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2000 AD Prog Slog

Monday, March 16, 2009

Judge Dredd The Megazine 2.6

While zombies take over the world in Judge Dredd Judgement Day, vampires overrun underwater prison Aquatraz in Devlin Waugh’s first story, Swimming in Blood. Normally, zombies win every time for me as I find vampires a bit too goth-teen-girl but Devlin Waugh is written by John Smith who manages to portray them as grotesque, meat starved monstrosities. Anyway, I thought this was supposed to a science fiction comic!

Swimming in Blood is a simple but good idea. An underwater prison, brilliantly designed by artist Sean Philips to look like a seahorse, is infested by vampires and the surviving guards attempt an escape before they get infected too. Smith writes the story with clarity using his disjointed pros style sparingly and with effect. The real genius however is the presence of Waugh himself, a highly camp cross between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Noel Coward, who, thanks to his knowledge of such things and the sheer strength of his personality, now leads the team of survivors to, hopefully, safety.

I think I’ve made clear in The Slog my general dismay at the direction both 2000 AD and The Megazine have chosen to go in after the opening decade but there is one aspect that positively separates this line of comics from their American counterparts. Where Marvel and DC seem perfectly happy not to have created a new character and world for at least thirty years, 2000 AD and The Megazine continue to do so, often at the expense of established and successful strips. It might seem that not continuing to run, say, Nemesis the Warlock stories without the approval of Pat Mills and with a new thrill in its place is commercially unsound, particularly if that strip is The Clown, but it is admirable, especially when results like Devlin Waugh come along. He really is a strong character although, I must admit, if I ever met him in real life I’m sure he would get on my nerves within five minutes.

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5 Comments:

  • Devlin Waugh is a top notch thrill for sure.

    Regarding Marvel and DC not creating new characters thats mainly down to greed on the part of those companies.

    Around 1978 due to lawsuits from Siegal&Schuster, Bob Kane, Steve Gerber and others they had to offer royalties on new characters created. Of course as a company why would they pay more money for new untested characters than for the old reliables?

    I'm not saying I agree with that attitude, I most definitely do not, but thats the way it is.

    If creators want to do new characters they generally go to somewhere like Image Comics while doing marvel/dc work to pay the gas bill.

    By Blogger Derek, at 11:32 pm  

  • Derek, you're probably right. It seems very short sighted of them not to encourage an enviroment of creativity.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:35 pm  

  • Unfortunately the people that run marvel and dc are the same types that run gas companies and cardboard box companies, they're only interested in creativity so far as it maximises profit. If an old character maximises profits then they'll use it.

    Its a rotten way of doing things but thats the way it is. practically the only part of those companies that creates new characters is Vertigo as they do creator-owned stuff....although in practice they can be draconian too. Vertigo can accept work from a creative team and then sit on it and not publish it...and if the creators want to publish it elsewhere the creators have to buy it back....despite the company accepting it

    By Blogger Derek, at 8:24 pm  

  • Derek, you're really putting me off comics, man :-)

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:46 pm  

  • Lol the thing is I really love comics and am probably reading more now than I have in the last few years, its just some of the behind the scenes stuff annoys me ;)

    By Blogger Derek, at 4:54 pm  

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