The first of two Prog reviews this week from Orlok, who is finally catching up…
Blimey, that’s a bit orange. I’ve just come back from a party to celebrate King’s Day, and it wasn’t half as orange as that. This is beautiful work though from Greg Staples (is that his own face in there?) and as good as Carlos is, I’d love to see Greg have a pop at a Stront one off. His Johnny, ominously overlooked by the Stix, looks a bit buff too, and I’m sure as I was viewing this I still heard a slight fizzing noise coming from the South Shields area. Whittle, I presume.
I’ve only two quibbles.
First, why are Johnny and the Stix wearing SD badges?
Second, Johnny has two guns. He always has. I mean, they are right there in his hands. And, er, there’s a third in the holster. Oops.
Inside Yewtree Tharg tells us that Dr Sin is coming to the FCBD edition of the Prog. He also imparts that Prog 1924 has been praised. Really? I thought it was ok, but pretty weak for a jump on.
Alright, cards on the table. I like Rob Williams. What I don’t like is plot holes and inconsistency in a serious story. This has plenty, unfortunately. Don’t get me wrong, I like where it is going and the mystery element being offered but the premise just doesn’t stack up, even with a lot of latitude afforded it.
So…Kleggs. You just can’t trust them. There’s a problem here in that the renegades have been allowed to occupy a Mega City Colony and then invited in outsiders. Even weakened, you don’t fuck with the Big Meg, and the idea of bringing in the Kleggs is funny but also very stupid. How would other nation cities react to an alien race setting up a base within striking distance of Earth? Badly, I suspect, so there is no way the Kleggs would go for it in the first place, and their promise of coming in to set up after the renegades have died out seems equally flawed. I’m surprised the renegades didn’t invite in the Law Lords.
So…Sovs. You just can’t trust them either. Maybe diplomatic relations have soured in the last 20 years or so and as I recall, Rennie tried to set up a new cold war with the Sovs with the ridiculous premise of “Gulag” and the follow ups. Unfortunately his lack of understanding about the War meant that this just didn’t make any sense whatsoever. Hopefully Williams will have more insight and this new element will have promise. The same rule that applies to the Kleggs applies here, though. Moving in on someone else’s colony at the request of illegal occupiers is going to draw international attention.
So…Communications. As I may have said, the lack of communication between Titan and Earth (“Hey, you’ve got a shuttle coming your way”) was a niggle. Now it appears that the abandoned colony of Enceladus has the ability to communicate with the Kleggs and Earth. Fancy.
So…Chilly. Enceladus is cold but luckily, there are enough winter coats to go around. The problem here is that Enceladus is just as cold as Titan and since the inmates are adapted to work in that Titan atmosphere (-180 degrees) then wouldn’t the atmosphere of Enceladus (-198 degrees) be fairly ok?
There’s some good elements here despite my grumblings. Sinfield is still a skilled negotiator, for a corrupt douchecanoe, and tries his best to control the situation that is rapidly turning to icy shit. The idea of a Klegg recession is absolutely superb.
Aimee takes the responsibility of informing the prisoners since it was her who got them into this mess. The resulting kick off means that 500 of the prisoners elect to return to Titan, which means the ship we saw entering the atmosphere in the first part could have been that one. Hershey also has a wicked streak and smiles when Aimee tells her what has gone down. I’m not sure what this means but that level of mystery is keeping me reading.
The art is joyous from start to finish and it’s great to see a Henry Flint Klegg with the shining eye and teeth like an Osmond crocodile. The look of the renegades is also well done with Aimee looking particularly haggard and broken. The punch up was nice with Aimee blasting some guy in the face. Again, it’s amazing that she kept her weapon arm throughout all of this.
Good use of the breath too as the various characters speak.
I think Flint was right about this story in that it’s a summer blockbuster tale where you leave your brain at the door. My problem is that I can’t do that. And that’s why I don’t watch Transformers movies.
Wyatt has managed to fool us. Instead of being a confused mess, this is actually a comedy strip. I just wish this would have been clear from the start.
The Black Widower casually introduces his assistant as Orlof and Steven Ross nailed this strip when he said that the Widower was a glorious send up of Natasha Romanov. However, after being established as a grand character, the Widower leaves the strip having fulfilled some use in massacring the Oz mutants, which has all happened between Progs. I’ve absolutely no idea what is happening on the last page, though. None at all. It’s poor story layout, sadly.
The art is still good (the first page is a belter) but once more Lynch seems to have trouble drawing Orlok’s head. On page 3 panel 4, Orlok looks more like Oddbod from Carry On Screaming with that haircut being so far up his head.
As I said, though, this is a comedy.
Slaine’s a bit of a mopey cunt at times. Here he reminisces about the good old days, specifically his troubled relationship with his father and the sacrifices his mother made.
Having failed in all other ways, Gododin decides to just try and talk Slaine to death and gets inside his head to do some real psychological damage. Although can’t Slaine just pull the rug out the way he did a few episodes ago? We also get another flashback to the Wicker Man stuff which must be about the third or fourth time.
There was a nice bit where Slaine regresses Sinead in order to get her to cut through the shit she’s been yammering on about. And there’s a really lovely moment when the two share a hug as she finally remembers everything.
I was confused at one aspect, though in that after it transpires that those naughty Drune Lords got Sinead hooked on opium, Slaine swears that they will pay. Er, so killing, raping and pillaging your people means you go half measures on them (as evidenced by the lack of finishing moves in the recent fights) but get some bint hooked on skag and it’s time for the gloves to come off?
There’s a gorgeous Bellardinelli tribute in here and Davis has really made this strip his own.
And that last page is just fucking beautiful.
Not much to report here. We get a day in the life of the gang as they are incarcerated. Get up, eat, try to talk to the locals about the impending death of the planet, gratuitous titty shot in the showers (where is the outrage?), bed.
Presumably the cycle is going to be broken and this is just the sweetener. I just hope it is sooner rather than later as this strip needs to get moving.
Like the art. It’s a great fit for the weirdness of the strip at the moment.
Ok, so there are a few things going on here. First, it retcons the end of the Stone Killers a little since the Stix aren’t one family, they are many families. Stixville itself looks like a housing estate in Swansea, so you can probably imagine the kind of foul gene pool spewing forth monstrosities and abominations.
So far no ransom demand has been made so it is still up in the air what the Stix game plan is. If it is anything like Swansea they’ll be asking for an end to the tin birds flying over their skies and out of spear range.
Johnny himself is having bad dreams about his past and wonders if things would be better if he stayed in the coffin. To be honest, I’m undecided about that too. As I’ve said before the end we got for Johnny was perfect and downbeat. Anything following that has to be really special to have any chance of redemption.
It was also great to see the electronux again, though. And used on an asshole.
The art is more Carlos beauty and main panel of page 4 with Johnny on the skimmer is worth the price of this Prog alone. That’s iconic Alpha right there. Although I’m sure a certain Geordie will be more swayed by the sight of Johnny’s pert buttocks as he insults the Stix.
The Stront takes the top prize.