The finale of my later than planned holiday thoughts:
Well what a year that’s been for the young Prog. Tharg started the year on his back foot. As I’ve said before Galaxies Greatest has been on an admitedly slow downward spiral since its early and glorious start. After some stunningly good stuff in the first 20 or so Progs 1977 was only smattered with real highlights, which I’ve mentioned previously, but lacked any real consistency and 1978 brought some real stinkers too. Yes Colony Earth and Death Planet (whatever you were called) I’m looking at you in particular. Not just not great, real chuffin’ rubbish.
To be honest as I’ve mentioned before for the first half of the year the Prog was struggling to entertain and I was skip reading great chunks. Funnily enough the form of the Prog has been echoing the form of Dredd (by and large and possibly the other way around). So when Cursed Earth comes along and unleashed some of the finest Dredd ever, it's no surprise the Prog soon follows form. Cursed Earth is absolutely classic Dredd and for me it's when the strip actually becomes the best thing in the Prog consistency and the series really takes off. The story really gets to the heart of the character, unfettered by the cruel, evil system that sharps him, the relentless hero fighting for justice is allowed to shine through. I find it fascinating that it’s a story by Pat Mills that so clearly demonstrates what Mr Wagner’s character is all about.
So anyway I digress Cursed Earth drags Dredd onto the very best form. Almost as soon as it does Ant Wars starts, which I know isn’t popular, but which I love and with some other nice stories added to the mix the Prog seems to have finally found its feet. Just in time to have them possibly kicked out from under it with the merger with Starlord…
… but as I’ve said over the last few posts no such thing. Prog 86 and the rest of 1978 find the Prog as good as it's ever been to this date. All the strips in the new line-up are fantastic, really thrill-powered, Flesh 2 being a surprise (again I think) as I never remember it as fondly as Book 1, but then I do very little in the Prog, BUT that means I seem to miss what absolute immense fun it is. It's like the comic is a new, refreshed as it's been in the second half of the year this last stretch in 1978 sees the Prog as good as I can remember it ever being in its 40 year (gulp) history. All this in a mysteriously short year, missing 3 or 4 Progs. I’d forgotten about the Journalists strike which wiped them out until Tharg reminded me in Nerve Centre in the years final Prog 93.
Can 2000ad sustain its wonderful second half of 1979… well my memory says no, but my re-read will very possibly give my wayward memory a good kicking. Let's see shall we…