Saving The Planet With Violence Previewing The Arcane Eco-Terrorism Of ‘Finn: Origins’

by Richard Bruton

2000 AD‘s pagan warlock eco-terrorist strip finally gets collected – join Finn for the battle against the secret alien leaders of the world!

Finn’s a cabbie by day and a witch at night, part of the coven dedicated to destroying the agents of the old ‘Great Ones’, the ancient intergalactic beings who once seperated humanity from their beastly natures and who have maintained control ever since.

It’s been a long time in coming, but the first half of Finn’s adventures come out in collected edition on Wednesday 7th December 2022, bringing us Pat Mills and Tony Skinner’s vision of a near-future Britain where their eco-terrorist hero battles to save humanity from a secret society of powerful aliens called Newts.

Across the three books, Book 1, Book 2, and Origins of Finn contained in this first collection – Mills, Skinner, plus artists Jim Elston, Kevin Wicks, and Liam Sharp spin a far-fetched tale of a world taken over by aliens who rule the corporations and the resistance against them. It’s all chaos magicks, covens of buxom witches, a list of people Finn needs to kill, lots of violence, a little bit of politics, the plight of the working man against the evil overlords, eco-awareness… the sort of thing that Mills had been going deep on in the ’80s and ’90s.

 

In fact, Finn’s story didn’t begin with these tales from 2000 AD, he was actually introduced as one of the supporting cast in the pages of the Mills and Carlos Ezquerra created Third World War in the pages of Crisis, the more adult-orientated, more grown-up version of 2000 AD that ran from 1989-1991. Crisis was overtly political and never more so than Mills and Ezquerra’s Third World War, where young people are conscripted into corporate peacekeeping missions abroad.

The realism, or semi-realism of Third World War included the story of Paul Phillips, once a British soldier in Northern Ireland who deserted to become Finn, an eco-terrorist fighting to save the planet from multi-national corporations. As the series went on Finn featured more and more until Crisis ended prematurely in 1991.

 

All of which brings us to Finn the series, where Mills and Skinner repurposed things to bring us something faster, more violent, less political, and suddenly it transpires that all of those evil corporate bosses and minions were actually part of a powerful secret society controlled by the Newts, a race of powerful aliens. And against them, the forces of good in this rather more black and white world than had been portrayed in Third World War, we had Finn, anarchist eco-terrorist and white witch by night, simple cabbie by day.

It’s fast, violent, hyper stuff, and one that fans of Mills’ earlier writing have long been wishing would come out in collected form. Trouble is, with the benefit of the years, it’s one of those that hasn’t altogether aged too well, the over the top anarchy and eco-terrorism of it all comes off as forced at times and yes, it’s very much a modern-day Sláine, Mills repurposing ideas and story themes from here and there to put together a strip that really is of its time.

 

 

Finn: Origins – written by Pat Mills and Tony Skinner, art by Jim Elston, Kevin Wicks, and Liam Sharp. Letters by Steve Potter and Annie Parkhouse.

Contains the storylines Finn Book 1, Finn Book 2, and Origins of Finn. Originally serialised in 2000 AD Progs #770-779 (1992), #807-816 (1992-1993), and #924-927 (1995).

 

Now, preview time…

FINN Book 1 – art by Jim Elston…

 

FINN Book 2 – art by Jim Elston and Kevin Wicks…

 

ORIGINS of FINN – art by Liam Sharp…

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