2000 AD Prog Slog

Monday, March 08, 2010

Prog 1081 10/02/98

When I wrote about Nikolai Dante before my focus on the vagina monster might have distracted Slog readers from my declaration that I’m enjoying the thrill. When I encountered the strip first time around, I didn’t care for it much, but now I’m beginning to wonder if I even read it at all. I certainly couldn’t have stuck with it for very long after an episode or two.

Currently, the thrill is in the midst of a story called The Gulag Apocalypse in which Dante is sent to supervise at the legendary prison in the frozen wastes by his new family. Accompanying him is a sexy (of course) female alien called Khara whose race has an arrangement with the Romanov Dynasty for the pure genes of the weaker prisoners. However, as they arrive, the prison is attacked by others of Khara’s race who have access to technology similar to Dante’s weapon’s crest. It’s all just a good excuse for a big morphing machines battle.

Writer Robbie Morrison has helped to conceive not just a highly likable lead character but also a fascinating fantasy world. Nikolai Dante manages to feel substantial at the same time as being accessible. The art for this story by Henry Flint is, obviously, terrific. When he draws a strip it looks like it could have appeared in an annual from the early eighties which is a good thing as far as I’m concerned. However, the real art robot star is Simon Fraser who normally draws the strip. His work is animated, expressive and stunningly detailed when the story requires it.

So, there you go; I enjoy Nikolai Dante. Although I maintain that many of the double entendres used aren’t particularly subtle and if the character happens to based on a real person I fully expect him to be imprisoned by now for sexual harassment.

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