Sunday, 16 July 2017

2000 AD - June 1979.

Today has been a pivotal moment in the history of humanity, with the announcement of a female Doctor Who.

Obviously, this has caused some consternation amongst the ranks of those who can't believe a woman can master the inherently male skill set of walking up and down corridors, holding a screwdriver and recklessly endangering everyone around them.

To me, it seemed a logical development after fifty three years of the part being played by men. It's a bit hard to claim the magic of the the show is that it keeps changing, if it doesn't really change any more than it has to.

Now all they have to do is make new showrunner Chris Chibnall regenerate into someone whose every Doctor Who and Torchwood script hasn't left me wanting to tear my brain out and bash it against the wall, in soul-destroyed torment, and they'll have it sorted.

But, if July 2017 is a pivotal moment in history, it's nothing compared to June of 1979, which gave us not one but two equally ground shaking moments.

The first was that McDonalds introduced the Happy Meal.

And the second was that Bryan Allen flew the pedal-driven Gossamer Albatross across the English Channel, which, if I remember correctly, was the first time a human-powered machine had flown across that stretch of water. What a grand new era of aviation it ushered in and, within ten years, we were all flying around in our own personal leg-powered planes.

Hold on a minute. We weren't doing that.

And we still aren't doing it.

Whatever happened to pedal-powered planes and how come I never heard of the concept ever again? Those things could fly across the Channel. Surely that was enough to make them catch on? Think of the saving in air fares and jumbo jet petrol.

While we contemplate that dread thought, it's probably best to look at what the galaxy's greatest comic was up to in that month of that year.

It seems there were interesting developments afoot.

For a start, in Prog 116, we get to meet Judge Dredd's niece Vienna. I must confess I have no memory at all of her but I assume she was named after Rigsby's cat in Rising Damp, as it was too early for her to be named after the Ultravox song. If she was Dredd's niece, does that mean she was Rico's daughter?

Prog 119 sees the start of Disaster 1990, a prequel to Invasion which also stars Bill Savage. But this means that Bill Savage had to live through a disaster and an invasion? He wasn't exactly what you'd call lucky, was he?

That issue, we also get the first appearance of the ABC Warriors, although weren't the ABC Warriors just the Ro-Busters by another name?

Finally, in Prog 119, we get a tribute to the latest James Bond flick Moonraker. I must confess that Moonraker was the first Bond movie I can recall not liking, as it was far too jokey for my tastes and I didn't like that Jaws was a good guy and was having a romance with his own personal Harley Quinn. With that film, I felt the makers were dismantling all the epic awesomeness of The Spy Who Loved Me (surely the greatest movie ever made), right before my eyes. I can't even remember the theme tune. That's how bad it was.

2000 AD, Prog 115, Dan Dare and the Mekon

2000 AD, Prog 116, Johnny Alpha

2000 AD, Prog 117, Judge Dredd

2000 AD, Prog 118, Johnny Alpha

2000 AD, Prog 119, Roger Moore


Anonymous said...

You have no memory of Vienna Dredd but somehow she gets a mention here - you haven't by any chance been doing any research for these 2000AD posts have you, Steve?
First a female Dr Who, and now this - Where will it all end?

Not it seems, with knowing anything about the ABC Warriors. The series featured Hammerstein before he became one of the Ro-Busters, beginning as a sort of continuation of his memoirs of the Volgan War. That's not the same thing at all.
It is indeed a hard life being Bill Savage - last time I read a prog a few years back, he still hadn't pulled off his brexit from the Volgan empire.

No one remembers the Moonraker theme tune, even though it was written by John Barry and sung by Shirley Bassey. That's how bad the film was.


Anonymous said...

I agree that Moonraker was no masterpiece, but it did have Jaws in it, at least.


Steve W. said...

Sean, I always do research for these posts. It's just that my research is incompetent.

MP, I just wish Jaws had stayed evil.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

As long as your are talking about James Bond, can anyone tell me which Bond movie was filmed in Thailand? I just got back from a Thai Food Fest in Chicago and it was one of the trivia questions for a trivia game being played on the main stage.

If you knew the answer you had to run to the front where a microphone was and queue up to give your reply. Unfortunately we walked away before the answer was given and I am too full of sticky rice to get the energy to search for the answer.

(Interestingly, if you were Thai you were not allowed to play the Thai trivia b/c they felt you would have an unfair advantage. Not sure how they could tell if you were Thai or not.)

TC said...

The Man With the Golden Gun was filmed in Thailand and Hong Kong.

Anonymous said...

That's a nice Mekon by Dave Gibbons. I'd stopped reading by then but assume Dan Dare had obtained some kind of golden hand that could shoot energy bolts.


Steve W. said...

He does seem to have got his hands on Baron Strucker's Murder Claw or whatever it was called.

Anonymous said...

Its Eternicus, the Cosmic Claw, Steve.


Steve W. said...

Thanks for the clarification, Sean. Whenever I encounter a homicidal claw, I like to know just which claw I'm dealing with.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Here's a piece of trivia: Strucker's Claw was inspired by wrestler Baron von Raschke's "brain claw" which rendered opponents unconscious. Baron was awe inspiring in the ring !!!

Steve W. said...

Thanks for the brain claw info, Charlie. I must confess to having been previously totally unaware of the good baron's existence.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

You can watch the good baron at this HTML.

He also had another claw which my brother, me, cousins, friend would administer to each other to the stomach. The brain claw was like "alien" and "sinister" to us. The stomach claw was good fun and terrified us at the same time. SOmething about grabbing your buddies stomach with your hand and then squeezing the sh@t out of it that just makes you feel like a marvel movie baddy!

Anonymous said...

Ahoy Charlies,
That's nothing like Strucker's Satan Claw. His hand isn't even metal.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Wait. You aren't talking about the metal claw?

Anonymous said...

Strucker's claw? Yeah, that was metal.
I was just a bit disappointed that this Raschke fella didn't have a metal claw.
Now I think about it, of course, it does seem unlikely that a wrestler would have advanced technological prosthetic weaponary instead of a hand... but you know, maybe he could have had a prop or something?
I just got a bit carried away by your enthusiasm, Charlie.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

I guess you had to grow up with the whole "wrestling thing" in the USA with The Bruiser, The Crusher, The Baron von Raschke... LOL. Well, like a lot of this blog it is tied up with our emotions / times from our youth.

Looking back at Youtube Baron Von Raschke fights... sooooo bad. Yet soooo much a part of my youth that I can't admit it's bad! But now I understand my dad saying, "How can you guys watch that stuff?" LOL

THere was another Marvel baddie who had a sonic claw and I think he was Klaw? I just remember from like FF 119 where Thing, Torch go to rescue the Black Panther is some apartheid country and fight the Klaw.

Steve W. said...

It was indeed Klaw - a man made of solid sound - and the country was Rudyarda. It did always seem strange to me that he was called Klaw when the thing on his arm wasn't a claw. It was more like a small metal plant pot. I suppose that, "Plant Pot Man," didn't quite have the same dramatic air.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

And "Paste Pot Pete" had already been taken. Not sure how much "Pot" Marvel wanted to invest in bad guys. Course there was Pol Pot and he wasn't nice.

Steve W. said...

Now I can't get the name, "Pol Pot Pete," out of my head.

Colin Jones said...

Steve, the Moonraker theme was sung by Shirley Bassey (her third Bond theme). I quite liked the film, in fact it's one of my favourite Bond films. I was interested in anything to do with outer space and still am :)

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Pol Pot Pete...

Well, a few years back a buddy and me were thinking how to cash in on the "legal marijuana" biz in the USA.

We had this idea for selling rolling papers and paraphernalia. We were going to brand everything as Pol Pot Head. And based on Pol Pot we were going to use that famous image (you've seen it on t-shirts and posters) of Chairman Mao with a "cig" in his mouth, smiling. Not sure if you are familiar with the term Pot Head which is a heavy marijuana user. So it's a combo of Pol Pot and Pot Head to get Pol Pot Head.

We figured the folks smoking dope probably would not know the difference between Pol Pot and Mao, especially the under 40 crowd.

Never got off the ground. Well anyhow I think it's more catchy than Paste Pot Pete. I mean, what kind of villain could go around and not be embarrassed by that name???

And Klaw... how many reporters made fun of him for spelling his name with a "K"???

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