The art is as good as ever, but Prog 1952 was a bit of a slow entry. It's not as it the collection of stories isn't exciting: Dredd, Defoe, Brass Sun, Sinister Dexter, and Bad Company are all inherently exciting titles. But sometimes, a lot of them are in-between the action. I'm enjoying the hell out of Bad Company, but this chapter carried a lot more narrative than previous chapters so it felt a little slow to me, especially since it comes last in the anthology.
The current "Serial, Serial" run on Dredd is a massive shift towards straight-detective-story from the previous two iterations of insanity. That's not to say I'm not liking it, but again, even when you've got an interesting detective story going with visuals that keep things interesting, there will be cross-sections of that story that don't really stand on their own in terms of being very exciting. This week felt like that to me.
We're in the middle of a bunch of new titles, but we're in the early middle, and I always think that's where newer serials suffer the most, as they stretch to fill in the boots of the stories they just replaced. It's really very interesting watching this phenomenon happen because I think it's particularly dynamic in anthologies. If you read a particular set of stories every week for months, and then they slowly change over, the person who tunes in every week is having a very particular experience of these stories as it relates to how many entries they've had, how familiar they are, how well they're filling the spot the previous story filled, etc.
Sorry, this got kind of meta on you, but it's something I think about a lot the more I read the Progs. This episode of Sinister Dexter, for instance, was really exciting, and gave me a great sense of what these characters can do. I really enjoyed it, and it made me want more of a series with which I'm not familiar, in the same way that the art on Bad Company stands out to me and makes me look forward to it every week. But more familiar titles like Dredd and Brass Sun get held to a different relative standard of action in my mind, and that makes reviewing the anthology a very interesting and, sometimes, infuriatingly ineffable mix of thoughts and feelings.
I guess despite Bad Company and Sinister Dexter's strong showings; I was a little shoulder-shruggy about this issue. The fact that Defoe just doesn't do it for me probably isn't helping things. But with the Progs, there's always next week, and usually a *meh* week is followed by a week that builds on things in a satisfying way.