2000 AD Prog Slog

Monday, August 18, 2008

Prog 599

Moon Runners has been running for nine weeks now; a story of a space trucking firm and the vying for its ownership between a group of over affluent and bitchy women. Sounds a little like ACE Trucking Co to me. Hell, it even has the same artist, Messimo Bellardinelli. But Moon Runners, written jointly by Alan McKenzie and Steve Parkhouse, is a straighter and camper strip (if that isn’t a contradiction in terms).

I couldn’t stand Moon Runners first time around. I couldn’t understand how anyone could think this combination of ACE Trucking Co and Dynasty would appeal to the readers of 2000 AD. Why is Tharg commissioning strips like this when he could be running mash-ups between Flesh and Knight Rider or MACH 1 and The A Team instead? Now that I understand that the comic seems to be in the midst of a half arsed and misguided attempt to appeal to female readers as well as the long standing it isn’t so confusing. I actually quite enjoy it. At least it makes lot more sense than the impenetrable Tyranny Rex Soft Bodies by John Smith and Will Simpson which is also currently running.

In this prog’s episode, handsome Captain Flynn stumbles across a naked Carroll Nash in one of the ship’s cabins, her bits tastefully concealed by objects and angles, at the same time that the Spirit of St Louis docks to receive cargo. You would have to be the most socially backward Squaxx dek Thargo not to have picked up of the sexual references established by the inter-cutting and yet, in comparison with the tit-fests and semi-ons that feature in twenty-first centaury editions of 2000 AD, it’s remarkably subtle.

Moon Runners occupies what I think of as 2000 AD’s ‘blind spot’; slap bang in the middle of each week’s episode of Judge Dredd, irritating like a kidney stone. Now that Dredd is in colour throughout, his stories begin in the centre spread before continuing five pages later. I wonder how many episodes of Moon Runners got missed by readers eager for their complete dose of future law.

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