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2000AD, PROG 2048

by ModernPanther on September 12, 2017


Writers: John Wagner; Gordon Rennie; Emma Beeby; Pat Mills; Rory McConville; Guy Adams

Artists: Dan Cornwell; Eoin Coveney; John Higgins; Tilen Javornik; Jimmy Broxton; Luke Preece

Colourists: Abigail Bulmer; Sally Hurst

Publisher: Rebellion

 

The Apocalypse Squad are on the run in Judge Dredd: War Buds. The former judges, veterans of the Apocalypse War, have saved their old colleague from scheduled euthanasia and are on their way to get him the medical treatment he needs. After spending a few issues in the background whilst these character were given room to develop, Dredd is back and hot on their trail. Typically, these stories don’t end well for lawbreakers, but this prog shows us that there is more to Dredd’s motivations here than just catching the criminals, as a flashback opens yet another chapter in Dredd’s personal history. Despite constantly being on the move, building a team of characters and coping with several timelines, War Buds has managed to be a touching story which looks at how traumatised men cope with grief. And it really turns it up the emotion in this episode. Dredd isn’t a character given to introspection, but John Wagner’s masterful storytelling allows Dredd to reflect on his own flaws and mistakes.

Dan Cornwell’s art has been outstanding throughout this story, with some stunning full page views of Mega City One, as well as reimagining some classic storylines from the past which were previously illustrated by different artists.

 

More flashbacks in The Alienist, as the mysterious Madeline Vespertine battles the Society. But are they really all that different, and is stopping the Society really for the greater good? Are there more terrible monsters on their way? Blending exposition with action, The Alienist has skilfully created a world where good and evil aren’t black and white.

 

Greysuit finally stops pretending to be serious in this, the penultimate episode. Super spy John Blake has infiltrated the enemy stronghold and sets about demolishing the place, including the snooker hall. Greysuit might have been made a pretence at anti-establishment satire, but along the way we’ve had inappropriate jokes about animal molestation, stereotypical foreigners, a guy with song-lyric tourettes, a good guy who monologues as he tortures people to death, and villains who might as well be carrying signs that say “bad guy”. Greysuit makes no sense and has little new to say. It is an explosion of absurdity, but at least now it’s trying to be fun.

 

What happened to missing child actor Buster Ritz is finally revealed in Hope...for the future. This detective noir might be set in a LA where the occult is real, but there’s no magic here, just a brutal story of very human weakness and jealousy. A crime comic about a private investigator haunted by a gas-mask wearing nun, Hope… might be an odd fit amid the sci-fi adventures of the prog, but its slow burn style has cast a spell.

 

In Terminal, mild mannered software salesman Edgar has developed the rare balloon virus, and goes to extreme measures to find a cure before he...pops. Futureshocks are the trail by fire for new writers and are often the prog’s weakest link. Its remarkably difficult to build a stand alone story with compelling characters, then have a satisfying twist, in only four pages. With a mixture of humour and gore, Terminal manages the task with aplomb.

Our Score:

9/10

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