2000 AD Prog Slog

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Prog 957 15/09/95

It’s probably quite right that the hold of the Future Shock over the self contained short, sharp, shock style of thrill be reappraised. The problem with it over recent years is that it has become the training ground for new talent with varying degrees of ability and this approach to it undermines the overall tone of the strip. Whether Vector 13 should be the thrill to replace it, I’m not so sure.

Vector 13, up to ‘Case Seven’ this prog, is a series of self contained tales inspired by the nineties fad for Fortean styled stories hosted by mysterious aliens in black. Each one is usually by a rotating team of established creators, for example, this prog’s, Are They Cats?, is written by Peter Hogan and painted by John Ridgeway, thus raising the expected standard above those of the typical Future Shock.

The problem with Vector 13 is often the way the story is told. It’s dry and characterless, unlike a typical Future Shock. Often, a whole episode will pass with absolutely no lines of dialogue, if you exclude the opening and closing by the narrator. The ideas for the stories look as if they have been got by turning to a random page in the Fortean Times or watching a random episode of The X Files which results a more limiting boundary of possibility than, say, a Future Shock. If the new regime at 2000 AD want rid of Tharg, I mean, Tharg’s Future Shocks, then the Tales From Beyond Science is the way to go as far as I’m concerned. It’s big enough to accommodate those dry Fortean styled stories as well as completely made up stuff containing personality and humour. Having said this, all of the ‘Case Files’ so far have looked great and some have been more enjoyable compared to others, a good example being this prog’s.

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  • Yeah Vector 13 for me was such a mistake it limited stories no end. Something Future Shocks never did. Not only did the format often remove any sense of sympathy for the characters it also often served to telegraph the twist or end.

    2000ad has often tapped into the Zeitgeist to find inspiration with for its characters but manipulated the characters to given them an longevity the pop culture icons they referenced did have or need. Vector 13 just didn't achieve that and yet still stuck around for what seemed like an eternity. Stretching a limiting format so far beyond breaking point it was untrue.

    You might be able to guess this waasn't one of my favourite strips!

    By Blogger Colin, at 5:53 pm  

  • I'm pretty much with you, Colin. I felt that it was popularist which 2000 AD at it's core never is.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 4:29 pm  

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