Monday, 30 June 2014

Strontium Dog: 'Journey Into Hell!', Part 9: Horsemen Of The Apocalypse!

NAME
Strontium Dog: 'Journey Into Hell!', Part 9: Horsemen Of The Apocalypse!

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD & Starlord Prog 112

DATELINE
12 May 79

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd Megazine 3.66 or 3.67, Strontium Dog: The Early Cases and Strontium Dog: Search/Destroy Agency Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Johnny keeps hope, rescues the Gronk and crosses the desert.

FIRSTS & LASTS
None.

INFORMATION
Across the Desert Of The Living from the River Inferno is Hate, the walled second city of Hell.

Nuclear grenades are a form of explosive device.


JOHNNY ALPHA
He is an accomplished horseman. He attacks Ky's horse and steals it and the Gronk along with it. He rides to the city of Hate as the four horsemen give chase. He is struck in the back by Lom's thrown axe, but makes it to Hate.

WULF STERNHAMMER
He, Wagner and Dork have crossed the desert and reached the city of Hate.

THE GRONK
Johnny rescues him from Ky.

OTHER CHARACTERS
FLY'S EYES WAGNER
He, Wulf and Dork have crossed the desert and reached the city of Hate.

DON DORK
He, Wagner and Wulf have crossed the desert and reached the city of Hate.

KY
Johnny Alpha knocks him from his steed and steals both it and the Gronk. Ky calls forth the other three horsemen and another steed. The four horsemen give chase.

LOM
First Lord of the Living Dead. He comes to Ky's aid when called. The four horsemen give chase and Lom throws his axe and strikes Johnny in the back.

OGAR
Fourth Lord of the Living Dead. He comes to Ky's aid when called. The four horsemen give chase.

SAMAZAN
Second Lord of the Living Dead. He comes to Ky's aid when called. The four horsemen give chase.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Johnny (to Ky's steed): "Buck all you like - I'll make you dance to my tune!"

WORST LINES
Johnny: "The net! Wrapping around me-"

CATCHPHRASES
Wulf says der, while the Gronk worries is about poor heartses again.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
None.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: T.B.Grover
Artist: Ezquerra
Letters: Aldrich

REVIEW
This leg of the journey is diverting, but really only sees Johnny rectifying the cliffhanger of Part 8 and rescuing the Gronk. The more philosophical battle to maintain his sense of hope however is rendered far less impressive by the trio of Wulf, Wagner and Dork stood waiting for him at the Hate gate.

Next Prog: The Gargoyles Of Hate!

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Strontium Dog: 'Journey Into Hell!', Part 8: Desert Of The Living Dead

NAME
Strontium Dog: 'Journey Into Hell!', Part 8: Desert Of The Living Dead

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD & Starlord Prog 110

DATELINE
5 May 79

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd Megazine 3.66 or 3.67, Strontium Dog: The Early Cases and Strontium Dog: Search/Destroy Agency Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Johnny and co attempt to cross the desert, but the Gronk is kidnapped and they are stricken by the mark of the living death.

FIRSTS & LASTS
None.

INFORMATION
Across the River Inferno from the City of Lost Souls is the Desert Of The Living Dead. It is ruled by Ky, Third Lord of the Living Dead.


JOHNNY ALPHA
He insists that the others keep hope walking through the desert and is unaffected by the skeletal mark of Ky. When the Gronk is abducted, Johnny goes after him, but eventually gives up the chase and Ky returns to gloat as his arm begins to change and his bones are visible through the skin.

WULF STERNHAMMER
He carries the injured Gronk through the desert. His arms begin to show the same transparency.

THE GRONK
Ky tells the Gronk that his mark is already upon it. The Gronk's upper left arm is rendered transparent and causes its owner some pain. Over time more of his skin disappears. Ky abducts him.

OTHER CHARACTERS
FLY'S-EYES WAGNER
Travelling through Ky's desert, his arms begin to show the same transparency as the Gronk's body.

DON DORK
Travelling through Ky's desert, his arms begin to show the same transparency as the Gronk's body.

KY
Third Lord of the Living Dead and master of the desert. He kidnaps the ailing Gronk. He is immune to blasters.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Gronk: "M-m-my hand! It-it's g-going all boney!"

WORST LINES
Johnny: "My hand - it's starting to change!...By sunrise I'll be one of the living dead!"

How do you know?

CATCHPHRASES
Wulf says gut, Gott, haf, ja, valking, vas, ve, vorld, vot, Vulf, . The Gronk worries about its poor heartses again, but to be fair it can probably see them.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT

NOTES

CREDITS
Script: T.B. Grover
Artist: Ezquerra
Letters: Aldrich

REVIEW
The cumulative effect and delayed reaction to the living dead following the group is very sinister, while the Gronk x-ray is great. Wulf's dialogue is at his most Scandinavian and Johnny is at his most heroic. All in all another great part.

Next Prog: Horsemen Of The Apocalypse!

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Strontium Dog: Journey Into Hell!, Part 7

NAME
Strontium Dog: Journey Into Hell!, Part 7

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD & Starlord Prog 110

DATELINE
28 Apr 79

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd Megazine 3.65 or 3.66, Strontium Dog: The Early Cases and Strontium Dog: Search/Destroy Agency Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Johnny and co cross the River Inferno.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearance of Don Dork.

INFORMATION
(This strip is set in 2181)

The sores inflicted by the rain in the City of Lost Souls disappear as soon as you leave it.


JOHNNY ALPHA
Burnt and charred, he climbs out of the River Inferno and heals. He pulls Wulf, Wagner, the Gronk, the Preacher and Don Dork out of the river of flames.

WULF STERNHAMMER
Johnny pulls his burnt body out of the River Inferno and it heals.

THE GRONK
Johnny pulls its burnt body out of the River Inferno and it heals.

OTHER CHARACTERS
FLY's-EYES WAGNER
Johnny pulls his burnt body out of the River Inferno and it heals.

THE PREACHER
Johnny pulls his burnt body out of the River Inferno and it heals. He decides to return to the City of Lost Souls to guide others out.

DON DORK
Space trucker. He was pulled into this dimension by a dimension warp in 2179 and spent two year in the River Inferno. Johnny pulls his burnt body out and it heals. He decides to remain with Johnny's group.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Don Dork: "Any man that can truck the big red and come out smilin' is wall-to-wall and treetop-tall with Don Dork! You got yourself a new diesel jockey, Good Buddy."

WORST LINES
Johnny: "The other person on the chain - who are you?"

CATCHPHRASES
The Gronk worries about his heartses twice, Wulf says der, Ja, vith, Vulf, vun, and he describes Don Dork's space trucker slang as "crazy as der cucumber!"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
The Candy Par Planet is presumably a reference to Mars.

MISTAKES
Not necessarily a mistake, but the First City of Hell is referred to here as the City of Lost Souls exclusively.

RETROSPECT
Presumably Don Dork's addition and dialogue were the inspiration for Ace Trucking Co, at least in part.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: T.B. Grover
Artist: Ezquerra
Letters: Aldrich

REVIEW
This is great. Johnny cheats death, but earns it because it is not with suffering and he saves the others. The preacher having served his expositionary purpose heads back and is replaced by a character from Johnny's world that is as stranger than his surroundings. Ezquerra's burnt offerings are excellent.

Next Prog: Desert Of The Living Dead!

Friday, 27 June 2014

Strontium Dog: Journey Into Hell!, Part 6

NAME
Strontium Dog: Journey Into Hell!, Part 6

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD & Starlord Prog 109

DATELINE
21 Apr 79

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd Megazine 3.65 or 3.66, Strontium Dog: The Early Cases and Strontium Dog: Search/Destroy Agency Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Fly's Eyes Wagner comes back to life and a preacher talks Johnny and co into crossing a river of fire.

FIRSTS & LASTS
None.

INFORMATION
There is no death in the First City of Hell. The River Inferno is a river of flame that runs passed the Black Citadel. Hell is said to be ruled over by Satan.

Gronks worship a creature they call the Great Gronk.

JOHNNY ALPHA
He takes Wagner back into custody. Johnny meets a preacher who escorts him to the River Inferno and convinces him to cross it. Their boat burns and their flesh melts into the river.

WULF STERNHAMMER
He is compelled to stay in the First City, but Johnny forces him to cross the River Inferno. Their boat burns and their flesh melts into the river.

THE GRONK
It crosses the River Inferno with Johnny, Wulf, Wagner and the preacher. Their boat burns and their flesh melts into the river.

OTHER CHARACTERS
FLY'S-EYES WAGNER
He comes back to life. His dimension warps have disappeared, trapping them in this dimension. Johnny takes him into custody and forces him to cross the River Inferno. Their boat burns and their flesh melts into the river.

THE PREACHER
He guides Johnny to the River Inferno and forces him to cross. Their boat burns and their flesh melts into the river.

DEATHS
There is no death in the First City of Hell, however the cliffhanger appears to show Johnny, Wulf, the Gronk, Wagner and the preacher meeting their maker in the fiery Inferno.


BEST LINES
Wulf: "Y-you go, Johnny. Vulf stay!"
Johnny: "Not a chance, Big Fella!"

WORST LINES
Johnny (upon seeing the Black Citadel for the first time): "Strange...I haven't seen that before. A sinister place..."

CATCHPHRASES
Gronk worries about his poor heartses twice, Wulf refers to himself as Vulf, and "You are tricky as der cucumber"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Satan is the antagonist in religions such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Yazidism and the Bahá'í Faith, while Satanism sees him take on more of a heroic role.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: T.B. Grover
Artist: Ezquerra
Letters: J. Aldrich

REVIEW
Another excellent instalment. More great visuals.

Next Prog: The End?

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Strontium Dog: Journey Into Hell!, Part 5

NAME
Strontium Dog: Journey Into Hell!, Part 5

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD & Starlord Prog 108

DATELINE
14 Apr 79

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd Megazine 3.65?, Strontium Dog The Early Cases and Strontium Dog Search/Destroy Agency Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Johnny Alpha saves the Gronk and kills Wagner, except the Gronk isn't safe and Wagner isn't dead.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First time that a Strontium Dog story has been explicitly part way through.

INFORMATION
The Black Citadel was built upon the Mount of Skulls.

A life-force meter can track an individual and shows red when they are near.


JOHNNY ALPHA
He carries a burning Gronk to shelter. His skin is burnt in the process and comes out in green festering sores. He

WULF STERNHAMMER
He finds shelter from the burning rain. His skin is burnt in the process and comes out in green festering sores. Wulf uses a life-force meter to track Wagner.

THE GRONK
It's fur catches fire and Johnny gets it to shelter. Its skin is burnt in the process and comes out in green festering sores.

OTHER CHARACTERS
FLY'S-EYES WAGNER
Johnny discovers him hiding in a large crowd and kills him. His body repairs and reanimates.

DEATHS
One. Johnny kills Wagner, but he comes back to life.

BEST LINES
Wulf: "Run! Run like der cucumbers!"

WORST LINES
Member of the Crowd: "Don't hurt us! We've suffered enough!"

CATCHPHRASES
The Gronk worries about his poor heartses twice. Wulf says der, gut, ja, und and, more importantly, see BEST LINES.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
"Give me liberty, or give me death!" is a quotation attributed to American attorney, Governor of Virginia and slave-owner Patrick Henry (1736-1799) from a speech he made in 1775.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: T.B. Grover
Artist: Ezquerra
Letters: J. Aldrich

REVIEW
Another great strip. These four page parts have a succinctness that really lends itself to Strontium Dog.

Next Prog:- Inferno!

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Strontium Dog: 'Journey Into Hell!', Part 4

NAME
Strontium Dog: 'Journey Into Hell!', Part 4

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD & Starlord Prog 107

DATELINE
7 Apr 79

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd Megazine 3.64, Strontium Dog The Early Cases and Strontium Dog Search/Destroy Agency Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Johnny, Wulf and the Gronk explore the hell dimension.

FIRSTS & LASTS
None.

INFORMATION
The City of Lost Souls is the First City of Hell. The rain on is burning liquid fire and reduces the skin of Human newcomers from other dimensions to green festering sores. One individual spent sixteen years being burned by the rain.


JOHNNY ALPHA
He, Wulf and the Gronk explore the new dimension they find themselves in and go in search of Fly's-Eyes Wagner. Johnny sees Wagner and shoots him. The rain burns his skin.

WULF STERNHAMMER
The rain burns his skin.

THE GRONK
The rain burns its fur.

OTHER CHARACTERS
FLY'S-EYES WAGNER
Johnny Alpha shoots and wounds him.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Wulf: "Listen! Veeping...and vailing - like many souls in torment!"

WORST LINES
Johnny: "Some kind of hideous creatures! Their skin is just a mass of festering green sores."

Remember when Johnny judged someone purely on their appearance? No, me either.

CATCHPHRASES
Wulf says der, haf, vailing, ve, veeping and voork, Johnny says "My Dok!" and the Gronk pluralises gateses, wailings and weepings

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
The reprise of last week's cliffhanger is once again somewhat different, Johnny now thinks rather than says his final line, unless he is repeating it only for his own benefit.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: T.B. Grover
Artist: Ezquerra
Letters: J. Aldrich

REVIEW
This is excellent and the cliffhanger resorts to extreme measures to shock: causing harm to the Gronk.

Next Prog: The Death Of A Strontium Dog!

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Strontium Dog: 'Journey Into Hell!', Part 3

NAME
Strontium Dog: 'Journey Into Hell!', Part 3

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD & Starlord Prog 106

DATELINE
31 Mar 79

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd Megazine 3.64, Strontium Dog The Early Cases and Strontium Dog Search/Destroy Agency Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Johnny, Wulf and the Grink follow Fly's Eyes Wagner to another dimension.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First depicted arrival in a different dimension.

INFORMATION
Sharpsville is on Earth.

An electro-flare is a bright pyrotechnic that can be fired from a blaster.

Dimension warp (or D-Warp) allows access to a crack in reality that leads to other realities, but it is not something that man has learned to control.


JOHNNY ALPHA
He follows Fly's Eyes Wagner into the dimension warp.

WULF STERNHAMMER
He follows Fly's Eyes Wagner and Johnny into the dimension warp.

THE GRONK
It follows Fly's Eyes Wagner, Johnny and Wulf into the dimension warp.

OTHER CHARACTERS
FLY'S EYES WAGNER
His father chose not to pay for an operation to replace his eyes. He kills his father and uses a dimension warp to transport himself away.

DEATHS
One. Fly's Eyes Wagner shoots his own father dead.

BEST LINES
Fly's Eyes Wagner's father: "Yes, I could have had those eyes removed. But it was pointless. The real mutation was in your brain - it was always twisted...Evil! You were born with the mark of hell on you!"

WORST LINES
Johnny: "Some kind of stairway leading down..."

Yes, yes it is.

CATCHPHRASES
Fly's Eyes Wagner screams an "Aieeee!" when blinded by an electro-flare. Wulf says "Quick as der cucumber, Johnny!" and "Now ve are being all together again, like der three happy cucumbers, ja?", while the Gronk worries about it's "poor heartses" twice more.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
The resolution to last week's cliffhanger reimagines and reorders the action adding a new line for Hickman: "My boys - what's happening to my boys". Later, Johnny's line "We're too late! He's turned the D-Warp on on himself!" is a bit odd.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: T.B. Grover
Artist: Ezquerra
Letters: J. Aldrich

REVIEW
And with one bound they were, well not so much free as...trapped, but still the dimension warp takes an excellent strip and expands its possibilities in almost limitless directions.

Next Prog: The City Of Lost Souls!