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2000 AD Prog Slog

Friday, June 13, 2008

Prog 525

For years, Rogue Trooper was an almost constant but modest presence in the pages of 2000 AD, occasionally beating Judge Dredd in the readers polls. Then, inevitably, The Believability Equation caught up with it; internal logic times quantity of episodes divided by reader tolerance. In other words, it was decided that finding The Traitor General couldn't be put off any longer. Once this original piece of the concept got tied up the thrill seemed to become directionless with a fleeting visit to the planet Host and the two sides in the war almost signing a peace treaty.

Now Rogue Trooper is back with a shiny, new and, let's face it, bold direction. Rogue is now working for the mysterious aliens who seemed to sabotage the peace talks in the first place, killing major players in the war in an attempt to put an end to it once and for all. He arrives mysteriously at a destination with only the name of his intended victim and has to work out what's going on from there. He's like that guy from Quantum Leap, he even has the invisible friends in the form of his bio-chipped equipment to talk to, except he's blue.

Steve Dillon is now the Rogue Trooper art robot in residence and draws it like he's a superhero. It's full of dynamic poses. What I once thought of as his uniform often looks like it could be a costume. And those shadows under his eyes? I saw his helmet ride up once and they were still there. It looked like he was wearing a Green Hornet styled mask.

Ex-editing droid Simon Geller has been reprogrammed as the thrill's script robot for The Hit. He has a way of pacing the story that is similar to Alan Grant which, first time around, I saw as becoming the house style. The dialogue between the main characters reads like banter and lacks the cruel under current that existed when Gerry Finley-Day had the gig before. However, it's early days at the moment. It seems unfair to make final judgements at this time even though I can remember what happened with the thrill from first time around.

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