2000 AD Prog Slog

Monday, November 17, 2008

Prog 705

At last, after twenty eight weeks of testosterone driven nonsense, The Harlem Heroes reboot comes to an end. Like most re-imaginings, see Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes for example, the new Harlem Heroes had all that was good about it removed and the remaining slab of greasy lard thrown back at us. Hopefully, this is the last we see of them. My memory of 2000 AD becomes increasingly flaky from prog 700 onwards and I don’t recall seeing it again but, you know, who knows?

I blame everything on writer Michael Fleisher, even the artwork. Most of the series was pencilled by comics’ greatest actor Steve Dillon with inks by Kevin Walker. By rights, this team-up should have resulted in some stunning artwork but, instead, it generally looked, well, drab. Towards the end, either or both of them seemed to try and bail out of the series altogether so that Dillon was inked by someone else at one point and at another time Walker provided the entire artwork himself. The final episode is by Kev Hopgood, drafted in at the last minute, whose faster, looser style is very dynamic here. Maybe he should have drawn the entire series but perhaps he would have ended up looking jaded just as quickly as his predecessors did.

To be fair, this run of The Harlem Heroes wasn’t any worse than, say, The Mean Arena. My issue with it is that it is a version of a previous thrill that I have very fond feelings for. On top of that, it originally arrived amidst a disproportionate amount of fanfare for its high profile new writer signing. In these circumstances, even if it was actually any good, it would almost certainly have still been a disappointment.

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  • I can't recall Harlem Heroes ever making a second comeback while I was a Squaxx dek Thargo. Mean Arena did make a thoroughly mediocre comeback at some point, however.

    By Blogger Joe, at 8:59 pm  

  • Harlem Heroes will be back, I'm afraid. With worse art and nasty colouring that I can still remember recoiling from.

    By Blogger Douglas, at 9:56 pm  

  • I remember developing a theory about Steve Dillons involvement with HH.

    Deadline launched about this time and, if I'm not mistaken, was a joint venture by Dillon and Brett Ewins before they brought others on board. So it's not unreasonable that they'd have needed to raise some capital.

    Dillons art started all lovely and quickly descended into the sort of standard you'd be happy with at a drunken signing. Not that that was a problem as it did the job and the story was shite, but it was noticable. So my theory is he drew the about 20 weeks worth in a few days, took the cash and launched Deadline. Which makes me feel slightly better about HH being so bloody godawful.

    By Blogger Pete Ashton, at 2:30 am  

  • Yeah, I'm afraid you've got three more Heroes stories ahead of you. At least none of them are 28 parts long.

    You know, Mark Millar gets a lot of well-deserved stick for the lousy scripts he wrote, but on the other hand, he never wrote the line "Hey! What the hell happened to our quintuple X-rated movie?," which opens this episode of Heroes.

    By Blogger Grant, the Hipster Dad, at 2:01 pm  

  • That's a relief, Joe.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:44 pm  

  • Douglas, WAHH! Now I don't know what to believe!

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:45 pm  

  • Pete, that would explain a lot. Much of Dillon's art at this time, not just for HH, looks rushed.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:46 pm  

  • Looks like the later HH series were so traumatic that I have repressed them as if they were child abuse.

    By Blogger Joe, at 5:49 pm  

  • Ha ha. Yeah, Grant. That line was pretty awful. Three more HHs?! Noooo!!!!!!

    By the way, I'm worried that we might disagree over Mr Millar...

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:49 pm  

  • Joe, I think that's why I can't remember them either :-(

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:50 pm  

  • I remember Miller's stuff for 2000AD being uniformly a bit shit. It was a real surprise for me when he popped up this decade writing good stories for the yanks.

    By Blogger Joe, at 5:58 pm  

  • I thought Millars first story Silo was pretty good and then it all went a bit pants when he took over Robo hunter.

    Dave D'antiquis's art on Silo and Brigand Doom was brilliant, anyone know what became of him...he just seemed to disappear

    By Blogger Derek, at 6:58 pm  

  • Joe, Millar's a discussion for another entry :-). Not long now.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:39 pm  

  • Derek, no idea. He is good, though.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:40 pm  

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