2000 AD Prog Slog

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Prog 997 21/06/96

Pat Mills sets the tone this prog writing, or co-writing, the majority of thrills that appear in it. In Slaine Lord of Misrule, Marian calls on the Goddess and summons the spirits of the forest to come to her aid, while in Finn Season of the Witch, Finn calls on the Goddess and has an out of body experience. I’ve said here before that Finn often reads like a Slaine strip set in the near future to me. Sometimes I wonder what’s really going on here, though. Is Mills just being a little creatively lazy by revisiting the same themes over and over again in various thrills? Or does he actually believe this stuff which explains why reading his thrills can feel like being trapped on the doorstep on a Saturday morning with a religious enthusiast when there’s a cool science fiction comic waiting to be read indoors.

Mills also writes this prog’s episode of Vector 13 called Video Nasty in which various opposing religious deities possess everyday people around the world and fight each other to the death. It’s actually one of the better Vector 13 stories even if it has to conform to the dry format of the thrill. It’s especially nice to see Mills writing a self contained one-off after years of experiencing only long arcs.

I like Slaine and Finn but I sometimes feel that Mills’ strength lies in the conception of a thrill. All of the work gets done during the early stages and then, any stories that appear two, five, ten years later featuring those characters are generated automatically by the initial plan. The reason his Vector 13 story is so notable is that it’s great to see Mills using a creative side of himself that is seen less often these days.

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  • Always presumed that Mills had kinda a Moorcock thing going on, where Slaine, Finn, Deadlock and Nemesis were all aspects of a reoccurring Eternal Champion of chaos.

    If it was for any comics company other than 2000AD, it would probably all have been made luridly apparent in a totally unnecessary crossover. How vulgar.

    By Blogger Mark, at 7:28 pm  

  • Nemesis & Deadlock *explicitly* are

    By Blogger Drhoz, at 1:22 pm  

  • I'm pretty ambivalent about most of Pat Mills' work which is usually a bit hacky, but then he'll occasionally raise his game and do brilliant stuff like Charlie's War, Nemesis and Marshall Law.

    And I recently read his update of Invasion, 'Savage : Taking Liberties' which was absolutely brilliant, at least as good as V for Vendetta and definitely one of my comics of the decade, in turn exciting, nasty, funny and heartbreaking and subversive in the truest sense of the word... Sadly I think it happened after the period covered you'll cover in the slog but (in case you haven't gathered) it's worth checking out...

    By Blogger Tam, at 1:24 pm  

  • I quite agree, the savage rewite/update is very good.

    I also liked greysuit, defoe and the New ABC Warriors stuff. I definitely think Mills has got his mojo back.

    At this point, though, he was stuck in a Khaotic rut. At least Tony Skinner (his priest) had departed though.

    By Blogger Victor Resistor, at 4:58 pm  

  • Mark, I think Mills originally imagined 2000 AD characters existing in the same universe in the early years. My concern is more to do with his stories feeling contrived at this time.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:31 pm  

  • Yes Drhoz, and Dredd and Flesh, and Dredd and Johnny Alpha. Wait, they ain't all Mills thrills.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:32 pm  

  • I place all of Mills' post slog graphic novels in my Amazon Wish List, Tam, so Savage will be read one day. I might take a rest from 2000 AD for a while though.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:34 pm  

  • Victor? Tony Skinner was Mills' priest?!

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:35 pm  

  • I remember reading somewhere that Skinner was Mills' Khaos advisor and his sort've dark priest figure.

    Sounds like a lovely relationship.

    By Blogger Victor Resistor, at 6:52 pm  

  • I want a Khaos advisor!

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:30 pm  

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