2000 AD Prog Slog

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Prog 818 16/01/93

Brigand Doom seems to be appearing more frequently but in shorter runs; anything from a single episode to a six parter. In the past, I thought of the thrill as V for Vendetta but dumber (this isn’t necessarily an insult incidentally). If anything, it’s V for Vendetta with a supernatural element. An earlier story focused on a voodoo priest, which I thought was a device used to bring Doom back from the dead after he was killed at the end of the unexpectedly popular first story. It turns out that the supernatural is now a theme for the strip.

In Sprits Willing, Brigand Doom has a go at a medium turning the spirits that she actually communes with against her. It’s not exactly inconsistent for the thrill to dabble in this area but it does feel disappointing for it to do so. I was hoping for a bit of clever story plotting when the mysteries of Doom are eventually revealed but it turns out that he’s likely to have been using convenient hocus-pocus all along.

Doom’s motivations are becoming more ambiguous. He claims to be acting on behalf of the forgotten underclass but at the same time has no problem killing some poor working slob just because he’s a security guard at an art museum he doesn’t like. Whenever he encounters Investigator Nine, seemingly the main supporter of the issues he’s supposed to be fighting against, he doesn’t even consider twisting her head ‘till her neck snaps.

I like Brigand Doom and not just because it looks good. It’s like a paradox that becomes increasingly mystifying the more you turn it over in your mind.

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  • I've always enjoyed Brigand Doom. While I know you have issues with some of Alan McKenzie's work I quite like him. 'Quite' being the operative work. He's not brillant but he's a good solid writer and I admire the fact that he tried numerous different things in 2000ad, Summer Magic being a good example which added to the variety in the comic. I'm particularly impressed by this as during his period writing there really was a trend in 2000ad and other comics to rely on shocking violence, apparent 'grit' and high style over story (yes Millar I'm looking at you) and this led to a lot of charmless stories. McKenzie often seemed to side step that and many of his stories had charm. I say often cos yeah I've read 'Mean Arena' recently!

    By Blogger Colin, at 9:09 pm  

  • It's probably foolish to try to find logic in Brigand Doom, which is more about feeling than plot. But, I think the idea is that Doom is the champion of the underclass which means not so much people in menail jobs as people who don't haev jobs at all - whom the city refuse to acknowledge as even existing.

    As to why he leaves Investigator 9 alone, well, there's the crux of the whole story...

    By Blogger alexf, at 12:27 pm  

  • Colin, I like Briagnd Doom. I was just expressing my reservations.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:23 pm  

  • Alexf, i'm not sure if I'm supposed to wonder why he doesn't kill Investigator 9 as there might not be an explanation.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:24 pm  

  • I always liked Brigand Doom but moreso for the art than the writing. its a pity D'antiquis (if that was his real name?) has disappeared.

    The strip always reminded me of the film Brazil by Terry Gilliam, it always had that oppressive feel with a bit of surrealism mixed in

    By Blogger Derek, at 9:17 pm  

  • I can remember the first Brigand Doom story, but it's been a real surprise to find out there were so many subsequent stories.

    Lovely stark art.

    By Blogger Peter, at 12:10 pm  

  • Derek, Brazil is a good visual comparison. Similar themes as well.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:21 pm  

  • Peter, there's a few. I think we're on the forth multi parter PLUS there's been one or two single episodes.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:23 pm  

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