Since 1977 2000 AD has been the UK’s greatest sci-fi weekly comic, and every week we give you a glimpse inside the new Prog… it’s the Weekly 2000 AD.
(It’s the end of The Out Book 3, so it’s only fitting that the cover goes to Mark Harrison, and it’s just a beautiful cover to behold)
Okay then, the big news this week is that The OUT finishes its long run as we say farewell to Book 3 of Cyd’s adventures. But fear not, Dan Abnett and Mark Harrison are hard at work on Book 4. You should all know by now that The OUT is one of those tales that epitomises just how great 2000 AD can be. It’s one of the best strips that has ever been in the Prog, destined to be held up there with the likes of Halo Jones in the future.
Elsewhere, it’s continuations of the mob trouble for Dredd in ‘In the Event of my Untimely Demise‘, more bloodsucking action with Durham Red, more frightful fauna and fauna to be dealt with in Enemy Earth, and another beautifully b&w visit to Nu Earth and Rogue Trooper in ‘Blighty Valley‘.
2000 AD Prog 2333 is out on Wednesday 24th May. And yes, I’m ahead of myself once more. You’re getting the 2000 AD preview as a preview again. Still, I shouldn’t crow too much, as I was so very late with the last Monthly Megazine. You win some, you lose some. I’m typing this up in the airport for a visit home for all the wrong reasons sadly to say goodbye to someone dear. So, enjoy the 2000 AD preview and then, if you can, if they’re still around, give your ma and/or pa a call. You never know when you just won’t be able to anymore.
Okay, enough… let’s have a look inside…
(Synchronicity – the Out’s butterflies appear as we say goodbye in real life to a dear old lady who loved them)
JUDGE DREDD: IN THE EVENT OF MY UNTIMELY DEMISE – PART 2 – by Mike Caroll and Paul Marshall, colours by Dylan Teague, letters by Annie Parkhouse
We’re back in Mike Carroll’s world of Judge Dredd now, ably assisted by the excellent art of Paul Marshall, and we’re back in a tale Carroll opened in The Long Game, where we were introduced to Mr Sage and The Parliament. The latter’s an organised crime group flying mostly under the Justice Dept’s radar, and the former is the reason they fly under the radar. Sage’s abilities to know where Dredd is have been put to use by The Parliament over the last couple of years, not that it’s done Sage any good.
As for Dredd, well he knows there’s something wrong here. He’s too old to not realise when the mobs are getting away with a little too much. So, Dredd being Dredd, he’s been assembling another little cadre of trusted Judges to look into it, fearful that there’s a mole somewhere in the Department. Of course, he has no idea that, however stealthy, however closed his team are, the enemy this time always have the drop on him.
Which is where we join the second part, as Dredd et. al. bring another Cadet into the fold and Dredd’s group set about bringing down the mobs.
What I’ve always really enjoyed about Carroll’s work on Dredd, the joy is in the build-up, the details, the tone of what’s going on, the slow maneuvering of the pieces. And that’s just what I’m getting here.
DURHAM RED: MAD DOGS – PART 8 – Alec Worley and Ben Willsher, letters by Simon Bowland
This one opens with a glorious page of Willsher art, as Kanka digs about in her brain, full of images from the past. It’s how splash pages can and should be done, not just a pretty image but as an integral part of the storytelling. Sharp, crisp artwork and colours from Willsher that add so much to this thoroughly entertaining dive into Red’s latest mission.
And no, that mission isn’t exactly going too well right now. Kanka’s got hold of her and seems to have her exactly where he wants her – and he has dastardly plans for her… or part of her…
So what began as a sort of spy thriller/action movie sort of Durham Red thing from two creators who not only seem to love the character but also really get what it is about the character that’s great, we’re now into something of a horror story, as Red’s nature is used against her and the hunger is rising, rising, rising.
Too often done wrong, Durham Red’s one of the also-ran characters of 2000 AD that’s perhaps finally found a writer and an artist who truly get her and get to do right by her. Of course, doing right by Durham Red inevitably means trouble in vivid shades of red.
ENEMY EARTH: BOOK II – PART 8 – Cavan Scott and Luke Horsman, letters by Simon Bowland
Part eight and we’re all at sea – literally all at sea as Zoe and her rather messed up little group are off to Denmark from Scotland, the first stop on their proposed trip to India to save the world.
As Zoe points out, it’s a near-suicidal thing to do, accompanied only by, in her words ‘a former Prime Minister, his increasingly unstable son,’ that would be Jules, still experiencing the effects of his recent brush with near death, ‘and a woman who tried to eat her,’ who would be Jessica, who indeed was planning on putting both Zoe and Jules on the menu.
But the whole point of Enemy Earth is that the world is completely different and there’s no sense in it anymore. The animals and plants have risen up and humanity has borne the brunt. It’s a crazy world and that means strange alliances are forged from necessity more than choice.
So, more of the same, as is the way with Enemy Earth, which has become a case of the journey is the thing comics, each part taking us further along the way. Hey, it’s worked for years in so many different media and Scott and Horsman are spinning a fine tale in that form here.
THE OUT: BOOK THREE – PART 15 – FINAL PART – Dan Abnett and Mark Harrison, letters by Simon Bowland
The end of Book 3. It had to come. But like I said at the top, it’s not the end, merely a pause, as Book 4 is coming.
We’ve been out here with Cyd for so long now and I’ve been banging on about the strip ever since that first episode. So you just know I love it, know I think it’s one of the finest things that’s been in the Prog in decades. It’s just that good.
So, no surprise, the finale of Book 3 is every bit the finale I wanted here. The Out’s never been about the action, rather the build-up and the aftermath comes to the fore, with the brutality of that small bit of action in the middle made more terrifying by the intensity of it all. And so it is here in the finale, with Cyd facing the proto-Tankinar coming through into the now. It’s terrifying and then it isn’t, with Cyd right at the heart of it all.
It is a magnificent ending to a magnificent series, all of it with that incredible Harrison artwork, packed with detail, every page, every panel even, a kaleidoscope of ideas and information, yet never losing an iota of storytelling.
Bring on Book 4. I cannot wait.
ROGUE TROOPER: BLIGHTY VALLEY – PART 8 – Garth Ennis and Patrick Goddard, letters by Rob Steen
At the end of the last episode, we had this… as the band of Tommys meet the reality of Nu-Earth and Night’s Horizon, when the planet’s orbit takes it closest to a black hole and things get a little weird…
Meanwhile, Rogue’s busy in the German camp, until he finds himself coming face-to-face with the Norts.
What’s going on? Well, we’ve had the Rogue Trooper does Charley’s War, Ennis paying homage to the classic war story by dropping the last Genetic Infantryman into WWI, and now we’re seemingly getting closer to finding out just how that all happened.
As you’d expect from Ennis doing Rogue, it’s a great little tale, mixing in the sci-fi and the warfare in a new way, freed from the restraints of the usual Rogue tales. And of course, that black-and-white art of Goddard just harks right back to the very best of Rogue, beautifully so.
Since 1977 2000 AD has been the UK’s greatest sci-fi weekly comic, and every week we give you a glimpseCOMICONRead More