package holiday. Rogue has been visiting different sectors of the fort and has learned that being under perpetual attack has sent everyone a little bit mad. In one section, the soldiers there have become obsessed with Napoleon and speak in fake French accents a la ‘Allo ‘Allo. In another, they’ve become obsessed with disco music resulting in the bizarre image of Rogue on the dance floor.

So far, Fort Neuro reads like the Rogue Trooper equivalent of a Judge Dredd multi-part epic. Like typical Dredd sagas before, there has been a rotation of memorable artists including Colin Wilson (who, at one time, looked like he was being groomed as Dave Gibbons’ replacement as head artist on the strip) and Cam Kennedy (who, to my mind, is becoming the character’s definitive art robot). At the moment, it remains a modest thrill, still maintaining only four pages an episode on average, which is tiny when you consider that Rogue has been sniffing at Dredd’s heels in the Readers Polls for a while now.

We are in the midst of 2000 AD’s golden age and part of the core group of script robots helping to set the tone of the comic at the moment is Gerry Finley-Day. I’ve wondered before, in regards to the history of the comic, if Finley-Day should be considered a writer closer to the same league that John Wagner, Alan Grant and Pat Mills are members of instead of being consigned to the lower divisions as he often seems to be. He might not have the same sense of satire as them and his work might be altogether more earnest but Rogue Trooper remains a major player, as important to the history of the weekly as Slaine, Nemesis the Warlock and Robo-Hunter.

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  • Despite the great artists who worked on the strip before him, I always think of Cam Kennedy as the definitive Rogue Trooper, too. It's the strip were he developed from a fairly pedestrian artist to a great one, for starters.

    By Blogger Mark, at 8:33 pm  

  • I agree, Mark. I will always remember the first Dredd he drew after finishing Rogue. Wow.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:57 pm  

  • That cover is fantastic! Really, really fantastic!

    By Blogger Jez, at 10:33 pm  

  • Jez, it is a beauty!

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 6:03 pm  

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