Back after an incident with some Surf Ylang Ylang washing powder, here is Orlok…
So, I was going to review 1851. I typed it up, stuck it on a flash drive with two podcasts and put it in my inside jacket pocket.
The next morning I went to upload it and the flash drive was gone.
I searched high and low for that flash drive then finally figured out what had happened. It had instead slid into the breast pocket of my shirt, which was now in the washing machine.
I learned two lessons.
1) Back up your backups.
2) Gary Glitter should have stuck his hard drive in the washing machine if he wanted to completely wipe it out.
I just didn’t like it. I didn’t hate it but it just did nothing for me apart from offer a nice reflection of the hand in the “eye”. It’s a fairly colourful abstract piece with some functionally bizarre diagonals but something about it just didn’t pop. I don’t think Culbard’s work is cover material to be honest. It is good (damned good in this prog) but not what I would stick on the cover to draw in the punters on three progs in to the jump on.
I would personally I have put Carter in her underwear on the front, dispensed with the logo and just had the words “Look at my tits. Look at them! Look at my tits!”.
I mean that’s exactly what Flesh is doing…
Inside, Mental Tharg has taken to eating his progs over the Damage Report frustrations. Again, no idea why this is relevant to the Prog. We also get a look at the future of Slaine. I’m not the biggest fan of SB Davis’s distance shots where you get an indistinct blob with a speech balloon but we’ll see how this goes. His close up work is absolutely excellent when he knocks off that disembodied head shit.
The party continue their mission into the Undercity, taking back a stolen Manta before it is revealed that the Goblin King has some Sov tech ready to use against the city and has enslaved some former Tek Judges. The fiend!
The art is again not too bad. The colours are nice and the “feel” of the Undercity seems right. Not sure why Dredd and his gang are carrying old school shooters, though.
The biggest problem for me is the shoulder pads, which make me cringe to look at. Check out page 1 panel 4 and page 3 panel 1. They just look uncomfortable and ride so high off the shoulder they could feature in a 1984 Grace Jones video.
Dredd appears in profile an awful lot in the strip and I can’t help but ask if that is intentional because it is easier to draw him that way. Having said that, because of the shoulder pads it may be that he can’t actually turn his head around.
Storywise we continue the commentary which gives us an indication that Pax will see the end of the story (not sure about Joyce) and I do like this method of delivery which is tinged with foreboding. The plot seems awfully familiar, though, with a bad guy from the Undercity with a missile (The Undercity story published in the Daily Star rings a bell) and it seems the “…meat” comment means that the Goblin King likes a touch of the long pig.
Carroll pulls off another great Dreddism with this exchange…
KILGORE: “That an apology?”
DREDD: “Best you’ll get”
Just two things puzzle me.
First, how did they get one, let alone several Mantas into the Undercity? From what we have seen before, official entrances have been gated and generally only big enough for a couple of bikes, which makes sense as you don’t need anything bigger to go down there. Mantas are pretty huge (37m long, 15m wide and 10m high) and would have trouble squeezing into the largest hole we have seen to the Undercity, the Ezra Pound Hole, which was only opened up after a nuclear detonation.
Even given that a block or two may have dropped into the foundations that is still a big stretch that there are 38m wide holes in city bottom that go right to old New York.
Or maybe the gang jacked them, disassembled them and reassembled them in the Undercity. Like one of those jokes where a bloke wakes up to find a 4×4 in his living room.
Second, Kilgore has been in the Undercity for ten years. When she pops up and mentions the Goblin King, Dredd seems to have heard of him and that he was just a Keyser Soze like figure. This implies that either the Goblin King existed in Judicial knowledge (as a legend) before Kilgore went in or that his reputation has grown to the point where news from the Undercity reached the Department (and Dredd) in the intervening years. Let’s go with the latter.
However, the vagrant says that before DOC Gobbo was “one of a 100 strong armed thugs” (hardly likely to reach the ears of the Dept since he is one of many) but used stolen tech after the DOC to rise to the top and knock off the opposition. Now that’s recent, so where is this “legendary” stuff coming in exactly?
It seems like a bit of a fuck up, unless I am missing something…
Ramkin is attacked by a scythe bastard and leaps out of the window before being saved by Wren and Septimus. Together they make it to the
This continues to ramp up.
The scenes with Ramkin being relentlessly pursued by the robot were nicely paced and added just the right balance of despair and relief.
It seems Ramkin has no choice now but to throw in with Wren and Septimus, but his bitterness comes to the fore when he tells Septimus that Wren is interested only in the notebook and not him. Burn!
Septimus also has a shooter which allows him to cheek Ramkin a bit more and make him see that helping Wren is the only option other than a kneecapping.
Love the fact that the mental Duke had a place to keep his Tuesday evening dress cufflinks until he abolished Tuesdays.
As for the art, well, the main panel on page 3 is just gorgeous. I could look at that for hours.
I also liked the fiery colour on page 4 panel 4 as the scythe bastard plummets to the ground.
I also liked the last panel as the Henry Moore bot looms behind. Reminds me a little of Hayao Miyazaki’s work.
Carter gets mostly naked, forcing the Midnight Cowboys into becoming human again.
Lots of questions from me this week as this starts to unravel.
Right, so the cowboys only speak reptoid when they are in reptoid mode. How can Carter be fluent in it, then? Who taught her?
Mind you, she knows (even though they are a never before encountered species) that they can warp back by force of will so she is clearly omniscient.
She also knew that appearing in her bikini would accelerate this transformation.
Does Carter really wear a bikini under her regular clothing? Or is that her underwear?
One of the gang accuses a fellow member of being violent. Considering he was one of the reptoids who just murdered a shit load of people and had one unlucky survivor tied up and eaten by Gorehead that seems a bit rich, doesn’t it?
I’m not sure what the relevance of Hitler’s vegetarianism was and it just fell a bit flat for me as did the clunky exposition of the accident that created the cowboys.
The art is still utterly magnificent with the last page being the standout. Carter’s pose, expressions and look are astonishing.
Aquila and Sillius Soddus follow a weird midget into the sewers. Meanwhile an agent of Nemesis takes out some early zombie worshippers.
Being a killing machine it seems only natural that Aquila would slaughter the Praetorians who, if my memory serves, were not as well trained and disciplined as regular cohorts. The fact that these all had weapons and armour and he didn’t was a small quibble, though even The Kurgan was forced off the battlefield in Highlander by sheer weight of numbers.
Still, fuck it…
The jealous gods of Rome sensing an agent to smackdown the upstart Christians was a nice touch, though I wasn’t sure the early followers of Jebus used the fish symbol until the second century AD. That’s what my RE teacher said. Mind you, she also said it was a vagina.
The cliffhanger ending seemed a bit too “cliffhanger”, if that makes sense. Still, it’s not every day you see a giant wolf in a Roman sewer paw deep in shit.
Artwise this is developing nicely and Goddard liberally throws some claret around on the first page. The creature that leads Aquila and his mate to the wolf seems small, almost childlike and I hope that is intentional. Mind you, Thrud would look small next to Aquila.
His use of the ghost like figure that gracefully glides over the rooftops was very nice indeed and it counteracted well with the brutality this figure metes out.
Nice to see the Cloaca Maxima too. I have not longed blazed through Assassins Creed: Brotherhood so know it well.
A one shot tale of how a man of faith, haunted by the past comes to terms with his own sins.
I really liked this. One of the reasons why the last series was a bit of a misfire was the stop/start nature of it coupled with different artists but this stand-alone tale works well as a framing piece and a background to the world that preceded The Host.
It had a genuinely moving feeling as Razumov stumbles to his destiny in a place where even the stars (and his God) are not watching him.
I’ve just come back from seeing Gravity so I know the airlock scene isn’t going to end well.
Solid art again from Harrison despite the re-occurrence of the Star Wars starship.
Was it me or did Razumov look just a tad like Marko Ramius?
I liked Damnation Station most this week.