Going for the end run of Progs, here is Orlok with his review of Prog 2010…
Absolutely gorgeous. There’s no logo coverage and the red brand stands out exactly as it should to put it out there for old and new readers. Front and centre there is the beautiful big reptilian eye of Gorehead focussing on Earl Reagan who is getting his “prod” ready for some action. Because this isn’t a panel in the story the static nature of it works to paint the scene and tell you this will be man versus beast in no uncertain terms.
Inside, Flesh’s layout has caused Yewtree Tharg to be moved to mid prog. It’s an outrage.
The art has some nice simple work by Currie which is perhaps a bit less florid and detailed than we have seen from him before, but regardless it does the job well.
The story is a much better affair with the tale of Judge Hanson leaving her perp cuffed to a holding post without calling it in en route. After she is killed in the line of duty, the perp is left without food, water or amenities for nine days, and thus begins the story of how the citizens are indoctrinated to ignore such a thing.
A myriad of passers-by rebuff his pleas, so afraid are they of judicial repercussions. So overt is it that some of them won’t even rob or beat him for fear that he is a trap that the Judges have set to catch them in the act. This plays really well as this is the Big Meg we know and love having the familiar aspects of fear and latent criminality brought before our eyes.
When fingered by Hanson the unfortunate detainee was on his way to hand out Chaos Day denial leaflets and maintains even to Dredd that the whole thing was a hoax perpetrated by the Judges. Even in the future conspiracy theory whackjobs are still a menace with no regard for empathy or subtlety.
As a fitting sentence he is given three years digging bodies from the rubble, minus 9 days for time served. Though mellowed some in his advanced years Dredd is still what is known in knitting circles as an “utter bastard”.
This was a great one and done which Carroll can do with aplomb and it reminded me a lot of an old school tale even down to the grudging nine day knock off given as an afterthought. Carroll can keep these coming since it was witty, on point and had no fat on the script.
We did have a previous story back in the day about Necropolis denial which was essentially a clumsy dig at that asshole David Irving but this one by Carroll surpassed that easily.
With the last ship destroyed it is down to Reagan to deal with Gorehead himself. I’m sure that is going to go swimmingly.
Unluckily for Reagan, Gorehead has called in an army of T-Rexes (that have also apparently survived the impact and tidal wave) to come to his aid. Surrounded by gigantic slavering inhuman beasts, Earl Reagan has only his spunk and his prod to help him get through. To be honest this is probably just a metaphor for a standard Saturday night in Cardiff’s burgeoning gay scene.
And thus we end on a cliffhanger and probably another book collection.
The art was nice but I am very bored of it and the best bit was Reagan’s very Dredd like “They weren’t in the risk assessment” delivered with a deadpan pose.
We open with Bill taking advantage of the situation and trying to bluff some Stare details from Nika in a manner that would put a two year old to shame.
Using her keen deductive powers garnered from years on the job, Nika spots the ploy and immediately calls bullshit on it. The two then bond over the tale of how stray rounds killed both of their families and she decides to help him. It is dialogue and about faces like this that hamper the script and it seems unrealistic as only minutes earlier she was saying that the Stare is a national tool against their enemy and her loyalty to her cause is without question. It seems a very precipitous flip flop, even in spite of the actions of her bosses.
Pat absolutely cannot help himself and has a pop at DARPA saying they would love killing machines like this. Yep, probably Pat, but is it relevant?
The resistance meeting goes as expected but Vos reveals that Savage has murdered 12 Volgans seemingly for the hell of it. Wasn’t it much more than this? Or are they going on a tally for this time only?
Anyway, Book Ten ends with him facing a firing squad.
Some of the action is infuriating in this instalment since at one stage, Nika fires the M32 right next to Savage’s face. That would smart some as those things go off with quite a pop and the explosion takes place right next to Savage’s head so that’s shrapnel damage and a lifetime of tinnitus. Worse still, Savage fires it inside the car which would clearly detonate as soon as it touched the roof and therefore explode both upwards and outwards killing both him and Nika.
When they meet Wolfie Vos they are surrounded by armed rebels and yet Nika manages to run through this ring of hardened resistance fighters who appear to miss every shot.
The art though is beautiful and I particularly liked the end of terrace artwork which made an occupied Berlin look like 1980s Belfast.
Despite the action fuck up, there were some really nice panels of the conversation in the car as the expressions change with the dialogue.
We require a flashback to sum up as Gene selfish realises his mistake and calls in favours. In a Hustle style retelling, his comrades down the taxi carrying our heroine, switch the Libras out and then deliver the real Libra to have her brain operated on like a Scientologist.
Now that Albion thinks she is wiped and compliant, he is happy.
The moral of the story is that you can be anyone you want to be so long as you aren’t bothered about legality and believe you are sticking it to the establishment. That’s why I have been passing myself off as a fourteen year old girl on the internet and now have a court case coming up. Thanks Counterfeit Girl!
Anyway, at the end of this, Libra’s walking against the stream of the rest of the peons in her beloved future city and is asking that fundamental question “Who am I?”
The real question should be “who cares?”
Not me that’s for sure as I thought this was overlong.
With a trim it would have been a decent 3riller, though.
The art was a different kettle of fish and though I didn’t take to it, I certainly appreciate the talent involved. As I tend to read these on the boat of a morning it did take some getting used to, especially when some panels resemble a firework display caught in the throes of projectile vomiting.
There was a nice last panel of the crazies in the city, including one dude with an Ugg boot on his head and another sporting a yucca. Was that also a photo of Steve Dillon on the screen? If so, that’s a fitting tribute to the man rather than scrawling “RIP Steve Dillon” at the bottom of the page.
Dredd. This was a cracking return to form and the art, though subdued, was great.