Preview: ‘2000 AD Regened Volume 4’ – All-Ages 2000 AD Returns To Have Fun And Bring The Thrill Power

Another collection of the all-ages 2000 AD Regened coming at you in September – fun and thrills galore.

 

Yep, another Regened collection from the pages of the all-ages 2000 AD Progs coming out four times a year – and that means more all-ages thrill power, featuring all-ages versions of some very familiar characters, new all-ages characters, plus another installment in the rather damn good new version of Harlem Heroes by RAMZEE and Korinna Mei Veropoulou (if you want to see more and read what I thought of the first episode – it’s here).

With Harlem Heroes, just as before, the classic idea works perfectly here, racing along with RAMZEE’s super tight, super light storytelling and Korinna’s pop art bright artwork. The reinvention of the classic continues at the same break-neck pace that made that first episode just so good.

Harlem Heroes by RAMZEE and Korinna Mei Veropoulou

As for the rest of what’s a really cracking volume of 2000 AD Regened, no matter you’re young or old, there’s plenty to be getting into and it’s a load of fun and thrills!

A trio of Cadet Dredds opens things, all one-off tales that work well as an intro to the character, albeit the busting heads is slightly less graphic and bloody. There’s new strip Scooter & Jinx, bringing outer space action into a galactic diner, a really well put together Time Twisters and two very decent Future Shocks – because there should always be Future Shocks in 2000 AD, right?

But if you want highlights for me, obviously there’s the Harlem Heroes strip, but there’s also two brilliant Young Chopper tales, both by David Barnett and Nick Roche, creating something fast and silly, packed with great comedy beats, and a Marlon Shakespeare ready and willing to quote his famous namesake and then turn to the reader and make some snarky comment.

Chopper by David Barnett and Nick Roche

Strontium Dug features just what you might think… Middenface McNulty’s Granny’s doggie – or at least the ninth gen clone of him. And Dug is just a damn delight, David Baillie and Colin MacNeil (Yes, Colin MacNeil – superstar Dredd artist himself!) going all out to give us something that’s just wonderfully fun, packed with gags, a thick Scots accent, and plenty of Dug being a darned good boy.

Strontium Dug by David Baillie and Colin MacNeil

And finally there’s Splorers, just 10 pages from Emma Beeby, Gordon Rennie, and the ever-wonderful Neil Googe to continue the adventures of those Survival Geeks from the main Prog. Or at least two of them, as we join Simon and Sam a few years later, together with their kids, Jaina and Jacen. They’re out in the big, big, big worlds of adventure and they’re having quality family time… in a really beautiful little strip.

Splorers by Gordon Rennie, Emma Beeby, Neil Googe

2000 AD REGENED Volume 4

Written by Liam Johnson, RAMZEE, David Barnett, David Baillie, Gordon Rennie, Emma Beeby, Colin Harvey, Karl Stock, James Peaty, Honor Vincent.

Art by Duane Redhead, Ben Wilsher, Luke Horsman, Korinna Mei Veropoulou, Nick Roche, Colin MacNeil, Neil Googe, Steve Roberts, Tom Newell, VV Glass.

Cover by Ben Wilsher.

Published by 2000 AD on 27th September 2022

Now, a preview of the delights you’ll find inside, beginning with a triple set of Cadet Dredd… all the thrills of your normal Judge Dredd, just with less drokking, no bloodshed, and less fascism – well, no direct references to it at least.

Just doing a mini-Dredd sounds easy, but the limitations on Cadet Dredd make it a damn sight more difficult to get right than you’d think. But all three here get it pretty right, they’re all done-in-one things, mostly nicely constructed, great artwork.

 

CADET DREDD: THE BLOCK WITH NO NAME – Liam Johnson, Duane Redhead, colours by John Charles, letters by Annie Parkhouse

The Judges are setting up the destruction of city buildings to make way for a new Mega-Block, and when a bunch of juvies set up a resistance to the whole demolition, young Cadet Dredd gets his first bit of undercover work. And it’s this bit that brought me straight out of this one – the Justice Dept can’t deal with a gang of kids? Seriously? The only way to solve it is by sending a Cadet in undercover? Nope, it’s one that just doesn’t quite work.

 

CADET DREDD: FULL THROTTLE – Liam Johnson, Ben Willsher, letters by Annie Parkhouse

Now, this one’s a load better – maybe Liam just had a bad day at the office with the first Cadet Dredd?

Cadets Dredd and Rico get their hands-on Lawmaster training in pursuit of Vinny and Dwayne (absolutely not Messrs Diesel and Johnson, oh no,) who’ve made off with loads of cash and a top-of-the-range Mo-Pad – even including fertiliser recycling system… which is obviously going to come into the plot later. A huge chase, perfect for Ben Willsher’s artwork, and a huge load of fun.

 

CADET DREDD: RED MEDICINE – James Peaty, Luke Horsman, letters by Annie Parkhouse

And finally for our trio of Cadet Dredds, it’s Dredd and Rico again, out on the streets patrolling and tracking down a bit of med-crime.

As you can see, there’s a big change in the art style here, something a few of these Cadet Dredds have done, losing the bold and bright all-ages look of the previous pair and going with something that wouldn’t actually be out of place in the Prog proper. Sure, there’s less gunfire and blood here, but the basic structure and style is pure Dredd. But that’s just how it should be really, and Peaty and Horsman turn out a fine little Dredd here.

 

HARLEM HEROES – RAMZEE, Korrina Mei Veropoulou, letters by Petitecrime

We’re back with Justice Academy drop-out, Gem Giant and his Aeroball team, the brand-new Harlem Heroes. They’ve conquered the Mayhem League and sent out a challenge to the elites of the Ultra League

The Harlem Heroes have challenged the champion Aeroball team, the Hellcats, to a death match! The rookie team has taken the Aeroball world by storm, led by Gem Giant, and they’re out to prove that the Ultra League of Aeroball should be open to anyone and everyone, no matter who they are!

 

CHOPPER: CHOPPER DON’T SURF – by David Barnett, Nick Roche, colours by Pippa Bowland, letters by Jim Campbell

Taking things right back to the beginning with these two David Barnett and Nick Roche young Chopper tales – and they’re just perfect things, Barnett’s given us a sharp, playful, juvie Marlon Shakespeare just starting out on his life of being a scrawler and sky-surfer.

It’s a great strip, full of Chopper breaking the fourth wall, lots of chat to the reader, lots of the cliches – the training montage is always a favourite, and an absolutely unrelenting pace, just as a young Chopper series should be.

 

CHOPPER: WHAT GOES UP? – David Barnett, Nick Roche, colours by John Charles, letters by Simon Bowland

More of the same here pretty much – more fun, more fourth wall breaking, more Marlon getting on the board and getting into trouble, this time having to work out what’s happening with the new Boing craze and just where people keep disappearing. All whilst under the watchful, albeit dodgy, eye of Judge Watanabe, or as the kids call him…

It’s a great strip, Barnett and Roche really have nailed the irreverent tone and got the comedy timing just right, all while being able to set up and deliver a sweet little drama.

And of course, having them running back to back here in the collections rather than waiting the 3-month gap between Regeneds gives it a much more cohesive reading experience.

 

STRONTIUM DUG – David Baillie, Colin MacNeil, colours by Chris Blythe, letters by Simon Bowland

Strontium DUG, not Strontium Dog… except Strontium Dug IS a dog. Don’t worry, just go with it – it’s great.

It all comes from Middenface’s McNulty’s granny’s doggie, the amazing Dougal IX, ninth-generation clone of McNulty’s granny’s “poor wee Black Boab.” He’s a good boy – aren’t they all? – although he can get a bit distracted at times. But once he’s on the case, Dug manages to prove he’s every bit the bounty hunter’s best pal.

Between them, Baillie and MacNeil just nail this one, a script that fair bounces along, perfectly drawn (it’s MacNeil, what else you expect?) and a hero that you can’t help but love.

 

‘SPLORERS – by Emma Beeby, Gordon Rennie, and Neil Googe, colours by Gary Caldwell, letters by Simon Bowland

This was a huge surprise when it appeared in the Regened Prog – a sort of follow-up to Survival Geeks really wasn’t expected. But here it is and it’s a wonderful thing.

The best way to sum it all up is to just give you the blurb…

“Once upon a time, there were three twentysomething geeks – Simon, Rufus, and Clive – who shared what looked like an ordinary semi-detached on a regular suburban street. But Clive had fitted the house with a transdimensional drive that enabled it to cross time and space, although it malfunctioned and they spent years bouncing between worlds. Joined by skeptical new housemate Sam, their travels finally came to an end when they returned to Earth and became responsible adults – Rufus entered politics, Clive became a CEO, and Simon and Sam got together as a couple, eventually having kids. But the adventures didn’t stop there…”

It’s an absolute joy. Jaina and Jacen are Simon and Sam’s kids, with Jacen just wanting to play ‘Splorers with his big sis, and neither of them too keen on having Isaac around, their robot teacher.

 

 

SCOOTER & JINX – James Peaty, Steve Roberts, colours by Jim Boswell, letters by Simon Bowland

The only strip this time round with all-new characters, Scooter & Jinx is one that’s sweet, cute, and fun, giving us a simple tale of a waitress who’s more than she seems and a loveable rogue who walks into her Mektail Bar on the Eco-Point space station and turns her life upside down.

It’s an alien buddy caper strip, fast and quite a lot of fun, with Peaty and Roberts enjoying themselves and even giving us that lil’ bit of romance for Regened.

 

TIME TWISTERS: TEMPORAL TANTRUM – Colin Harvey, Tom Newell, colours by Gary Caldwell, letters by Annie Parkhouse

Garxan’s a narcissistic, selfish influencer on the loose with a time machine all to get more and more followers and turn the followers into money. Poor Bibi is her much put-upon assistant, the smarty pants who came up with the time machine in the first place.

Now, when Garzan hops into the timestream and starts wreaking havoc in the quest for likes, you just know it’s all going to go badly wrong in this well put together short with a twist – and that you can see that twist coming a mile off is hardly a problem.

 

FUTURE SHOCKS: TRASH CULTURE – by Karl Stock and Steve Roberts, letter by Annie Parkhouse

What would 2000 AD be without Future Shocks? So it’s quite right that they’re here in Regened. And Karl Stock has quite a few under his belt, all of them, just like ‘Trash Culture’, quirky, interesting, good reading things.

‘Trash Culture’ is all about scavenging for tech scraps and what happens when one young treasure hunter gets chased by a very wrong crowd in the hunt for more and more tech.

 

FUTURE SHOCKS: SMART HOME – Honor Vincent, V V Glass, letters by Annie Parkhouse

And finally for this volume, it’s all about the smart devices… the things we’re currently shouting at to convince that we actually wanted to set a reminder to take out the trash, not a recipe for corn beef hash. But what happens shortly in the future when these nightmarish things become capable of independent thought? Yep, nightmare.

And that’s exactly where we’re at with Smart Home… all the lovely little home help appliances all connected to a network and all talking to each other – things go, as you’d expect, very wrong.

Another collection of the all-ages 2000 AD Regened coming at you in September – fun and thrills galore.   Yep,COMICONRead More

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