2000 AD Prog Slog

Monday, January 18, 2010

Prog 1005 20/08/96

In Durham Red Night of the Hunters, Red sees off the last of the competition killers and says goodbye to a dying Fuzzy, the hairy mutant. I think this means that her and the Gothking can now declare a truce but there is an epilogue to go so who knows. I hope so; thanks to its stops and starts, it feels as if this story has been dragging on forever.

Like in the sister thrill Strontium Dogs, Peter Hogan is still in a mood with Tharg and writing using the Alan Smithee pseudonym. Mark Harrison’s art at first glance looks spectacular, like a giant special effect, but reading it is another matter. Red dispenses with one of the killers just before another runs at her from out of the jungle. Or is it the one that she’s just killed? It’s not always easy to tell what's going on.

Red’s competition is televised with tacky ads scrolling across the screen at inappropriate moments. It’s a great satire idea that doesn’t work, unfortunately, as the panel designs are jarring and the lettering difficult to read, which is a shame.

Greg Staples, another normally painty artist who works in the Simon Bisley style, this time just draws current Judge Dredd story Dead Reckoning. Even when he’s only pencilling and inking, his work looks a little like Simon Bisley’s when he’s just pencilling and inking. I prefer it when he draws Dredd this way; at least I can see what’s going on.

In Dead Reckoning, Judge Death escapes, possesses a very old lady’s body and is chased back to Deadworld’s recent past by a determined Dredd where he teams up with the four Dark Judges including himself. For me, Judge Death no longer has the scary attraction that he had when he first appeared and is almost just a comedy figure now. John Wagner might be trying to write it for laughs portraying Death as a feeble old lady this time but, if he is, Staples doesn’t get the joke because he draws her like a muscle man in a dress, which is a shame.

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  • I really disliked this Dredd tale and I thought wagner's writing went really downhill for the next few years. The Cal files was very good and Death of a legend was ok but just did not really work for me.

    I never read this Durham red story. I tried and I couldn't. It was just too confusing. I felt the same when dan abnet took over too. I think Mak Harrison was a very good artist who needed to work on storytelling. His earlier stuf was good but here it just got a bit out of control

    By Blogger Victor Resistor, at 9:09 am  

  • I'm not sure if your slog stretches that far, but Wagner did go on to make Judge Death scary again, with the help of Frazer Irving. You might have to put the collection 'My Name Is Death' into your amazon wish list of 'books you'll probably never get around to reading'.

    Mark Harrison is at times stunning, but sometimes there's too much going on. I love his style of sound effects, though. Very immersive.

    By Blogger alexf, at 9:18 am  

  • and then he went and spoiled it all by writing the wilderness years

    By Blogger David page, at 10:39 am  

  • Yeah Mark Harrison can do some excellent work but this colouring in particualr, while spectacular can really hamper the storytelling. Just read the second of the Scarlet Cantos books (which I don't think Slog is due to get to, we can't persuade you to read on Paul?) and its much improved but took a while getting there.

    By Blogger Colin, at 11:57 am  

  • It's interesting what you say about Wagner on Dredd, Victor. That's my memory too, although I wonder if I felt that way because of movie fatigue.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:06 pm  

  • I read My Name is Death a few months before stating The Slog and enjoyed it, Alex.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:07 pm  

  • David, I don't know about that.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:08 pm  

  • Colin, I was day dreaming about picking up successive progs from 1188 not so long ago, but I soon snapped myself out of that.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:09 pm  

  • I thnk you're going to have to buy at least Progs 1189 - 1199 otherwise the slog will be stopping right in the middle of a number of stories.

    I like the later Durham Red stuff as Abnett does that widescreen space opera stuff very well, but I've not read this particular material.

    By Blogger Peter, at 8:50 pm  

  • That's the best arguement for me continueing the slog after 1188 I've heard so far, Peter :-)

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:50 pm  

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