The Weekly 2000AD: Previewing Prog 2081

Published On May 15, 2018 | By Richard Bruton | Comics, The Weekly 2000AD

The latest 2000AD Prog hits the shelves of your favourite UK comic shop on the 16th May. Featuring a great done in one Dredd and two new tales. Here’s the skinny on what’s inside…

Gorgeous punny cover by the great Carlos Ezquerra, as we say farewell to the latest Strontium Dog tale, the best Johnny Alpha’s been for a long time.

As for what’s inside, let’s begin with old stony face…

Judge Dredd: The Chosen One – Rory McConville and Dan Cornwell

Another simple, but great, little done in one Dredd from McConville and Cornwell. Both gents are part of the new breed of Dredd/2000AD creators, and it sure looks as though the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic is in good hands. McConville has a lovely humorous touch to his writing, and Cornwell, best known as yet for the football meets sci-fi tale Rok Of The Reds (with Alan Grant and John Wagner no less!) has a beautiful old skool style for Dredd.

As for the tale, it’s comedy all the way as Dredd goes looking for a cit who keeps getting abducted thanks to his name and a group of idiots trying to bring back the past. Childish? Oh yes, but that’s all the fun!

Sinister Dexter: The Gangbusters – Dan Abnett and Steve Yeowell

The action takes to the skies once more in this final episode. But thanks to Billi’s upgrades, it’s a real no contest when Ray and Fin discover just what those AR upgrades can do.

More interesting questions for another time keep cropping up; the little voice in Ray’s head (complete with comedy thought balloons that only Ray can see in the AR) plus the question of just how Billi can possibly know them when they’re meant to be wiped from the continuum. But those are for another time. Here it’s all about simply enjoying Abnett and Yeowell delivering yet another fabulously fun and funny series.

Skip Tracer: Heavy Is The Head- James Peaty and Paul Marshall

Totally new strip starts here, with a very old school 2000AD vibe. A Skip Tracer is a bounty hunter, tracing those who’ve skipped custody, and Nolan Blake is a skip tracer. He lives and works in a place called ‘The Cube’, a crappy floating refugee camp in space sort of place.

This opener sets the tone, with Paul Marshall’s classic art and James Peaty, on his first series proper for 2000AD following a few Future Shocks and 3Riller, delivering a pacy, attractive opener. Having chatted to Peaty about it, he tells me that there’s more to Nolan’s character and his past than just being a simple bounty hunter type, and that’s something we’ll be exploring in this first Skip Tracer 9-part tale.

With his latest quarry’s brains all over his clothes by the end of this opener, assassinated after telling Blake that he had some dirt on those higher up, we’ll see just where this is going.

Damned – The Fall Of Deadworld – Kek-W and Dave Kendall

We’re back in the realm of the Dark Judges once more with Damned. This is the third of Kek-W and Dave Kendall’s tales of ‘The Fall of Deadworld’. It all began with Tainted, where the takeover by the Dark Judges was seen from the point of view of a normal farming family and rogue Judge Fairfax (complete with his potty-mouthed sentient Lawrider, Byke).

Jess Childs, the child from the farm, is still with us here in Damned, and the whole Walking Dead vibe runs strong throughout. By the end, there’s a decision made, and we’ll no doubt be seeing the return of Judge Fairfax very soon.

Kendall’s art sets everything in suitable grim and dirty conditions, a sense of profound doom engulfing everything that goes on here, and seeing as we know just how the Dark Judges leave Deadworld, that’s pretty spot on. The end is nigh, but dammit, getting there is a great ride.

Strontium Dog: The Son – John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra

Here we are, the end of what’s genuinely been the very best Strontium Dog tale I’ve read in a long time. Wagner seemed to hit a really sweet spot with the emotional content, the sentimentality, and all the action. There’s been some magnificent Carlos Ezquerrez artwork along the way as well. But here we go, the finale. More of a post finale wrap up to be honest, with Johnny making short work of the big bad robo-bounty he’s after. But that’s no problem, because the whole thing’s been a damn fine series. Looking forward to Johnny (and Kenton’s) return!


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About The Author

Richard Bruton
- Started in comics retail aged 16 at Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham. Now located in Yorkshire, he's written for the Forbidden Planet International Blog since 2007. Specialising in UK Comics and All-Ages comics, Richard's day job in a primary school allowed him to build the best children's graphic novel library in the country.

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