Loving the Prog more than a jacuzzi filled with the blood of his enemies, here is Orlok with his take on 1902…
There is a phrase I thought I’d never see let alone actually use.
In a fantastic money shot from Richard Elson, Gene is shaking what his bitch momma gave him while cutting a swath through Them.
The power and musculature on display here is just the right side of fantastic and doesn’t stray into Rob Liefeld’s Captain America territory. I’ve no idea why we’re being treated to a disgusting and exploitative shot of homo-canine gluteals (think about how demeaning this is to the species) so we’re on a slippery slope to man on dog action, talking horses and aliens banging on about their genitals.
What? That all happens inside? Oh…
In a disturbing move, the new logo has been partly covered. Unbelievable.
You had one job, mutt.
Inside Raging Tharg gives himself a deserved pat on the back for the brilliant Prog 1900. He’ll also presumably be getting a kick or two in the plums for the dire proggage that led up to it.
Tharg also tries to get American readers familiar with his Mighty Organ.
And that’s how rumours start.
Dredd leads a fightback against the gangs and has an ultimate target of the Block Daddy.
Here Beeny lays out how the block is divided, each gang having a slice and working for the Block Daddy. It was really cool to see the Judges giving some recognition to the late Buller’s role in having at least some control though as usual Dredd is critical in that the aged Judge didn’t do enough in bringing down Knight.
Dredd’s team impose harsh sentences to drive the message home and arrests are followed up with 59c raids on apartments, more as a warning than as a genuine investigation. The psychological squeeze is Joe’s other specialty, especially when trying to tame a lawless posting.
When one scrawler protests at the five years given, pleading youthful special treatment, he is informed he won’t be a juve when he is released.
Dredd’s battle tactics are sound but his people are being pushed to the brink and as the likeable Corrigan points out “you can’t run a block with three men and a dog”. As there are three Judges and Auxiliary I’m not sure this is complimentary to Mendis.
I’m really beginning to like Corrigan though and Beeny has some sage advice about trusting the old man and staying on his good side.
Hopefully the mad bomber in the block won’t make this hard struggle to win back Gramercy a vain one and blow it to Grud as Joe wins the day.
The mayhem isn’t just confined to the lower levels as one of the rich folk introduced last week has been capped too.
King Carlos is allowed to indulge himself with some brutality in the gang fight including a rather gruesome shot through the head. I can’t say a lot more than that as not one line is out of place.
Well, apart from the old school Lawgiver but that’s just the way it is.
Nice touch too on the meshed window of the Judge Post, drawing further parallels to the 2012 movie.
Stickle exerts his authority and the architects of the new city plan make their mission statement.
This is all about Stickle showing Bullish and Scarlet just who is boss.
His “I got better” line was excellent, as was the dig about Bullish’s weight. When the fat boy tries to send some over-familiarity back, Stickle turns brutal on a heartbeat, reminding us that he is not someone who can be fucked with and the unspoken glance between him and Scarlet was to remind her too.
There’s another easter egg this week in the form of the wax obsessed Professor Jarrod (House Of Wax). And no, I don’t mean he’s overly keen on the removal of bodily hair, although that’s a fucking great idea for a supervillain’s modus operandi.
It’s an interesting revelation that the Cutter’s crime scenes are being cleaned up by private security. Someone high up the chain is allowing him a free hand to carry out his foul play.
Meanwhile someone called Penny Blacke is drawing up a design to drag London into a new and shiny age. Sadly this is one that won’t feature a crooked back maniac. Social engineering is the order of the day here and we all know how that assholery is rooted in control and repression.
The art is still perfect for the script with the faint smile on Scarlet’s face as she and Stickle exchange a look speaking volumes. D’israeli also reminds us at a stroke that the hero of the story is pretty sinister looking.
I feel certain I’ve seen that strange glyph before too but that could just be a reaction to the familiarity of D’israeli’s work.
Loved the Sorrie waiter at the dinner with the tray on his head.
Blake’s handlers reminisce about stripping him of his memories.
Ok this wasn’t quite as good as last week but it’s still building to something and Mills is putting out all the pieces as he goes.
In a disturbing sequence we see how Blake is reduced to a childlike state. With paranoia and hallucinations ramped up he is tripping balls and is assaulted both physically and psychologically by visions of his parents. This replaces love with hatred burning out any compassionate feelings he might still harbour.
Mills gives us some foreshadowing in the form of code words being able to snap Blake back to full mental capacity which in retrospect is a bad idea, especially if those code words are commonly used words like “Hello”, “Tinder” and “Redfoomustdie”.
All the while Blake is given the mantra “Love is a lie. Trust no one. Kill to order”.
I’m fairly sure this was the sum up by Oscar Pistorius’s defence counsel.
Also, one of the handlers has OCD and is fearful of birds. I wonder if that is going to play a part later on in the tale.
The art is just excellent throughout. I can’t say much more than that really, apart from flagging up the gorgeous background on the first page. Just look at the perfection of cloud rendering there, courtesy of Sally Hurst.
Ichabod arrives in Atonement and is cold cocked by Rob Williams.
The script here is amazing and the terminology is quite something to read.
When Icky sights the girl on the hill he talks of his innards rolling when attempting to lay focus on her. That’s just wonderful stuff, not least because it puts our fearless killer in an uncomfortable position but because it’s like poetry on the page.
Coupled with the “You are a horse of limited knowledge” this sent my Deadwood cravings into overdrive.
In this town of Atonement (there’s a hint) Icky is being tested and teased. A talking horse informs him of the location of his prey; he comes face to face with Zebulon Crowe again; there is a spirit of vengeance following (possibly the creature trailing the boat last week) and in his room is a golden revolver sealed in a case with the words “what good will this do”.
In short this is building the tension nicely.
The art is simply beautiful and I’m pretty sure that’s Rob Williams himself being portrayed as the self-deprecating novelist. It’s all gone a bit meta.
The spot colouring of the revolver is lovely too and only serves to highlight the nature of this shooter as a true Chekhov’s gun.
Gene and the gang relieve the siege of Aux Drift and meet the human and aux residents.
Gorgeous gory art assaults us with a vibrancy of colour rarely seen.
The different hues of Them are a masterstroke by Ryder as your eyes are drawn in to the details and you don’t get bored with panel after panel of the same coloured bug being twatted.
Page 5 in particular is a standout.
It was also great to see Gene’s blades unfolding as he draws them. I’d forgotten about that.
I may have mentioned this previously but being dirt poor I never got to read much Toothy as a kid. I think before I was able to draw a wage and start to buy them I’d sampled maybe four progs in 10 years. I’m not saying this so you’ll break out the violins and strike up a chorus of “Who Gives A Fuck” but just as a lead in to say that this is exactly the sort of classic strip I’d have adored as a kid
The young Jimbo would have stared wide eyed at the violence, the coolness of Gene and the amazing concept of giant bugs being a truly terrifying force. The grown up Jimbo loves the smart art, the cultural references and wonders if Gene has a regular humanoid phallus or a canine red lipstick in his pants. Yes, I do think about these things and Rich needs to ask Dan Abnett that if he is ever on the podcast.
It is perfect enjoyment fodder bounding towards an end point, whereas Sinister Dexter is like an elderly relative limping uncertainly down the road in the hopes of remembering where it lives.
Humans and hybrids fight alongside each other in this colony and as rare as that sounds we are introduced to the concept that this is normal for survival.
The Walkabout reference here (Jenny Gutter and Nick Rogue) was groanworthy but still funny as hell and when Abnett drops these bombs I can imagine him riding them Slim Pickens rodeo style as they strike the target.
Again a tough choice as they are all excellent strips. I’m giving it to Kingdom as it made me grin like an idiot.