2000 AD Prog Slog

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Prog 719

I was looking forward to writing all about Garth Ennis’ first Judge Dredd story, Death Aid, but five episodes in and it went on an “interlude”. That’s what happens when you get Carlos Ezquerra to draw a multi parter, even a short one, so soon after completing thirty weeks of consecutive artwork on Necropolis. The bones in the poor bloke’s drawing hand must have turned to dust after that. The one-offs that filled the space until Death Aid’s return this prog were all written by John Wagner which must be a little intimidating to Ennis whose big Dredd premier is not only failing to appear in one single lump but the fillers in between were also written by the master.

So far, these single episode interludes have had a grim quality to them. In one, two sisters kill people for their body parts in an insane attempt to rebuild their father who they had to eat during Necropolis. Wagner seems to want to deal with the idea of city wide trauma in Judge Dredd but thanks to the increase in the quantity of Dredd stories recently and the number of contributors to the growing fictionalised world (see The Megazine) it’s all getting spread a bit thin.

As for Death Aid, it’s a confidant premier for Ennis. He seems to have the speech patterns, the characterisation and the tone of the strip cracked. My memory of his time on Dredd is that, overall, it was disappointing but re-encountering this story for The Slog contradicts that. It doesn’t, however, contradict the sense I have carried over from first time around of him mainly revisiting ideas devised by Wagner and Grant (in this case, writing a sequel to The Hunters’ Club story). I suppose that The Slog will tell if that one’s true.

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  • My memory of Dredd: the Ennis years is that the multi-parters were mostly decent, but the one and two part stories were a bit glib and too reliant on lazy pop culture pastiches. Interested to see if your reading in the coming months confirms that.

    By Blogger Joe, at 7:55 pm  

  • My main recollection is that it took me an awful long time to realise that Wagner wasn't writing much any more and everything was still pretty decent until Morrison & Millar appeared on the scene.

    Man Called Greener is a classic.

    By Blogger Peter, at 8:59 pm  

  • Joe, my memory pretty much matches yours.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 6:57 pm  

  • Now Peter, you might find I disagree with yout take on the Millar Dredd but that is a debate for later...

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 6:58 pm  

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