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2000AD, PROG 2046

by ModernPanther on August 29, 2017


Writer: John Wagner; Gordon Rennie; Emma Beeby; Pat Mills; Lawrence Rennie; Guy Adams
Artist: Dan Cornwell; Eoin Coveney; John Higgins; Karl Richardson; Jimmy Broxton
Colourist: Abigail Bulmer; Sally Hurst
Publisher: Rebellion


In 1982, the epic Apocalypse War storyline climaxed with Judge Dredd leading a daring raid on an enemy bunker, before launching a nuclear attack which would kill half a billion people. Judge Dredd: War Buds recaps these events whilst showing the effect the decision had on the men and women responsible for the destruction of a city. This episode is a competent blending of past and present, which subtly builds characters who really existed only as placeholders before. The now retired judges put together a plan to rescue their old comrade whose guilt and resulting mental instability has resulted in his being scheduled for euthanasia, whilst the iconic events of the past are reimagined by artist Dan Cornwell.
 

Superspy hero John Blake delights in torturing another two dimensional villain to death before we are told how difficult next week's task will be in Greysuit. The brutal Greysuit continues in its battle to say something insightful about the British Establishment and its historic suppression of the truth, whilst harking back to the “good old days” of rebellious boys comics. It's a big subject deserving of an intelligent story, but Greysuit continues to go for easy targets with clumsy dialogue.
 

Whilst Greysuit struggles to depict the dark arts used by a corrupt establishment, The Alienist does so effortlessly with the inscrutable group known only as the Society.  Whilst Greysuit might try to reflect Britain's comics of the 70's and 80's with cultural references and absurd simplicity, The Alienist succeeds in replicating not only the emotive art style but the sheer joy and possibility of the era.  In The Alienist, divided characters with mysterious motives begin to unite against an equally mysterious common foe. There’s been little by way of explanation in the Alienist, but events continue to rocket along as past and present blur.

 

Full of interesting world building, but with so many balls in the air and so little actually explained it’s unclear how Mechastopheles will resolve in its third part. There’s some lovely, chunky art from Karl Richardson, with a delicious double page splash of the steampunk kaiju– which might be an odd choice for a story with limited space. Mechastopheles feels like either an extended one part story or a pitch for a longer series, although I would be happy for next week’s issue to prove me wrong.

 

Private Investigator Mallory Hope’s investigation into the disappearance of a child actor reaches the seediest parts of LA in Hope...for the future. The slow moving, evocative crime comic style might at first seem out of place in a publication filled with mutants and giant robots, but 2000ad has long been willing to defy expectations and Hope...for the future is the highlight of the prog.

Our Score:

7/10

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