Review: 2000ad prog 1878

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Prog 1878 cover by Simon Coleby and Len O'Grady

A good cover from Simon Coleby and Len O’Grady, unforunately, not my cup of tea – pretty much like the strip itself.

There’s no doubting that there are a lot of Jaegir fans out there, especially those who are familiar with the world of Rogue Trooper. Sadly I’ve yet to read it myself (although this should be rectified soon). But even then, I didn’t find myself getting excited by the strip. There were a number of reasons why, for e.g, the script: I found some of the terminologies a bit mystifying from the start not to mention somewhat confusing. You might say it’s my fault for not reading the series beforehand, but then, I doubt a lot of the new readers that jumped on board in Prog 1874 had read it beforehand either. Another qualm I had with the strip is the art:  Simon Coleby is a hugely talented individual but I just do not like his rough style here. It calls to mind the work of Ben Willsher who’s art I’m not too fond of either. I thought Coleby’s art on IDW’s Judge Dredd: Year One was terrific, but sadly, the same cannot be said here. In this episode, the opening was rather good with Atalia having a flashback to her childhood days, hunting a bear with her father. But after that, it held no interest for me.

Sinister Dexter: Gun Shy (Part 5) was okay. But a part of me wishes that we could just hurry on to the end. This series started off great, but soon descended into the usual funting stuff. And there’s been a mismatch of covers in my view; Alex Ronald’s terrific cover for Prog 1866 should’ve been on this one!

Slaine: A Simple Killing (Part 5) is coming along nicely. I’m enjoying Pat Mills’ storytelling more than the actual art; I’m not too big a fan of Simon Davies’ art I’m sorry to say. The panel set up and design is pretty impressive, but I just do not like his depiction of Slaine nor his jagged style. I also feel there’s very little development each week as most of the episodes are composed of splash pages and not enough meat. 

And I was just about to give up on Outlier altogether, but this episode (Part 5) did manage to reel me in for a bit. A large part of that was down to the alien Hurde and the gruesome experiments they are cocucting on the occupants of the Outlier (yes, I’m probably a bloodthirsty Terran!). We also see the birth of Caul as a human-Hurde hybrid, you could say he got the lucky end of the probe stick from those pesky aliens. A large part of the reason why I was not enjoying Outlier up till now was the same reason why I wasn’t enjoying Jaegir: the art. I am a big fan of Karl Richardson, but his artwork here is simply not as exciting as previous work, it seems to be lacking something, probably extra line work or detail. I also don’t find most of the characters all that appealing either.

So the prog looks very poor so far, well it would be were it not for Judge Dredd: Mega City Confidential (Part 4). For the past 4 weeks, the Prog’s main thrill has been the stand out for me. It’s John Wagner back again, doing what he does best and writing another excellent story filled with secrets… and shadows via Colin MacNeil’s masterful artwork. Make no mistake, when the pair collaborate on a story together, you can expect nothing less than a solid piece of work. The past Judge Dredd stories have been good, with Rob Williams in particular providing some great stories via Titan and The Man Comes Round, but Mega City Confidential has been a treat of the special variety for me.

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Riots break out on the streets of Mega City 1

In this final episode, the sinister nature of Sector 7’s secrets are laid bare as Max Blixen goes on air to reveal all. The revelation is shocking, but it’s not totally unexpected because of the way MC1 is governed with the fascistic law of the Judges. I feel John Wagner also provides commentary on where our own society is heading, it’s a scary future but one which is slowly becoming all too real. It reminded me of Wagner’s own ‘Democracy’ storyline, with people losing their lives over the persuit of freedom of speech. I love the last panel showing what becomes of the characters such as Erika Easterhouse and Max Blixen.

Quote of the week (Slaine): “Every time monsters are killed, more of them emerge from Tory Island. The misery’s never going to end”

Slaine is right, the misery will not end until the blasted Tories are sent packing from this great Isle of ours!

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