2000 AD Prog Slog

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Prog 499

As pre-relaunch progs go this is a pretty good one. Traditionally, they are padded out with Future Shocks and readers' art. If you're lucky, there might be the last episode of a long running thrill but usually they would have finished a prog or two before. In this prog however, last episodes to all of the long running thrills appear except for ACE Trucking Co's trip to Hollywood which came to a halt last week.

Amongst the conclusions is Rogue Trooper's five week run which sees a mysterious and superior alien race determined to bring the war between the South and the Norts to an end by appearing to our hero in the form of Venus Bluegenes and talking him into doing hits for them. Since the exposure of the Traitor General on Nu Earth a couple of years ago, this thrill has been lacking in direction. Turning Rogue in a cosmic hit-man is a conceptual change that, at the start first time around, I was enthused by but which now I remember as never really working. This episode ends with him dramatically marching through space towards his first hit. It's quite a difference to the chemical spoiled environments he trudged through in the original stories.

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  • In my mind, the new direction that Rogue takes is akin to what happened to Dan Dare. Dare went from a hard-nosed space soldier, to camp glove-wearing permed superhero. Similarly, we see Rogue changing from hard-nosed space soldier, to time'n'space-hopping assassin-pawn. In both cases our heroes become passive, directionless, and trudge through their remaining tenures at the behest of others. Poor show all round.

    By Blogger Ken Davidson, at 8:15 pm  

  • Yeah. I agree. That version of Rogue featured some sloppy writing and even sloppier art. I think poor Steve Dillon was in a funk at the time...and I'm sure the really crappy writing didn't help.

    I loved Collins and Farmers 'Slaine' though. Thye added a kind of 'romance' feel to the strip. I don't think Slaine has ever had 'bad' artists.

    By Blogger Stephen Reid, at 3:29 pm  

  • Ken, I'm hoping that my memory is wrong and that The Hit actually delivers...

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 8:05 pm  

  • Stephen, yeah, Slaine has been very blessed as far as I can tell, artists wise.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 8:06 pm  

  • I remember being quite excited at Fabry's return and so probably not giving Collins and Farmer there dues. I do remember the double page spread of the zodiac in the fields as pretty spectacular, though.

    The following year I saw them sitting together on floor at UKCAC, cheerfully pencilling and inking sketches of Slaine, which they swapped back and forth between them. It was one of the first time s I'd actually seen a comics artist draw, and I was amazed at just how quickly they could work.

    By Blogger Jez, at 12:05 pm  

  • jez, I am pretty fond of the guys as a working team. Anyone whose work i first saw in a Marvel UK comic I have a soft spot for.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:50 pm  

  • I gotta comment on the last appearance of Ace Trucking Co. By this time the stories and art are really weak, but in its heyday (roughly from its debut in 232 to 293) this was one of the all time best 2000AD stories. Entertaining light-hearted stories with great art by Belardinelli. A quintessential off-the-wall sci-fi story that only 2000AD could produce.

    And the exciting news is that Rebellion is re-publishing the stories. According to the 2000AD site, it'll be 320 pages which by my estimate means all the stories up to 293 plus some covers etc. It's listed as volume 1, but i don't think the quality justifies any further volumes.

    By Blogger Simon C, at 7:00 am  

  • Simon, ACE did seem to lose direction but, on the whole, it was fun.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:43 pm  

  • Like you, Paul, I was actually quite excited by the Rogue Trooper 'Hit' concept and was disappointed when it aimlessly fizzled out.

    By Blogger dmstarz, at 4:05 pm  

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