Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Prog 2 - MACH 1

We start where we left off last episode with a nice recap.

The art for this installment is by the talented Ian Kennedy. I like Kennedy's artwork but it looks a bit out of place in a comic book like 2000ad. His artwork seems more suitable for romance/war comics (Commando, Victor). But is probably best known for his work on the 80's revamp of Dan Dare. Below is a Ian Kennedy center spread from one of the 80's Eagle issues...
Notice the name of the writers...yep!..that's Pat Mills and John Wagner!

The only other strip I can remember Ian Kenndey drawing for 2000ad was a couple of Dredd strips around the 400's. And again it seemed not to fit. Now, back to MACH 1...

The strip opens up with MACH 1 having hallucinations while he tries to get to grip with controlling a bomber. Then we have a flashback to the events leading up to that moment.
MACH 1 boss, Sharpe, informs Probe that they can't shoot the bomber down because of all the nerve gas on board. Probe offers another solution.
And the solution is...
Take an RAF Nimrod...catch up to the Vulcan...jump out of the on the Vulcan...tear your way into the plane and kill all the terrorists!
And Probe does just that!
After he rips his way on board...
he smashes open one of the terrorists skulls....
throws another out of the plane...
punches the last terrorist in the face causing instant death whilst...
suffering hallucinations by a leak in one of the nerve gas canisters...he safely makes an emergency landing and gets a debriefing by Sharpe!

See! Nice and easy!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Prog 2 - Flesh

Reagan is showing the rookie Joe Brontowski the ropes when a Fleshdozer is sent out of control by a not-so-stunned Styracosaurus. To emphase how dangerous the job of a ranger can be...there's a death on nearly every page of this installment...starting with poor Huck!

What a way to go! A ten ton dinosaur dropped right on top of you. 2000ad was so violent for a kids comic and was always pushing the boundaries. I'm sure if most of the violence in 2000ad was printed today in a 'kids' comic...there'd be a national uproar at how comics are warping our children. Only adults get uptight about a kid reading this stuff, I thought it was really cool.

On page 2 a friend of Hucks gets caught in a grabber and is thrown into the Fleshdozer. Reagan tries to warn him of the danger but it's too late.
Reagan doesn't bat an eyelid at the death around him. It's like an everyday occurence to him and he continues his little tour of the Trans Time facility. The disturbing thing is that now the meat has been contaminated with human flesh...but there's no reference to it. Hucks friend's bits and pieces get packed in with the dinosaur bits and pieces. I guess there's no quality control at Trans Time.

Reagan shows Joe (and the readers!) what happens with the meat after it's put into huge crates. It's beamed up the time stream to the 23rd century. And we also learn why the dinosaurs are extinct!
Reagan decides to head back out with his boys and round up some more dinosaurs. They come across a herd of plant eating Alamosaurs and proceed to round them up when their spotter planes are attacked by Pteranodons. Joe is flying one of the planes and his fellow crew man has his throat ripped out. Joe fires a shot but misses and is himself attacked by another of the winged monstrosities. He doesn't have time to shoot so he decides to strangle the fiend instead!
There you have it! What better way to end this installment by having a guy trying to strangle to death a flying dinosaur cliffhanger!

2000ad folks!
Not your average comic book.

Friday, January 23, 2009


To be completely of the main reasons I wanted to do this blog was to show off some fantastic artwork. And this splash page is fantastic artwork!
An interesting note about Invasion is that the fictional Volgans were in fact supposed to be Soviet Union troops but the higher ups got cold feet and wanted fictional baddies instead. A bit of a shame really but worked out quite well in the long run for the 2000ad Universe. Pat Mills would later revisit the Volgans with the ABC Warriors and a more modern take on Savage.
The story opens with scenes of more Volgan brutality. The Volgans are killing the survivors of their nuclear attack on a major city (the strip says a midland city!) and hanging politicians from the nearest lamposts...which is not necessarily and bad thing. :-)
A group of Volgans are celebrating in a pub, rubbing the locals faces in it, when up pops Savage.
Savage proceeds to blast them to pieces and in totally bizarre fashion...he runs out of ammo and leaves the room to reload! The volgans come to their senses and try and rush Savage. Which Savage kills them all...leaves the bar...blows up their tank outside and walks off into the sunset while a stranger watches for the shadows and says...

The dialogue by todays standards is pretty funny. I couldn't help but think that the 'Stranger' is a Friend of Dorothy.

But that's not the only piece of dialogue that made me chuckle. Check out the panel below for some Dirty Harry inspired spoken words...but not as cool as the original.

Overall, it's pretty standard fare. The artwork is pretty damn good except for one panel. The panel I've posted below...It looks like Savage is shooting clones and the soldier in the middle is either doing a bizarre dance or has a huge headache!
One more thing of note. The tank crew that Bill offs in this episode are the
soldiers responsible for murdering Bills wife and kids. How Bill knows this...we
aren't told.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

2000ad TV ad!

Here's the ad they showed on tv to get kids to pick up 2000ad. Enjoy!

Prog 2 - Cover

The covers for the first few issues of 2000ad were not the stuff made of legend. Fairly average fair, to be honest.

This did improve as the year went on when the comic started to get it's footing. Another fun free gift this issue...biotronic stickers that you stuck on your arm! I wonder how many kids punched walls expecting their arms to go through and got busted knuckles instead.

It's a kind of tradition for the first two or three issues of a new comic to have free gifts. Nowadays it's fairly commonplace to have more free gifts in a kids comic than to have content! Funny how things flip.

Nothing memorable about this cover at all. As you can see Dan Dare is still the main attraction. Judge Dredd does have his first appearance in this issue but I don't think the 2000ad gang were confident enough in the strength of the strip yet to give Dredd the front cover. In fact, if I can remember, Dredd was a bit of developmental hell for Pat Mills.