comicsthegathering dot com logo

2000AD, PROG 2104 REVIEW

by Gavin Johnston on October 24, 2018

Writers: Rob Williams; Dan Abnett; Ian Edginton; James Peaty
Artists: Henry Flint; INJ Culbard; Dave Taylor; Colin MacNeil; Richard Elson
Colourists: Chris Blythe; Dylan Teague; Abigail Bulmer
Letterers: Annie Parkhouse; Simon Bowland; Ellie De Ville 
Publisher: Rebellion
 

In Judge Dredd: The Small House, Dredd leads a daring raid on one of Smiley’s secret hideouts, whilst elsewhere a couple of startling revelations are delivered quietly and without fuss. Action and political intrigue? Nuance!

Whilst Chief Judge Hershey hovers just beyond the action, the question of how much she knows is constant. Who can Dredd trust, when previous encounters with Smiley have resulted in wiped memories and implanted ideas?  The Small House might be a little overwhelming for new readers. It brings together characters and ideas which have been built over years – in some cases, decades. There’s been no catch-up on why everyone seems to be wearing blindfolds, who all these people are, or just where Smiley’s power comes from. From a long-term reader’s viewpoint, however, this feels like the climax of a very long arc.  

Henry Flint’s Dredd is frequently still and unemotive whilst taking in the politics, snarling and grimacing through the action. It’s the perfect balance – something Dirty Frank explains in his own inimitable way this Prog with a lovely story about how scared he is.

 

In Brink, Kurtis learns even more secrets hidden in the basements of the Juno Corporation. Brink is often just a series of conversations, and here Kurtis meets with another undercover agent to share their discoveries. It's naturalistic, but terrifying. Two women risk their lives whilst joking about their roles, their relationship, and how the privileges of wealth provide an opulence most people could never dream of.  All the while, Artist INJ Culbard creates a deep sense of unease with unnatural lighting, weird colouring, and cramped layouts.

Brink shows that the best horror doesn’t have to be about monsters, or that knife wielding stranger who’s standing behind you as you read this. The most striking horror is often found in the very real, unsettling truths that underscore ordinary life. It's not about giant Lovecraftian space gods. It’s about the fact that many people actually believe the absurd, and the dangers of a world that encourages them.

 

Skip Tracer: Legion has finally done it. Five episodes into its second story, and it has achieved what I worried it never would. Skip Tracer has surprised me.

Whilst Nolan roots around in his brother’s subconscious, the narrative takes an unexpected twist and begins questioning the nature of the story.

It’s still not outstanding, but it’s a step in the right direction for a sci-fi tale that was drawing a little too heavily on its inspirations.  

 

Do you want to see a vampire fight a bear? You've come to the right place!

Constanta and D’Hubert have tracked down Baba Yaga, the ancient witch whom Constanta regards as an enemy of his people. For all its wonderfully crafted dialogue, Fiends of the Eastern Front: 1812 is an action story about vampires fighting things. We can move seamlessly from lovely lines like “I am not a lost soul, but a pilgrim in an unholy land”, to a punch up between an undead creature and woodland beasts.

The action is just as carefully constructed as D’Hubert’s narrative. In this Prog, Constanta’s brutally is juxtaposed with Baba Yaga’s stillness and patience in a large scale battle with a shocking ending..

 

No such stillness in Kingdom: Alpha And Omega. The military assault on the wild-Aux didn’t go well, and the human Numan finds himself alongside Gene, captured by the tribe. There are more helpful monologues, catching us up with how the world changed whilst Gene was away. The explaination has been going on for a while now, but the frequent action means the pace of the story never slows. Gene is faced with a terrible choice - is it worth giving up a part of yourself, just to survive? Big, brawling dog soldiers and philosophy! Nuance!

Our Score:

10/10

A Look Inside