Hitting the shelves of your local comic shop on Wednesday 11th April, it’s the latest Prog of 2000AD:
Cover by Alex Ronald.
Now, I missed the jumping on issue, Prog 2073 (and 2074, and 2075… Bad Richard). And that was a damn shame, because we saw the start of some great looking strips.
First off, there was the two-part Dredd story by Rob Williams and Chris Weston, Fit For Purpose. That was bloody incredible. And very possibly important in Dredd tales to come. It had power, threat, a sense of impending doom, setting things up for who knows when. Damn it was good watching Dredd go up against SJS Judge Pin in her attempt to get rid of ex-SJS Judge Gerhart.
Then we had new Jaegir, new Sinister Dexter, and new Strontium Dog, all of which continue in Prog 2076. And they’re all doing well. Special mention has to go to Sinister Dexter’s first episode, the one-off Salad of the bad Cafe, where Yeowell did wonderful things in an episode that was all Fin and Ray sat in a shitty cafe booth waiting for their mark.
Anyway, here’s where things are at in Prog 2076.
Judge Dredd: Flaws – TC Eglington and Staz Johnson
The return of Mo Malik, dodgy reporter, stirring things up between two opposing blocks, trying to get them to riot. And behind the scenes, for who knows what reason quite yet, a Kingpin-esque figure. Nice intro episode, love to see Johnson’s art on Dredd.
Jaegir: In The Realm Of Pyrrhus – Gordon Rennie and Simon Coleby
Apart from those two Dredds and the opening Sinister Dexter I’ve mentioned already, Rennie and Coleby’s Jaegir is the absolute highlight going forward. Rennie and Coleby continue to impress with the continuing adventures of Kapitan-Inspector Atalia Jaegir. No longer protected by the name of her father, she’s been sent back to Nu Earth, thrown into battle once more.
But there’s way more to it than you’d think. A secret mission, that leads this Prog to Jaegir and her crew infiltrating the Southers to kidnap a Souther facilitator. Brilliant stuff.
Sinister Dexter: The Devil Don’t Care – Dan Abnett and Steve Yeowell
After the first couple of standalone tales, including the brilliant opener, Salad of the Bad cafe, we’re into the longer tale now. And it’s pretty good, full of the sorts of Abnett turnaround we always get in Sinister Dexter, complete with some top-notch Steve Yeowell artwork.
Sinister and Dexter had a hit out on them but turns out the hit was from the sister of one of their old friends. Then they find out that the guy who told ’em about the hit has taken it upon himself, as a fan of theirs, to off the sister himself. Ooops. Loads of fun going on here.
Anderson Psi Division: Undertow – Emma Beeby and David Roach
Damn, it’s good to see David Roach back in the pages of 2000AD. And good to see Beeby back in here as well, although she’s hardly been gone as long.
And between the two of them, we get a classic Anderson strip in Undertow. The Psi-Division is under attack, a supernatural threat hunting them down from without, and the Justice Department don’t trust them anymore, thinking they’re all compromised. Anderson’s been recruiting some unusual Psi Judges on her way through this, and things really hit the fan here.
It’s a damn fine Anderson adventure, and the art is top-notch from Roach, just as you’d expect.
Strontium Dog: The Son – John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra
The son being Kenton Stormhammer. Son of Wulf Stormhammer. Recent applicant to the newly reformed Search & Destroy Agency. And it’s sure messing with Johnny Alpha’s head. Which is why he finds himself of some useless planet, Kenton in tow, turning out to be nothing like his old dad, tasked with a foolhardy mission to restore order to a planet full of peaceful indigenous aliens overrun by all manner of nasty, fighty aliens of their own. It’s not good for Johnny, and as he goes looking for the easier (slightly) bounty, he finds himself babysitting the son of the best comrade he ever had.
I have to admit, I haven’t necessarily enjoyed the previous Wagner Strontium Dog series too much, but there’s a lot of things in here to make me keep reading.