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Friday, August 07, 2009

Prog 878 11/03/94

I have been thinking about the new Rogue Trooper and why he does what he does. Originally, he traipsed around Nu Earth doing stuff because he was looking for The Traitor. Now, Friday, the current Rogue, interferes in other people’s stuff not because he wants revenge, not because he’s paid to and not because it’s his duty even but because… he’s good. What kind of lame arse motivation is that?

The current story, Scavenger of Souls, seems to promise at least a partial return to the status quo with the return of the bio-chips. Top, Lucky and Eight-Ball (formally Helm, Gunner and Bagman) have been found on the Scavenger’s spaceship backed up to computer chips. It’s almost like an admittance by Tharg that Dave Gibbons’ and Will Simpson’s rationalisation of the concept a few years ago stripped away much about the thrill that made it so enjoyable.

One good reason why the reboot never worked is Michael Fleisher who has been head-writer since and whose stories have on the whole read like they were coasted out. For Scavenger of Souls however, it’s co-written by Alan McKenzie (AKA Sydney Falco) or, as I suspect, partially rewritten. McKenzie’s influence is probably slightly more stripped down dialogue but, unfortunately, Fleisher’s will sapping influence remains. It’s only the reappearance of the bio-chips that makes this story in any way interesting.

The art my Chris Weston and Mike Hadley is strong. My only problem is I am unsure as to where Weston ends and Hadley begins. Does Hadley ink the pencils or just colour the completed black and white art. Whatever, the result seems to lack the intricacy of Weston’s Cannon Fodder and the intensity of Hadley’s previous work. Personally, I would rather see these guys working alone because, although the result is good, them together isn’t greater than the sum of its parts.

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