2000 AD Prog Slog

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Prog 1009 17/09/96

Tharg’s editorials read these days as if from the hand of a tired man. All he seems to do is list stuff. Normally, it’s whatever’s in the current prog. A couple of weeks back he listed the results to prog 1000’s reader survey question, what is your all time favourite thrill? He does the right thing and tells us the top three, Judge Dredd, Slaine and Rogue Trooper, then makes special mention of the positions of current Tharg favourites, the ones he’s leaning on hard to make successful, Vector 13 (7), Sinister Dexter (10) and Outlaw (15). Any survey that has Outlaw coming in at fifteen in it after only just one episode has surely been established as unreliable and should be disposed of immediately.

Last prog, he was back talking about the Judge Dredd movie, thanks to the new widescreen video release. Apparently, it was the fourteenth biggest grossing film in the UK in 1995. “Alas, it was not so successful in the US where it grossed slightly less than The Goofy Movie – but more than Rob Roy!” Perhaps Tharg, like the rest of us, was so excited for such a long time over the possible and then definite Judge Dredd film that when eventually it arrived and turned out to be poor, it’s left us all feeling our relationship with both the thrill and 2000 AD was in doubt.

According to regular Slog commenter, Kennyevil, this was a period during which Tharg is giving serious consideration to dropping Dredd from the line up altogether. It seems unthinkable in 2010 but this a good example of the black reach that that movie had for a long time after its release. Currently, Dredd’s name has been dropped from the masthead and the thrill itself moved to the rear of the comic. Kennyeveil’s comment also reminded me that, despite the excellence of The Pit, I became increasingly disinterested in the thrill. If both Tharg and I feel this way then it’s going to be interesting over the next few weeks in The Slog seeing if John Wagner became as disappointed and fed up as the rest of us.

Dead Reckoning and Return to the Hottie House might have been shaky Dredd stories, however this prog’s Death of a Legend is anything but. In it, the Medical Jurisprudence Sub-Committee decide to put previous Chief Judge McGruder to death by lethal injection after her accelerated descent into mental illness. Unknown to them however, Dredd has smuggled her out of the city for one last mission in the Cursed Earth. Thanks to the cover, from the moment you read the first panel of the strip you know that McGruder is going to die but seeing her go in the line of duty in full Judge’s uniform makes this an unexpectedly moving story.

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  • Sometimes I think Death of a Legend is the single best one-off Judge Dredd story ever. Dredd's simple "You deserved better" is a cripplingly good moment.

    By Blogger Bob Temuka, at 4:02 am  

  • Actually . . .yes .. .thats's what ruins the story for me the cover and the tag line. I knew what was going to happen as soon as it started because of that!

    I'm just reading Thrill Power overload and Bishp says the pressure to remove dredd was from above. Although its hard to always believe Bishop's writing as he has a very skewed view of history and his place in it.

    Dredd was floundering here. Wagner started to change the way he wrote the strip, from small one shots and stories into a form of running soap opera. This wasn't that successful at first as he does not really seem to have a focus for the stories and he ends up going over old ground (the hunting party) or coming up with new characters which didn't really work for me (the Friendz, Nero Narcos, that scorpion man). I stopped reading 2000ad during the second robot war saga (which I think you will get to). I was so disappointed with it that it was just the end for me. That and the new City of the Damned story put the nail in my 2000ad

    By Blogger Victor Resistor, at 9:08 am  

  • you deserved better...

    y'know that is my feeling of that perticular character since her return from her long walk during necropolis. She never really got any respect at all during this time

    on a terrible pluggy note during the talk about canon fodder I mentioned me writing and drawing a canon fodder story and I can now say it'll begin this february on the official 2000ad message boards.

    a link will appear in a future comment nearer the time but until then here is two pages of it I put up as a sneak peak


    By Blogger David page, at 12:55 pm  

  • It's definitely very strong, Bob. One of the top twenty, I'd say :-)

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:25 pm  

  • I don't feel that the cover ruins it but I agree that it lessens the impact, Victor. I haven't read TPO, mainly because I've got my hands full with the slog. I noticed Wagner's Dredd floundering over in the Megazine vol 2 when I read that...

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:28 pm  

  • Your strip looks like it's going to be fun, David. Remind me when it starts officially.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:29 pm  

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