2000AD #2209 REVIEW

by Gavin Johnston on November 24, 2020

Writers: Kenneth Niemand; Ian Edginton; James Peaty; Alec Worley
Artists: Steven Austin; D’Israeli; Paul Marshall; Tiernen Trevallion; Leigh Gallagher
Colours: Chris Blyth; Dylan Teague
Letters: Annie Parkhouse; Jim Campbell; Simon Bowland (l)
Publisher: Rebellion

Judge Dredd: Simply Normal continues to build an interesting picture of the sub-cultures of Mega City One, as the Simp underground plans a raid on a "conversion" facility. Steve Austin’s art and Kenneth Neimand’s script are a perfect combination, packing each panel with great details – Dredd carries out a health inspection at the most disgusting chilli sauce factory ever, whilst Judges Wrexler and Patsy are maintaining order at a protest about someone called Rad Tiger Joe. None of these details have any impact upon the story, but they help build a fascinating world filled with interesting characters.



Plenty of folks really like Skiptracer. It has a simplistic, direct to video nature, reminiscent of 2000AD of the 90s. It’s straightforward, with plenty of action and clear storytelling.

I’m not a fan of Skiptracer. It’s full of plot holes, with characters who behave in absurd ways and forget their motivation from one panel to the next. It’s set in a world which is remarkably blank and devoid of any flavour. At one stage in Skiptracer: Hyperballad, a character was duplicated, appearing in two places at once. The finale happens in an “acoustic resonator” room which has been abandoned in an empty art gallery, and depends on a recording company executive forgetting that recording devices exist, and robots being reprogrammed with singing, before everyone gets to go live happily ever afteron a paradise planet that no-one was using but no-one. I’ve found this whole story unappealing.



Hookjaw is also a bloody mess – but in a good way. Our heroes are finally launching an attack on the Shark-demon after last week’s gore-fest. The problem with solving a problem with a spell, however, it that it’s not automatically interesting to look at. Stickleback: New Jerusalem solved this problem by having a couple of giants smash each other to bits over a steampunk London for a dozen pages, but Hookjaw takes a more direct route, rushing to a close as some ghosts solving the problem.

The final denouement is a bit Gaiman-esque, querying whether monsters only exist because people believe...It leaves the door open to more stories and possibly a wider universe. All very hopeful, given given how little we’ve seen of the title character this time round.



Finally, a vampire is born in Fiends of the Eastern Front: Constanta. Things have gone full circle, and the myths of Constanta’s younger years meets up with the court intrigue of the earlier episodes. It all descends into an orgy of violence, with Constanta and his troll buddy punching the heck out of some guards. A wonderful example of storytelling, with gorgeous art from Tiernen Trevallion.



Our Score:


A Look Inside