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2000AD, PROG 2109 REVIEW

by Gavin Johnston on November 28, 2018

Writers: Rob Williams; Dan Abnett
Artists: Henry Flint; INJ Culbard; Steve Yeowell; Richard Elson
Colourists: Chris Blythe; John Charles; Abigail Bulmer
Letterers: Annie Parkhouse; Simon Bowland; Ellie De Ville (l)



Judge Sam is dead. Smiley knew about the Sov plan to launch the Apocalypse War, but let it happen, killing millions. Dirty Frank has shot himself to escape his role as Smiley’s unwilling agent. Dredd has publicly denounced the Chief Judge. Giant and Maitland have lost faith in Dredd’s judgement.

 

Now, on the edges of the city, Dredd and Smiley face-off in the final tense episode of Judge Dredd: The Small House.

 

There’s never a question of will Dredd survive, of course. His name is in the title. The question is how will he win, and who else might die along the way. The Small House delivers a well constructed finale, with a shot and bleeding Dredd no match for the villain who’s always been three steps ahead. We can complain that the details don;t work, but it’s a memorable ending, with a couple of unforgettable panels from Henry Flint. It’s also smart enough to leave a couple of untied threads, allowing the story to continue.
 

That list of writers above might seem a little short for 2000AD.  Dan Abnett continues in his unstoppable mission to conquer the world.  He's responsible for the three other stories this Prog, including a double episode of Sinister & Dexter.

 

Kurtis has been found out in Brink: High Society. In a tense exchange, she’s questioned by security of the Junot Corporation, an organisation not restricted by any laws. We’ve previously seen what they do to spies.

Brink is a slow moving story, where the details of character are everything. INJ Culbard’s art appears initially simplistic, but there’s a whole range of emotion behind every character. Just take a look at the quiet desperation in Gentry’s eyes, knowing that Kurtis could blow his cover, but that not pushing her hard enough could do the same.

 

Sinister and Dexter accidentally find themselves in a James Bond movie in The Sea Beneath The City. Futuristic vehicles from the 1980s, villainous organisations with terrible acronyms, women with names that are ridiculous puns, and bad guys with secret bases...it’s all here.

 

The gunsharks are employed to take down a mysterious smuggler who uses the hidden waterways of Downlode to ply his trade. The initial exposition flies by, with a fast moving host of silliness and the ongoing joke of Dexter’s thought balloons. Sinister & Dexter can pile backstory upon backstory, but still manages to occasionally throw it all away, and just have fun.

 

 

 

There’s a bit of a catch up in Kingdom: Alpha And Omega, as Gene finally escapes the Riders, and joins up with Lezee and Pause. The art is becoming increasingly dark and gritty art as the tension mounts. The Ticks start to show their true colours, as the riders get themselves a new leader. Kingdom has survived it’s shift in time and groups, and is set up for future adventures.

Our Score:

10/10

A Look Inside