comicsthegathering dot com logo

2000AD, PROG 2060

by ModernPanther on December 05, 2017



Writers: Michael Carroll; Eddie Robson; Pat Mills; Gordon Rennie
Artists: PJ Holden; Steven Austin; Simon Davis; Tiernan Trevallion
Colourists: Quinton Winter; Gary Caldwell
Letterers: Annie Parkhouse; Ellie De Ville
Publisher: Rebellion

 

Next week will be 2000AD’s big Christmas prog, which means its time to wrap up the current line of stories. It’s the time of year for conclusions, but most of them are incomplete and a little unsatisfying.

 

Last week, a handcuffed Dredd escaped being a hostage by kicking a mutant dog to death and using its corpse to surf a river of molten metal. This week, Judge Dredd: Black Snow goes full Bruce Willis, kicking up the action to a physics defying levels of absurdity which brings the story juddering to a halt. What started as a tale of international intrigue, state corruption and civil unrest by oppressed peoples quickly just became Dredd doing his thing in the snow. There’s still time taken for small moments of character building, and a Judge who we will no doubt see again soon is given an interesting back-story. It’s certainly an ending, but feels unsatisfying given the many threads of personal motivation which have been left hanging. There’s still time for a final twist though, and it looks like this storyline isn’t quite finished and might lead directly into a new story next week.

 

Three parter The House of Gilded Peak winds up its short tale of magic, robbery and overly long pregnancy. Its been a competent tale decently told, but could perhaps have been a single parter. Rather, The House of Gilded Peak feels it has been padded out and overly complicated with superfluous character and detail, most of which isn’t brought to any conclusion.

 

Last week, Slane’s life was left hanging in the balance as he faced insurmountable odds. Which means that it's time for the problem to be easily resolved in a handful of panels, before a wordy monologue about religion and politics.

Visually, Slaine: Brutantia Chronicles: Book Four: Archeon has veered between repetitively bland and beautifully epic, largely due to its grey setting, limited characters, and talented artist given little to do. For this final, double length episode, artist Simon Davis goes all out with a couple of finely detailed, painted double-pages of the sort that could almost be framed and stuck on your wall, were it not for a bold and puzzling lettering choice which suggests a decision to make certain characters as obnoxious as possible.

Much of Slaine could be followed through the lovely chunky art and without reading any of the dialogue. This would also save the reader from Pat Mill’s tedious diatribes about how awful his strawman version of Christianity is. On the whole, STBCB4A has lasted almost forever, with more than sixty pages of nothing memorable over eleven weeks, taking up prime real estate in the vaunted pages of 2000AD. Slaine has got angry at some rock men, then some fish ladies, then a demon, then some rock men again. He shouted a bit, had a fight and discovered the incredibly bland secret of his parentage, and how ghastly organised religion is.  But it's not finished yet – the same ongoing story will continue at some point, under a different title, until the end of days.

 

Ever wanted to tell your boss where he could stick his job? Old school copper Harry Absalom knows how to do a conclusion, and gives his notice in style in the last part of Absalom: Terminal Diagnosis: Book One.

Having spent the last few episodes building a small team of talented outcasts, Harry is ready to lead his team on a mission to save his grandchildren from the forces of hell. But can old Harry save the day before his personal demons catch up with him, especially since we’ve learned that some of those closest to him have darker motives for going along?

It’s a solid ending which keeps a damp prog afloat.  It doesn’t really bring anything new, but neatly signs off the first book of this tale by bringing all of the characters together, building drama and clearly signalling what comes next. As always, artist Teirnan Trevallion does some lovely work with disjointed panels and actions sequences, and some beautifully grotesque characters.

 

Our Score:

6/10

A Look Inside