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2000 AD Prog Slog

Monday, September 08, 2008

Prog 624

The opening Medivac 318 story ends this prog although it’s promised to return in the near future. In it, trainee Nurse McKinnon is trapped on the surface of the war planet Zygote with a soldier that, thanks to a brain injury, can only say the word “no”. It’s an atmospheric, humane and gripping start to the new strip.

I find liking Medivac 318 a surprise as it’s written by Hilary Robinson. In the past, 2000 AD has had its overall tone set by the likes of Pat Mills, John Wagner, Alan Grant and Alan Moore but more recently, thanks to her Future Shocks, Tales from the Doghouse and Zippy Couriers one-offs, she’s been responsible for it. However, I find that much of her work for the comic has a quaint quality to it and seems to be missing many of the fundamentals that worked so well for 2000 AD previously.

Take for example this prog’s Tales from the Doghouse, also written by Robinson. It ends on the most appalling sea fishing based pun. Puns can be part of the 2000 AD mix but hers feel unforgivable because the story, apart from ignoring the Strontium Dog fundamental that mutants are disallowed by law from doing any job other than bounty hunting, lacks any satire, wit or pop sci-fi nastiness.

However, I can’t deny that, so far, Medivac 318 works. The art, by Nigel Dobyn helps significantly. It’s animated and considered in equal measure. The balance between character and environment is confident. However, Robinson’s contribution shouldn’t be under estimated. It’s just that I don’t remember this quality being kept up.

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2 Comments:

  • I quite liked Medivac 318, it did the "korean war mash unit in space" thing quite well.
    Nigel dobbyns b&w art was quite good (didn't like his colour art tho). It was slightly old school...I'd liken it to an updated Mike White or gerry Campion style. I liked his design sensibility on the insectoid warriors, he made 8 foot tall insects look fierce yet intelligent

    By Blogger Derek, at 3:01 pm  

  • Dobbyn has always struck me as a pro, Derek.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 4:50 pm  

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