I started Steve MacManus's book last night:"To my mind, 2000ad was not a science-fiction comic, it was a comic that took traditional adventure stereotypes and recast them in the future .... call it what you will, but it wasn't science fiction. For example, the early issues featured future cops, future sportsmen, future warriors. The comic explored time travel and featured robots and cyborgs, but the thrills came from the heroes and the situations they found themselves in, not from the dull thud of hard science fiction"
p.78. McManus, Mighty One, 2000ad, 2016
McManus is using a very hard line definition of what sci-fi is*, favouring the dense and cerebral to the exclusion of the pulpy fantasy that makes up much of the genre, but he makes a good point regarding what the point of the story is
The GSVs and drones are so specific
and central to the narrative drive and themes of a Banks Culture novel, it's impossible to imagine them being rewritten as Viking adventures (for example), with long boats and slaves taking the place of sci-fi tech.
John Probe, on the other hand, could easily be transformed into a superhero (with a magic crystal that gives him powers) by the application of patch paper on just a few speech balloons. The tech element is window dressing, an aesthetic upon which the story is hung.
Whereas Blade Runner
explore what it is to be an artificially created person, Mach-1
explores what it's like to karate kick someone really hard
in the face.* Discussing the VCs, McManus goes on to clarify what he means by opining that Gerry Finley-Day's experience of writing WWII strips for Battle "could be applied to this similar scenario, but set in the future" (p.124).