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Sunday, 25 October 2020

Comics, Scifi and the Dredd-iverse

I read comics. And there are some brilliant ones out there. Its been good to see some of them getting the Netflix treatment (some, like The Umbrella Academy actually come out better; some like The Boys not just as good - having said that, The Boys, although a, slightly different animal than the comics, is ok). 

At present I have a good wee selection of comics on order in Forbidden Planet Glasgow of a few different genre… my absolute favourite is the Descender/Ascender series, which is good scifi with a twist of magic in the Ascender series. I have totally invested in the characters ..  Some of it has been genuinely moving. 

Since lockdown, rather than buy it through Forbidden Planet, I ordered @2000ad, and its sister monthly, The Megazine. I really enjoy good scifi, and good characters whose characteristics drive good story. Recently, though I've become annoyed that nearly every 2000ad story  has some magical or psychic or ghostly element. Don't get me wrong, some of this has its place. But nowadays it seems to have become the driving force for most narratives in what was a scifi comic. It really isn't that interesting to me, when a story can just change because of some magical power or ghostly intervention - especially when it becomes the norm.

Perhaps Scream/Misty comic should come out monthly for people who enjoy this stuff and pull 2000ad back to scifi? Scream and Misty were dedicated to these kind of stories. And you knew what you were getting when you bought them . And the fact that this was the case meant writers really did have to be on point to make their stories interesting. 

Lazy, Harry Potter-ite storytelling? A sign of our post millennial writing talent? 

It kind of reminds me a bit of like watching Power Rangers when my son was wee. "Lets make the monsters bigger at the end." or in this case, "no one will expect an Ichabod /Dredd crossover, and they especially wont expect Dredd turning into an evil being. Will he turn back into a good fascist?"  "Let's bring Judge Death back…" 

As for bringing the old Action comic character Hookjaw into the comic, and suggesting some sort of mystical connection… am I the only person not that excited? 

I really feel good scifi writers are missing something, when Dredd world is moving closer to our reality, with a dying USA and what that has meant globally; the lunacy induced in our politics here in europe with the death throes of whats left of the British empire; the global rise of populism and proto fascism; the pandemic; BLM and the re-examination of the roots of racism, the rebellions of 1968 etc. Introducing a new monster, creepier ghostly death thing, psi battles in peoples heads, really are boring (for me).

Anyone got good recommendations of scifi graphic novels/other comics? Ill stick with 2000 AD for now… There are some good series that I know, that will return (The Out being the most recent good scifi). And The Megazine is mostly great.

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