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3.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing concept, doesn't go far enough, 11 Dec 2012
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J. Stafford - See all my reviews
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The concept of the Indigo Prime agency as protectors of reality itself is a fantastic one. The basic trappings may be the standard 2000ad sci-fi cliches, but it reminds this reader of some of Michael Moorcocks more fanciful multiverse works, Dancers at the end of time, with a strong nod to Jerry Cornelius.

Many characters are hinted at, teams of seamsters, sceneshifters, imagineers, all with fantastical skills and roles in the protection of the fabric of space and time. Unfortunately, despite this being the 'complete' collection (which it's not, as noted by a previous reviewer, it's missing all of the prose pieces for starters, which are some of the best tales in my eyes) we actually meet very few of them.

'Killing Time' (the main work in this volume) is intriguing, the main characters well defined, but the story tails off badly towards the end, leaving the entire volume to finish on a sour, inconclusive note.

Perhaps the most exciting thing about Indigo Prime as a complete collection is what it offers the imagination as a 'might have been'. If I was inclined towards fan-fiction as a medium, this would be my first port of call as a setting. What the book itself actually contains is far less entertaining.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Finickity and over worked, 19 Feb 2006
This review is from: The Complete Indigo Prime (Paperback)
John Smith's particular brand of hermetic, often perverse sci-fi/body-horror is certainly not to everyone's taste. The existence of this collection is probably down to inclusion of the final story "Killing Time", one of Smith's more highly regarded stories from the pages of 2000AD. Indigo Prime itself is a trans-dimensional organisation at the heart of 53 parallel realities with the job of keeping everything running smoothly, cleaning up the mess left by time travellers, and dealing with accidents or supernatural monsters that somehow always seem to threaten the end of the world (or at least one version of it). Oh, and Jack the Ripper too.
The concept first reared its head in another of Smith's creations, Tyranny Rex (not collected here), with the appearance of two former operatives, Fegredo and Lobe. Their own adventure, 'The Issigri Variations', is the first story in this volume. It's an ok tale, enlivened by the framing device that has the story being presented as a stage play sometime after the action it's describing. It's hampered by Mike Hadley's rather cramped and overcrowded black and white art which can't have been improved by being shrunk from the size in which it was originally presented.
Following that we get the start of the series proper, with a brief description of the organisation itself, and then a series of slight, tongue in cheek shorts, all with an intended sting in the tale. The best of these is probably 'How the Land Lied' which also adds neo-colonialism into the mix. Chis Weston's early black and white art is again crowded with detail and also rather stiff.
None of these stories is entirely without merit, but neither are they wholly successfull in their attempts to combine off-kilter absurdist humour with supernatural horror. 'Killing Time' is by far the best thing in the book, and looks the best too with Chris Weston's now fully painted art a vast improvement on his previous work on the series. The fussy dialogue, focussing on trivialities, works well in fleshing out the charicatured Victorian characters who travel back in time, unbeknownst to them accompanied by Jack the Ripper. Also on board are Winwood and Cord, two Indigo Prime operatives with their own agenda. The problem though, is that the story doesn't really go anywhere. The ending contains some admitedly very inventive nastiness and an apocalypse which seems to be straining for significance.
Fun as all this is, Indigo Prime nevertheless has the feel of pack of cards which the write has just collapsed after placing that final card. When your fictional environment contains all reality (and then some), and can simply be restarted once the game is over, going through the motions of telling the story starts to seem rather irrelevent.
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The Complete Indigo Prime
The Complete Indigo Prime by John Smith (Paperback - 1 Jun 2005)
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