45 years and better than ever – it’s the UK’s greatest sci-fi weekly comic, 2000 AD and we’re here with The Weekly 2000 AD to give you a preview – this week – it’s ZOMBIE TIME!
Cliff Robinson on cover duties, along with Dylan Teague on the cover – with the return of the team no-one wants to mess with
Very special stuff happening this week, as 2000 AD has its special Zombie Crossover event, beginning here in Prog 2300 and carrying on in Judge Dredd Megazine #448 – both of them out now.
And as it says right there on the cover, make sure you read the Prog first – packed with eight thrills of zombie nightmares presenting an alternative outcome to the events of Judgement Day – 30 years old this year!
Back then, the Necromagus Sabbat was defeated by Judge Dredd and Johnny Alpha, as the storyline we remember had Sabbat bringing back the dead around the globe, only to be eventually be brought down after Dredd and an assassination team ended his plans.
But that’s not the only way things could have happened… and that’s what this whole crossover is all about – taking Judgement Day and riffing off things, playing What If? in a way that impacts the entire 2000 AD multiverse.
So that means there’s double duties for Dredd, opening and closing the Prog, along with Rogue Trooper, Survival Geeks, The Meat Arena, Sinister Dexter, Ampney Crucis Investigates, Robo-Hunter, and Strontium Dog – all of them dealing with the multiversal zombie infestation of Judgement Day in short, wonderfully doom-laden strips.
And then, tomorrow, we’ll be heading over to the Megazine for even more!
Right then… time for a look inside!
JUDGE DREDD: JUDGEMENT DAYS – PROLOGUE – by Ken Niemand, Henry Flint, letters by Annie Parkhouse
In the world we know, Judgement Day ended with Dredd taking out Sabbat. But in just a couple of pages here, Neimand and Flint transform everything, as there’s a second plan on the table, one to use dimension bombs and reroute the infection to other dimensions… much against Johnny Alpha’s advice…
Well, as you might expect, it all goes horribly wrong, the dimension bombs go off, Sabbat is done, and the 2000 AD multiverse gets infected – with the remaining pages here in this first Dredd episode showing us just how far and wide the multiversal infection goes – Nu-Earth, Nikolai Dante, Ace Trucking, Absalom, and many more…even all the way back to the Cretaceous and Flesh…
There you go, that’s the entire storyline, a simple What If tale, a rare 2000 AD crossover between the Prog and the Meg, with all the simple enjoyment these sort of What If tales give you.
It’s not meant to be huge, not meant to be one of those Marvel and DC style huge, cataclysmic events that change everything you know. Nope, this is just plain dumb wonderful fun, with Niemand writing things tightly and Flint’s art looking simply fabulous.
ROGUE TROOPER: MORTAL REMAINS – Mike Carroll, Gary Erskine, colours by Yel Zamor, Simon Bowland
A return to Nu-Earth, decimated by the Nort-Souther War and now devastated by the events of Dredd’s plan. As for Rogue Trooper, well he’s gone AWOL after the deaths of his GI comrades.
The neat switch of having Rogue as an already infected zombie with his urges only held at bay by his Biochips works a treat and it’s just great to see Gary Erskine’s work in here.
SURVIVAL GEEKS: HOUSE OF THE DEAD – by Emma Beeby and Neil Googe, colours by Gary Caldwell, letters by Jim Campbell
The fab foursome, Clive, Rufus, Simon, and Sam, along with their pet Cthulhu Howard have spent their time careering around the dimensions in their transdimensional drive powered regular semi-detatched. But no matter how far they run, nothings stopping the necro-wave…
Well, they were after zombies all along and now they’ve got them – there’s just no pleasing these Survival Geeks, is there?
And just like every other Survival Geeks tale, this one’s a great laugh with Googe really enjoying going to town on all the zombie silliness.
THE MEAT ARENA: SUDDEN DEATH – by Karl Stock and Kieron McKeown, colours by Matt Soffe, letters by Simon Bowland
It was the Mean Arena, the ultra-violent sport of street football played in deserted towns around the country. Now, with the dead rising up, it’s the Meat Arena.
Because of course they’re going to try and make money off it – what did you expect?!
Again, just like with Rogue Trooper, Karl Stock puts a neat little undead twist on things here and Kieron McKeown’s art does a fine job of all things sporty here.
SINISTER DEXTER: ZED ZONE – by Dan Abnett and Russell M. Olsen, letters by Annie Parkhouse
Ramone Dexter and Finnigan Sinister, two of the greatest gun-sharks Downlode’s ever seen. But with the zombie uprising taking away most of their work, Sinister Dexter have had to figure out new ways of making a living in the Zed Zone… including getting paid to escort survivors out of the remains of Downlode.
In what’s becoming a feature of the strips here, it’s again the twist in the tale of turning Finn and Ramone into Zeds themselves, high functioning ones thanks to their professionalism and the whole mindless killer already thing that gives this one the kick, yet again that’s Abnett finding new ways to play around with his creations.
Although, as the poor family they’re in the process of rescuing are about to find out, that professionalism comes at a high price.
AMPNEY CRUCIS INVESTIGATES: SETTING SONS – by Ian Edginton and D’Israeli, letters by Jim Campbell
Ampney Crucis was an investigator of all things supernatural back in the 1930s. Now, it’s the 1970s and he’s turned to writing, accompanied as always by loyal manservant Cromwell.
Here we get a lovely little tale of Ampney and Cromwell back in the trenches of WWI as the German trenches get the full blast of the dimension bombs and the British trenches have to get used to a whole new way of fighting… all tied off beautifully by Crucis in his present day 70s incarnation.
ROBO-HUNTER: Z-INF – by Arthur Wyatt and Toby Willsmer, letters by Simon Bowland
Sam Slade, Robo-Hunter. Does just what his name says. Together with his ridiculous understudy Hoagy and his excitable robo-cigar Stogie, Sam spent many years hunting down missing meks, dangerous droids, and robots on the run. Now, it’s Slade that everyone’s running from.
You’ll have seen Willsmer’s name on various covers over the last year or so, but its a pleasure seeing what he’s done here on this Sam Slade…
And we even get Wyatt working in one of his other strips here as well, as Stogie and Hoagy figure out an inventive way to deal with a zombified Sam Slade – loads of fun.
STRONTIUM DOG: IN THE (DEAD) DOGHOUSE – by Rob Williams, Staz Johnson, colours by Chris Blythe, letters by Jim Campbell
Johnny Alpha, the greatest of the Strontium Dogs, was pivotal to the whole Judgement Day saga but here, he’s merely the spectator with Dredd ignoring his dire warnings of the terrible dangers of using the dimension bombs to deal with the threat of Sabbat.
Which is why he starts this one headed back through time to the Doghouse, only to find that the dimension bombs’ effects have beaten him to it.
And it’s a fine tale, with Staz Johnson doing a really classy job on the art – although I’m sure he’d be the first to agree that it’s a strange thing seeing a Stront strip without Carlos Ezquerra’s artwork.
JUDGE DREDD – JUDGEMENT DAY – EPILOGUE – by Ken Niemand and Henry Flint, letters by Annie Parkhouse
And it all ends with a return to MC-1 and Dredd coping with the fallout from Judgement Day and the clean-up – only to find MC-1 now having dimensional invaders of all sorts coming in – I bet you never figured you’d be reading a Dredd with a zombie-fied Armoured Gideon or a zombie Maximan featuring, did you?
And a Henry Flint drawn Johnny Alpha looks damn good as well – as he beams in again to the world of Dredd to discover that it’s all gone horribly wrong, for the world, for Mega-City One, and especially for Dredd
But that’s something you’re going to find out more about in Judge Dredd Megazine 448, where the whole undead infestation keeps on coming!
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