Welcome, citizens, to this week’s installment of Multiver-City One! Every Wednesday we examine the latest offerings from Tharg and the droids over at 2000 AD, the galaxy’s leading producers of Thrill-Power entertainment! Between the weekly “2000 AD” itself, the monthly “Judge Dredd Megazine”, an extensive library of graphic novel collections, and new US-format one-shots and mini-series, they have decades of zarjaz comics for you to enjoy.
I. THIS WEEK IN PROG 1965
Judge Dredd: Ghosts, Part 3
One of the things I enjoy most about Judge Dredd is the world building. Every few stories readers are given little glimpses into what it must be like to live in this world, often in very subtle ways. Take this week for example, as artist Mark Sexton got to draw all sorts of nifty things, such as the helpful, smiling med-bot that performed surgery on Dredd’s wounded arm, or the futuristic cast he had to wear afterwards. I love these little visual treats; they can add just as much to my understanding of Mega-City One as any wordy exposition on Judicial procedure or inter-city relations.
This week I continue to be impressed with Sexton’s work. He seems to be pouring as much energy as possible into each and every one of these pages. From his rendering of a Mega-City skyline to the local Sector House sickbay, all elements of these scenes are considered. His art has the feel of a classic Dredd strip, but with something all his own. Like Jake Lynch, another relatively new art droid, Sexton uses his influences as a springboard instead of a style guide.
In terms of narrative, things get a little dark this week. Dredd saw his fellow Judges fall to Grayden, and is now after his pound of flesh. As we often do, we get to see the old lawman go to any lengths necessary in his pursuit of justice, even if it is at the expense of ordinary citizens. I know it’s said a lot, but it’s worth always remembering that, even though the strip is named for him, Judge Dredd is not a hero. He’s not even a good guy. He’s just righteousness and moral indignation cloaking itself in the rule of law.
Credits: Michael Carroll (script), Mark Sexton (art), Len O’Grady (colors), Annie Parkhouse (letters)
Kingdom: Beast of Eden, Part 5
As the super-swarm heads towards the Kingdom, it’s up to Gene and company to to stop them! Armed with nothing but their wits, snappy banter, and a massive vehicle that only Gene seems to be able to operate, the race is on!
This week’s strip continues to hint at who and what Gene the Hackman is, but in a way that only seems to beg more questions! Abnett is guiding this barbarian slug-fest of a comic into some mysterious waters, all while maintaining the driving, battle-oriented pace that the series has built over its last few arcs. While always a fun read, my assumption was that this strip was Abnett’s single-minded barbarian fantasy, a sort of reprieve from the usual heavy lifting we see in his other 2000 AD work. Now it seems that, even if that was once the case, the writer cannot help but make his worlds big and complicated, as he hints towards the origins of his lead character.
Credits: Dan Abnett (script), Richard Elson (art), Ellie de Ville (letters)
The Order: In The Court Of The Wyrmqueen, Part 5
Having made their escape from Lord Walsingham’s troops, the Elizabethan-era Order now has to find the Golden Seed. The fastest way to do that, as everyone knows, is…head to the nearest pub?
We get to see more anachronistic flourishes this week, as well as some good old-fashioned, always-in-style ass-kicking rendered by John Burns. Daniel Calhoun (or maybe we should be calling him Adam Brass) seems to be slowly settling into his place on the team, although he’s still in danger of switching from capable ally to complete disaster at a moment’s notice. It’s a good thing they gave those troops the slip, right? Bought themselves some time to get to safety?Continued below
Credits: Kek-W (script), John M. Burns (art), Ellie de Ville (letters)
A.B.C. Warriors: Return to Ro-Busters, Part 5
The Ro-Jaws/Ro-Busters flashback continues!
This week seems to be a bit of consolidation, as Hammerstein & Ro-Jaws try to figure out how much their creator Howard Quartz knows about their connection with the robotic political group Nameless and their efforts to shine a light on his attempts to profit from stirring up robotic terrorist hysteria. Agents and spies to could be everywhere, but as Mills & Langley show us this week, the robo-duo can find a way to disable any undercover agent with someone as handy as Dr. Feely Good around.
I get enough from each installment of this strip to follow along every week, but I do feel like I’m missing out on “big picture” stuff by not having that solid of a grasp on my early ‘A.B.C. Warriors’ history. Such as, the ‘terrorist’ acts mentioned at the beginning of this week’s strip happened off-panel, except for the Superbowl one that kicked off this arc. But I feel like some of them may have been on-panel back in the earlier Progs. I guess I should dig into my copy of ‘Nuts and Bolts’ and find out, huh?
Credits: Pat Mills (script), Clint Langley (art), Annie Parkhouse (letters)
Strontium Dog: Repo Men, Part 5
It’s put up or shut up time this week, as Johnny Alpha and his Strontium Dogs put his plan into action!
Wagner keeps things simple here, almost to a fault. The plan rests almost entirely in Stretch’s hand at this point, so most of the assembled Dogs don’t have much to do. That said, Pikey Stix does make a crucial contribution to get things over the last hurdle, although not everyone agrees with his method.
Ezquerra breaks the action down to give it some heist-movie-style suspense and tension. He even throws in a silent panel or three, which stood out to me much more than I thought they would. We see silent panels all the time in comics, but maybe it’s something about “2000 AD” and the need to compress things that makes those silent moments more rare and therefore more noticeable when they do show up.
It’s one thing to execute a heist successfully, but it’s another to do it AND get away. Can the boys pull off the second part of that equation was well as the first?
Credits: John Wagner (script), Carlos Ezquerra (art), Simon Bowland (letters)
II. ON THIS DATE
2000 AD has published a lot of comics. I mean, a LOT of comics. You don’t put out a book a week for 38 years and not amass a pretty robust(er) catalog. We’ve only been doing Multiver-City One for a tick over two years and we’ve already seen over 120 issues of Progs and Megazines at least. But I thought it would be interesting to take a quick glimpse at some of the ones we weren’t here to talk about when they hit the stands.
These may be from years gone by, but a lot of the names popping up in the Credit Cards should be familiar to Multiver-City One readers. John Wagner is the only creator who appears in every Prog, although in Prog 1979 he is credited under a pseudonym. See how many others you recognize!
- 27 January 2010
- Judge Dredd: Tour of Duty – Dragon’s Den by Rennie & Robinson
- Stickleback: London’s Burning by Edginton & D’Israeli
- ABC Warriors: The Volgan War by Mills & Langley
- Ampney Crusis Investigates: The End of the Pier by Edginton & Davis
- Nikolai Dante: Hero of the Revolution by R. Morrison & Burns
- 27 January 1998
- Judge Dredd: The Scorpion Dance by Wagner & Burns
- Sinister Dexter: Eurocrash by Abnett & Davis
- The Balls Brothers: Heroes for Hire by Wagner & Walker
- Pulp Sci-Fi: Coy’s Big Score by Abnett & Googe
- Nikolai Dante: The Moveable Feast by R. Morrison & Fraser Continued below
- 27 January 1997
- Judge Dredd: To Die For by Wagner & Marshall
- Sinister Dexter: Dead Cert by Abnett & Sampson
- B.L.A.I.R. 1: Blair Force One by Grant & Davis
- Vector 13: Case Thirteen – Sands of Death by R. Morrison & Ronald
- Nikolai Dante: Moscow Duellists by R. Morrison & Fraser
- 27 January 1995
- Judge Dredd: The Exterminator by Wagner & Frejo
- Soul Gun Assassin by Shaky 2000
- Skiiizz: The Gunloards of Omega Ceti by Baikie
- Timehouse: Century Duty by Hogan & Bollard
- Finn by Mills/Skinner & Sharp
- 27 January 1990
- Judge Dredd: Chopper – Song of the Surfer by Wagner & MacNeil
- Bix Barton: Master of the Rum & Uncanny by Milligan & McCarthy
- Judge Dredd: Tale of the Dead Man by Wagner & Simpson
- Tharg’s Future Shocks by Rimmer & Weatherell
- Slaine: The Horned God by Mills & Bisley
- 27 January 1979
- Judge Dredd: The Day The Law Died by Howard & McMahon
- Angel by Stevens & Pino
- Tharg’s Future Shocks by Richardson
- Flesh by Gosnell & Belardinelli
- Ro-Busters by Mills & Dorey
We understand that having such a large selection of comics to choose from can make knowing where to start with 2000 AD seem 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?
So to help new & potential readers, we’ve put together 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 simple as possible.
That’s gonna do it for us this week! “2000 AD” Prog 1965 is on sale today and available from:
- The 2000 AD Newsstand app for iPad and iPhone,
- The 2000 AD app for Android devices,
- 2000ADonline.com in print or DRM-free PDF and CBZ formats,
- Select US newsstands, and
- Finer comic shops everywhere
So as Tharg the Mighty himself would say, “Splundig vur thrigg!”