2000 AD Prog Slog

Monday, June 09, 2008

Prog 517

For the last few weeks, Pete Milligan has been providing the dominant voice for 2000 AD and for those of us more used to the black satire of Wagner, Grant and Mills it's a weird and deliciously pretentious one. He's been teasing our brains with the cover hogging Bad Company since prog 500 and for the last month he's been bending them with The Dead.

In The Dead, mankind has discovered the secret of immortality and, after the initial two hundred year honeymoon period, everyone is beginning to feel a little jaded. This is when people start to burst open with demons. It all seems pretty grim for mankind until some character called Fludd manages to overcome the one that attacks him. This is the beginning to of a journey around the after life for our reluctant hero as he tries to get to bottom of what is happening.

Its a pretty crazy concept for a thrill but what makes it even loopier is the artwork provided by Messimo Bellardinelli. Bellardinelli is off on one for The Dead. He's drawing irrational aliens, truly grotesque demons and impossible landscapes. It's difficult to follow and undoubtedly the most exciting artwork he's produced for the comic since that Dan Dare centre page spread ten years ago in prog 1.

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  • Bad Company. The Dead. Zenith coming up. This is probably my favourite era of 2000AD.

    Milligan is a writer whose gone through some ups and downs but is always interesting. Tharg should see about getting him back. What's that? He did? And it was unmitigated shite? Oh well.

    By Blogger Peter, at 10:17 pm  

  • Pretentious - you said it, Paul. I must respectfully disagree with Peter; in retrospect, this is where 2000ad and me began to part company.

    And btw - was Milligan responsible for Zenith? I remembered it as some other trendy-wendy...?

    By Blogger Stavros, at 3:03 am  

  • I dunno, his colour stuff on Flesh Book 2 was pretty fantastic, Bellardinelli's high point for me, though The Dead was a real return to form. Milligan never really did it for me though; lots of bluster, not much pay-off.

    By Blogger mat_tait, at 6:10 am  

  • To sum up: I hated The Dead at the time, even stopped forcing myself to read it after a few progs. (Mind you, I never like Ace Trucking, I think I'm on my own there.)

    I read The Dead recently in a reprint collection, all together, and really enjoyed it. It flowed better, but then again I've stuck 20 years on my brain cells...

    By Blogger Ken Davidson, at 11:27 am  

  • Peter, what's that thing Milligan returned with that you're thinking of.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:50 pm  

  • Stavros, I like a bit of prentention every now and then. Grant Morrison wrote Zenith, by the way.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:51 pm  

  • Mat, Bellardinelli didn't even make the humans look particularly like humans! They didn't even wear any clothes! what was going on there?

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:52 pm  

  • Ken, funnily enough, I remember enjoying The Dead more first time around.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:53 pm  

  • I can't even remember THE DEAD - that's a bad sign.

    And I never liked ACE TRUCKING, either. My personal fave MB art was MELTDOWN MAN.

    By Blogger Mark, at 8:10 pm  

  • Stavros, it certainly was some other trendy wendy that wrote Zenith! I just thought him and Milligan and John Smith were something really exciting and new at the time. While I can see a decline in the overall standard of Progs from about 600 onwards, it's not until the late 700s that I can look at it and think there isn't a single decent story. I didn't stop buying originally until about 870. Perversely, just before Wagner came back to Dredd and things started getting a bit better again.

    Paul, Milligan returned to do Bad Company 2002 and it was an incredibly shoddy and tired piece of work with no direction or originality. Even Ewins' art was pretty dreary.

    By Blogger Peter, at 11:38 pm  

  • without going back and re-reading (which would mean a lot of lower-back-threatening hefting of weighty stacks of progs), were the weird looking naked (non-genital sporting?) humes 'sposed to be highly evolved or something? Funny how 'highly evolved' equals non-libidinous...

    By Blogger mat_tait, at 6:04 am  

  • Mark, Bellardinelli drew some freaky stuff during his time on Blackhawk too.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 6:19 pm  

  • Cheers Peter. I totally forgot about Milligans' return to BC and that recent too. I must be getting old :-)

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 6:21 pm  

  • mat, and no hair too. Hence people often mistake me for being highly evolved.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 6:22 pm  

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