Thursday, 11 December 2014

Comic Review - Mean Team

Quite what made Rebellion put this thing out in TPB form I don't know, as Mean Team has long been something of a joke among British comic fans in general and older 2000AD readers in particular. Initially it's about a team of hardcase future gladiators in one of those super-violent extreme sport things that infected the industry after Rollerball came out. The 'characters' are straight off the shelf, typified by no-nonsense bastard 'Bad' Jack Keller, whose name really is 'Bad' Jack Keller so we know what a bloody nutter he is. 'Bad' Jack looks like every 2000AD anti-hero ever - bald, scars, perma-snarl. 

Midway through the first arc one of the team - psychic Henry Moon - gets blown up and his brain gets put in a panther. Then it gets really silly. The writers realise no-one wants another retread of Death Game 1999 and promptly reset the series by exiling the titular Team to a post-apocalyptic fantasy Earth where they fight all kinds of crap monsters on a half-arsed quest. Then when that collapses in on itself a bunch of spaceships turn up and just execute the main cast in a moment that's so clearly a self-loathing attempt to stop the strip in the most brutal, callous and careless way ever it's actually kind-of audacious.

Sadly there's still a chunk of the undeservedly thick book to go, which is filled by a solo story for Henry Moon, who apparently escaped destruction and heads back to the colonies, so it's basically about a panther sneaking around a space station. Exciting. 

So this is an outright bad series; it's largely too long-winded and repetitive to be the hilarious kind of bad (though if you spot this in a store leaf through to the three-quarter mark to see the team getting killed; you will never, ever see a comic's lead characters genuinely killed off in such an offhand manner). It's a mystery as to why Rebellion have released Mean Team but then it's equally mysterious as to why 2000AD ran it for so long in the first place considering they seem to have no idea what the strip's about.
■□

No comments:

Post a Comment