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2000 AD Prog Slog

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sci-Fi Special 17 Judge Dredd Mega-Special 7 1994

At around this time, script robot Mark Millar seems to be delivering either ugly disappointments such as Babe Race 2000 or surprising successes. His Judge Dredd, Mr Bennet Joins the Judges, and Tales From beyond Science strips are great. In Dredd, he satires the children’s TV show Mr Ben where the character is sent to Mega City One by the mysterious shop keeper. Paying tribute to programmes from our childhoods became something of a contrivance under Garth Ennis but Millar hasn’t done it very often as far as I can see and manages, on this occasion, to give it a creepy quality that’s very effective. In Beyond Science with Rian Hughes, Millar pushes conspiracy theories, what the nineties is soon to become awash with, to their very limit when every reality is exposed as a world inside a snow globe inside a larger reality.

The 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special seems to be special again after years of misguided disappointments. Peter Hogan is back on Robo-Hunter, Dave D’Antiquis actually paints Brigand Doom and there’s a Judge Dredd story from The Daily Star printed in its entirety. The first Rogue Trooper story by the new team of Steve White and Henry Flint appears. It feels a little too early to make a fair judgement about White’s scripting style but this is loaded with hardware and fancy jargon. Henry Flint’s art is, however, great. He’s like a version 2 art robot influenced by the best of the first generation.

Modern telephone technology meanwhile is being utilised to mind numbing effect in this years Judge Dredd Mega Special. Readers can spend 39p a minute cheap rate and 49p a minute at all other times to vote for their favourite strip. I would be interested to know how many calls were made. I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t very many or if a significant percentage of the calls were made from a small amount of (creator robot) numbers. Ignoring the likelihood of a caller’s finger slipping and accidentally dialling ‘a genuine housewife at home’ or to hear someone moan at them the quality of the stories is so poor overall that I find it hard to imagine anyone voting for anything other than Missionary Man… and not just because that’s the only option that sounds vaguely sexual.

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