Orlok, who may or may not be manstruating, reviews Prog 1979 and if you’re a fan of cult late 90s TV consumed and shat out as some geek based shenanigans, you may want to give this a miss…
Well I must say, that’s a lovey bit of painted work featuring Simon Davis himself. Here we see our Celtic hero beaten up and nursing a shiner like he has taken a lift ride with Ray Rice.
The colour mix is excellent and for once there is an intelligent use of the spacing to ensure that there is no logo coverage.
Inside Tharg tells us that Dredd 2 will be here one day. Probably. That event will be one in the eye for the handful of pricks on the forum who rubbed their hands in glee when the film didn’t smash box office records. Far be it from me to challenge the wisdom of people who tend to politicize their untreated personality disorders, though.
The letters page is a usual mixed bag with one astute earthlet having the temerity to call bullshit on the literary atrocity that features in this very Prog.
This is, er, developing in the absence of the titular character. He’s dead, you know.
A precise detonation sends the prisoner transport (and Joyce) into the under sewers. I’m impressed as these look big enough to drive a Manta down them.
With a poor Sikh Judge getting gunned down and the last two Judges go out blazing, Joyce falls into the hands of the creeps.
McCluskey reveals that he is from Cavan by way of Armagh. I’ve spent time in Armagh, it’s a real shithole and nothing good comes out of it, especially not Ian Paisley.
Said perps want Brit Cit brought to its knees after the St Joshua incident and in the fine tradition of twats everywhere they want to go all out and ruin things for everyone. They of course expect Joyce to comply with them or get a bullet in the head.
With the cuffs off, Joyce goes postal and smashes McCluskey through window which is a nice mirror to what happened at the start of the story. Tempting offer.
Back in the Big Meg, Hershey accepts the unknown off camera terms Oswin gives and 1000 Texan Judges are headed to the city to shore up the numbers and provide the locals with plenty of jokes about leather chaps. This is “a good thing” according to Oswin and both Hershey and Beeny seem unconvinced by this declaration.
I’m liking this element of the story though as stated before the idea of it all suddenly being a matter of life and death is a bit…off.
The art is good stuff and I liked the little inserts on page 1 such as the horrific prospects of Roland Rat and Jedward musicals and the Mini with a Union Jack on the roof. Ditto for the ski masks on the perps (one even has Christmas trees on it).
I’m a sucker for the cool reflection in the goggles on page 4 and it was funny to see the perps ensconced in an old style council house.
There’s some good sound effects on offer here too.
This strip continues to disappear up its own arse and even goes so far as to reference the fact that it is ripping off better material (see Dawn’s appearance in Buffy). It then goes on to explain this because the target audience is either too thick to understand it or is too young to get the reference to a programme from a couple of decades ago.
Oh and the script just litters itself with pop culture references like “Shaka when the walls fell”, “Holy Broken Fourth Wall!”, “By Grabthar’s Hammer” and “We will not abandon our friends to death and torment” which is all well and good for the occasional nod and wink but not when it becomes quick fire annoyance.
We all had that mate at school who would quote comedy shows ad infinitum in lieu of actual wit or talent of his own. There’s nothing wrong with that in moderation and it can even be wryly funny in the right circumstances but when it’s every fucking five minutes then you have to question why. And then possibly punch him in the bracket.
To this day I have no idea why this story exists in the Prog.
Once again the only saving grace is the lovely art.
Howard the Cthulu has some excellent expressions and the look of disappointment as Kev foils the zombie killing fun is hilarious.
The last page with all of the myriad zombie references was well done, and that’s homage that is not at the expense of the story or propping it up.
References I spotted (I suspect this is but a smattering):
Winchester Tavern (Shaun Of The Dead) and Shaun himself appearing in the crowd of the dead
Columbus’s rules-beware of bathrooms, double taps, seatbelts and cardio, Hostess Cakes (Zombieland)
Domo Arigato Visage, Uneeda (Return Of The Living Dead)
West Georgia Correctional Facility, Woodbury, Steve’s Pharmacy (The Walking Dead)
JT’s Bone Shack (Planet Terror)
World War Z poster
Monroeville (Dawn Of The Dead)
Wellington Zoo (Braindead)
Umbrella (Resident Evil)
Reports of Zombie Nazis (Dead Snow)
S-Mart (The Evil Dead)
Holy shit, that’s a horrible first panel, but in a really good way. That’s the kind of image that a man should only look upon in his final few seconds of life after being set upon by an invasion of face eating netherbeings or if he is unlucky enough to be de-knickering Katie Price.
The bright reds in the fight lift this off the page and give it a vibrancy that few artists can deliver.
The warp out at the end is also pretty stomach churning and I have to say that Davis is supremely well cut out for this strip. One of Pat’s strengths is that he really knows how to pick an artist to suit his work. And this? This is simply brilliant.
In true Pat Mills style this is a slugfest with Slaine going hand to hand with Gort, who is warping out and making this battle one sided.
The blows remind Slaine of the parental beatings he received from his dad and we get the interesting reveal that Roth drunk to hide his humiliation as he thought the boy was not the product of his loins. This is daddy issues done correctly and not at the expense of the character.
This time, rather than have the pugilists chat to each other like it is a 1960s Marvel punch up, the narration during the battle is done by others, which leaves this flowing well.
There is still something of the old honour left in Gort since he hesitates at the point of victory, giving Slaine the chance to warp out.
I like this so far.
Brinkman thinks the crime is motivated by something other than the norm and that it is sect related.
Vittori is the classic blinkered boss, unimpressed by this idea even though the evidence for it is compelling. She is either the kind of chief who challenges all assumptions because she read a book on management techniques or is simply looking for the easiest life and doesn’t want to believe that this can happen here. I’m guessing the latter but if she starts quoting Edward De Bono they should boot her out of the airlock.
It was interesting to see Bremer outline how shit it is living out here on the brink. There’s no room, the air is recycled and there is no scope to expand.
Bremer is also not all he seems, and appears to be a brainwashed crazy eyed fuck.
He and his pals from the Ludmilla Habitat sect have seemingly been sent in to spread the word. I’m intrigued so far.
Also intriguing was the phrase Phale chronozon which, when uttered, makes people vomit. I’ll buy that, as I have the same reaction when someone mentions “Survival Geeks”.
The art is still ok and the explanatory boxes have continued to the point where I am having flashbacks to Mass Effect and Deus Ex.
The light play in the Director’s office is excellent and INJ should really work to this strength going forward to create the atmosphere of the place.
Fuck me, we’re another one down this week.
Cleverly the contents of the syringe work on a drug like principle and focus on the pain and fears of the victim, causing them to succumb. This in turn brings on a murderous death wish. It was great to see Gramps succumbing to it and then his own belief of the New World Order tinfoil hattery kicking in. This gives him some respite and though it will consume him he has enough time to throw off the Hillbilly Heroin in order to get his shit in order. Until he gets shot, that is.
The line from Gates “There’s too much…life in you. Placing you under cardiac arrest” was chilling and funny at the same time.
Back in the wagon, things are just as shit with Luke calling out to the cops for help with his death. This in turn leads to the youngest member of the family putting her rootin’ tootin’ shootin’ to good effect and popping a cap in the pigs with a wryly brilliant “Never trust a cop.” She then takes out her undead uncle for the double crime of attacking her mum and looking like Mackenzie Crook with stage four cancer. The old guy taught her that even in a parallel universe, the 2nd Amendment is just as important as Chuck Norris. Or Jesus.
Fairfax meanwhile is ignoring all crimes now his preservation instinct has kicked in and he just wants to take the J-Wagon and fuck off. I loved the interplay between him and the bike where he calls it on being a machine and it lays bare his foibles of walking away from any problem he cannot solve with his fists.
The use of the dead fluids on his colleagues is also a new one on Fairfax and seeing Gates get up from a mortal wound will no doubt alter his view on the situation.
The art is phenomenal and that last panel is a belter right down to the bloodied cross out on the toilet door and the blood leaking out from underneath, hinting at the horrors inside. Never eat at Taco Bell.
Yeah, Tainted again as it’s just excellent and unrelenting stuff.