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JasonT

Other comics we read recently

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A colleague came into the office yesterday in a Zenith shirt which led to a brief conversation on 2000AD and now I have their app on my phone and have purchased some Nemesis and ABC Warriors that I probably won't get around to reading till 2020AD.

17 issues into DMZ, it's good stuff in that Brian Wood way - fuck the man, art is power, all of that.  The set-up (Manhattan's a DMZ in a second US civil war) doesn't seem quite as silly now as it did then but even still you have to get on board with the premise or it won't be for you.  Riccardo Burchielli's art is fucking ace, got that dirty look to it that I like.

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Royal City #14-I can't believe it's over already. I didn't expect that. I didn't see that Lemire was setting up the ending already. I was hoping he would keep this book going for years. It was easily my favourite current Lemire comic. I will miss it. Overall, I give this series an A+. Everyone who loves a well-told story should pick this series up.

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I have not picked it up yet, but I knew it was coming to an end only because I read that some place. Kind of hard to believe it is over, because there is so much story there left to tell.

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Another excellent issue of Black Hammer where questions are answered,  sort of

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Black Hammer had one of those spit-take "wait, what the fuck just happened" cliffhangers that gets my blood pumping.  Glad to see the mysteries getting some sort of resolution, even if all they do is lead into even MORE mysteries.  

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Finished DMZ, as moaned about elsewhere some of the plotting felt rushed but otherwise I thought it was some pretty good reading.  Fantastic art throughout, even the filler artists brought their A-game.  Glad to have finally gotten to read it.

Currently reading the first big chunk of ABC Warriors in Mek Files 01.  I was a war comic boy growing up and only dabbled in some Eagle and 2000AD so it feels like I've missed out on a significant chunk of classic British comics.  Which is to say there's some choice Pat Mills work out there for me to gorge on - ABC Warriors, Nemesis and Slaine.  

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I've been meaning to get hold of that one for a while, John. That's all of the first run of Volgan war and Mars stories in a nice big hardback rather than the not quite 2/3 size paperbacks, right?

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Lots of excellent reading ahead of you, John!

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Beyonders #1 by Paul Jenkins (from AfterShock Comics)-This comic has a breathtaking cover.

What else does it have going for it? Sadly, nothing. After not seeing Jenkins' name attached to many comic series for a while now (I think his New 52 DC work might have been the last I have seen of Jenkins), I was hoping for something back at the level that Jenkins was writing at around the turn of this century. Instead, this is just plain generic. Genius level kid doesn't play well with others, spends lots of time on internet, believes in all sorts of "conspiracy theories"....ends up seemingly on the wrong side of the government, intent on keeping secrets....wakes up to "reality". Yeah. Even what seems to be a nod to Gerber's Omega the Unknown falls flat with me. I was glad to see that Jenkins avoided the typical conspiracies, like the Illuminati. (Unless, Jenkins plans to stagnate with those other conspiracies in upcoming issues.) Instead, he brought up some of the "ancient alien"-type mysteries, ala Von Daniken or Brad Steiger's writings. Still, there's nothing of interest here. It's been dredged to death.

Beyonders #1B

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On 9/1/2018 at 6:16 PM, dogpoet said:

I've been meaning to get hold of that one for a while, John. That's all of the first run of Volgan war and Mars stories in a nice big hardback rather than the not quite 2/3 size paperbacks, right?

I'm reading in digital, it starts with the formation of the Warriors and runs through the Mars and Black Hole stories. 

Contents are listed as -

Prologue (this is a brief framing device with Ro-Jaws and Hammerstein flashing back to...)
ABC Warriors
The Retreat from Volgow
Mongrol
The Order of Knights Martial
The Bougainville Massacre
Steelhorn
Cyboons
The Red Death
Golgotha
Mad George
Epilogue
The Black Hole

The Black Hole arc takes place some time after the Mars story and there's a reference early on to events from Nemesis Book 5 so I've paused there and jumped over to read through the pointy nosed one's stuff.  Was tempted by the two Ro-Buster collections but they're a little expensive and the prologue sets things up just fine.

There's a Slaine sale on in their online store, which overs both physical and digital.

 

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Thank you, John. That's the original two Titan collections from the early '80s (I think the prologue and epilogue were done for those rather than appearing in 2000AD itself) and the Black Hole story, then. That'll make a nice thick collection as a physical object, and I'll need to get a copy. (Apart from anything else, my copies of the two Titan collections are falling apart now from sheer old age, so that should make a nice replacement.)

As far as the Nemesis thing goes, the Warriors were apparently written into that as 2000AD's editorial kept promising their return and it kept not happening apart from the occasional story in an annual or special so adding them to Nemesis' supporting cast struck Mills as a useful way to bring them back. There are several accounts of them being very popular with the readers indeed, but artists having panic attacks on being asked to draw them.

As for Ro Busters, it's a bit patchy, but the better stuff is some of Mills' best work. You don't really need to have read any of it to follow the later ABC Warriors stories, though.

Have you read any of the other future war stories from 2000AD, btw? There was a big overlap between Battle and 2000AD on a lot of that stuff (Carlos Equezzerra and Cam Kennedy both started off on Battle rather than 2000AD). I'd imagine you've read some of the Rogue Trooper stuff at least, but Fiends Of the Eastern Front (undead Transylvanian cavalry on the Russian front during WW2), Invasion/Savage (the original run of which was very much near future terrorism against an occupying army done as a '70s childrens' adventure comic, which makes it read very strangely indeed now: since Mills rebooted and revamped it, it's got a lot nastier and rather self conscious with it and so doesn't have that odd vibe to it anymore), The VCs (blatant but far less fascistic rip off of Heinlein's Starship Troopers, stuffed full of traditional British war comic cliches) and Bad Company (Peter Milligan doing a straightforwards adventure story with some lovely Brett Ewins artwork) are all rather good as well.

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Haven't read any of them so thanks!  Bad Company is definitely on the list.

On the Mek-Files I should note that they they reproduced the colouring where used (presumably on double-paged spreads in the original comics), at least for the mek-nificent seven stories anyway.

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They did that with the uncensored Cursed Earth collection as well: it's a bit surprising it's taken them this long to start doing that with the collections.

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Even reproducing the colour as those little dots that Lichtenstein was fond of...

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I skipped through some of the original Ro-Busters stuff and found it quite funny that Mills did like one 'traditional' strip before jumping straight into a war flashback.  Also apparently there's another series, Invasion, that covers the initial stages of the Volgan war - honestly I didn't realise that the 2000AD stuff was all so interconnected.  

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Invasion! is itself connected to Savage, which still runs in 2000AD from time to time. Directly connected, in fact. :smile:  Dom mentioned it above. They're both written by Pat Mills.

 

Did any of you see that storyline from a couple of years back where

 

the individual strips unexpectedly turned out to be telling the same story

?

One of the all-time great 2000AD moments IMHO.

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That doesn't sound like a complete collection, John: it's probably just a reprint of the 2000AD Ro-Busters stories, and doesn't include the ones from Starlord at least three of which were by Mills, and none of which were Hammerstein's war memoirs.

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Ah I was just skim reading online and must've missed the actual switch to 2000AD.

Mills is still an angry young man on Facebook, his rage is inspiring really.

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It shows in a lot of his best comics, imo. You should have a look at his memoir (Be Pure, Be Vigilant, Behave), in which he spreads a lot of bile about the industry, though he mostly avoids naming names, which is a pity.

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Absolutely, the righteous fury that flows through his work is a big hook for me.  I admire the confidence he displays in his work too, he's rightly proud of what he's produced - if he were a rock star he'd still be on stage shamelessly banging out his greatest hits I think. 

They've finally released English versions of the last few Requiem volumes on Comixology so I have those there when I'm done with his 2000AD work.

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Impossible Inc. (by J.M. DeMatteis, from IDW)-This was my palate cleanser after reading that pretty horrible "Batman....Damn!" comic book. This was really cute and really fun.  It reminds me why I love J.M. DeMatteis so much, all over again, not that I needed to be reminded. (I'm glad I don't use spell-check on my computer, because DeMatteis would be auto-correct to dermatitis, and I do not love dermatitis!) I'd have to say this is probably what a Grant Morrison comic would be like without the drugs. No, what it really is, this is what the new Fantastic Four comic should be, instead of being about disappointment, as it currently is under Dan Slott. I wish DeMatteis was writing this as the FF relaunch,.

It's a comic book to say, "This is why I love comics, because of the limitless imagination that can be shown in this medium.", instead of having to lament how much we hate modern comic books, because of books like the new FF or "That Damned Batman!".

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It's written so that it can be read by both children and adults. It would be a good comic for a younger girl to read (it would work fine for boys also, but features a female protagonist). I think that most comics work best when they can appeal to both children and adults, like most mainstream comics did throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

I have no problem with "mature reader" comics with something to say or a grand vision, of course. I love those types of comics too.

It's more this attitude of "comics aren't for kids anymore". Kids can't afford to read comics, so comics should be geared solely toward adults, no matter how silly the concept, it must be made to seem "mature".

DeMatteis does a good job presenting a comic that is really fun and imaginative, doing what comics do at their best, because he's not worried about trying to make it so that there can't be anything "endearing" in the story.

It's the story of the world's smartest man (cue Reed Richards analogue) who disappeared on an adventure through the multiverse. His teenage daughter, who is also a super-genius, has taken over running her father's super-science company (hence "Impossible Inc.") along with her elderly grandfather. They carry on her father's legacy of doing the impossible, but also the daughter is trying to find out what happened to her father. The girl's mother died of breast cancer also (poor Sue Storm.....). Cue wild and wacky adventures traveling on a cross-temporal/cross-dimensional train.

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Read through Spread over the weekend, think The Thing meets The Walking Dead as written by Justin Jordan with art by Kyle Strahm and numerous fill-ins towards the back-half.  Pretty good all told though it felt like they had to kill it a volume or two early as the last four issues book it through a lot of stuff.  No final words from the writer or artist either, which I thought was a little unusual. 

Good characters, gory monsters and some juicy fight scenes all spread over 25 issues. 

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