2000 AD Prog Slog

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Prog 1061 23/09/97

Sinister Dexter Murder 101 ends this prog with a double sized episode. Once again, it’s all been painted by the prolific SB Davis. Increasingly, I find myself mystified as to why some characters are painted with pale blue faces. It’s a skin tone that Davis seems to have applied to random characters that makes no sense to me at all. Murder 101 hasn’t been as good as previous Sinister Dexter stories as far as I’m concerned. It’s lacked the same rhythm of earlier tales, outstayed its welcome when it could have all been finished in eight episodes and Dan Abnett’s Americanisms have really irritated me. For example, last episode, one of the characters says, “do the math”. Apart from this being annoying to any intelligent person English or American, it’s especially irritating to read in a British comic in a strip supposedly set in a Europe sized city. It’s “do the maths”, with an S in the end!

Also outstaying its welcome is Anderson PSI Division Crusade. All of Mega City One’s children have wandered out into the Cursed Earth thanks to the lure of a powerful and seemingly kindly mutant. Because Alan Grant has decided to be lyrical with this idea, Crusade has become another story that could have been done in eight episodes. Children giving up on adults is an intriguing idea and had Grant decided to get us amongst the crowd and expose us to some of the kids instead of keeping a wishy-washy distance it might have been a more fulfilling story.

Also finishing this prog is the first run of Witch World. Co-created and written by Gordon Rennie, the writer responsible for one of the few successful Megazine strips not to feature Judge Dredd, The Missionary Man, this is his first major project for 2000 AD. Tharg has decided to use a rotating team of artists, a tactic that proved successful for Vector 13 and Sinister Dexter, but hasn’t helped here. Maybe because of its fantasy tone, its changing environments, the vagaries of the characters and the mystical monsters, more than just one or two artists makes it feel inconsistent, even if they’re all masters of their art such as John Burns and Will Simpson. Witch World is due to return, so hopefully it will hook me next time, but at the moment, I feel it to be an honourable failure.

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  • You definitely have a different tone now you're reading work that's new to you, rather than rereading. It's renewed your critical faculties a bit.

    By Blogger Mark, at 8:29 pm  

  • Not wishing to spoil things but well there's nowt to spoil. So you're not waiting and waiting for 'Witch World' to return - it doesn't and is quietly consigned to the that filing cabinet where Ace Garp met Blackhawk. I don't think too many people missed it.

    While I agree 'Murder 101' isn't as good as many of the previous Sinister Dexter stories I quite enjoyed it. I light distraction what it did do for me is continue the development of the strip. It helped to demonstrate that the central concept is strong enough to support a wide range of story types which is what gives S&D (excuse my familiarity) its legs.

    By Blogger Colin, at 9:00 am  

  • Murder 101 didn't do it for me. And I also found the Davis' Bluefaces irritating. This put me off Sin Dex but I carried on reading it because at least it was easy to read, whereas I found Dante confusing and because I wasn't a fan of Robbie Morrisson I never gave it the time.

    I have read later dante and sin dex and the writing gets a lot tighter and more enjoyable. But you will never reach that point on the sog so you will have tobe bored and confused mwa ha ha.

    I vote for someone picking up the slog when you are done. I THINK IT SHOULD BE axel F

    By Blogger Victor Resistor, at 9:30 am  

  • I would kill to take over the slog as the point this one will end is round about when I got back into it after a long, long absense

    incidently here for your dubious pleasure is canon fodder III in its entirety


    By Blogger David page, at 4:37 pm  

  • That's a good thing, right, Mark? :-)

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 7:15 pm  

  • I suspected that Witch World doesn't return, Colin. I enjoyed the S&D story, but it wasn't as good as earlier adventures.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 7:16 pm  

  • Hi Victor. I never thought of handing the slog over when I finish. Let me think about it...

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 7:17 pm  

  • David, I'm thinking about the idea of handing the slog over. Very enjoyable strip, by the way.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 7:18 pm  

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