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2000AD PROG 2075 REVIEW

by Gavin Johnston on April 03, 2018

Writers: Rory McConville; Gordon Rennie; Dan Abnett; Emma Beeby; John Wagner
Artists: Paul Marshall; Simon Coleby; Steve Yeowell; David Roach; Carlos Ezquerra
Colourists: Dylan Teague; Len O'Grady; John Charles; Jose Villarrubia
Letterers: Ellie De Ville; Annie Parkhouse; Simon Bowland
Publisher: Rebellion

 

In a heaving metropolis with near total unemployment, people are going to get bored easily and the fads and hobbies of Mega City One have been a long term favourite of 2000AD writers. Rory McConville’s script comes to this old idea with a new angle in Judge Dredd: The Death Watch, where the aftermath of an obsession with “smart watches” takes centre stage. Ordinary citizen Gavin Mearly has his life turned upside down when he outlives his death-predicting electronic device, and the race for a new battery leads him into trouble. It’s a nice turn at a not entirely original idea, relegating Dredd to a supporting actor and allowing the city to take centre stage. Fun art from Paul Marshall, with Meany ageing and slowly becoming more deranged over the course of the story, helps it along.

 

In the course of three episode, Jaegir: In The Realm Of Pyrrhus has moved from space battles, to massive conflicts with oversized tanks, and now into the brutality of trench warfare. As Atalia leads her squad through the murky Nu-Earth, more of her past is revealed in flashback and the reason for her return to this unending war slowly becomes clearer. Len O’Grady’s colours are great, with muddy brown battlefields occasionally illumined by blood and lightning, and washed out, shadowy flashbacks

 

After a couple of fun one-offs, Sinister Dexter: The Devil Don’t Care pulls together a couple of supporting characters to launch a bigger story. Billi Octavio has put out a contract on profesional hitmen Finnigan and Ramone, blaming them for her sister’s death. The story calls on the massive and convoluted backstory of the characters, but fun dialogue and interesting characters allow the reader to be swept along even without an indepth knowledge of the last two decades of the strips history. Kicking things off with a joke about how exactly the Europe-wide city of Downlode should be described, this is a nice set up episode for Sinister and Dexter.

 

Anderson PSI Division: Undertow hints at a complex conspiracy, whilst loading the story up with new characters. Last Prog saw the surprise return of PSI Judge Karyn after more than a decade away. Karyn was introduced to 2000AD in the ‘90s, filling in for Judge Anderson when ongoing Anderson storylines made her unavailable, but Karyn hasn’t been seen for several years after being possessed by a demonic force. The twist might have been completely lost on newer readers, since the same episode introduced new character, Echo, as if she was making a return. Undertow throws Karyn, Anderson, Anderson’s sidekick Flowers, and Echo together to solve a mystery which still hasn’t been explained to the reader. Whilst interesting, having a whole host of characters communicating psychically, their history and purpose given no real explanation, can’t be sustained for long. Undertow is interesting but feels like a tangle of ideas, which hopefully will become clear.

 

Johnny Alpha and Kenton Sternhammer are offered a contract beyond their abilities in Strontium Dog: The Son. The people of the planet Protoz want to employ the pair to restore order to their whole planet, after an influx of immigrants have brought crime to their previously peaceful lives. There’s a sly nod to Brexit, as the Protoz authorities blame a political union for an influx of immigrants, take no measures to actually protect themselves, then look for the simplest answer to their problems. The story itself is following a predictable route so far, with Alpha refusing the mission in this Prog, ready to be drawn into another conflict. Nonetheless, its a fun tale, with Alpha as the stranger in a lawless town, dispensing brutal justice.

Our Score:

8/10

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