2000 AD Prog Slog

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Prog 1182 01/03/00

Ending this prog is Glimmer Rats, the other dimensional war story that paints it fully as hell. A team of convicts enter the ‘Glimmer’, a Hell like dimension, like so many criminals before them, and battle almost hopelessly as their comrades burst like skin-sacks of offal and blood around them. Their only hope is a rumour born from desperation of a way home, but the nearer they get, the likelier they are to die. The reality is the Glimmer only kills them when it wants to and even then it doesn’t allow the release of a proper death after all.

Gordon Rennie does a pretty good job of conceiving the story and the grim remorseless logic of the place. Glimmer Rats often reminds me of Bad Company only gorier and with less clearly defined characters. Mark Harrison’s fully painted art is as spectacular and as difficult to decipher as his work on Durham Red. It’s often impossible to see what is going on and there are only the occasional characters that I can tell apart from each other. Funnily enough, the effect of the art is to make the whole war zone seem even bleaker and crueler than Rennie’s script already does. However, I might have had more empathy towards the cast had they been more clearly defined by both the artist.

Also concluding this prog is Badlands, written by Dan Abnett and painted by Kevin Walker. Badlands is a Western and Dinosaur mash-up in which a gun-slinger and scientist find themselves trapped in a land that time forgot. Badlands reads like only a partly formed idea that might have been quite good had the creators lived with it for a bit longer. Instead it’s an unchallenging thrill that could have read a lot better with more work but still manages to look beautiful.

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  • I really didn't get on with Glimmer Rats. For all I know it might have been the greatest 2000ad script ever but the struggles I had with the art meant that I was constantly pulled out from the story to try to work out what was going on to whom. I therefore quickly lost interest. Mark Harrison's art certainly set a grim dynamic tone but alas it feels like he took the presentation of the confusion of war a little too literally for my tastes!

    As for Badlands, oh that was a bit of a frustration it could have either been compacted to make a great Future Shock or expanded to make a superb western dinosaur tale, ok so we've had one of those but you can't have too much cowboys vs dinosaurs in my world. As it is it falls between two stalls and becomes a bit disappointing.

    To be fair to the creators apparently it was orginally designed to appear as a story in an A1 Dinosaur Special but that went astray (thanks to Jim Campbell from the 2000ad message boards for that one) and so the story had to be fudged to stomp into 2000ad. Shame it had real potential.

    By Blogger Colin, at 8:44 am  

  • I used to really like Gordon Rennie, but I was reading back through his stuff recently I found it pretty difficult to follow.

    The new run of writers, especially Ian Eddington, sit much better with me.

    I never read glimmer rats or badlands though - I had completely abandoned 2000ad by this point and was reading Hate and Eightball.

    By Blogger Victor Resistor, at 9:01 am  

  • Cheers Colin. Sometimes I think you put more thought and words into your comments than I do my entries.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:31 pm  

  • Hate and Eightball are effing great, Victor. Good move.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:32 pm  

  • Apparently Glimmer Rats was an attempt by Rebellion/2000ad to crack the european graphic novel market and seemingly it did quite well.

    It was written and drawn specifically so it could be collected in one of those snazzy oversized hardback albums the french issue, it dosen't have the customary cliffhangers every 5 or 6 pages that normal 2000ad stories have.

    By Blogger Derek, at 9:53 am  

  • That's interesting. Thanks, Derek.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 6:50 pm  

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