2000AD, PROG 2116 REVIEW

by Gavin Johnston on January 30, 2019

Writers: John Wagner; James Peaty, Robert Murphy, Dan Abnett
Artists: Colin MacNeil, Paul Marshall, Steven Austin, INJ Culbard
Colourists: Chris Blythe, Quinto Winters, Pippa Mathers
Letterers: Annie Parkhouse, Ellie De Ville, Simon Bowland 
Publisher: Rebellion

Judge Logan was created as a character in the Dredd-universe by John Wagner in tribute to Stewart Perkins, a friend,  life-long 2000AD fan and font of knowledge, who often wrote under the name WR Logan. The habitually unlucky Judge Logan, who was last seen loosing his arm for the second time in the Day of Chaos epic, was a long term assistant to Dredd. Logan returns this Prog, as the cogs are put in motion for his accension to the role of Chief Judge.


Writing responsibilities on Dredd shifts between a small group of talented writers, each of whom delivers overlapping arcs with their own little gang of supporting characters. In moving Logan to the role of Chief Judge, Wagner could be casting the character of Logan into the bigger pool, allowing other writers to share and develop the character. I can’t think of a better tribute.


In a wonderfully crafted episode of Judge Dredd: Machine Law, Dredd finds out that robot judges are being deployed in Mega City One, and confronts Logan on the issue. Robot Judges have come a long way since the Mechanismo storyline of the early ‘90s, and amid Dredd’s complaints of “machines with the power of life and death of a human being” is the quiet suggestion that these machines, with their compassion and flaws, are more human than Dredd could ever be.  Rather rely on action, it's a conversation between Dredd and the man whose career he crafted, as Dredd's ideological law-keeping is confronted with reality.



Skip Tracer: Louder Than Bombs sees Nolan deal with the fallout of the Loden’s death. What better way to grieve a character who only had a couple of lines of dialogue than to indulge in some unnecessary cage fighting? In Nolan there’s not much of a character, and the plotting in Skip Tracer feels like the knitting together of science fiction tropes. Despite being a powerful psychic, Nolan gets into a fist fight in order to have a discussion with a potential crime boss, in order to solve a crime on behalf of a powerful military organisation who should really have people who can deal with this. The creators of Skip Tracer have done some great work elsewhere, but this doesn’t really add up.


Part two of the three part Keeper of Secrets brings together the two main characters, as Adelphi confronts Jon about the death of his boss. Keeper of Secret has been a nice use of the Tharg’s 3riller format, cutting though the fluff and unnecessary exposition so well it’s even possible to ignore the ancient Roman gods with questionable taste in fashion. As twists are added, is there enough time for this all to be neatly wrapped up next week?


The psychedelics hits the fan in Brink: High Life, as the cult put their plan into action in a double episode. In an effort to appease unseen gods, Joel and his gang have decided to sacrifice thousands of people by pumping poison into the air supply. As the drugs begin to work, Brink escapes its calm and rational style in a truly memorable way in this disturbing episode.  The line "I'm all inside out, I am", delivered calmly and with a smile, is especially haunting.


That INJ Culbard’s art has been so reserved and structured until now just adds to the impact, as the order fades away in a shocking few pages. Brink has been a masterpiece of storytelling and design, and even as we rush to the end it continues to surprise.

Our Score:


A Look Inside