2000 AD Prog Slog

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Prog 908 07/10/94

Now that Mark Millar is off Robo-Hunter and Peter Hogan and Rian Hughes are on, the tone of the thrill is now fun, fun, fun. These days, the most subversive thing you can do in 2000 AD, it seems, is to have a good time.

In Metrobolis, the story is simple; the city’s robots have organised themselves beneath New York and plan to revolt against their uncaring masters. What makes the strip fun is that after years of Hogey and Stogie being just bit players, they have now been promoted back to their old positions as joint leads with Sam. Just because it says ‘Sam Slade’ on the door, it doesn’t mean that this isn’t a three man operation. Sometimes, Hogan’s voices for the characters read a little off but on the whole he’s doing a good job and I appreciate the effort.

The best thing about Robo-Hunter now is the art by Rian Hughes. Successfully succeeding original art robot Ian Gibson cannot be overrated. Hughes’ art is bright, distinctive and perfectly designed. Each panel is considered, drawn and then let go at the right time; there’s absolutely nothing unnecessary here and I like that. Having waded through some of 2000 AD’s more dour phases for The Slog over the last few months, it’s a wonder to me that an artist with a style like Hughes’ got any work here at all. Let’s not say anything more about it in case Tharg sobers up and changes his mind about him.

EXTRA: For the first time that I’ve noticed, the Input page features an email “number” by which Squaxx dek Thargo can contact Tharg on. I guess in 1994, the internet was on the verge of making it big. 2000 AD’s email address at this time is tharg@richb.demon.co.uk, all lower case. I imagine it’s been changed since.

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  • I'm not shy about my love for this story and so while I'm not saying anything new here's some comments I made over at the 2000ad forum about what might even be my favourite Robohunter story of them all... maybe

    "So started chugging through the 900s now and while I wasn't particularly looking forward to this chunk of my re-read as it was the time I dropped 2000ad after what had been 12 years I've already come across my first gem. Peter Hogan and Rian Hughes 8 part Robohunter story is fantastic fun. There's a line from Helena the Major in the 7th part

    "Could you stop all the macho posteruring now please?"

    That could have been speaking to Millar and his Robo-hunter. Hogan seems to really see what made the original series so popular, not the souless teenage violent nonsense Millar produced rather the wit, charming, if simple characters and a sense that everyone involved is having a great slice of fun with the whole thing that made the original stories charge along so effortlessly.

    Also Rian Hughes. Now don't get me wrong I love me a bit of Ian Gibson, the original artist is brillant BUT Rian Hughes was just born to draw Robo Hunter. I adore his work on this strip its simply brillant. He's robots look so robotic and fun at the same time. Its such wonderfully light and energetic art.

    Fantastic fun."

    By Blogger Colin, at 6:20 pm  

  • I understand why the Hogan / Hughes team didn't continue with Robo-Hunter after "Metrobolis" - incoming editor David Bishop is, at this time, soon to have a falling-out with Hogan - but while it lasted, it certainly was terrific. I still have my fingers crossed that the current Tharg will reactivate Rian Hughes for some new project or other, and soon.

    By Blogger Grant, the Hipster Dad, at 8:19 pm  

  • I fear that the Hughes doid may be out of Tharg's price range these days - I've just seen him credited as a designer on the mega mainstream Marvel hit 'Captain America: Reborn'.

    Not sure what a designer does in the world of comics - the logo and cover perhaps?

    By Blogger alexf, at 9:27 am  

  • Grant it was so much a falling out as David Bishop ringing him and telling him he wasn't required to submit anything else to 2000ad while he was editor! (if I remember my Thrillpower Overload correctly!)

    By Blogger Colin, at 1:04 pm  

  • Colin, I pretty much agree with you, except when you say it might be the best Robo-hunter story.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:41 pm  

  • Hi Grant. Hogan and Bishop had a falling out? Tell me more...

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:42 pm  

  • Alex, I think Hughes also illustrates Ginger Spice's childrens books. I find it hard to imagine he would want or need to return to 2000 AD.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:43 pm  

  • Colin, that sounds a bit harsh.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:44 pm  

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