2000 AD Prog Slog

Friday, October 31, 2008

Prog 687

The rebooted Rogue Trooper’s first story, The War Machine, finishes this prog with us learning that the planet originally called Nu Earth is now the real Earth for the re-launch. The story ends with Friday wandering away from a crashed shuttle from Highside (formally known as Millicom) declaring internally his one man intention to end the war there. Personally, I think the original objective of hunting down the Traitor General makes a lot more sense.

Appearing in short run chunks hasn’t helped the story, but The War Machine felt to me like a remix of the original tales done for movie folk. Little was added and more has been taken away. The landscape has been awash with Will Simpson’s paint work but the stories drawn originally by Gibbons, Ewins, Wilson and Kennedy had a greater sense of chemical sickness.

Meanwhile, another story that’s suffered from fitful appearances, Strontium Dog The Final Solution, ends with the death of Johnny Alpha. Unlike Simon Pegg’s character in the sitcom Spaced, I didn’t find Alpha’s fate particularly moving. Tharg compromised any remaining impact it might have had by reminding us for the last eighteen months in the Nerve Centre that a major character was due to snuff it. We all worked out that it was Alpha long ago.

Colin MacNeil fully paints the wrap up to the story that Simon Harrison began in black and white. The art is gorgeous and an improvement on the end of his Chopper work from not so long ago, if that is possible. Alan Grant’s writing for 2000 AD has been a bit hit and miss since he went solo but, when Middenface is being zapped by a druid, he does write the fantastic line, “Helpmaboab! That auld black magic’s goat me in its spell!”

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  • Theres a story that Carlos Ezquerra refused to draw the death of Johnny Alpha. He was phenomenally busy on Necropolis but it wouldn't have surprised me if he'd wanted to do it he'd have made time.

    In retrospect he was right. Alan Grant had totally lost his way with the strip and it was probably time to park it for a while. Its a pity it took 10 years for John Wagner to bring Johnny back for more adventures.

    By Blogger Derek, at 11:14 am  

  • Derek, I've heard that too. I understand that Grant got approval for the killing from Wagner before going ahead with it. I think that they both wanted to leave the strip but didn't want anyone else to write the character.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:48 pm  

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