2000 AD Prog Slog

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Prog 439

John Wagner and Alan Grant's writing pseudonyms are becoming characters surrounded by pre-publicity in their own right now. Milton "The Beast" Shrimpton appeared in a Tharg story a few progs back before the start of Mean Team an issue later. In it, a new script robot is delivered to the Command Module only, instead of being the tough, no nonsense creator droid that they were expecting, he turned out to be the effeminate and very, very camp Nigel. "The Beast" waved at the other creator droids from his delivery crate shouting "coo-ee!" and minced around the office skipping with a daisy chain for a rope. Disappointingly, there had been a mistake made by the Post Office. This droid was meant for toddlers' comic Jack And Jill. When the real Milton "The Beast" Shrimpton arrived, he got straight to work writing The Mean Team to sound effects such as "hack", "slash" and "grind".

The Mean Team is another future sport strip with casualties. A cross between Inferno and Blackhawk, which might explain why Bellardinelli got the gig drawing it what with having been the principle artist on those two thrills before. There's also an unhealthy dollop of The Mean Arena in there too. Those of you who have been following The Slog for a while will know that I found what felt like the never ending presence of The Mean Arena a bit depressing.

Personally, the portrayal of the robot revealed as the real Milton "The Beast" Shrimpton is so off putting that, coupled with my natural aversion to sport, future or otherwise, I find myself resistant to The Mean Team. Of course, it is early days and the thrill is just getting warmed up, plus it is being written for real by the usually excellent Wagner and Grant, but I can't help thinking how much more fun the strip would be if it had been written by Nigel in the end.

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  • With the exception of the original runs of Harlem Heroes and Inferno, I've never quite 'got it' with 2000ad's future sport strips. There was something in 2007's batch - it was pure hogwash, failed to register with me, hence I can't recall the name.

    The Mean Team? Expect it to be spume then you might be surprised. Or not.

    By Blogger Ken Davidson, at 8:02 pm  

  • I was a regular reader of 2000 AD at the time and remember Mean Team being a disappointment, Ken. It's early days at the moment though.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:26 pm  

  • Oh man! Mean Team features a panther with the brain of a psionic man! What's not to like?

    By Blogger Dom Sutton, at 5:26 pm  

  • Dom, the panther is cool.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 2:31 pm  

  • The Mean Team was a huge disappointment. At the time the editors seemed to sell it as the next big thing in 2000AD and it just so wasn't. I seem to remember huge gaps between series of the story too that probably didn't help.

    By Blogger dmstarz, at 5:01 pm  

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