Saturday, April 7, 2007

2000 AD #1519 - 1522. Part 1

Just looking at some old issues, it's been 15 years since I bought an issue of what once was my favourite comic. Since then, I've flicked though a couple of issues, but was confused by the likes of Strontium Dog (what do you mean the main character is dead?) and Rogue Trooper (did Rogue change his name to "Friday", or is this a different character?), so never bothered with it. Though looking through wiki, it seems that my worst fears about 2 characters I grew up with, long before I'd heard of stuff like X-Men, were true.

Anyway, I noticed there was a new ABC Warriors storyline running, and I used to love those guys above all else, so I figured I may as well pick up the latest issues. A bit of hunting around various bookstores managed to yield the last 4 issues. As an aside, 2000AD has slipped a looooong way from the brilliant comic it was 20+ years ago, if these issues are anything to go by, but more on that in part 2. For Part 1, I want to focus on the ABC Warriors, which had me giggling with glee.

I've missed the first part of the story, but currently the Warriors are reflecting on old battles, which for the character of Mongrol, is essentially a retelling of his origin, although fleshed out a bit. It's actually really cool to see him pre-demolition (he later joins the Warriors after being rebuilt from scratch, essentially rendering him like the classic Hulk in both mental and physical terms), as the leader of his paratrooper squad. The typical humor is still present, with Mongrol having a taste for cigars, and humans being referred to as "floppies". We're also introduced to a new model of Warrior, the flame-throwing "Zippo", whose head is, well, a Zippo.

The thing that really stands out is the digital art of Clint Langley. My scanner can't do it justice, but you really get a sense of the power of the robots

One place the art does fall down a bit, is the inclusion of actual photos of people in the human roles

It stands out, and breaks the illusion of realism that the art gives to the largely mechanised cast. Plus Lara is portrayed as a nubile rebellious teenager with 'assets', as opposed to her traditional casting as a rather sorrowful, robe-clad romantic, saving Mongrol out of compassion. But I'm nitpicking really.

One of the best lines in the story comes when Mongrol is captured, and taken to the enemy base, which happens to be in a church. Monrol asks his robotic captors where he is, with the reply
"It's where humans contact their manufacturer for technical assistance".

Mongrol of course escapes, which also leads to some more great lines.

I really enjoyed this story, so I guess I'm committed until it's end. It's somewhat of a bummer though, that each issue only has 6 pages of ABC Warriors, and 4 or 5 other stories that are frankly abysmal. Even the Judge Dredd strip is weak. Much negativity to follow in Part 2, when I talk about everything else ;)

No comments: