2000 AD Prog Slog

Friday, March 19, 2010

Prog 1100 24/06/98

I’m finding it increasingly difficult to find anything to say about Slaine these days. There was a time when it seemed like the most exciting thrill from the Nerve Centre but at the moment it feels middle aged; the very thing that the strip seemed to once stand against. Ukko, the only real ray of sunshine anymore, summed it all up during Secret of the Grail when he said, ”…Slaine and Niamh are in love…. And, indeed, boring us with it for all eternity.”

To celebrate this prog’s centenary, there’s an issue long Slaine story called Lord of the Beasts written by Pat Mills (of course) and painted by Rafael Garres. Instead of exposing us to more of Slaine traipsing up and down through time after the continuously resurrecting love of his lives, we’re treated to an untold tale from his days as the High King of Ireland. There was a time when the idea of Slaine being stuck in his warp spasm form would have been exciting to me but I’ve grown so used to what this strip has to offer now that it’s just another thing I expect from it.

Slaine continues to be well written and painted but it occurred to me recently what it reminds me of now. There was a time when it was described as ‘the thinking man’s Conan’ but these days it actually looks as contrived, like those old covers to The Savage Sword of Conan magazines that Marvel UK published during the seventies; Elaborately painted over muscled men with usually at least one woman wearing a metal bikini hanging off a leg. Those old comics were pitched at ‘older readers’, which I wasn’t, and that is how Sliane feels to me now; like it’s being pitched at somebody else.

I can’t think what it would require to revitalise the strip but whatever it takes I hope it happens soon. As fond as I remain of Slaine it seems as if it’s being usurped by newer and more vital thrills such as, and I can’t believe that I’m saying this, Nikolai Dante. The suggestion from the Goddess in a recent adventure that the past is as uncertain as the future doesn’t bode for this revitalisation happening soon.

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  • For me, Slaine became a mush of muscles, Nudey ladies who invariably end up throwing themselves at the lead character and an evil/stupid protagonist who gets it in the head with his "enourmous weapon" oo-er.

    Before his encounter with the Sci-Fi Cythrons, Saine was an interesting read, with alot of "history" being slowly revealed as progs went on.

    (At the time I did enjoy the cythron stuff, but looking back seemed a bit to bring Slaine more in line with the Future War feel of 2000ad)

    Now its just a caucasian "Blackhawk" with a different artist and simple plots masquarading as deep epics.

    Wasn't Slaine supposed to be a king? Surely there's more to his life than fighting and shagging. (hmmm then again, if i were king...)

    Again, as usual I feel i'm not getting my point over.

    Slaine was almost a rounded character that has somehow become less than 2d for me.

    There is some amazing artistic talent at 2000ad, but the script writing seems to be aimed at the worst type of beavis and butthead / heavy metal listening (and not the good stuff) Games Workshop loving Geek.

    Big Gunz Big Titz Big 'Splozions!




    By Blogger OrLoK, at 6:07 pm  

  • Slaine . . .

    He started out well - conan for the more demanding English reader.

    He got better when he went sci-fi and a whole gang of fun characters joined!

    He went even better when he want back to his tribe, a lot had happened and you felt like you knew him.

    He went stellar when a huge history of the character made you feel like a part of history. now THIS really was conan for the English.

    Then . . . well . . . he just went a bit preachy and boring. Sadly just as Pat Mills did at this point. He got better though.

    By Blogger Victor Resistor, at 3:34 pm  

  • Thank you touch! I think I will click on your mysterious link . . . onh . . .no . . ..wait . . . .maybe not.

    But well done mr spam virus man!

    By Blogger Victor Resistor, at 4:24 pm  

  • Hi Orlok. I think Slaine is being written as a character whose best days are behind him but Mills hasn't realised that yet.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 6:59 pm  

  • Thanks Victor. Hopefully, i'll see that improvement before Slog end.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 7:00 pm  

  • Spam deleted!

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 7:01 pm  

  • You deleted the spanm now my posting just looks mental!

    By Blogger Victor Resistor, at 8:34 pm  

  • That's why I did it, mate :-)

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:47 pm  

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