The Weekly 2000 AD Prog #2296: It’s Regened Time Again For All-Ages Thrill Power!

Four times a year, the pages of the Galaxy’s Greatest get turned over to Tharg’s lil’ nephew, Jojo-Jargo, who fills the pages with five all-ages tales to appeal to the next generation of readers.

2000 AD Prog #2296 hits the shelves and digital on Wednesday 24th August, bringing you all the Regened action you’ve come to expect – it’s 2000 AD action meets all-ages fun.

Dino-fabulous cover by Nick Roche, colours by Jim Boswell

Inside, everything starts off, as usual, with the adventures of Cadet Dredd, this time in Two Tribes (and no sign of Frankie Goes to Hollywood anywhere), there’s the return of Department K in ‘Crisis of Infinite Estabons and more lovable family adventures in ‘Splorers: The Big Splash, plus a new episode of Future Shocks. And joining the line-up, new thrill Renk, where a dwarf private detective works his cases in Crepuscularia.

Five strips, all-ages, all great… shall we have a little look inside?

 

 

CADET DREDD: TWO TRIBES – James Peaty, Luke Horsman, letters by Annie Parkhouse

Another Cadet Dredd, as everyone’s favourite young lawman is out on his maiden run into the Cursed Earth on a routine mapping expedition, just him and his instructing officer, Judge Meechum – although it takes a whole page before that mission gets put on the back-burner and they’re off to investigate a mystery fire, which turns into a good old ruckus with some Cursed Earth slavers…

 

 

Cadet Dredd sure does have a busy old time as a cadet doesn’t he? And that’s just how it should be, full-on action in this one and lots of Dredd fun in the bargain as young Dredd finds himself on a rescue mission, not just for those Cursed Earth slaves but for Meechum as well.

 

Peaty delivers on the writing, it’s fast and furious Dredd, barrelling through the story with that single-minded Deredd determination.

And Horsman’s artwork is a really great thing here – good and kinetic, plenty of cool moments (especially seeing Dredd have his big-boy boots on and lead with them. Great sense of colour, technicolour chaos on the page at times but always looking good.

 

 

RENK – Paul Starkey, Anna Readman, colours by Matt Soffe, letters by Jim Campbell

An all-new strip here, set in the fantasy land of the city of Crepuscularia, the biggest city in the eastern region, sitting on the edge of the Weeping Desert, home to over fifty thousand beings. It’s a massive melting pot of a place, everyone and everything holed up together, cramped and claustrophobic.

And in amongst all these beings, there’s Renk, dwarf private detective who’s there for you when you want someone or something found and you don’t have the gold for a wizard or the silver for a warrior. He’ll gladly take your copper coin and be on the case – dogged and determined to get whatever or whoever you want getting.

 

Despite his misgivings ‘Princesses, I shouldn’t get involved, they’re always trouble,’ Renk takes on a case from Princess Lementina – to find the kidnapped King and Queen of Pyrovale.

So yes, it’s Game of Thrones mixed with Terry Pratchett, full of the weird and wonderful. The poop gag and the ‘Mum’ tattoo in a panel on the first page sets a tone, as does Readman’s busy, fun pages and style.

 

There’s some really great characters and designs in Renk, best of all being Twayne (great name), conjoined twins, male and female and their husband/wife… the trouble Renk gets into just for a dance as payment for information.

By the end, Starkey and Readman have put together something that’s rather delightful here, a done in one strip full of fun, a dash of comedy, a dash of peril and intrigue, and a nicely turned twist, that could (and really should) continue, as there’s plenty to enjoy in this first instalment.

 

FUTURE SHOCKS: LEVELLING UP – David Barnett, Steve Roberts, letters by Annie Parkhouse

At some point in the future, the gap between the haves and the have-nots has grown wider and wider. And one of the haves, Jon Mozes, has just discovered that his own fortune has just hit the 7.8 quintillion dollars… making him the richest man in the history of the world.

So, what does he do? Well, this…

Unexpected for sure… and wouldn’t it be a nicer world if philanthropy became a thing again and billionaires just stopped being billionaires because they were too busy out making the world a better place?

So when every single adult in the world gets gifted one billion dollars, what could possibly go wrong…

 

Oh yes, everything, that’s what could go wrong. Everyone’s a billionaire and now no one wants to work, people have got all that money to spend, but no one’s producing anything. From utopia to dystopia practically overnight.

Now, this is just a fabulous Future Shock, full of twists and turns, gags and some serious social commentary… and yes, a big twist at the end of it all.

It is just so good to see more of Steve Roberts’ artwork here after the recently finished Scooter & Jinx. He’s a bit of a veteran now, albeit one who left for the world of animation, getting a Childrens BAFTA award in the process for co-creating and writing Dipdap, but his style just looks so fresh and bold here, coloured with bright popping colours by Roberts, and is absolutely perfect for Regened.

And Barnett’s becoming something of a mainstay at Regened as well. We’ve had two episodes of Lowborn High, two episodes of Chopper, and now this Future Shock – that’s a five out of five hit-rate, pretty darned good.

 

DEPARTMENT K: CRISIS OF INFINITE ESTABONS – Rory McConville, Nick Dyer, colours by Gary Caldwell, letters by Simon Bowland

Mega-City One, 2144 AD, and it’s back to the wonderful Department K for another off-the-wall adventure.

Department K is a branch of the Justice Department’s Tek-Div, with a brief to investigate and tackle interdimensional enemies that are seeking to break through the walls of reality and cause grief to MC-1. Headed by Judge Kirby, the team is made up of Mechanismo Judge Estabon, the alien Blackcurrant, and recently arrived intern Afua, who’s already proved her worth on recent adventures.

Now… there’s a crisis…

 

Many different Estabons running around the complex and a funding-dependent visit from the Chief of Tek-Div coming up. So, it’s time to search for all the other Estabons and send them back where they came from.

But first, how to tell the ‘real’ Estabon from the rest…

 

Yep, that should do it.

Department K’s been the only Regened strip to make the move from Regened to the main Prog (with the last adventure, ‘Cosmic Chaos’, that started in Prog #2234) and now back again, for this one-off.

And you know what, it works either way, because of the way Rory McConville has written it, not to mention the way first PJ Holden, then Dan Cornwell, and now Nick Dyer have drawn it. It’s quite the most perfect example of how Regened works, creating all-ages storylines that sit perfectly well with anything and everything either in the Regened Progs or the main Progs. And long may it continue to give us a series of great adventures, sometimes daft, sometimes serious, but always thoroughly entertaining.

 

 

‘SPLORERS: THE BIG SPLASH – Gordon Rennie, Emma Beeby, Neil Googe, colours by Gary Caldwell, letters by Simon Bowland

This one is just a joy… a return for those wonderful ‘Splorers, the series we absolutely never expected come out of Survival Geeks.

Best way to set this up is to give you the 2000 AD blurb about it…

“Once upon a time there were three 20-something 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 around worlds. Joined by sceptical 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..”.

Yep, we never expected Rennie, Beeby, and Googe to do anything with the characters again once they did that final Survival Geeks episode and wrapped it all up so sweetly. But here we are, with the second ‘Splorers episode, following on from their debut in 2000 AD Regened Prog #2246.

Oh, this is a joy, an absolute joy. Simon and Sam and the kids, Jaina and Jacen, are off on a day out… much to Sam’s obvious disgust…

 

And there you are, page 1, panel 1, and it’s absolutely great – Googe’s daggers just delivering a gag straight off. And then it all just keeps going and going, off on a real Fantastic Voyage… to the inside of Howard.

Or, as Sam tells it…

 

Yes, Howard’s eaten the dematerialisation gizmo that’s meant to allow the family to get away from something star-like and explody… specifically a soon-to-be exploding star.

Yep, we’re inside Howard and Howard has some particularly unusual and nasty antibodies.

Sometimes Sam just doesn’t reckon it’s worth getting up in the morning…

 

Yep, ‘Splorers deserves to run and run and run, there’s life in the Survival Geeks idea yet and Rennie, Beeby, and Googe are the perfect team to keep it all going.

 

Four times a year, the pages of the Galaxy’s Greatest get turned over to Tharg’s lil’ nephew, Jojo-Jargo, who fillsCOMICONRead More

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