Indigo Prime: Anthropocalypse by John Smith, Lee Carter and Edmund Bagwell (comic-book review).

March 19, 2013 | By | 3 Replies More

‘Indigo Prime’ is essentially a collection of three stories from ‘2000AD’, built up from work writer John Smith did back in 1991 and returned to here in 2008, so I’m running kind of blind to what happened then as I missed those stories. Can I work it out solely from this graphic novel? In the introduction, Smith explains that he uses the opening story, ‘Dead Eyes’, as an explanation as to how it all began, so that might be a maybe if you’re seeking an origin story.


There is a lot going on when people are selected for an experiment to give psionic abilities and then literally put on ice until they are needed. Must have saved paying them I suppose. Somewhere into this mix, they are primed to enter a city of Neanderthals under Stonehenge and that UFO lights are not really that but the means of travelling between dimensions. It’s hinted far more on the back cover that this is more to do with inter-dimensional pathways but this is the origin and the layers of plot are still being unravelled.

Artist Lee Carter relies on earth colours for his illustrations and although the work is fine as far as it goes, nearly all of the time, his characters are shown close-mouthed and so lack any emotional content that could helped the dialogue which, to my mind, is extremely wasted opportunity to have further layered to the story.

Just in case writer John Smith thinks I’m not going to pick fault. Assuming his Stonehenge is actually in Wiltshire, there are other UK military airfields a lot closer than Lossiemouth, which is in Scotland, to launch an aircraft attack from.

The second story, ‘Everything And More’, digs deeper into the inter-dimensional activities, chucking in literally the title as the CERN discovery of the Higgs’ Particle goes kinda wild and the team is being introduced and being introduced. I’m still not much wiser but getting to know the characters.

In contrast to the first story, Edmund Bagwell’s art is a lot lighter, blending yellow and green into the earth colours and making for a less darker look.

The third and final story, ‘Anthropocalypse’, is supposed to be getting back into the swing of things and sorting out a discrepancy in the multiverse, I think. It’s a bit convoluted and I think you really do need to know a bit more about what is going on. If anything, the under-currents would make more sense if it was seen that they were all heading towards the same goal. None of this is helped by the ending which suggests that there is more to come and the break is in mid-story.

Unlike other 2000AD volumes I’ve read, there’s no noticeable indication of where the breaks are in the original comicbook. In other circumstances, this might make for a cohesive whole. With ‘Indigo Prime’, even with the everyman character, Danny Redman, as a way into understanding the group, he’s not always there and you’re really left to wonder over the significance of Miriah who can telepathically link realities. Spacesick Steve and rebel Doctor Raymond March coming back to the fold. I suspect a lot more was given back in the 1991 tales.

Read with caution and be grateful you live in a relatively stable reality.

GF Willmetts

March 2013

(pub: 2000AD. 160 page graphic novel. Price: £14.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-78108-111-2)

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Category: Comics, Scifi

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About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

Comments (3)

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  1. John Smith says:

    Just in case writer John Smith thinks I’m not going to pick fault. Assuming his Stonehenge is actually in Wiltshire, there are other UK military airfields a lot closer than Lossiemouth, which is in Scotland, to launch an aircraft attack from.

    If you’re gonna complain, at least get it right! The stone circle is Castlerigg (in Keswick, Cumbria), not Stonehenge. It’s totally obvious in the script, the town and stone circle are directly referenced, and I even give the longitude and latitude of it. I also sought the advise of the RAF, who specified Keswick as being a fly-over area from Lossiemouth… If you ever camp out at Castlerigg, jets fly over there every day…

    But thanks for the review anyway, mate!

  2. UncleGeoff says:

    You didn’t read my words neither come to that. I did write ‘ASSUMING his Stonehenge is ACTUALLY in Wilshire’. Regardless of words, if somewhere looks like Stonehenge then it tends to be Stonehenge. Do you think I’m or anyone else is going to look up map co-ordinates?? Even Spielberg gets them wrong.
    So what’s wrong wih Stonehenge??


  3. UncleGeoff says:

    I did go and have a second look at this book after my reply last night. I think I’ve read about 60 plus more books since I read this GN. Not Stongehenge but it did remind me of another Wiltshire site at Avebury and hence the original confusion. Granted there are more of these stone circles littering the UK but very few are famous.


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