Sunday, 30 December 2018

2000 AD - November 1980.

It's time once more to leap into the far past, in order to visit the comic of the far future, as we get to see what the Galaxy's Greatest Comic was up to in the November of 38 years ago.

It was a month in which three songs topped the UK singles chart. They were Woman in Love by Barbra Streisand, the distinctly non-autumnal The Tide is High by Blondie and ABBA's Super Trouper which was that band's ninth and final UK Number One.

Amazingly, after that, they only had two more singles make the Top 20 before their demise. I think I've mentioned before the strange phenomenon of major acts following up a Number One single with a dramatic collapse in sales. I believe the last time I mentioned it was in relation to 10cc and their fate after Dreadlock Holiday.

But how different it wasn't on the LP front because, that month, there were just two albums which topped the UK album chart. They were Guilty by Barbra Streisand and Super Trouper by ABBA.

Those were the stars of the pop charts but what of the stars in outer space? The ones that burn brighter than any mere singers? Were they up to anything interesting that month?

I've no idea but I do know that, between November 10th and 12th, the space probe Voyager flew within 77,000 miles of Saturn's cloud tops and sent back the first high-resolution images of that world. Although I suspect that, logically, what it actually sent back were high-resolution images of its clouds, which doesn't sound quite so exciting.

But, of course, even photos of the surface wouldn't have excited 2000 AD's editor Tharg. He was probably visiting Saturn on a daily basis, in his capacity as a space alien.

As always, I recall next to nothing of these comics' innards but I do know that, in Prog 184, Johnny Alpha and Wulf kidnap Hitler. For what purpose, I have no idea.

When it comes to Judge Dredd, the names, "Charles Darwin Block," and, "Otto Sump," do ring bells for me though I recollect little of the stories themselves. Wasn't Otto Sump the ringleader of a fad that made it fashionable to have cosmetic surgery in order to look ugly? Or is that just my imagination?

I don't have a clue who those strange looking characters are on the cover of Prog 185.

When it comes to Prog 187, was The Mean Arena connected to the Harlem Heroes or is any resemblance between the two strips pure coincidence?

2000 AD Prog 184, Judge Dredd Charles Darwin block

2000 AD Prog 185, the dogs of war are here

2000 AD Prog 186, Get Ugly

2000 AD Prog 187

2000 AD Prog 188

24 comments:

TC said...

I'm pretty sure that Otto Sump did, indeed, start that fad with the beauty parlor that made people ugly. I think there was another story where he sold a drug that supposedly could increase a person's I.Q. The judges shut that one down after arresting some robbers who said the drug helped them plan and carry out their crimes.

The "Charles Darwin Block" title sounds familiar. It may be the story (reprinted by Eagle in the US in Judge Dredd #13 sometime around 1983 or '84) with a family of gorilla gangsters. But I think it may be one (reprinted by Fleetway/Quality ca. 1990) where a scientist invented a chemical that reversed evolution. The gas leaked out and the residents in his apartment building all turned into apes or monkeys. When the judges found the scientist, he had devolved into an amoeba. So they put him in a container and Dredd ordered, "Take him downtown and book him."

Steve W. said...

Thanks for the Dredd info, TC. It's nice to have the gaps in my memory filled in.

Anonymous said...

You don't particularly recall the series on the cover of prog 188, Return to Armageddon Steve? That was the one where Satan was discovered in space and cloned, which does seem like the sort of thing you'd go for.

Mean Arena was about a violent form of street football played in specially evacuated urban areas of a dystopian UK. Roy of the Rovers it wasn't.
Although funnily enough it was actually by the same writer as Roy of the Rovers, Tom Tully (who also gave us Harlem Heroes/Inferno and Death Game 1999, so any resemblance probably wasn't a complete coincidence).

-sean

Anonymous said...

PS Have a good New Year, Steve. Everyone else too.

-sean

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year to you, Sean.
Say, I just read (skimmed, actually) an article in Discovery magazine about a new railway project somewhere around London, which unearthed a bunch of skeletons dating from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century.
Is it possible to stick a spade in the dirt anywhere in England without the blade bonking into somebody's skull? Or finding a Saxon hoard or a Viking tomb? What the heck was going on over there?
Man, you go diggin' around here and all you're gonna find are rocks or maybe a pissed-off gopher.

M.P.

Anonymous said...

M.P., was that the HS2 dig at Euston? Because that was actually a burial site for a few hundred years, so its not really surprising there were a lot of skeletons there.
There aren't any old Indian burial grounds where you are? I thought digging them up caused all sorts of problems...

-sean

Anonymous said...

Actually there are. Here in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a few miles from where I hang my hat, there is a city park with a restricted area containing Native American burial mounds dating back 1600 years. But those are fairly rare, I think.
Given our heavy Native population in this state, it is a sensitive topic, I guess.
I read recently that an 8 year old girl in Sweden found a 1500 year old Norse sword in a lake.
I would have given anything to find something like that when I was a kid. It's like pulling Excalibur out of a rock. I would probably have made different career choices after that.
By all rights, they should make that girl Queen In The North.

M.P.

Steve W. said...

Happy New Year to you too, Sean.

I'm afraid I have no recollection at all of Return to Armageddon but thanks for the Tom Tully info. I was previously unaware of his existence and his track record.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Happy New Year All!

Were the Rolling Stones the inspiration to the "Get Ugly" cover?

Steve W. said...

Happy New Year, Charlie. I can shed no light on who the Get Ugly crew were based on.

dangermash said...

Happy new year everybody. Looking forward to seeing Marvel U.K. go from strength to strength in 1979.

Steve W. said...

Happy New Year to you too, Dangermash - and to all the lovely people who visit this site.

Anonymous said...

Charlie, that is actually famed Mega City One beat combo the Bugglys on that Get Ugly cover; a pic of them in action from a follow up story about the ugly craze can be seen online at
www.comicartfans.com/gallerypiece.asp?=1486604
Doubtless no similarity to any persons living or dead was intended, but all the same others too have seen some resemblance...

-sean

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sean! Happy New Year!

I put in the HTML link but it does not work. The www site drops the 1486604 and yields nothing. I then tried Mega City One and Buggly but got nothing at the comicartfans.com site either.

So... a big shout out for trying to help me out, in any case!

Ummm... this is going to sound dumb...

What are "Mega City One" and "Bugglys"? A venue or band or...

Anonymous said...

Charlie, I have no idea why that link isn't working - try searching for "Judge Dredd Who killed Pug Ugly?", which is how I found it.
What is Mega City One? Its the futuristic metropolis covering the eastern seaboard of the US where Juge Dredd is the Law!
Grud on a greenie Charlie, you must really get lost with these 2000AD posts (;

-sean

Anonymous said...

PS Oh, and a Happy New Year to you too!

-sean

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sean - I may be lost but I have a plan! I will eventually get to the library and read some the of the Dredd's!

I am detoured a lil bit b/c Marvel just released a bucket load of reprints of classic Kirby-Lee FF comics for only $1 each referred to as "True Believers #1s"!

I just got me the reprint of the Skrulss, Super Skrull, Dragon Man, Klaw, and (drum roll) the Frightful Four with PPP!!!

I mean, how can I think of Dredd when I have a comic with PPP descending from the sky on Medusa's hair, while PPPing Thing's hands together, while the other 3 are chatting it up inside the condo recovering from Reed and Sue's engagement party? (FF 36)

B.t.w does ANYONE know who it is on page 8, in the green suit, who says, "If only Bruce Banner could be here?" HELP???

Steve W. said...

Charlie, that mystery figure is Rick Jones. It's like I said a few days ago, he can't be kept out of anywhere. He even found his way into Reed and Sue's engagement party.

Anonymous said...

You won't find Rick Jones turning up in any Dredd stories Charlie...

-sean

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Wait a second... is it seriously Rick? I mean it makes sense since he is pining for Bruce Banner and there probably has not been a lot of Marvel History involving Rick-a-lo from the early Hulk stories to FF 36, such that Rick has moved on to Cap or whoever was next in line?

(Good thing KD is in Pennsylvania. As RJ's #1 fan he'd be giving me a ration of grief right now, LOL!)

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Son of a gun... I still can't believe that is RJ, LOL.

Colin Bray said...

Charlie - this only relates tangentially to your Mega City band enquiry but there used to be a pop-punk band called Mega City Four. Back in '88 I got concussion from stage diving at one of their shows.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Hi CJ, Happy 2019!

I am not aware of any requirement for relevance, tangentialness, or remote tangentialness on Steve's blog! If there was I'm sure I would have got the boot a long time ago, lol.

I could tell your picture as a mild, dapper, sport-coat wearing gent was harboring a wild punk rock dude! A concussion? I guess you dove and no one was there to catch you and you hit the floor? I always stayed away from those mosh pit, crazy people jumping, affairs. I did go to concerts and get up front, but really avoided getting hit, kicked, etc.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sorry, I meant to reply CB for Colin Bray, not CJ for Colin Jones. (CJ - Don't worry, I wish you a happy 2019 as well!)

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