2000ad Prog 1950
Review by Seth
Not before time, we have a jumping on prog’. Leading up to this the Prog has been seriously iffy. Jumping on progs are always sprint starts, nice and strong, exciting. But the prog flags around 12 issues later. Some of the last few issues’ content has been pretty chronic.
Wrapped in a nifty cover from Quitely clone Chris Burnham, we have 4 stories starting this issue. Largely they are nice jumping on points, even Bad Company, but not so Brass Sun – which has a ton of back story. Speaking of drawn out plots, the fifth slot in 1951 is filled by Sinister Dexter. At Least Patrick Goddard is on art duties for this outing.
Wagner and MacNeil craft the much anticipated return of PJ Maybe. PJ leaves Dredd clues to locate other serial killers, for what can’t be altruistic purposes. Wagner excels at the inner monologue of the serial killer (which is kind of worrying), coming up with even more imaginative ways to off his victims, and fine detail on the procedural. I’ve been looking forward to this, it doesn’t disappoint so far. MacNeil’s art is suitably atmospheric, lots of blacks and some great colouring from Chris Blythe.
Ah Defoe. Defoe, Defoe, Defoe Defoe.
Defoe – how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
Titus has retired as reek hunter, and shacked up with Tomazine and started a family. However, the reeks aren’t finished with him, and they invade his home. Mills introduces the “London hanged” reeks that have been executed following criminal convictions. Gallagher is one of my favourite artists in the prog’, his black and white work is superb, creepy, gritty and suitably grisly, smashing camera angles. Kicks arse. Mills’ work has been hit and miss for years, ABC Warriors is going full circle, Flesh can be cringey and overly shlocky. Defoe is proof positive that Mills has still got that spark.
Brass Sun returns. We’re where now? Who are these people? Am I going to go back through my progs to catch up?
Am I hell.
At the risk of repeating myself (again), this would work best as a collected edition, a slow burn, thoughtful sci fi epic. I like the concept, but it’s dragging on a bit. Edge’ writes some great stuff – I’m a big fan of Helium, but some dead iffy stuff that went past its’ natural life (Red Seas). Culbard’s work is stylish, but a little too indistinct, it’s difficult to distinguish between his characters.
Is Bad Company’s resurrection ill advised? Possibly, but I’ll reserve judgement until the end of the series. This was always a favourite of mine and I groaned when I heard it was being resurrected. Rufus Dayglo is a great replacement for the late Brett Ewins, more fluid, but with the same subversive bent and Jim McCarthy’s inks provide consistency with the earlier runs. Milligan’s strengths have been his quirky plots, strong characters and sharp dialogue. But some of the scripting here is a bit awkward and plotting a little forced, if I am being polite. Anyway, aren’t all these guys dead? Please don’t tell me this is one big retcon. The last few series of this have been a massive letdown. Here’s hoping this won’t go the same way.