2000AD, PROG 2117 REVIEW

by Gavin Johnston on February 06, 2019

Writers: John Wagner, James Peaty, Robert Murphy, Dan Abnett, Gordon Rennie
Artists: Colin MacNeil, Paul Marshall, Steve Austin, INJ Culbard, Simon Coleby
Colourists: Chris Blythe, Quinto Winter, Pippa Mather, Len O'Grady
Letterers: Annie Parkhouse, Ellie De Ville, Simon Bowland (l)
Publisher: Rebellion

It’s testimony to John Wagner’s skill that he can successfully pull off spending an entire page of a five page episode setting up a single, awful pun. Judge Dredd discusses his worries about robot judges with a robot judge, and the pair attend to a shooting at a supermarket in Judge Dredd: Machine War.


Like the best Dredd stories, Machine War is a blend of absurd comedy and very human drama. Wagner’s hallmark omnipotent narrator drifts from the thoughts of the robotic Judge Harvey as he considers Dredd’s advancing years, to Dredd himself as he confronts on some elderly criminals. Whilst we’re busy recovering from an awful joke, both Dredd and Harvey are questioning the flaws of the justice system. Could things be about to change, forever?


In Skip Tracer: Louder Than Bonds, Nolan has a meeting with yet another mysterious and powerful crime boss. Again he uses his psychic powers to get out of a scrape, which once again just left me wondering why he does use them to avoid these scrapes in the first place.


Paul Marshall, whose boldest work for 2000AD is probably the absurdly beautiful Firekind, has produced art that looks largely flat, with very limited backgrounds. Overall, Skip Tracer is underwhelming.



Last Prog, Brink: High Society exploded into a violent, hallucinogenic nightmare. Kurtis’s investigation to cult activity led her to confront a murderous cabal, determined to poison thousands. All that unpleasant action over, Brink gets back to where it belongs – with characters having tense conversations, while shielding their true fears.


Kurtis is informally debriefed from her hospital bed, and reveals her terrifying theory. It’s a strange mix of science and supernatural, sounding weirdly like something that modern-day conspiracy theorists might eat up. Brink has been a master-class in how to produce new and original comics: its plot weaves this way and that, avoiding being pigeon-holed into one genre; its characters are realistic yet compelling; every aspect of its art, from design to colouring to panel layout, are utilised to their utmost to create a terse and claustrophobic drama.



Tharg’s 3riller: Keeper of Secrets rushes to a conclusion this Prog. After quite a nice build up, the problem of an ancient curse is solved with a bit of violence. After taking it’s time introducing its lead character, we’re left with the clear impression that this is just another pitch for a longer series, as Delphi and her mysterious tattoo solve the problem of pig-headed vengeance. Its a nice, if functional, conclusion.



Finally, Jaegir returns with Bonegrinder, where Kapiten-Inspecter Atalia Jaegir does the good work of the Office of Public Truth - a sort of Internal Affairs Division of the brutal Nort military. Opening with a memorable set-piece that highlights the pointless slaughter of the Nu-Earth War, this is a gritty and grimy introduction to the most interesting expansion of the Rogue Trooper universe. Previous Jaegir stories have taken their time weaving tales of hidden secrets and betrayal. Here, though, we’re right into the action with a straight forward story and clear moral purpose.  It's a strong start.

Our Score:


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