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2000 AD Prog Slog

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Prog 1131 10/02/99

The Balls Brothers looks to be John Wagner’s equivalent of Garth Ennis’s Hit Man or The Boys. A pair of grotesque, super strong thugs is released from the mental asylum where they’ve spent most of their lives and decide to become superheroes. However, the superhero community is an elitist and judgemental one and The Balls Brothers find themselves brawling, Mitchell Brothers style, with satirical versions of Superman, Spider-Man and Mr Fantastic.

I never knew that Wagner liked superheroes enough to be able to satire them as cruelly as he does here. Perhaps this knowledge has been brought to the project by artist and co-creator Kevin Walker. He certainly seems to relish drawing the scenes where Rocky Balls ties one end of the stretchy guy to a lamppost and the other to a bus.

Wagner’s masterpiece remains Judge Dredd, currently at the penultimate part of The Scorpion Dance. In it, Dredd tracks down mutant PSI Vitus Dance who has escaped from the cubes. Meanwhile, Deputy SJS Chief Munchie is being manipulated by the head of Public Surveillance Unit Edgar into proving an inapposite relationship between DeMarco and Dredd. The Scorpion Dance is a great, brooding tale beautifully painted by John Burns that develops on themes and relationships that Wagner started to establish all the way back in The Pit.

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2 Comments:

  • I really enjoyed Ball's Brothers. Here's some thoughts I shared over at the 2000ad forum...

    "It struck me as 'Big Dave' done right for 2000ad. Now don't get me wrong I liked Big Dave AND I think one of 2000ads biggest strenghts is that by and large its incredibly robust and can be the home for a vast variety of strips and for me (as I've commented before) 'Big Dave' is the exception that proves the rule. It just didn't sit right in 2000ad. 'Balls Brothers' has similar set-up, at least superficially, humourous cartoon violence for its own sake, they rip the piss out of deserving targets, though 'Big Dave' had loftier aims its fair to say, and big dumb central characters played for laughs. Now I think 'Big Dave' is possibly a better strip but 'Balls Brothers' is a better 2000ad strip.

    Belting."

    By Blogger Colin, at 8:35 am  

  • Thanks Colin. Fair assesment.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 6:15 pm  

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