The Weekly 2000 AD Prog #2209: Putting The Bite Into Constanta

The Weekly 2000 AD, Comicon’s pretty self-explanatory look at longest-running sci-fi comic, 2000 AD. They publish every week, we preview it every week. Simples…

Constanta cover by Tiernen Trevallion

As you see from that front cover, the Prog sees Constanta’s saga takes the bloody and fiendish turn it was always leading up to. Elsewhere in the Prog, we bid farewell to both Skip Tracer and Hook Jaw with their finales this Prog and it’s the penultimate episode of Stickleback.

And the reason all that ending stuff is going on? Well, it’s the end of the year and everything is leading up to Prog 2212, the 100-page Xmas spectacular. However, that’s weeks away yet and there’s still time for 2020 to give us all one last kick in the crotch before then (my money’s on a new species of giant wasps with death vision). So, to take your mind off the nightmares of the regular world, it’s good to escape into a bit of good old-fashioned escapism with 2000 AD.

2000 AD Prog 2209 hits newsagents, comic shops and digital stores from 24 November.

 

JUDGE DREDD: SIMPLY NORMAL – PART 3 – Kenneth Niemand, Steven Austin, colours by Chris Blythe, letters by Annie Parkhouse

More Simp struggles here, as Daisy gets ready to join the plan to raid Simply Normal and rescue her beloved Pansy (although, as is pointed out, when you have this many Simps together, the plan is to not bother having a plan). Meanwhile, Pansy/Erma gets busted for a little picture of her and her Daisy, meaning even more invasive Norm brainwashing needs doing.

As you might expect, Dredd’s onto things – although this one at least seems to have been handed over to Wrexler and his mech-Judge pal, Patsy – a mech who seems just that little more human? weird? kooky? than most. Could be something to revisit, could just be Niemand throwing some strange mech characterisation in there, I’m not sure.

SKIP TRACER – HYPERBALLAD – PART 9 – FINAL PART – James Peaty, Paul Marshall, colours by Dylan Teague, letters by Simon Bowland

Well, the truth is all out, Skip Tracer’s manga-faced pop-star client was being manipulated by her manager all along. And now it’s the old final showdown, up to and including the old plot device of getting him to admit his nefarious plans on tape.

To say it doesn’t go well for him… well, ouch…

So yes, it’s a cliche – both the ending and the strip itself, but it’s a cliche that’s still well done.

It has its critics for sure, but Skip Tracer does the necessary things, tells its story, looks great, and will return in the New Year.

STICKLEBACK – NEW JERUSALEM – PART 9 – Ian Edginton, D’Israeli, letters by Jim Campbell

As Stickleback steps up to its penultimate episode in this ‘New Jerusalem’ storyline, it certainly doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing any real addressing of the whole, “Stickleback’s actually Sherlock Holmes” thing that has been looming over the series since the last episode of the last story, or at least no discussion of what the hell it actually means for Stickleback’s future anyway.

Just one of the reasons for that is that we’ve got a huge alien Cthulhu-esque monstrosity over London threatening the city. Luckily, in one of those isn’t it fortunate that we thought of this before moments, Stickleback’s shattered the city sigil that ran through London and the monster has to cope with the full horrors of the London environment (I’m thinking a busy, busy tube in mid-summer sticky temperatures here).

And now that nasty old alien is open to London, that means he’s open to the Last God of London… so, with a ‘Whummmpff!‘, all is sorted. Threat gone, one episode left, time for the God of London and Stickleback Holmes to have a chat. Hmmm, perhaps we will get that Stickleback/Sherlock thing addressed after all.

Thing is, despite me really wanting to see more of the whole twist of Stickleback’s sort of secret identity, this has still been a rollicking adventure on an increasingly grand scale. And of course, a big part of the enjoyment comes in getting every last drop of D’Israeli’s artwork. In fact, there’s a grand joy in getting this digitally, letting you zoom in closer and closer, just to see the work that’s been put into the thing.

HOOK JAW – PART 9 – FINAL PART – Alec Worley, Leigh Gallagher, letters by Simon Bowland

Well, the saga of a bloody great shark chomping its way through the local Cornish seaside actually turned into the saga of a bloody great shape-shifting elemental god taking the form of a bloody great shark chomping its way through the local Cornish seaside, getting more and more powerful with everyone who believed.

Yep, definitely a strip that started out one way and ended another, but delivered thrills and some great art from Gallagher along the way.

Now, the question is… what will this elemental thingy turn up as next time? Because there will definitely be a next time, we’d know that even if we didn’t have the lines, ‘What… what if there’s more of ’em?‘ and, ‘I can’t help feeling there’s a box of devils been opened tonight the world over!‘ on the final page.

It’s not like 2000 AD and associated titles have a shortage of giant beasts – Shako perhaps? Maybe Flesh? But there’s definitely going to be something coming soon.

FIENDS OF THE EASTERN FRONT – CONSTANTA – PART 8 – Ian Edginton, Tiernen Trevallion, letters by Annie Parkhouse

After being manipulated by the witches into heading home to Romania, Constanta bleeds hard and goes back to the trio once more. And there, we learn a very, very important lesson should we find ourselves in a similar situation (and frankly, given the way 2020 has gone thus far, I’m not ruling it out).

And that lesson – simply this – if you’re asking something from a trio of ancient witches, never use the line ‘I’ll pay any price!’

Because let’s face it, we always knew where this was going to go, we always knew that Constanta had to become the truly fiendish thing that would go on to make the Eastern Front such a nightmarish place.

But for this series, it’s all been the journey rather than the destination, with Trevallion’s artwork just blowing me away all the way through.

 

The Weekly 2000 AD, Comicon’s pretty self-explanatory look at longest-running sci-fi comic, 2000 AD. They publish every week, we previewCOMICONRead More

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