Fresh from shooting many, many Nazis on Wolfenstein, Orlok is sitting back with a sloe gin and flicking through Prog 1974…
Brilliant. We have another logo and brand coverage. One would be an annoyance, but both are a mistake as we have outlined before. It looks like the speech balloon has been an unnecessary afterthought, too.
The lettering is a lot better and so maybe they finally fired the work experience kid.
The composition of the cover works well for what it is and the colours are great, especially with the pencils coming through slightly. I particularly liked the shadows from the window frame on the wall and the perspective of the piece.
What perhaps doesn’t work here is the prominent figure. Not only is this a cheesecake pose that will possibly infuriate the writer (we all know how he hates cheesecake) but if those pants were any lower, we’d be able to see bush.
Personally I don’t care but when you have a cover that will rile up the SJWs on the forum, you have to be ready to take a few hits for it.
Inside Yewtree Tharg gives us a very poor Droid Life and an even worse Damage Report.
Rico solves last week’s cliffhanger by blowing some shit up. Rico is very good at blowing shit up, you see.
Rico and Kodo then do some right handed shooting around the corner. Since they are ambidextrous, wouldn’t they be using their left hands and covering as much of their bodies from hostile fire as possible?
After some headshots for the stragglers, Rico uses this as an educational exercise for Kodo. This is an excellent bit of writing and you could almost believe this was written by Wagner himself with the way this flows.
It is revealed that a figure named Thorn is supplying the op and is hitting targets in the Cursed Earth that the city relies upon, especially at this delicate time. We’re getting more of a sense that these days the Big Meg needs these places now and removal of this supply can have damaging consequence. Maybe Thorn is yet another bad guy hoping to topple the cities and take over…wouldn’t be the first time this month.
The informant goes free while the multi armed quick draw specialist is executed in true frontier justice style and this is also a nice touch and very Wagnerian.
Politics wise this is still intriguing as Beeny gives advice to Hershey, and there is a suggestion that they should perhaps restart the retrainee program. I really hope this does not mean the newly penniless Demarco will back on the force.
Lorenzo and Parkes testing each other on aspects of the Law was quite good but I did find this confusing; was the Cadet the one asking about 60102? It seems to be Dredd asking about it in panel 3.
Maybe the old man is trying to jog his memory as he seems to be a bit sloppy these days since he didn’t seem to anticipate the ambush either.
The colours here continue to astound with the explosion on the first page being absolutely amazing and the shadow use still being employed superbly. I love MacNeil’s Dredd, I really do. He’s just built like really well and seems to just be there naturally.
The thug is killed, the douchebag potential buyer is killed, more tenants die and possibly the declared dead owner has been taken out too (that seemed to be a lingering shot of the corpse in the basement). Worse still some truly horrific wallpaper is put up in the name of horror.
With the situation dire, one of the heroines actually tries talking to the ghostly plastic and it responds by saying it is the actual (former) tenant of the property.
She seems very nice, apart from her taste in wallpaper.
I don’t know where to go with this and it just seems bland so far. I’m wondering whether it is going to drop a bomb on us next week but we’re two for two with un-thrilling instalments. .
The art is just staying on the acceptable side of basic and I dunno if this is intentional to keep us guessing since Lynch can be quite detailed when he gets going. It’s good, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not sure it works with the blandness of the script.
So the main geek has changed her t-shirt mid gunplay and is now wearing a USCM flag shirt. Its attention to detail like this that annoys me.
Still, the artist makes up for it with many geek things on display including a positron glider, a Minecraft pickaxe, some Halo shooters and a Hyrule triforce. Is the foot in the jar in Clara’s lab a Timelord reference too?
There’s a female slant on everything from the Reservoir Dogs and Hermione Granger posters to the reference to Janes Bond (Janes? Really?) and Nurse Who.
Even if the show was made in the more sexist sixties, wouldn’t a female dominated universe still have Doctors (since this is a non gender specific title) and therefore a Doctor Who rather than a Nurse Who?
Come to think of it that couch cushion does look a bit like Matt Smith too.
The best panel of all was the general smashing up his telescope in rage. That was some fine work.
The interaction between the geeks is ok and this moves exactly as one would expect so there is nothing exceptional at all about the writing at this stage. In fact the story directly raids the Red Dwarf archives with the scummiest alternate characters falling upon each other and making out.
The universe differences are even laid out with some mansplaining so we have a more superior parallel homeworld for the female characters. This is one where Firefly made it to season 3 and the tech is more impressive. Clara is also much smarter than Clive and has produced an array of weapons in her lab (with a nice Terminator reference) and even stated that she can get the geeks home at any time.
There was probably some small sense of irony in them liberating their robot from a slave colony only to use it to do menial chores like housework and security.
Meanwhile the weasel-like general reveals his secret weapon in the form of mice. And we all know how women revert to 50s housewives when confronted with the rodents. Oh…
You know the more this series goes along, the more it feels like a BBC3 sitcom pitch that was binned because it raided better works.
As you may be able tell, I’m not the biggest fan of this series as I don’t think it is well crafted, has a valid point to make or belongs in the Prog.
In fact, I’m only hoping it will start getting good, but in a Battlefield Earth kind of way. At least then I could laugh at it.
There’s a great sense of futility brewing here and it’s the same permeating dread that you get in The Walking Dead or The Road. Just when you think things are going to have a spark of hope and a brighter future, they turn to custard and some fucker turns up and stuffs that custard into your PS4. And then takes a big dump on it.
I think the idea of focussing this story on the little people of this dark dimension (the victims, the crazies and the Judges adding to the downward spiral) is a great basis for the drama to unfold and we’re getting fed the bigger picture piece by piece in the conspiracy theories, the brief snatches of news and the narrative wonderings of the protagonists. That’s smart.
Fairfax is revealed to be a Senior Judge and is also ruthless and unlikeable. Rather than pop the entire family he uses them to act as his cover as he tries to avoid the surveillance. In a flashback we get to see a little of his escape from the mayhem and his relationship with Collins which transcends his duty. Or maybe he was just using her to find the bolthole and is acting entirely out of self-preservation.
At the end, even his bike hates him after he jailbroke it. This was a funny moment in a sea of misery.
We also get a look at the resistance (or whoever it is) getting fucked over when Lisa is infected by the Sisters and begins popping her comrades. The Judges soon follow, which makes the whole thing stink of a trap.
Torture is to follow and you can guarantee this won’t be pretty.
Some of the art reminds me a little of the darker aspects of Doherty’s work on Young Death and the rendition of Deadworld by Staples and Ranson always looked a little too bright against this touchstone of despair. This world as drawn by Kendall doesn’t have any of that luminescence going on. In fact it reminds me of Dewsbury.
And it just looks great, even down to the grim visuals of the town that our group travel through and are ambushed in. Bodies in the street, psychos hunting down those passing through and a sign on upside down and covered in blood. Yep, this could well be Dewsbury after all.
I’m not 100% sold on the art so far although it does open with a fine homeoerotic moment of a man on his knees as Aquila holds his sword out like a bloodied penis.
That’s quite a poor first panel too as Aquila’s torso is huge compared to his stumpy legs and he is far from being a man mountain since the guy on his knees is about the same height. And how long is that left arm? It must hang to his knees!
Sure, Aquila is a recognisable figure throughout but Felix doesn’t look a lot like the Felix we know. Where’s the weasel face and big nose?
It isn’t all bad. The expressions are well done and the use of perspective mostly works (the reflecting sword is hit and miss when you consider where it would have to be) and though this is vastly different to Gallagher, it still does work.
Likewise I’m not completely on board with the script at this stage and I’m hoping for some clever departure from the expected. As I may have said previously, this “Kill bad guy, hear of tantalising proposal to not kill next bad guy, reject offer in favour of killing said bad guy” scenario was done to death in the Rogue Trooper “Hit” series and it seems that we are going down similar lines with this. There’s only so much rinse and repeat we can take before we stop believing that something extra is going to be pulled out of the bag by Rennie.
The other issue is the violence, which may put some off. Not me, of course. And talky ultra-violence is what we get here.
Stories in the Prog, especially at the jump on stage, have to have a certain appeal and this may be a turn off for the casual reader who doesn’t want to see a dude decapitated or a trident forced through a dude’s head. Yes, the times were brutal and yes, it’s ok to be realistic but you have to consider the audience for this work too.
It also sends some mixed messages given the writer. Sexism and cheesecake is bad, but ultra-violence is a-ok?
We establish, through a flashback, that Aquila is offered one of the aforementioned tantalising nuggets of freedom and all he has to do is kill some bad guy. This seems really familiar.
This bad guy really deserves it since he is a necromancer who likes to torture his victims post mortem.
To hammer this home, the tagline for the next prog is “Necro-Torture” which is either where we’re going with this or they’re dropping this Aquila story in favour of an insight into Catherine Zeta Jones’ marriage.
Dredd romps home to win the National beating off a late challenge from Tainted. Aquila is a long way back in third and 3riller brings up the rear.
Survival Geeks fell at the first and was shot by the vets.