2000 AD Prog Slog

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Prog 1168 03/11/99

In Devlin Waugh… um… er… well, lots of stuff seems to be happening. I’ve been feeling slightly intimidated by writing about the character’s first 2000 AD run mainly because I’m not entirely confident I know for certain what’s going on. It starts with the theft of Herod’s Skull from the Vatican. Then the summoning of a supernatural monster that can travel through mirrors, that looks a bit like a walking, gnarled old tree and is killing everyone born on July the 23rd. Now, Devlin and his shrinking team of supernatural specialists anticipate the arrival of July the 23rd when creatures from Sirius are expected to be summoned to Earth by Hekt where upon they will take over every human being like they’re old suits waiting to be put on.

This Devlin Waugh story is as a great big mash up of fantastical characters (including a pre-cog lying in a bath, spouting nonsense. Battlestar Gallactica, anybody?), fantastical genres (including horror, science fiction and superhero) and spiritual belief systems. It’s as if John Smith has decided to write his own logical conclusion to giant cross over comic strips such as Crisis on Infinite Earths or Zenith Book Three and it’s only right that some Aleister Crowley and Philip K Dick should be in there too.

The art is great. Steve Yeowell (with colours provided by D’Israeli) is the perfect artist for this sort of mentalism. You want a guy drawing this sort of thing that gives it to you straight, free of all embellishments. The visuals remind me of silver age Marvel Comics drawn by Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko at their most crazy. Yeowell seems to know when to leave the art alone and as the reader I find myself looking at something that he’s drawn and wondering where did that come from?

It’s great to have John Smith back too, who hasn’t been writing much for 2000 AD recently before this. He seems to have got over his preoccupation with meat during his time away and replaced it with a celebration of the fantastic. All of the characters he has created here are brilliant and I love the dynamic between them. Of course, Devil Waugh remains the best of them all, overeating to the threat and yet remaining, worryingly, the best equipped to deal with it all. Like I say, I might not be following this story as well as I feel I should, but I’m loving every single panel of it.

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  • Even though to fandom as a whole its not widely loved I believe 'Sirius Rising' ranks to me as another John Smith classic. I absolutely adore it. I compared it to a Superhero standard too thought I went for it being like Alan Moore's Captain Britain run, a great big Superhero epic where the main character is one amongst many all the 'heroes' are driven by fear and desperation rather then... well heroics. Bloody great.

    Oh and Steve Yeowell - YA!

    By Blogger Colin, at 9:49 pm  

  • Good comparisson with Moore's Cap Britain.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:43 pm  

  • I'm with colin on this I have the red tide trade (which collects this) and I love it

    By Blogger David page, at 1:15 pm  

  • it is very good.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:56 pm  

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