2000 AD Prog Slog

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Prog 406

Although by my definition this is not a pre-re-launch issue, a lot of thrills finish today. Rogue Trooper Return to Milli-Com concludes before I even get a chance to comment on it in The Slog. In it, Gunner, Helm and Bagman are re-gened but last in their new bodies for only a couple of episodes before they start to disintegrate. Rogue, who didn't seem comfortable with hanging around Milli-Com anyway (one of the most worrying scenes in 2000 AD history has him sleeping on the floor by his comfy bed using a helmet he's stolen from stores as a pillow), has taken this opportunity to go rogue again and journey, this time, to the planet Horst in search of a cure for his buddies. I'm hoping that, if he succeeds, when they are re-gened, the GIs grow beards, moustaches etc so that it's easier for us to tell them apart.

The most satisfying Nemesis story so far, Book Four, finishes. That's really saying something when you consider that two episodes in, the always stunning Kevin O'Neill was replaced. New art robot, Bryan Talbot, the droid with the loveliest hair in King's Reach Tower, has made the thrill his own. In fact, when O'Neill returns for the ad-hoc pin-up and special occasion cover, I think to myself, hey, I remember this guy - he used to draw Nemesis. What made Book Four particularly successful to my mind is the return of the ABC Warriors, who disappeared from 2000 AD mid Mars mission several years ago. Ro-Jaws is in there too, bantering, albeit sparingly because there was so much going on, with his old pal, Hammer-stein.

The final episode of the multi-part disappointment, I mean epic, City of the Damned, sees all of the plot threads tied up in eight pages, just like that. Seeing such dynamic story telling take place after weeks of methodical pacing is slightly alarming. In it, Judge Dredd stops his zombie future self, has replacement eyes implanted, recovers from the operation, flies to Xanadu with Judge Anderson, kills the baby Mutant, destroys Grunwalder and still has time for a couple of jokes. One of my favourite Judge Dredd gags of all time occurs in this prog. Anderson is having the wound in her leg checked out. The doctor says, "Never seen gangrene spread so fast. I’m sorry, Anderson, we’re going to have to amputate". Understandably, Anderson is shocked and upset to which the doctor responds, "Just joking! You’ll be right as rain in a couple of days!". Sigh, fake diagnoses jokes; aren't they great?

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