I am finally all caught up on the Progs and good-golly-goodness is this anthology excellent right now. We are starting a cycle of new titles and they are all off to great starts with almost no early jitters. As far as familiar titles go, Slaine is going on a bit of a longer run than the rest of the titles with which it began this round of serialization. It continues to be unflinchingly gorgeous and its plot and characters have taken shape even for a newer reader of the series like me. Below its carefully-crafted surface is a very old, very bloody, and very thoughtful adventure tale about war, humanity, and hacking at flesh with sharp objects.
The newest face in the current serialization is the series Helium, from the creators of Stickelback, Ian Edginton and D'Israeli. Edginton also penned one of my personal favorite stories from 2000 AD recently, Brass Sun. Additionally, there are very few artists doing sequential art who can make artistic flourishes across completely disparate styles, but D'Israeli is most certainly one of them. Edginton brings his very poorly hidden obsession with steampunk into a world of dirigibles ferrying around the members of a society above a layer of poisonous gas. It is very reminiscent of one of the latest (and most interesting) worlds in his Brass Sun series, and yet it benefits from its own characters, colors, and tensions.
As for Outlier, which is seeing a fresh serialization, I have not been previously exposed to the series but now have a desire to go back and catch up. The first chapter has me hooked in already, which puts the Progs on an unusual streak of fantastic first chapters. All-in-all I have the unexciting but very cool opportunity to continue insisting that this anthology is a must-buy for anybody who enjoys sci-fi comics.