Last up this week is M-AL1 with his take on prog 1817. I have my own take on the Dredd which I did try and get across on the podcast, but probably failed, so I hope Mr Allen wont mind me tagging some thoughts on the end of his review.
As always, a big thanks to all this weeks reviewers. If anyone esle fancies reviewing prog 1818 let us know… it counts as a competition entry for Mean Team (this includes all the regular reviewers as well due to my sourcing an outside person to do the random draw)
I love those colours. There’s a mastery of subtle tones that makes for a detailed and interesting background, but by making Alpha a little more vibrant he clearly stands out against it (even with an explosion going on behind him).
We can’t quite credit Boo Cook with the posing, but we can his ability to work around the original to come up with his own impressive piece.
That was quite fantastic. Spot on script and artwork with a seam of brutality (page 2, panel 7) and humour (“Five to a cube! Ooh!”).
Sexuality is hardly a brand new topic in comics (though you wouldn’t believe that by some of the initial reactions) but it was handled well enough to carry the story, with rounded character in the narrator. Importantly though, it remained rooted in the Big Meg. Dredd busting into a nightclub of men dressed as him was quite a sight.
As an aside, this also served as a reminded of the scale of Day of Chaos, and that the Dark Judges are in the possession of one particularly deranged citizen of Mega-City One.
I think Orlock’s beaten me to the punch by pointing out how everyone seems to be standing around in line of fire of a Volg sniper, but Pat Mills seems perfectly keen to draw attention to it himself as well.
Page two, panel two is comical. It also draws the question of why Savage isn’t dead, since progs 1815 & 16 established him as prime target for the sniper. At least Savage and his babysitters had the sense to duck after it … for three panels until they stand up again and have another chat in the exact same place (you can see Gary’s body at the top of page three).
This part six has even more reminders that Savage is the super special snowflake, and it seems like Mills didn’t actually have any other ideas for a story so he’s just going to repeat himself prog after prog.
Is it possible that the reason everyone wants Savage off the front lines is because he has no fucking idea what he’s doing? He’s a liability, not an icon.
Oh but yes, the artwork is quite excellent. The battlefield shots in particular have a lot of detail in them (which is important when you want to convey a lot going on without it being indecipherable –Yeowell take note).
AMPNEY CRUCIS INVESTIGATES…:
Is is usual with Davis, more talking means more floating heads, but it still seems toned down from previous instalments. There’s not as much going on for Davis to make a grand display of, but the standard affair of expressions and building exteriors are still maintained to a high quality.
The script is slower, but we get a little more insight into the Babbagists and there’s the suggestion that even more threads are being weaved together. I start to wonder whether more than just the Martians are aware of Crucis’ unique place in time.
THE RED SEAS:
The artwork isn’t up to demands, and the script is barely there at all.
Whereas the battle in Savage has been decidedly disappointing,Strontium Dog has come into its own. If we compare Savage with Alpha we see similar situations with very different results (Alpha loses a couple of allies, Savage only has a couple left, and Alpha is the one getting pursued by tanks).
We could also compare this to The Red Seas (yet another ongoing battle in the progs at the moment), and see that even though both dedicated themselves to some actual fighting, Wagner really upped the panel count and made sure to show his characters a little.
Ok, my quick addition, mainly due to the fact M-AL1 highlighted the thing that for me stopped the Dredd being brilliant and made it into a fucking joke.
“Five to a cube! Ooh!”
Apart from this I loved this strip. Unlike the hype surrounding it the fact the main character was gay wasn’t something that should be pointed at and made a big deal of. It was who he was. End of. The only person for whom this seemed to be a problem was his father who at first seemed like a total dick but the story managed to get across that he was suffering too and while his actions weren’t excusable he was a bit of a tragic figure lashing out. Brilliant characterisation in such a limited space.
Now I know a lot of gay guys and yeah, there are some you’d never know unless they told you and some that are full on screaming queens. Even so I dont think any would be shouting out shitty Graham Norton “wink to the camera” lines while being arrested and even if they, or citizens of Mega-City-One would, having that one word balloon during the bust totally killed, for me anyway, a serious, worthy (though I hate that usually in comics) and poigniant story. Lose that one balloon and I’d have been writing some overblown thing on here saying how everyone should read it. As it is though it first disappointed me and as the week has gone on, made me angry. I was reading it, enjoying it and looking forward to telling everyone they have to read it. That one bit has stopped me feeling I can do this.
It’s probably just me.