I haven’t done any reviews on here for ages. Why? Well I have a system with progs. I divide each strip into two sections, story and art, and give each a thumbs up or down. If the downs outweigh the ups I wont even bother trying to review the prog. No point. That at least tells you this prog had more ups than downs. Also tells you I havent thought much of it lately, same for the Meg. Credit to the guys who have still done reviews and tried to explain why they aren’t loving stuff. As you’ll see from the review below what I haven’t really tried to justify any negative opinions.
Anyway. Jumping on prog (I think), so figured it was worth a write up.
Cover – Totally weird and fucked up. I like it! From a marketing point of view a background not quite so similar in colour to the main character could have made it jump out a bit more, but as a warped Slaine pic it’s a bit rocking.
Dredd – A great opener to a new arc from Michael Carroll and Colin MacNeil that sets up a cool looking mystery for Dredd to get stuck into and gives us some really nice action along the way. The story gets stuck straight in and doesn’t let up and the art is brilliant even for Mr MacNeil whose storytelling and panel layouts never fail to impress. You notice the assassins blade cutting into the panel below? You gotta love stuff like that. Only complaint… what’s with the gratuitous Dredd arse shot on the bottom (fnarr) of the 3rd page? This isnt the 90s you know! I’ll be writing a strong letter to Tharg about this. Also I’ve met Michael Carroll… he isnt even a policeman let alone a judge! Who does he think he is writing a character who is? Well, other than my top pick for #1 Dredd writer apart from Wagner. You have to say “apart from Wagner”. I’ve been told if you don’t your case files will spontaniously combust.
Absalom – Ahhhh, probably my fave new thing to come out of 2000AD in a long while. As such there was a bit of added anticipation pressure on this one but luckily it didn’t disappoint. We get introduced to a new monster hunter with a cool opening action scene, a bit of Harry being the cantankerous old shit we know and love, then a proper cliffhanger where we can’t be totally sure whats going on. Is Emily being protected or about to be killed by the kid? And if so, is she more than she appears? Pretty much textbook 2000AD. Great slice of story with a hook at the end. Oh, and some nice dialogue from the title character that will upset the easily offended. As 2000AD fucking should. It’s punk rock not Adelle.
Artwork is so good that I’d love this even if the story sucked. Kinetic, full of character, suitably grubby where needed and with some nice comedic touches like the two security guys with Absalom being too tall for the tent. Can we lock the creators in the room and just make them do this from now on? Cheers.
Slaine – Some beautiful artwork and page layouts and while I appreciate how the info dump is mainly played over action rather than giving us pages of talking heads I’m rapidly falling out of love with this strip. Will possibly work a lot better in one hit, but week to week this seems to be dragging its heels a bit. Can’t help thinking old Slaine would have told this much story in two or three installments rather than eleven.
Helium – D’Israeli’s art is always a joy to behold but I’m totally over Edginton’s steam-clockwork-Victorian routine and dialogue and to me this is just more of the same. Reads like Tales from the Brass Sun and I fucking HATE Brass Sun. Annoyed this is taking up space in the prog and will probably be replaced by another identical strip when it eventually wraps up after 20 installments or so. Will give it another prog or two to turn me but after that it’s skimsville.
Fave of the lot? Dredd was kicking arse and taking names but I’m afraid the return of Absalom took the top spot for me.