2000 AD Prog Slog

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Prog 952 11/08/95

I could have given up buying 2000 AD by now but I remember deliberately deciding to stick around to see how the comic reacted to the Judge Dredd movie release. All of the good thrills might have been in reserve for the what, until now, is the comic’s most important re-launch and I didn’t want to miss out on that. As it happens, I think that 2000 AD’s response to the movie is well proportioned in the circumstances.

For example, I like the eight extra pages and what, so far, is being done with them. I like that Pat Mills is retelling a classic Dredd story of his from the comic’s first year, The Return of Rico. Originally drawn by Mike McMahon and painted beautifully for the retelling by Paul Johnson, the strip sees a mysterious figure arrive in Mega City One. Those of us who are Squaxx Dek Thargos already know that the stitched up, half metal face belongs to Rico, Dredd’s clone brother, who’s back in the big Meg for revenge.

I suppose this retelling exists to familiarise those readers who have seen the film with the comic version of the Rico character. It does seem surprising that a five paged story that is one of many hundreds to feature Dredd should be considered important enough to feed the movie so significantly. I guess it proved so memorable because it’s the first time that we see Dredd humanised.

As writer of the original, Mills is perfectly entitled to revisit it and there’s no sense from the result of it feeling padded out for the extended mix. Some of his occasionally irritating more modern themes are present, such as what is right and wrong. For example, Rico is perfectly accepting of an inter-species relationship that somebody reports to him but is still murdering people for not paying him protection money. To any reasonable reader, that still makes Rico an unpleasant individual who needs to be dealt with severely by justice; learning of his surprising tolerance doesn’t make any difference. However, it's an enjoyable revisit and I remain slightly disappointed that it isn’t the first in a series.

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  • If memory serves me right the next Second Dredd story (or JD 2.0) is him meeting Hammerstein. I remember really liking that at the time.

    I enjoyed Paul Johnsons art, I wonder what he ended up doing.

    Pat Mills seems to be one to revisit and flesh out his earlier tales. He has done a similar thing with the origins of the ABC Warriors. This is something which is done with US comics quite a lot (asthier origins usually seem out of date because they have been running for so long). Wagner has also done this sort of thing with Origins and Strontium Dog .. . Oh and of course the constant reworking of Rogue Trooper, which was just stupid

    By Blogger Victor Resistor, at 10:10 am  

  • Dredd never actually meets Hammerstein in that tale, ut it is done to tie Hammerstein into Dredd continuity, which i think still stands. Was quite a nice story.

    This issue was actually my first encounter with Rico, so I prefer it to the original. I think the decompression works well and gives it a little more gravitas than the original telling did. Whatever happened to Paul Johnson? The last thing I remember him doing was Judge Janus and a couple of Sinister Dexter episodes.


    By Blogger kennyevil, at 1:08 pm  

  • Have the men in black begun yet?

    You failed to comment on the logo change. I remember preferring this logo to the last one as I really did not like Ryan huges (I was too young to understand that he was rally good) and I was pleased to see his little e'd up icons out of the prog.

    I think my interest in 2000ad was always bolstered by the reprint issues. Monthly and complete JD used to up my thrill doseage to zarjazz levels and I would speand weekends either hunting down cheap Titan books (they were £2 in Comic Showcase in London - now gone)or crouched over a table for hours on end painting replicas of my favourite covers!

    I still have them .. .they are actually really good

    By Blogger Victor Resistor, at 10:06 am  

  • Yeah, I think Vector 13 started with Prog 950. I really liked Vector 13, though they probably did go back to the well a little too often with it.


    By Blogger kennyevil, at 10:33 am  

  • was this when Bishop took over? Who was editing at this point?

    By Blogger Victor Resistor, at 1:42 pm  

  • Hello chaps. A lot of questions. yes, Vector 13 has started. Comments on that soon, no doubt. Dunno what happed to Paul Johnson but I agree with you both, he's very good. He did do some US work for a while. Comic Showcase - God bless you. I cover this in today's entry but Bishop is now the official Tharg. Thanks.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 6:01 pm  

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