Oliver Davis reviews 2000AD’s Prog #1889…
Borag thungg, Earthlets! This week’s Prog has drugged-up boogeymen, sensitive reptilian aliens, clockwork universes and magical words! But first – Amazon. Or, at least, an Amazon parody in the returning Sinister Dexter. The fictional company is called Congo. Subtlety, be damned.
New artist Jake Lynch’s black and white pencils have a wonderfully 90s grunge to them, slightly tweaking the strip’s monochrome adventures as drawn previously by Smudge. The Amazon gag feels inconsequential, though, and the plot seems to be snagged in its snare. The overall arc of the current Sinister Dexter story has been going on for a while, and it’s about time Dan Abnett started getting to the point.
Speaking of a ‘point,’ aren’t the monsters’ teeth in The Name of the Law sharp? This Future Shock from Eddie Robson and Nick Dyer is neatly contained, its premise being that everyone has a true name – one that when spoken aloud commands us completely. The concept is woven into a tale of corporate greed, and the twist is almost as hideous as the gruesome tube like creatures that join the monsters at the end of Voodoo Planet.
The second part of Guy Adams’ 3riller improves even more on last week’s installment. A myriad of rather complicated ideas sit within this story, yet somehow the understated flashback structure effortlessly explains them without sacrificing pace. A mind-controlling gas, a manic dictator with a mechanical nose, the disconcertingly crude Boogeymen patrol (“SKIN THE BITCH! SKIN THE BITCH! NEW SHOES FOR PAPA!”) – all part of a marvelous feat of world-building for the compact three-story framework. But if you really want to know about world-building, you’re better off skipping straight to…
…Part 2 of Brass Sun. The confidence is sublime: here is this Universe, this is how it behaves, please do keep up. Ian Edginton has created something special here, and the collection into monthly issues in the US should hopefully mean a wider audience. The quest is engaging, the environment wholly immersive, and the characters incredible well-drawn – which is both because of Edginton’s writing and INJ Culbard’s art. His style is unlike many. The closest might be D’Israeli, if only for their deceptively complex style. It may only look as though a few simple lines have been drawn, but they seem to convey much, much more than a panel infinitely more detailed. However, this installment of Brass Sun is really only a filler episode in between major set pieces. This week’s winner goes to…
Scrotnig Tale of the Week
The Heart is a Lonely Klegg Hunter. Let that title sink in for a moment, and then read it again. Yes, it’s still awesome.
As is the conclusion to Rob Williams’ two parter, centred on a character he created for Low Life’s part in the celebrated Trifecta storyline of two years ago – Klegg. The large crocodile-like creature with recently-discovered appreciations of art and humanity is being hunted across Mega-City One by his old employers. The entire episode cuts expertly between the chase and Klegg’s awkward dealings with the understandably terrified humans around him. His man-crush on Judge Dredd is a fantastic comedic touch; Joe’s hard exterior (which few currently write better than Williams) against Klegg’s unabashed adoration is a particularly endearing dynamic. When Dredd reluctantly responds to Klegg being hunted, the narration drolly reads: “AND FOR PERHAPS THE FIRST TIME IN A VERY LONG CAREER… …HE WONDERS IF IT’S ENTIRELY WRONG TO ROOT FOR THE PERP.”
Williams might be the best of 2000AD’s frequent writers. His devastatingly bleak work on Dredd lately has shrouded his more light-hearted side, as seen here in Klegg. The incredible feat is, he’s equally great at them both.
Oliver Davis is one of Flickering Myth’s co-editors. You can follow him on Twitter (@OliDavis).