2000 AD Prog Slog

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Prog 841 26/06/93

Despite his misguided reinvention of Sam Slade Robo-Hunter, Mark Millar’s involvement in 2000 AD and the world of Judge Dredd has increased recently. Over recent progs, he has written every other Dredd story. Millar seems more in tune with the early style of stories written by John Wagner with Alan Grant. The dialogue is stripped down and the plot almost gleeful in defying the reader’s expectations. At the time, I thought Millar might actually be more of a natural successor to Wagner than Garth Ennis and it was a surprise to me to learn, years later, that Millar never really cared for 2000 AD growing up.

His big contribution to the world of Dredd at the moment is Purgatory, the eight part lead into another Judge Dredd epic, Inferno. It’s a big, nasty prison break story in which convicted ex-judges slaughter their guards and escape Titan intending to exact ugly revenge on Judge Dredd who, probably, is responsible for sending most of them there in the first place. Millar has the advantage of Purgatory being drawn and painted by the mighty Carlos Ezquerra. Ezquerra’s very presence on a strip can legitimise the writer of it, I feel. Here, he seems to relish in drawing the angry men with their grinding teeth, furrowed brows and shaking fists.

This prog’s final episode is at first a little confusing thanks to its pages appearing out of order. What’s going on at 2000 AD recently? First Firekind skips an episode and now this! Despite this cock up, Purgatory remains good old fashioned, nasty, violent 2000 AD fun.

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  • Interesting to hear a different take on Purgatory. I just don't get on with the strip, in fact I'd go as far as to say its one of my least favourite 2000ad strips of all time (mind with Inferno to follow not the worst!).

    I found it charmless, souless and the characters barely even one dimensional. The villian of the piece (the warden that is, its fair to say there's lots of villians involved!)is such a cliche that he's comical, though this I suspect was the intent?

    I found it such a waste of Grice who before hand was a great interesting character and during this strip became a Spiting Image caricature of what had gone before.

    A strip set on Titan could have been so good and this just butchers the potential so brutally.

    And I'll relax now and stop shaking my fist and spraying bile! Like Carlos' art mind (Always nice to end on a positive!).

    By Blogger Colin, at 8:40 am  

  • Hi Colin. It's definitely a disposable story but the visceral tone works; it's almost refreshing after all of the ponderous, first person story telling recently. I wanted to say in my entry that the warden looked like Fred Eliot in fetish gear. I don't think this ruins the opportunity for Titan based stories, myself; it's so dumb that it defines very little.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:06 pm  

  • Purgatory was the beginning of the end of 2000ad for me. I just completely hated it, it was mindless violence for the sake of mindless violence with barely a plot in evidence.

    I felt this was desecrating the character and the strip. This story got worse and worse when grice got back to the meg, it felt like morrison and millar trying to do their version of "the day the law died" and failing miserably.

    By Blogger Derek, at 3:22 pm  

  • Derek, with the Summer Ofeensive about to start, wait until you see what I think of that. :-)

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:32 pm  

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