It’s Richard again (you have to give your name or people think you’re scared they might leap out from behind their keyboards and come get you) with a look at prog 1913. That’s two progs reviewed in a row! I should get paid for this shit.
Cover – A great rendition of The Order’s robotic German. Brilliant idea to make it look like a classical painting too. You can really see the brush strokes to give it a period (dont go there) look which totally suits the strip’s time setting. Bravo!
Dredd – Aaahh! Riiiight. So the stuff at Maybe Mansion was all flashback! Gotcha, this makes a lot more sense now. Did they say that at the start and I just missed it? Probably. Anyway we now know where all the pieces are and, to get all fake posh for a second, it’s terriblah, terriblah exciting! Tres exciting in fact.
This installment will probably count as the last of the setup ones, not that they’ve been boring in any way, but it’ll be cool to see the Dark Judges finally begin to let rip next week.
Art continues to impress and the moody lighting and colours are breathtaking. I’ve also said this before but while I’m loving the bike redesigns other artists are putting in lately when you see the original blocky one rendered as beautifully as this it gives you a serious warm and fuzzy. Anderson looks tiny on it though!
You win 2000AD. I’m already getting excited at the thought of the overpriced, limited edition hardback of this you are going to put out. Well played 😉
Ulysses Sweet – And the award for first use of “doesn’t he just make your tits itch” in a comic goes to…..
Ok, I loved this. Remember when you were a kid and 2000AD was cool because you knew mum and dad wouldnt approve? This is giving some of that. Of course many of the kids who hid Flesh’s carnage and Dredd’s homicidal tendencies from their parents are now parents themselves and want everything suitably moral for their own children, but fuck ’em.
This was fast, funny and fucking great. Art totally sells the violence and the humour and the whole thing is just over the top and cartoony enough that if anyone is offended then tough. Said in the last arc of Sweet that it was fun but overstayed it’s welcome slightly. When it’s this good, keep ’em coming.
Orlok – The double splash page of Euro City was really nice. Um… before that? Well… if it was the first few pages of an American 28 page comic it would have been fine, though I’m not really a fan of the style of composition used on the first two pages, but as a stand alone installment this just did nothing for me. Felt horribly padded and you could have got the same info across in two pages max. Again, outside of 2000AD this is fine as you have five times the pages to work with, here though even necessary exposition and setup needs some kind of hook to it.
The Order – “Ignore me at your peril” …. dammnit, now I’m reading this as Holy Grail.
I’m trying to enjoy The Order but this installment has really put me off. Dialogue like “The wurmwurld vibrates on a different universal string to ours” and “a fragment of the third seed. Found at Kufa by Jabir Ibn Hayyan the Persian Chymicalsmith” is the kind of stuff that immediately stops me picking up any title Marvel put Jonathan Hickman on. But then Hickman’s stuff is incredibly popular for some reason so maybe this works for everyone else. Some cool bits though. The half corpse impaled on a sword playing demon was fun as was Iron John and of course the art is brilliant. I’m trying, honest.
Savage – Did everyone else get excited at the mention of a Ro-Jaws? Yeaaah, you know you did.
So in this issue we get a whole new dynamic shift for Savage. We’ve moved on six months and whilst originally convinced Quartz was in the right, Bill has now had enough. It’s looking like the next phase is going to be a man vs machine war with Savage front and center against the Ro-Busters! This is all done in six pages. SIX PAGES!
The art is amazing as is the level of detail. I mean, look at the panel of everyone sat in the cafe watching television. Who puts stacked plastic chairs in the background?
The strip plays on nostalgia and fanboy anticipation a bit but isn’t relying on it and I’m sure would read just as well to someone who doesn’t remember the early progs. Can’t wait to see how this all plays out. 2000AD at it’s best.
Overall? For me, three brilliant strips and two that didn’t quite float my boat. Would be hard pressed to pick between the three I loved for a favourite as they were all so different but while the “LOL” is overused it’s actually rare for a comic to make me laugh out loud so while Dredd and Savage where both textbook examples of the medium done well I’m gonna go low-brow (big fucking surprise) and go with Ulysses Sweet.