The Weekly 2000AD – catching up time… Prog 2017 and 2018
Well, it’s been a while hasn’t it? Sorry, apologies, my bad and all that. I rather dropped off the old comics reading thing a while back, and the comics reviewing thing a way before then. But hey, I’m back. The downside of course being that I’m dropping into all the storylines here, not an ideal thing to do really. But hey, consider it the ongoing adventures of a lapsed reader.
I used to do a 2000AD review week in, week out and all too often felt that I was trapped in telling you that some of the strips were just a bit hmmmm. Now whilst I don’t have a problem with that, any good anthology should have a variety of strips, and what I think of as just a run of the mill thing, you could adore with a passion. But telling you essentially the same thing week after week after week got tiresome for me writing it and I’m sure it got tiresome for you reading it. So, I’m not going to promise a review a week, and if something’s a bit dull I’ll not even bother with it more than the briefest of mentions. That’s the plan anyway.
So… back into the world of 2000AD then, starting off, as is but fitting, with old Joe Dredd…
Judge Dredd: Deep In The Heart by Michael Carroll and Henry Flint.
Oh, I like Michael Carroll writing Dredd, have for a long time. He seems to share my enjoyment of exploring more of the political aspects of the world, and as such has taken long looks at Sov-City, Mega-City Two and Texas City. Dropping into this one with part 7, it’s all a bit what the hell have I missed, with Dredd tracking down some Sector Zero operatives, the group who Carroll introduced this time last year in “Ghosts” responsible for kidnapping failed Judge candidates as children. These rogue Sector Zero ops seem to have something about them that makes taking down a gang of Judges a piece of cake.
So, I don’t have all that much idea of what’s happening here, but I can tell you it’s bloody well done, moving along real well, with some cracking art from Flint, rugged faces, great composition, a really good understanding of creating tension in an action sequence that pops off the page…
Kingmaker by Ian Edginton and Leigh Gallagher.
Now this is one I do wish I’d been around from the start for, but no, here’s parts 7 and 8, so of course I’m just that teensy bit lost as yet. But there’s a sense of grand scale to this, something Edginton’s so good at, whether it’s the sci-fi clockwork of Brass Sun or the Victorian Wells-ian grandeur of Scarlet Traces, and here we seem to have something of a Neil Gaiman-esque faerie story meets Game Of Thrones, with added alien invasion.
We’re in “The Nine Kingdoms”, where the people, once under the yoke of the undead Ichnar the Wraith King now find themselves with far more dangerous masters, The Thorn, an alien occupying force. All with magical powers are hunted down, including the wizard Ablard.
And that’s where we’re at right now, these episodes gave me a really quick catchup of what’s going on. So I managed to really enjoy the setting and the new characters, all perfectly detailed by Leigh Gallagher, whose art I don’t think I’ve ever seen looking better than this. It drifts effortlessly from dank, miserable dungeons to faerie infused throne rooms, and those close-ups… very nice indeed
Now, as for the rest of the issues, Sinister Dexter by Dan Abnett and Steve Yeowell, always something of an acquired taste I’ve found and it usually takes me a few episodes to get properly into it. Right now it’s all about Sinister and Dexter getting around a safe room problem to carry out their latest hit. Over and done in one. Next issue? No idea where it’s going.
The Order, by Kek-W and John Burns did nothing for me last time when I read it from the start, so coming in on episode 7? Never going to go well, was it?
Rory McConville and Steven Austin’s Future Shock is just another Future Shock. Oh, I know, what am I meant to expect?
And finally, there’s Kingdom by Dan Abnet and Richard Elson, which is just a big fighty fighty thing. Nothing wrong with it at all of course, but hey, tis what it is.
All in all, three I could do without, two good uns and a Future Shock being all typically Future Shock-y. That’s not too bad really I suppose.