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2000AD, PROG 2098 REVIEW

by Gavin Johnston on September 12, 2018

Writers: TC Eglington; Gordon Rennie; Lawrence Rennie; Emma Beeby; Kek-W; Dan Abnett
Artists: Staz Johnson; Neil Googe; John Burns; Karl Richardson; Mark Harrison
Colourists: Gary Caldwell; Abigail Bulmer
Letterers:  Annie Parkhouse; Ellie De Ville; Simon Bowland
Publisher: Rebellion



The Justice department begins its strike back against the Sons of Booth in part 4 of Judge Dredd: the Booth Conspiracy. “There are a lot of moving parts”, warns Chief Judge Hershey. And she’s right. We launch into a five page, complex plan involving faked footage, a military convoy and a dead President, with the Judges and the Boothers trying to outsmart each other. Its a concise set-up for a final battle, with not a panel wasted in setting the scene and building character.

 

The Final Girls will survive this slasher movie at all costs, even if it means using Clive and Sam as stereotype bait. Dressed in horror-film-fodder costumes, the pair are forced into the woods to await their fate in Survival Geeks: Hack ‘n Slash. Meanwhile, Rufus and Clive have been collecting reluctant assistants of their own, with the plan to take the fight to the Slashers. Survival Geeks is huge fun, packed with a love for all things geeky, but with none of the contempt found in most stories about sci-fi fans. It understands and plays with the tropes of the genre. It’s also filled with fun details - Clive’s obsession with detail, the jump scares being saved up for later, and Rufus’s Death Star paraphernalia. Survival Geeks is joyous, funny and consistently surprising. 

 

The confusion of The Order: The New World bursts into action once more. With Danny fatally injured, the gang find off a wyrm attack. The Order’s close up action, unwillingness to engage in any explanation or recap can make it difficult to follow.  Its occasional forays into German, French and pseudo-scientific jargon, just add to the madcap adventure. For all its seriousness and layered characters, The Order is a silly story about a bunch or people and a giant robot fighting against aliens.

 

The history of the steam-powered giant is further investigated in Mechastopheles: True Faith. Seven parts in, and we’re still without any real explanation of who the scary little girl is, or why this world is in such a mess. Still though, layers are added to this universe and its history, and flashbacks give glimpses of the star’s origin. It’s very well put together, slowly delivering background as we go, and new details being discovered amid the action. Artwise, it’s a strange beast – great designs here and there, but whole scenes lacking any background. Mechastopheles is an intriguing idea, with an entirely original world and a whole host of varied characters. But we’re closer to the end than the beginning, and it looks like Mechastopheles won’t be reaching a satisfying conclusion any time soon.

 

There are twists and turns galore in Grey Area: Every Dirty Job. Amid the fast-moving action, there’s a carefully constructed conspiracy built on the back of quiet moments. Mark Harrison’s art continues to be glorious, packed with lens flare and pixilated screens, with great design, (although its a little disappointing that female lead Birdie thinks it’s a good idea to wear cut-off jeans to a meeting with the boss). Grey Area is always smart. It’s a confident satire on the issues of immigration and the populist backlash it inspires. Rather than providing an extended tale, it is split into smaller, stand-alone tales, which seamlessly tie together into wonderful and intelligent arcs. It looks like Grey Area wont return until next year, but it’s going to be worth waiting for.

Our Score:

8/10

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