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2000AD WALLPAPER PROJECT No. 1

This image is based on the Rogue Trooper - Hot Metal Part 1 from prog 983 with artwork done by the wonderfully talented Henry Flint. The panel is to be found on the third page of the story.

Rogue Trooper one of 2000AD's oldest characters, created by Gerry Finley-Day (writer) and Dave Gibbons (artist). A genetically engineered infantryman (G.I) called Rogue out for revenge against a traitor general. He is accompanied by three of his dead comrades, Helm, Bagman and Gunnar who have had their personalities downloaded to biochips which are attached to Rogue's Helmet, Backpack and Gun respectively.

The original run was from prog 228 in 1981 to the 2000AD winter special in 1989 (with the final story in 2000AD appearing in prog 603 in 1988). The character was brought back for the fabulous "Cinnabar" story in progs 624-630 and 633-635 in 1989 and a few appearances in annuals and specials after that.

Rogue Trooper returned again in 1989, in prog 650 but re-imagined with a new Rogue Trooper called Friday. Eventually he'd be accompanied by his own set of biochip buddies called Top, Lucky and Eightball (even though I loved the original run, reading my eldest brothers old copies of 2000AD he gave me, I always thought these names were better). This story had a very different tone to it than the original and with the colour artwork it set itself apart.

In 1995 there was an ill-advised attempt to try and join the two different Rogue Trooper stories together in a convoluted continuity. Although it saw the re-introduction of Venus Bluegenes, a female G.I, back into the story. After the debacle I felt that the story got back on firmer ground. It introduced a new enemy in the form of religious zealots, The Karvanu. Even though I enjoyed many of these stories, there was a general decline in popularity and the story tragically was allowed to fizzle out with Friday and Venus flying into a black-hole in prog 1022 in 1996.

It is from this period that the story Hot Metal appears, with an image that stayed with me from childhood. It was obvious to me that this would be the place I'd start my project. There was something about this run down refugee convoy that had been hiding from attack in the soaking rain that spoke to me as a child. It was probably the rain which always evokes emotions in me.

I gave myself 6 hours to complete this image but it ran to more like 12 in the end. There was a lot of stuff I had to figure out and a lot of lessons to be learnt, but I got there in the end.

Oh, and if you are curious, Rogue Tropper - the original - did return to the pages of 2000AD along with a couple of other G.Is in other strips. Friday, Top, Lucky and Eightball drawn by Henry Flint will always be my favourite though.

Rogue Trooper is copyright of Rebellion - I guess I should mention that.

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