A glorious Glen Fabry composition, that brings to mind instantly one Celtic Barbarian in his heyday. Alas, this is no depiction of Slainey things to come, but the main character in his own story, Black Shuck. Ignoring that fact for minute, Fabry’s line work is the best out of his recent trio of covers, with depth and tones that we have come to love over the years and the colours are lovely, especially the blues of the sky, shirt and sea. Fabry draws a great worm eaten, grotesque dead guy and I can easily identify with the dude on the right of a morning.
I’d like to be a little more insightful in my assessment of this story arc, but really, honestly; What… The… Buggery… Fuck? Greater men than I will draw breath and create a rational, unbiased and reasoned response to this story, but I’m screwed if I can. I don’t need to get into the minutiae of the preposterous, bewildering and harebrained plot, you’ve read it, maybe like me with your hands on head, brow furrowed and eyes bulging as the piss is royally procured.
For someone who didn’t know Dreddy’s day-stick from her dildo 5 minutes ago, Knight hasn’t had the time to take a dump, but already seems very sure of how to conduct a coup all of a sudden. Sorry, this is awful & makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Oh and while she was away, she popped in to see the Warlords for Cuppatea and a chat about taking over the world, as you do (or was that Dallas? I care not). Paul Marshall tries his best to knit the fog, and the ‘Apocalypse War’ & ‘Democracy Now’ flash backs are a welcome sight for very sore eyes, that really at my age, shouldn’t have to be subjected to this twaddle.
“I am in blood. Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more, returning were as tedious as go o’er“. A suitable citation for the protagonist of the Aquilla play? There is enough claret spilt this week to keep him in black pudding for a while, that’s for sure and it’s all wonderfully depicted by Gallagher and Teague as they continue their outstanding work on this strip.
Previously, I commented on my uncertainty on where Aquilla as Character fits into the 2000AD Universe and the difficulty in trying to relate to any identity and persona of the lead figure. Yet I am really enjoying the story. It struck me that maybe like Stickleback and Defoe before, it’s the supporting cast that carry the human element and the characteristics that I can relate to, rather than the aloof central character who really isn’t very engaging with his faith in his big sword and where best to apply it. Unlike the insolent Felix Fortunatus, whose blustering speech and steely rage, serves to inform us that they don’t like it up ‘em when he’s brandishing his twenty inches.
The fabulous Triscus the Diviner is a joy, commanding all the best lines, in the hope of getting out of the sewers and off his box, he opines of the soulless butcher, perhaps sympathising with the indestructible nature of Aquila and the non-contests he blithely narrates us through, which makes me wonder is all is not what it seems maybe;
“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” – Macbeth.
BRASS SUN: Floating Worlds
When a sozzled Delia Smith started shouting ‘lesbian avenue’ at half time in a Norwich/Man City game, we all sniggered as the TV chef had obviously been on the ol’ cooking sherry. But who knew, that one day she would end up in a staring in Brass Sun as old Toot. In fairness, she had a point about getting a jog on and it seems that the story has decided to do just that. Not like it shifts a paradigm, plot twist or potato clock along, but something explodes and we get a great final page (the double take of the winged craft and face below is a nice touch) indecating that this story can show it’s legs when it wants to. I just hope that the rest of this arc keeps the pace up round the final bends and we won’t be need Delia again any time soon.
George Harrison once declared that The Beatles saved the world from boredom. To test his theory, I put a bit of Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da on the record player, whilst reading this weeks episode of Viking daring do. La, la, la, life may go on George, but mine won’t be missing this yawn-fest when it blows its last fart.
Yeowell continues to make me wonder what could have been on so many of his recent strips (The Red Sea’s a case in point) and I have to admit that when I got to the final page of this episode, I had no recollection of what preceded it before the flashback. Re-reading the book-ended pages as they are in the present, I can’t say as the earth moved for me, as it certainly didn’t for the blonde bint with the wine and the nice fire, as it seems the Shuck don-wan-ta-fuck and would rather be off to play with his weapon on his tod.
The disjointed nature of the set up, is really not helping this at all and while we are on part six, we might as well be on part two for all I can be bothered to recall of the plots fragments, let alone be arsed if I should have to put it all in order myself to make sense of all this Grendel business. Speaking of which, Marillion once did a very proggy 28 minute song based on the Norse Monster that didn’t half drag / go on a bit, but at least they couldn’t proclaim to rid the world from it’s sleepy malaise, never mind make Black Shuck interesting.
Not unlike Atalia Jaegir herself, I was left a little bemused following this weeks hallucinogenic fuelled instalment, a little foggy and unsettled. I’m not sure as to why, insomuch as I understood all well and good what was occurring, rather that it wasn’t terribly well executed or stimulating.
Simon Colby can’t do no wrong at the moment and I can’t wait for The Royals collective trade at Christmas, as his art continues to be so pleasing on the eye. The fallen G.I’s and the Rogue Monster panel’s being of note as he continues to use light/shade/contrast so damn well in tandem with O’Grady’s colours.
All good stories have their weak spots and this was Jaegir’s so far, however I’m confident like the patient faithful hound I am, that it’s just a bit of gristle before a serving of the story’s meatier moments in the butchers shop. I’ve read that Rennie has no intention of putting in another stint in the trenches of nu-earth for a nu-Rouge series, but is currently writing the 3rd book of Jaegir, so like the Madam Kommander (whoever she may be!) I can sleep well safe in the knowledge that Atalia’s not going to end up the big slavering bogey monster in the gimp cellar.
TOP THRILL: Sniffing Fauna’s Sacred Bush, it’s Aquilla.