Wednesday, July 11, 2007

What became of those Heroes anyway?

Indeed, young Slice, what the hell? It's as if the ominous KLAK behind him revealed not some nefarious booby trap, but a mirror, in which he saw himself as new series painter Siku draws him. I think it's one of the worst panels I've seen in 2000 AD. At least it's bizarre enough to merit a second look. And now, on with the story.

Plotwise, the Heroes get split into two teams. Slice and untrustworthy newcomer Dax (or whatever he's called) go off to find teammate Patrice, who was injured and kidnapped earlier. Deacon, Silver, and other newcomer (can't even begin to remember her name) are mostly hanging around waiting for stuff to happen. The real developments are 1) new artist Siku is now painting over Hopgood's work; 2) Classic villain Artie Gruber is back! Hey, it's a sequel, gotta have a good villain.

Here's Deacon exchanging harsh words not with Gruber, but with one of his minions. See, the villain's grand scheme appears to be his desire to release some kind of chemical weapon that will turn everyone into hideously deformed cyborgs that Gruber can then control. I think. This would actually be an exciting and very 2000 ADish plot if someone like Pete Milligan or John Smith was scripting. They could've had tons of fun talking about how much Gruber hates himself and feels ugly and so on. Fleisher settles for making him demented.

Siku was still settling into his style at that point. Later on, he dispensed with all the detail. Either that or they credited the wrong artist. Here's actual Siku with some more hapless Gruber minions:

By the way, that spaceship behind them might in fact be the crucial McGuffin for the story. It's sometimes hard to tell. Siku I do actually rate as an artist in later years, especially for his moods, landscapes and occasionally his people. Not so sure about his Sci-Fi vehicles. But maybe it's just that he's so deeply incompatible with the straight-laced Hopgood. A curious editorial decision, methinks.

Here's some more classic beefed-up dialogue to advance the plot again:
So, where ARE those heroes? I tell you they're out playing in the snow.

And being concerned for their fallen comrade in a totally heterosexual way:

Quick - better wrap it all up with a button press, the ultimate cyborg warrior, and then shoot the evil bastard behind it all off into space. Bye bye!

Harlem Heroes: Cyborg Death Trip. Please, Tharg, don't put this in an Extreme Edition. Have a special 2000 AD Branch Moronian The Pain award to remind you.

*You know, at this point it's probably too late, but I'd like to apologise for my inability to organise images very well. I have no idea why some come up enormous and others too tiny to read. It's annoying. Ah well.


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