Everything is coming to an end! Well, for this batch of thrills, at least. “Counterfeit Girl,” “Flesh” and Savage” all tear into their closing chapters, joined by a one-off Dredd strip. That’s a lot to cover, so let’s get right to it!
I. THIS WEEK IN 2000 AD
Judge Dredd: In Denial
Credits: Michael Carroll (script), Andrew Currie (art), Chris Blythe (color), Annie Parkhouse (letters)
You know, I’ve always wondered what it’s like to be cuffed to one of these posts and left behind by a Judge. We see it all the time right? It’s always the way writers get to have a Judge make a sort of throw-away arrest without slowing down the story. Whoop, a bigger problem just squaked through the com, so just hang out here and wait for pick up.
In this case, the wait’s a real doozy!
When this week’s strip opens with a perp being cuffed to a post while the Judge offers assistance on another incident, the natural thinking is that we’ll be following the Judge to this week’s real adventure. This is where writer Michael Carroll does something interesting: we stay with the perp. And stay and stay and stay. You see, the arresting Judge ran into a little bit of trouble when she stepped off of the page, which jed to her posted perp slipping through the cracks. Days pass without an iota of help for our incarcerated friend, until Judge Dredd himself happens along.
Not only is Carroll playing with an interesting Dreddworld story trop, he’s also exploring the citizenry of the city a bit. No one helps the perp in the slightest, leaving him to starve and dehydrate, all while shitting and pissing himself. Everyday countless people walked by, some he even knew, but not a single one wanted to assist him from fear of finding themselves in trouble, too. It’s an interesting comment on the way we are as people and our collective ability to turn away from someone in need. ‘The next guy will help,’ we think, ‘Not my problem.’
Andre Currie tackles the art for this one, and does a great job of it. He’s the type of artist who can handle all the technical drawing involved in Lawmasters and eagle-shaped shoulder pads while maintaining a cartoonist’s approach to the page. Nothing feels labored or over rendered, and his work feels like it lends itself to humor more than drama, which works really well for Carroll’s script. There’s a sort of dissonance between the gravely serious events of the comic and the bouncy artwork that plays nicely towards rounding out the morality play this could have easily become.
Listening to the latest Thrill-Cast I heard Carroll talking about his return to the magazine and plans for picking up threads from his “Every Empire Falls” event. Could there be hints in this strip of what we can expect? Is there some tie-in that will become clear a few weeks from now? Guess we’ll have to keep reading to find out!
Flesh: Gorehead, Part 10
Credits: Pat Mills (script), Clint Langley (art), Ellie De Ville (letters)
What a cliff hanger! It’s the end of the world and one man is rushing head-long into a fight with multiple Tyrannosaurus Rexes!
I know I’ve been a little dismissive of this strip, but this one week’s is the best of the run. It’s got the best of a Mills’ comic: nutty ideas, outrageous enemies, and some overly stoic protagonist in the center of it all, I love the idea of ‘terrors’ of rexes, packs of the beasts that travel around together. And then to have them all converge behind forehead? That’s the good stuff.
Langley’s art though, that gets me less lathered up. That is to say, his art on this series. I’ve seen him do amazing ink work, but for whatever reason he wants to do the whole photo manipulation thing here. Which I can’t blame him for, he’s good at it, it’s just not my cup of tea.
While it maybe felt a little like Mills was working to a final chapter of “Flesh,” he’s opted to have the series return at some point in the future. It’ll open, presumably, with a lot of dino action!Continued below
Savage: The Märze Murder, Part 10
Credits: Pat Mills (script), Patrick Goddard (art), Annie Parkhouse (letters)
Geez, these two bicker like an old married couple!
This week’s strip is not only the conclusion to this movement of the “Savage” tale, it’s also extra-length, about twelve pages in all. I can’t say that the added pages did much for me, other than make me feel as if I was slogging through the story. The car chase scene seemed to drag on and on, and once it ended with the sudden agreement to work together I didn’t understand why. I mean, the why is so that the strip could move along, narratively it all felt a bit cloudy.
As much as it pains me to have to say, I don’t think I much care for this series. It’s not necessarily that it’s bad, it’s just not for me. The whole English/German post war relationship does little for me as a backdrop, and I can’t honestly say if either of our protagonists are supposed to be likable. Maybe my tune will change by the next time this one comes around.
Counterfeit Girl, Part 10
Credits: Peter Milligan (script), Rufus Dayglo (art), Dominic Regan (color), Ellie De Ville (letters)
This was a nice little wrap up to the story, I think. Libra got to exact a bit of revenge, sort of as a prelude to her plans for Sir Albion. Plans which, I’m assuming, we’ll see begin to play out soon. Right? This one’s coming back?
I know I’ve spent a lot of time praising Dayglo and Regan’s art, but let’s take one last lap for these two. Week in and week out this team has continued to impress me with some of the most psyched out comic art this side of Brendan McCarthy. Individually, these two are phenomenal artists. Dayglo’s got a line style like no other and Regan’s palettes are eye-searingly delicious. But combined? That’s when the work becomes truly bombastic, as each seems to try and outdo the other with their psychedelia. Regan’s affinity for color holds makes it so that it’s hard to discern where one artist ends and the next begins, a blurring of the lines that really makes their collaboration sing.
So hear me Tharg: bring this one back around! Milligan and company have created a series that looks to be exactly what was proposed in Prog 2000: a new, modern tale with all of the classic 2000 AD sensibilities readers expect.
At Multiver-City One, we understand trying to figure out to start with a selection of almost 40 years worth of comics can be daunting. What do they publish? Where can I get it? What’s up with Judge Dredd? Can I still read “2000 AD” if I don’t like Judge Dredd?
To help all you new & potential readers, we’ve put together something we call An Earthlet’s Guide to 2000 AD. This FAQ collects everything you need to make your initial foray into the 2000 AD Thrill-verse as easy and simple as possible.
That’s gonna do it for us this week! “2000 AD” is sale today and available digitally worldwide via:
- The 2000AD app for Apple iOS,
- The 2000AD app for Android devices,
- The 2000AD app for Windows Mobile
- 2000ADonline.com in DRM-free PDF and CBZ formats.
They are available in print today from:
- 2000ADonline.com and
- Finer UK comic shops throughout the UK.
“2000AD” and “Judge Dredd Megazine” are available in print in North America one month after UK release from your local comic shop.
So as Tharg the Mighty himself would say, “Splundig vur thrigg!”