2000AD, PROG 2118 REVIEW

by Gavin Johnston on February 13, 2019

Writers: John Wagner; Dan Abnett; James Peaty; Gordon Rennie
Artists: Colin MacNeil; INJ Culbard; Paul Marshall; Mark Harrson; Simon Coleby
Colourists: Chris Blythe; Quinto Winter; Len O'Grady
Letterers: Annie Parkhouse; Simon Bowland; Ellie De Ville 
Publisher: Rebellion

How far should we put our trust in artificial intelligence?

What does it mean to be “alive”?

Why is Skip Tracer?

These questions and more are asked in Prog 2118 of 2000AD. It’s an anthology of four excellent tales, and one not


Judge Hershey quits her job and bids farewell in Judge Dredd: Machine War. Bidding farewell to Dredd might be like saying goodbye to your favourite wall, but it almost gets touching. Dredd’s tactful language is a bit at odds with his blunt behaviour just a few weeks ago, but that’s nothing new when scripting duties bounce between writers


Elsewhere, Chief Judge Logan announces his new Council of Five; a trusted cabinet who will act as advisors and implement his decisions. Writer John Wagner manages to wrangle a couple of jaw dropping moments from a press conference and its aftermath in this memorable but almost action free episode



Beautiful, complex, touching, horrifying Brink: High Society reaches the end of its third book this Prog. It’s an end, but it would be wrong to call it a “climax”, or even a “conclusion”. This is a downbeat ending that simply reinforces the new layer of complexity that was introduced to the conspiracy two weeks ago.


If you haven’t been following Brink, then its ethos is maybe best summed up by explaining that the finale revolves around a character who was last seen more than two hundred pages ago, and explores the crossroads of biology and religion. Building on the foundations of Lovecraftian horror in space, Brink has frequently hinted at the supernatural, but now bluntly points out that Giant-Space-God-Demons is an absurd idea, believed only by madmen. The door to a fourth book is opened, and I can’t wait.



Last week, part one of Jaegir: Bonegrinder saw a corrupt General placed under arrest, and locked up in the brig. Job done. Which surely means that Inspector Atalia Jaegir can return home, do some paperwork, and put her feet up with a nice cup of tea….


...but this is Nu Earth, where war is absolute. Part two throws us into five murky pages of battlefield action, as massive tanks roam the landscape, orders are given, and footsoldiers die. It’s brutal and angry action.



Equally action packed is Grey Area: Whistleblower. Following the border control agency tasked with protecting the Earth from aliens, Grey Area returns after a mid-arc break. Kym and the unfortunately named “Resting Bitch Face” have been co-opted into a black-ops unit, and here they get their first job.


My only concern about Grey Area was that it had taken a strong female soldier, given her an offensive name and dressed her in what looked like a swimsuit. It’s at last been addressed, and “Bitch” is finally allowed to wear a proper uniform. Grey Area is more relevant than ever, and now delves into the dark side of border enforcement.


Which brings us to Skip Tracer: Louder Than Bombs, in which a wounded Nolan places his life in the hands of a character he has no reason to trust. It’s the latest in a series of strange decision, in a story with little internal logic.


Skip Tracer isn’t even “bad”. Instead, it’s a selection of tropes and cliches, bound together by an uninteresting character in plot armour. This episode, a “nightmare” scene which is supposed to be emotionally overwhelming is presented in a bland, flat panel. Creators James Peaty and Paul Marshall are much better than this suggests.


Why does a powerful psychic so frequently stumble into traps? Does Nolan have any reason for doing the things he does? All these questions and more may be answered, next Prog...

Our Score:


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