Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Blogathon 45: I'm Coming Down Fast but Don't Let Me Break You Part Four

[Concluding my discussion of The Programme.]

A lot of The Programme is spent shifting characters around and building to something without getting anywhere. It does eventually, but so much time is taken up with Max struggling against what's required -- so much time is eaten up. I was surprised at how long it took for the Dolls to rescue their creator from the Gulag. I remembered it as happening in, like, issue three when it's much later. They don't hit America until issue seven. The drawn out nature of the pacing isn't as problematic when reading the series as a whole, but when it was first coming out sticking with this series was an act of faith, of trusting Milligan to stick the landing.

Except he doesn't.

The ending isn't a clean one, but it's not dirty enough to really provoke thought. It falls somewhere between the two. Some of the Russians get away and the US is under martial law (which I mentioned previously). What's lacking in the conclusion is an idea of what the larger point of the series was. What was it really about with an ending like that? Max's journey is complete to a degree with him becoming the pawn of the government he was meant to be -- or was going to be before Hinks altered his programming. But, what does this say about America? Or even superhumans? While The Programme reminds me stylistically of Pynchon's writing, that the series never adds up to anything holds it back from that comparison completely.

I've long wanted to discuss The Programme and, getting that chance, I realised I didn't have much to say. I thought when I started to dig in, there would be a lot there. There isn't.

In 30 minutes, I'll begin my last topic: the Mark Waid/Howard Porter/Mike Wieringo Fantastic Four stories "Authoritative Action" and "Hereafter."

[Don't forget to donate what you can to the Hero Initiative! (Details in this post.) After you do, let me know via comment or e-mail (found at the righthand side) so I can keep track of donations -- and who to thank.]