Fresh from watching the latest episode of Gotham, here is a rage infected Orlok with his own take on Prog 1980 …
I have to say that this is an instant Langley classic. It’s quite a stunning piece with a truly unique looking Fear and Mortis being the standouts for me.
Death also has a smart new helmet and is really look like a frightening bastard instead of like a post police raid Cliff Richard, meanwhile Fire just looks like a prick.
There is some great perspective work too and the planet looking like a skull was a masterstroke in design.
Inside, Yewtree Tharg is telling us just how great the latest run of Dredd is and how we need to keep up with it by buying the Megazine. Pretty please.
The Droid Life is just weak.
The letters are a usual mixed bag with lots of questions about who is responsible for Dredd’s death (or not) and a frank statement of how Survival Geeks has outstayed any welcome it had. I disagree with this as it has always been as welcome as a clumsy blowjob from an epileptic velociraptor with braces.
I like the art but it’s a bit hit and miss in a few places, though the use of shadow throughout is lovely. That was a pretty cool look at the Texan H-Wagon and Pamelina appears to be a brick shithouse with some Brienne of Tarth proportions. Or she could be the first trans Chief we have seen. Either way, I’m not saying I wouldn’t, of course.
What I didn’t take to was the hair colour on Oswin and how it is put on the page. I don’t know if it is meant to look that way but it just seemed poorly rendered.
Somehow the art style seems scrappier and more rushed this week and what was going on with Dredd’s arm in the last panel is beyond me. I haven’t seen anything that big and veiny without Jenna Haze being on the receiving end.
The look of Brit Cit seems wrong too. We’ve seen scant shots of it over the years but it never struck me as the place that has roads lined with trees and hedges. And a sign to London City??? Isn’t Brit Cit in sectors just like the Big Meg?
PJ makes up for some of this with the frankly brilliant robot walking the robodog and the robot bus driver who looks like Blakey. There were also nice nods to the world of Dredd with the Klegg and Stookie pub and the frankly disturbing “Staples Hover Buns”. I dread to think.
Best of all was the tie into the script about Hershey being caged as she is shown being essentially trapped inside Oswin’s elbow. Almost like the Texan has her in a lock.
Storywise, this is ok. Oswin wants the good old US of A to be united again and is keen to get Mega City 2 back in the fold. Sov-Sec is not going to be happy but the Texan seems none too concerned at the semantics of this problem.
Cheekily and with no small amount of barbs, Oswin picks up on the city damage and asks why their cities were not united sooner. It’s almost like she’s trying to be a bitch now.
Meanwhile, over in Brit Cit, Joyce escapes, leaving McCluskey and his dodgy accent in the dirt and is now in the delightful suburb of Dagenham.
Oh and the Brits have Dredd. I just can’t wait to see how that happened and I’m strapping myself in for the explanation.
So, we get a back story of Kev and how he is essentially a lonely geek and just wants friends. He’s the kind of kid who is unfulfilled by playing solo games of D&D with his toys, dressing as a dead mathematician or getting into flame wars on the interwebz. Also, holding his Twiki like a tiny silver penis probably isn’t helping his case much.
Speaking of which…how old is Kev? Buck Rogers ended production in 1981 so if Star Wars is still a recent thing this scene would have to be in the early 80s (83 at the latest) and so if Buck is off the air that would make him about seven or eight in 1983 and in his late thirties now. How come he still looks like a juvenile?
This is very much a strip that has no target audience isn’t it?
Anyway, there’s a redemption of sorts as he seems to have a genuine connection to the geeks and doesn’t want to put the boot in.
Rufus and Clive make landfall and reunite the geeks just as the bad guy is revealed.
I make it sound quite appealing but it’s really the narrative equivalent of an STD being forced upon us weekly and it could only be worse if each horrific violation closed with the words “How’s about that, then? Jangle jangle.”
The art is great be it the look of the cosplayers or Howard gesticulating wildly and Googe is a hell of a talent in both framework and expressions. We need to see more of him in the Prog.
Dissed by the Cyth Lords as Slaine MacNobody and the “biggest bastard of them all”, our titular hero continues his drawn out pagga with Gort.
In true Pat Mills style, this all comes down to two warped out men fighting while a narrative dissection of the events takes place. Pat can either do this very well or very badly and this is in the former category for once. Apart from the old “obey as a dead body obeys” mantra there was the thoughtful observation that the death of heretics is a reminder to people to follow the rules. Another bon mot was imparted in the form of heroic acts being nothing of the sort and are merely the actions of people trying to get themselves killed.
The Cyth Lords also pick up that two men fighting hand to hand is actually quite homoerotic (but a man wielding his giant chopper isn’t?) and I wonder if Mark Millar is aware of this?
Unluckily for these wise creatures, the plan goes tits up when Gort suddenly realises the Cyth plan because he had hold of the salmon of knowledge and that causes him to refrain from killing Slaine. That’s a pretty convenient realisation since he is in the notoriously non-ruminant beast form and has been kicking the shite out of Slaine for several minutes. So it’s all just dawned on him, eh?
A team up is on the cards and axes are about to be kissed.
The art is truly horrific (but in a good way) what with the bright reds punctuating the scene to add gore and energy. I can’t say more that that really as this was just a massive punch up.
I think his style would suit some of the grander storytelling, as delightful though this is, a drawn out fisting isn’t using Davis’s skills to the full.
Boxes as far as the eye can see, and not in a porn film way either. I dunno if these are in there to add some form of narrative relief to the story or there because the average reader has the attention span of an ADD kid hopped up on Mountain Dew. It’s getting on my tits, though.
This was all blown away by a great page of our heroes talking and kiosk opening for business behind them. All of this seems and flows naturally and is like any scene from everyday life which just makes this a comfortable read. It’s like a proper human conversation instead of characters shouting the plot at each other. Yes, Survival Geeks, I’m looking at you.
The story is a simple one this week with Brinkmann and Kurtis having a recap on the ferry over to Ludmilla Habitat. We therefore get a bit of world building with the knowledge that there were three cults on Ludmilla, one of which was supposedly shut down.
We learn that this is because Sophia Habitat brought down by cults putting ricin in the water supply, as such lunatics are prone to do.
Brink’s dismissal of the rejoicer (a fascinating concept) was excellent characterisation of his low tolerance for bellends and the two leads are really starting to get fleshed out in ways that Abnett excels at.
Kurtis also meets a behavioural biologist who is like the habitat equivalent of a survivalist. I’ve got to be honest, she looks like a woman who probably drinks her own piss. I laughed heartily at the line of “I have never knowingly eaten a radish”, though.
Holy fucking Shatner, this is good and a lot happens in just a few pages.
We finally get a look at the big four as they are post-Sisters of Death intervention and first up is Judge Fire, carrying a flaming torch, burning shit down and running his own fucked up Hotdog Run as a recruitment drive.
In a nice nod to the Academy days of Young Death, the psychotic Cadet Bryant (not May) is failed for showing insufficient cruelty and is ordered to be taken out in brutal fashion by his mates.
Fire is already starting exhibit signs of internal combustion in a way that only a patron of Taco Bell can truly come to terms with.
Mortis meanwhile is busy poisoning the food (could this be the Banzo product placement?) and water to spread the dead fluids. He’s also cracking on with weather control to disrupt comms in case of any resistance and to fuck with the weather to kill off the populace. Appearance wise, the most underrated of the Dark Judges is starting to rot away and his skull is already beginning to elongate to sheepish dimensions. Come to think of it, Mortis does sound a bit Welsh.
Fear is doing what Fear does best and scaring the bejeezus out of people in order to get what he wants (in this case, information) and his own uniform is starting to take on the aspects of what we come to recognise. This makes me wonder how much of the uniform could be part of the Dark Judges themselves. Do they evolve as they have changed?
Death himself only appears as a mouth and a disembodied voice.
The Sisters, in the middle of some gruesome experiments with dead bodies, reveal that there is a Judge Child set to oppose Death’s plan. This is a really nice parallel with what we know from Dredd’s world.
There was an extra nice touch here with Psiren having extra eyeballs growing out of her head and being able to look through the peepers of affected members of Grey Division.
With Gramps not quite dead yet and Fairfax refusing to play ball, we’re set for a nice showdown next week. Speaking of which, the kid is now the sole survivor of the party (since Gramps has a death sentence) and finishes off the Zombie Pig Cops. She’s now going to set this whole thing right via the liberal use of a firearm.
The art is fucking awesome and upon first viewing my eyeballs had to make some difficult decisions about what was the best thing on the page to look at. I finally settled on the horrific delights on offer in the Sisters’ lab which reminded me of some dark Hieronymus Bosch shit.
Not even a contest- Tainted by a country mile.