Monday, 2 August 2010

Nostalgia Apparently Not What It Used To Be

I wandered into a toy shop in Worcester on Sunday and found a glass case of period Star Wars figures. Had a minor moment when I saw an R2-D2 priced up at £70 but then calmed down and noticed that it wasn't the same as the one I had, memory telling me that the hidden lightsaber had a square "tab" end on mine, but this one was round.

Had forgotten how crap these figures looked, especially the very first series of them. I know the imagination took over when playing with them and we didn't notice but I can't imagine how they still cast a spell over modern collectors because they are so bloody ugly. Difficult to appreciate them for their aesthetics I'm afraid.

Also slightly disappointing me this weekend was an impulse purchase of the first two anthologies of Rogue Trooper from Forbidden Planet in Brum. I was a huge fan of the blue-skinned Rogue (and Helm, Gunnar and Bagman as well) back in the day and I've said before how much of 40K (Rogue Trader even) was a homage to it/blatant ripoff.

Trouble is, looking back and reading the early progs on the settee with a huge mug/bowl of hot chocolate (Coop is attempting to scale back his prodigious tea input) they aren't really that satisfying to read. Mostly they are all single issue stories which doesn't allow the plot any time to breathe and this gets worse because each story assumes that you might be new to 2000AD so has to waste valuable page real estate on explaining why Rogue doesn't need a sealed suit and what's going on with these little numbered skulls on his equipment that keep chipping in with suggestions.

Plots (well, there's only one really) seem to revolve around a new and grotesque twist upon futuristic killing technology dreamt up by the author, Rogue meets this, gets threatened with death via this and then in one or two panels displays some native cunning or brass balls and defeats it. Then he ends up still not having unmasked the Traitor General (off-screen BBEG) and the war is still raging on Nu-Earth.

I'm hoping that this improves somewhat in later progs. 2000AD improved dramatically when it allowed for long story arcs and what I've read so far is basically crying out for this.

Now a couple of years back I bought the first three Nemesis the Warlock anthologies and that is still epic. Probably reads better to this adult than it did the same juvenile back then. So I don't think I have false, rosy memories of 2000AD it's just that, at least in it's early days, Rogue Trooper really doesn't seem to spark correctly.

Anyroad, the main reason for buying this was 40K inspiration so perhaps I shouldn't grumble that much.


  1. Yeah, Rogue Trooper is one of those strips that doesn't quite work in its original format. It's a concept which would work best as a self-contained story, rather than a serial, as there's only so much you can do with the revenge plot.

    It would be a good candidate for a Marvel-style Ultimate version. I know they sort of did this with the "Friday" incarnation, but that was more of a reboot than a rewrite.

    And yes, Nemesis still holds up, and GW still owe them lots of money for nicking it for 40K.

  2. I could never get into Rogue Trooper; always more of an early Nemesis/Dredd boy. I think the wildly overbuilt urbanism (and the throwaway gags) of the latter pair appealed to me more than the obv. space 'Nam of the former.

    I know, not liking RT. Do I return my 2000AD fanboi card, or burn it?

  3. Rogue Trooper was a bit hit and miss for me too. I recently flicked thru the latter graphic novel compilation and it still didn't click.

    There's an RT game on the Wii in the local GAME bargain bin - I admit I was tempted.

    Early Nemesis/Dredd hit the spot for me too