Give ‘Em The (Re)Boot

Whilst the occurrence of the movie reboot isn’t anything close to new, I feel that just lately, it’s everywhere I look.

Heathers is on telly (don’t watch it), Tomb Raider at the flicks (probably won’t watch it), Death Wish (sorry but I will watch it), Flatliners, Lethal Weapon, IT, Robocop, Judge Dredd, Overboard, Total Recall, the 30 different Spider Man films no one asked for, DYNASTY for fucks sake. Training Day is a TV series (I’m sorry, Bill Paxton), MacGuyver, Lost In Space (maybe I’ll try), From Dusk Til Dawn (I watched it all, don’t be stupid like me). Mates, they are bringing back THE FUCKING MUPPET BABIES. The Grudge. Again. Masters of the Universe. Sister Act. These are all real by the way, it’s not just me listing literally any old film.

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2000AD

A question I get asked a lot is ‘Nate, you handsome yet knowledgable swine, where do I start with 2000AD?’. My honest answer would be ‘Invent a time machine, travel back to whenever it was you were nine years old, take your pocket money and buy whichever issue happens to be on the shelf in the newsagent’.

I don’t say this to be a snobby elitist, rather that I am convinced that the potent alchemy concealed within the pages of 2000AD is a tab of acid that works best on the malable tissue a developing mind.

Almost everyone (aside from sisters husband) has heard of Judge Dredd these days. Without a doubt 2000AD’s most recognizable character and their industry heavy hitter. He’s had a couple of  Hollywood films, a syndicated strip in the Star. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I’ve enthused about 2000AD on here to the point that I am sure it’s boring to regular readers by now, but until you pick up what I’m laying down I’ll keep preaching the gospel. See it’s becoming apparent that many of my peers were simply not as fortunate as I was to get their mind blown at a tender age and missed the boat. Maybe you were into Roy Of The Rovers or  Panini Sticker Albums…all well and good, but did those things fundamentally change you? Dide they leave a lasting impression upon your imagination? Inform your politics? Did they mutate your mind? No…..then read on.

Rebellion have done a great job of ensuring the classic strips of the 70’s and 80’s are still available for eager new readers to get their teeth into and at the request of a few of the other members of the CH crew I’ve put together this fools guide to the nuts and bolts of 2000AD to get them started. Bare in mind these brief suggestions are based off my own preferences and  experience.I am bound to have missed out something you feel strongly about. Feel free to offer up some suggestions of your own down in the comments section or… write your own pissing article?

Dredd

Necropolis

Slaine – The Horned God

Great artists, comedy duo, love of Celtic mythology, a hero we can all identify, punk elements, a bad guy trying to be a good guy, a hero in search of himself.

To which I would add of equal importance — a handsome human hero, which was often missing in “2000 AD” when heroes were masked, robots or aliens — and which dates back to “Episode One.” It’s easy to take that for granted, but you wouldn’t believe the grief I put Angela and all the other artists through getting him right. Yes, you probably would!

After a brief lull, the character experienced renewed interest when Mills teamed with artist Clint Langley
Those would be the obvious elements, but I think there’s something else, too. It’s a sense that this is how we want our Irish and British legendary heroes to be and we want to dramatize their lives in our own cold, rainy, windswept islands — not Greek (Hercules), not American (Conan), and not Roman (Spartacus). And not in a fantasy land somewhere else (any number of fantasy novels). Or literary (e.g. a direct and sometimes boring retelling of Celtic myth).

The reason we love Robin Hood and King Arthur is the reason I think readers love Slaine. And he was — genuinely — the first High King of Ireland, so there’s as much — or as little — historical basis for him as the others.

Rogue Trooper

Strontium Dog –

2000AD’s nod to the western set in and around such fantastical locations as outer space and the mutant ghetto of  Milton Keynes. Written by John Wagner with art from the might Carlos Ezquerra Strontium Dog focused on the adventures of mutant Search/ Destroy agent Johnny Alpha and his partner, time displaced  Norseman  Wulf Sternhammer. Honestly

ABC Warriors.

Seven robot outcasts wandering through black holes, palling around with satanic dinosaurs and slaughtering humans… . what’s not to like here? Once again Pat Mills was the man behind the wheel and I blame him for everything. It didn’t take long for me to realise these robots were considerably harder than the Transformers and I quickly redubbed my transformers toys with the names of the Meknificent 7. ABC Warriors were just effortlessly cool. There’s no two ways about. Mills wove themes of occultism, environmental conciousness

Nemesis The Warlock

 

“Wrote for Luck” Connor on creating Damus Nostre

I had a chat with my lad Connor about his BPRD pointman character “Damus Nostre” and taking him from a loose concept to a fully formed RPG character….

One of the things I enjoy most about roleplaying games is converting my ideas for a character onto my uncontaminated sheet of A4 paper and, with this being a BRPD game, the only limits the player has when creating their character is their imagination….although this is apparently somewhat limited in my case!

In my mind one of the things that makes the Hellboy universe fun is the concoction of the occult and the links to the real world, and I really wanted my character to embody that heady mix of influences. Like The Happy Mondays I wanted to blend lad rock (the investigation aspect of BPRD) with house music (those esoteric tendril MM has running through his world). As the rest of the party had somewhat normal human looking characters I took the opportunity to be the dick head of the group by combining influences from 16th century Europe and modern day doomsday cults and conspiracy theories. Continue reading

Ultimate Cyberpunk Soundtrack -Fat of the Jilted Generation 

Mess with the best, die like the rest

Author: Stephen Hupfer
This was originally going to be an article dedicated specifically to The Prodigy’s – The Fat of the Land, but after having a chat with Sophie about how good Music for the Jilted Generation is as well, I thought I’d encompass both albums. Seeing as it’s Cyberpunk Week at Corehammer, we will tilt our hats to the ultimate Cyberpunk soundscape artist and take a trip down memory lane.

The year is 1995. Johnny Mnemonic, Waterworld, Tank Girl, and Judge Dredd have all hit the theatres. On top of these high-tier films sits the ultimate film of all time, Hackers. Now, I know this is not a Hackers spotlight, but it is my favourite film and it happens to include the tracks “One Love” and “Voodoo People” from the album Jilted Generation, which was released a year prior, so I had to give it a spot. Whenever “Voodoo People” comes on when I’m not watching the film, all I can picture is rollerblading on the run from cops in New York City. This album doesn’t sit as high for me as Fat Of The Land, but it definitely still has some major hits.

Note: that heavy-ass riff in “Their Law” makes you want to crack someone’s head with a beer bottle and get involved in a 200 mph car chase. Continue reading

You Can’t Stop Progress – Hardware

 

Author: Andrew Carr

When Corehammer sounded the horn for people to write about cyberpunk, I knew I had to answer the call. Now, there is a wealth of amazing cyberpunk flicks out there and I was pretty spoiled for choice, so I decided to avoid the obvious classics and look at some of the more niche flicks out there. I considered the artier stuff (Burst City/Tetsuo: The Iron Man) and also the trash (Hands of Steel/Nemesis); however, I eventually decided on something that kind of sits in between and holds a special place in my miserable Lancastrian heart – Hardware.

I only found out about this film a few years back, as I was starting to discover all those movies whose VHS cover art I used to stare at longingly in the local Spar when I was about seven. Podcasts like The Gentlemen’s Guide To Midnite Cinema and The Cult Of Muscle reminded me of those glorious days, when Cliffhanger was next to Ninja III: The Domination and Coneheads was a couple of rows below. As a kid, I discovered cyberpunk through Judge Dredd, Rogue Trooper and the rest of 2000AD. This evolved in my teens into an interest in Cyberpunk 2020, sci-fi movies and an unhealthy obsession with Fear Factory. As an adult, this finally morphed into a love of genre cinema from the 80s and 90s which, strangely enough, brought me right back to those days spent staring up at copies of Nemesis that I could never reach….. Continue reading

The Slugbait Rumor Mill and Other Stories


Author Nick Baran:

The start of my true love affair with miniature wargaming started with this box.

In 1994 I was part owner of a gaming store with some older, more mature, gaming friends of mine. I was in my early 20’s and playing in a straight edge hardcore punk band called, Halfmast. We were an unlikely group of game store owners: a chemical engineer (our chief investor), a mid-sized retail chain store manager, one of his employees, and myself – an irresponsible punk rocker. We opened the store on the tails of the first big wave of Magic: The Gathering hype. With all of the money we made selling M:TG in our first 6 months we had paid off the chemical engineer’s investment and had a pile of cash `to be invested into another game line. The distributors were pushing a game called Warhammer really hard, and we threw our all of our nested profit into it. Then we did it again with 40K. I started an army for both systems but didn’t fully fall in love with either until a new game dropped called, Necromunda…. Continue reading

Hackers – This is the end, thank you for calling

The year is 1995. The only internet you have access to comes complete with screeching dial up tone, and pictures that load in 3 colours, one row of pixels at a time. The most technologically advanced thing in my house at the time that I was allowed to touch was probably our waffle maker. And then I put my chin directly on to the hot plate waiting for them to cook and it became the most hi-tech thing in our house that I was no longer allowed to touch.

When I finally was allowed access to our computer, it wasn’t anything like Hackers had promised me. MS-DOS was just green gibberish, no one tried to talk to me, much less start an argument with me, animated by HTML flames, and I didn’t descend into a pixelated cyberspace every time I turned it on. Also it took like 5 full minutes to warm up. The closest I got to an ambiguous and sinister online identity, was using a thunder and lightning emoticon in my MSN name. It was heartbreaking.

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World Of Ruin – 5 Classic Cyberpunk Video Games

Author Adam Dyeson
Filled with visions of a high-tech low-life future, the cybernetic neon soaked film noir futures envisioned in many Cyberpunk classics were practically destined to find a home on computers and video game consoles. Often reaching past the technologies of the present, but anchored with the all too real potential misery of a dystopian future, the settings often found in the genre have made for some great video games experiences. Here are 5 classic Cyberpunk video games…

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Neo Tokyo Drift – Akira turns 30

Author: David Ager

What’s that, mate? You love future bikes? I do too. And what was that? You like laser guns and people that swell to a thousand times their normal size like they’ve been filled with Sunny D? I like that too. It may have been that strange combination of interests that means I ended up loving Akira, or maybe it’s the fact that if you have even a passing interest in science fiction then it’s almost impossible not to like Akira (even if you don’t understand it.)

It’s Cyberpunk week on Corehammer and when Nate threw the question out to everyone to see if they’d like to talk about something Cyberpunk that was close to their hearts, I knew that top of that list for me was Akira. I first saw Akira at a friends house when I was about 13, at the time we were obsessed with Metal Gear Solid, his Desert Eagle BB gun & these large figurines you could buy of SWAT and SAS figurines from a weird shop in Hull. Looking back at it now we were probably going the direction that several school shooters took but luckily my friend showed me a frog he’d killed and we didn’t speak after that.

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Soul Of A New Machine – Cyberpunk World Building

Author: Henry Taylor

As a setting, cyberpunk is unequivocally a product of its time. Defined by its polarised classes and advanced technology, it could be considered as the rising sentiments of the 1980s taken to their extremes. While parallels and comments on society have to be purposefully added into other genres and other kinds of ‘higher’ science fiction (I’m thinking Iain M. Banks’ Culture novels, or Dune), cyberpunk’s social critiques define its very nature. Without that aspect of a yawning societal divide, it’s just science fiction. The word punk is there for a reason.

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