Prog #2000 (A 2000 AD Review)

I can’t really say that I’ve read all that much from 2000 AD beyond a smattering of Judge Dredd that I got at a car boot sale and one or two volumes of the complete case files, that and the Batman/ Judge Dredd crossovers (Die Laughing being my favourite) . So when picking up Prog (definitely not issue) 2000 I wasn’t sure what to expect.

First thing I noticed was that this Prog (that’ll take some getting used to) was very geared towards new readers, which I liked, it highlighted some of the best talent from comics, I was amazed by not only how many I had heard of, but how many I already had on my book shelf, then I remembered 2000 AD is the well from which American companies like Marvel and DC draw their talent as if they were water.

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2000 AD Prog 2000, Judge Dredd Cover

Secondly the art was well worth mentioning, drawing on (pun a little intended) many talents, both established and otherwise, giving some wonderfully painted sequences with some in a lovely grey-scale,  with others in plain monochrome.

I definitely feel that I will  be dipping in to the worlds of 2000 AD more and more over the coming months, with plenty of Judges Dredd and Anderson, as well as some Strontium Dog, The ABC Warriors and Slaine already added to my Amazon Wish list.

Also did I mention the free poster, that bad boy is getting framed.


Comic Book Movies and Why They Suck.

I’m a massive comic fan. my collection currently boasts over 1000 issues and 300+ collected editions, with plans for expansion always being kept in mind. I love superheroes, those roided men and miss-proportioned women all decked out in spandex beating the crap out of each other and saving the universe every issue.

However that being said I have to say that I have been thoroughly disappointed in the cinematic efforts of the two main comic firms (DC and Marvel respectively). Now I have a deep respect for superhero films of yesteryear Michael Keaton as Batman and Christopher Reeve as Superman were fantastic, but when Marvel made its first moves to the big screen that’s where things began to take a turn for the worse in 2000 when I was 11 I remember going to the cinema to watch X-Men (the first in a currently 9 part saga) at the time I was blown away by the special effects and the fight scenes, but not really by the story, luckily my next interaction with the X-Men came from rewatching the 1992 TV series and watching X-Men Evolution (and they now count among my favourite comics book characters). But this just began a series of underwhelming attempts to fit the pantheon of Marvel heroes onto the big screen, there was Spider-man 1,2 and (with Tobey Mcquire)  then there was that god awful Hulk film, then the less said about Daredevil, Elektra, The Punisher, the two Fantastic Four films and worst of all not one but two Ghost Rider films.

Then Marvel brought out the big guns, a multi film, shared universe leading up to the Avengers, Marvels flagship superteam. my main problem with these films were again lacking in the deep story that I love about comics, and I understand that you cant fit 50+ (and in some cases 70+) years of complex backstory into 2 hours, but to rewrite it completely is unforgivable and that’s the issue I have Captain America was discovered by the Avengers (which included Ant-man and the Wasp), Thor was a god, not an alien and Hawkeye shouldn’t have been in the Avengers until the Sequel.

But it isn’t just Marvel studios that has fallen into this trap the recent attempt by DC and Warner Brothers has been a massive failure in Man of Steel, Superman does not kill. Jor-el is not a super spy and does not interact with his son on earth on account of being dead. The most recent outing in the new DC cinematic universe was also something that annoyed the bejesus out of me. Suicide Squad, in particular Harley Quinn, who was portrayed as bimboish sexpot with some form of schizophrenia, when originally she was qualified physician, and trainee psychiatrist whose psychological maladies included transference and a dependent personality disorder.

I know I’m being petty and unfair, and know that these are homages rather than adaptations, but I do feel that due to the prolonged longevity of these characters film is not the best medium to portray them, and highlight that comic based television shows such as Arrow, The Flash and Netflix’s Daredevil and Jessica Jones manage to flesh out the depth of the characters involved in a way that a film cant. The typical superhero film goes: person gets powers, freaks out, then accepts it, second person gets powers, first person and second person fight for first time villain wins, introspective scene, then second fight, hero wins, end credits (post credit scene for Marvel). Whereas with television, even with a villain of the week style format, the necessary time can be allotted to  allow for necessary character development and to establish that rich backstory that has made superhero comics a great medium.