Flesh (comics)

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Flesh
Created by Pat Mills
Publication information
Publisher Fleetway
Rebellion
Schedule Weekly
Formats Original material for the series has been published as a strip in the comics anthology(s) 2000 AD.
Genre
Publication date February 1977 – present
Creative team
Writer(s) Pat Mills
Steve White/Dan Abnett
David Bishop/Steve MacManus
Creator(s) Pat Mills
Reprints
Collected editions
Flesh: The Dino Files ISBN 1-907992-26-X

Flesh is a recurring story in the weekly anthology comic 2000AD created by writer Pat Mills.

Publishing history[edit]

Flesh first appeared as part of 2000AD's opening line up in its first issue in 1977. The series was set in the age of dinosaurs who were farmed for their meat by cowboys from the future. The series was initially planned by Mills to be in Action, but after that title suffered censorship, Mills held the story back for his next project which eventually became 2000AD.

The strip followed a similar path to Hook Jaw, one of the strips Mills had written in Action, in that it featured humans trying to dominate nature for their own purposes before being eaten by sharks in Hook Jaw and dinosaurs in Flesh. Mills' original story also shows some influence from Westworld as the frontier town on which the plot focuses is policed by an android and tourists treat the Dinosaurs as a theme park attraction. The first book ran for the first 19 issues of 2000AD as well as the 1977 annual.

Flesh Book One proved popular but the series was not mentioned again until during the Judge Dredd story The Cursed Earth when Satanus (a Tyrannosaurus cloned from the son of Old One Eye, the main dinosaur from the first Flesh story) appeared in the course of that story. Following this appearance the series returned with Flesh Book Two in issue 86, which was written by Kelvin Gosnell and drawn (with the exception of the last two episodes) by Massimo Belardinelli. The series again proved popular and ran until issue 99.

Further books followed in issues 800–808 and 817–825, written by Mills and Tony Skinner with art by Carl Critchlow, and issues 973–979 written by Dan Abnett and Steve White with art by Gary Erskine and Simon Jacob.

After a 10 year absence from 2000AD, flesh returned in 2007 30th year anniversary Prog #1526 with "Hand of Glory". This was a prequel to the events of "Book 1" showing how Claw Carver won the claw he wears on his hand, by cutting it from a dinosaur that had just eaten Claw Carver's hand. 4 years later, the direct sequel to "Book 1" appeared in 2000AD, called "Texas". This described the aftermath of the disaster at the Trans Time base. Following this came "Midnight Cowboys" in 2012, the equal to "Texas", which had never reached a conclusion. Flesh again returned in 2013 with "Badlanders" which featured the return of "Book 1" characters Earl Reagan, who had been imprisoned for his role in the destruction of the Trans Time base, and Claw Carver, who had been rescued before he arrived at Atlantis, where he met his death in "Book 2".

Bibliography[edit]

The dinosaurs have made a number of appearances over the years:

  • Flesh:
    • "Flesh, Book 1" (by Pat Mills (1, 18–19), Ken Armstrong (2–4, 8), Studio Giolitti (5, 9, 10, 13) and Kelvin Gosnell (6–7, 11–12, 14–17); Boix (1–2, 8–10, 14), Ramon Sola (3–7, 10–12, 15–16, 19) and Felix Carrion (13, 17–18), in 2000 AD #1–19, 1977)
    • "Carrion" (2000AD Summer Special 1977)
    • "The Buffalo Hunt" (2000AD Annual 1978, 1977)
    • "Flesh, Book 2" (by Geoffrey Miller, Massimo Belardinelli (1–12) and Carlos Pino (13–14), in 2000 AD #86–99, 1978–1979)
    • "Legend of Shamana, Book 1" (by Pat Mills/Tony Skinner and Carl Critchlow, in 2000 AD #800–808, 1992)
    • "Legend of Shamana, Book 2" (by Pat Mills/Tony Skinner and Carl Critchlow, in 2000 AD #817–825, 1993)
    • "Chronocide" (by Steve White/Dan Abnett and Gary Erskine, in 2000 AD #973–979, 1996)
    • "Flesh 3000AD" (by David Bishop/Steve MacManus and Carl Critchlow, in 2000 AD #1034, 1997)
    • "Hand of Glory" (by Pat Mills and Ramon Sola, in 2000 AD #1526, February 2007)
    • "Texas" (by Pat Mills and James Mckay, in 2000 AD #1724–1733, March–May 2011)
    • "Midnight Cowboys" (by Pat Mills and James Mckay, in 2000 AD #1774–1785, 2012)
    • "Badlanders" (by Pat Mills and James Mckay, in 2000 AD #1850–1861, 2013)

Collected editions[edit]

  • Flesh: The Dino Files (collects "Book 1," "Book 2," "Hand of Glory," and "Texas", plus Bonus Thrills: "Carrion" and "The Buffalo Hunt", 272 pages, September 2011, Rebellion, ISBN 1-907992-26-X)

Cast[edit]

Main characters[edit]

  • Earl Reagan – Veteran dinosaur hunter and the anti-hero of the series.[1]
  • "Claw" Carver – Reagan's greedy rival. His weapon is a dinosaur claw, taken from the Deinonychus that bit off his hand.[2] He is last seen being attacked (and presumably killed) by Big Hungry.[3]
  • Vegas Carter – Daughter of Claw Carver and a prostitute. As an adult, she works as an executive for the corporation.

Allies[edit]

  • Joe Brontowski – Cowboy from Reagan's team and the only one to survive Old One Eye's attack. Is killed by spiders in the meat processing plant.[4]
  • Doctor – A drunkard and gambler who is the only physician in Carver's town. Most of his patients die on the operating table.[5]
  • Jane B Goode – Ex prostitute who is Claw Carver's girlfriend and Vegas' mother.
  • Boots McGurk – Vegas Carter's trail boss and an old friend of Reagan. Branded the Tyrannosaurus Gorehead with the number of the beast 666.
  • Notch – A fat, bald dinosaur hunter with large muttonchop sideburns and a love of cigars. He cuts a notch into his body whenever he kills a dinosaur.
  • Remuda – A Mexican with a wide-brimmed sombrero hat. He is the first of McGurk's group to be killed.
  • Stand Alone Shareen – Cowgirl from McGurk's team with a reputation for being a man hater.
  • Nailbomb – Shareen's boyfriend, a punk covered in tattoos and extreme body piercings. Is eaten by a Quetzalcoatlus pterosaur.

Enemies[edit]

Dinosaurs[edit]

  • Old One Eye – 120-year old matriarch of a pack of Tyrannosaurs. Her eye was gouged out by Reagan.
  • Big Hungry – Giant plesiosaur seeking revenge on Carver for killing his babies. A malfunctioning time portal sends him into modern times where he becomes the Loch Ness Monster.
  • Gorehead – Tyrannosaur from Old One Eye's pack mutated by atom bomb.
  • Satanus – Cloned son of Old One Eye, appears in Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth.
  • Golgotha – Son of Satanus and grandson of Old One Eye, appears in ABC Warriors: The Mek-nificent Seven.

Humans[edit]

  • McZ – Detective and gunslinger resembling Buffalo Bill Cody who relentlessly pursues Carver for murdering a time controller.
  • Flesh Controller – Corrupt corporate boss in charge of Base Nine, a meat packing plant that sends dinosaur flesh from the Cretaceous to the 23rd century.
  • J.M Grose – Greedy executive in charge of fishing rig Atlantis. He has a parrot that repeats his orders like Long John Silver's bird, Captain Flint.
  • "Bull" Svensson – Captain of a fishing submarine. Is betrayed and drowned by Carver who hijacks the sub to reclaim his lost gold. His crew are named after characters from classic novels like Moby Dick, Treasure Island, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.[6]
  • Peters – The only sailor to remain loyal to Svensson. Is determined to bring Carver down.
  • Gunner Ben – Old deckhand and friend of Peters. He is very superstitious and half insane.
  • Preacher Sunday – Evil priest who believes the Cretaceous is Hell. He is actually a serial killer who strangles women, including Carver's girlfriend.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Flesh: Book 1
  2. ^ Pat Mills interview
  3. ^ Flesh: Book 2
  4. ^ Flesh: Book 1
  5. ^ Flesh: Book 1
  6. ^ [Flesh: Book 2]