2000AD, PROG 2120 REVIEW

by Gavin Johnston on February 27, 2019

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

John Wagner’s fine balance of political satire, insightful comedy, and character examination continues in Judge Dredd: Machine War. Each week, new twists are pulled out the bag in what is shaping up to be an instant classic.

This week, the citizens take to the streets to protest Judge Harvey’s appointment to the Council of Five. Meanwhile, Dredd visits an ailing Hershey in hospital. In just a few pages we shift from the comedy of a protest group named after an ‘70s synth-pop band, to the frustration of Dredd’s lack of self-awareness surrounding his personal relationships, to the dark politics of Mega City One. Machine War is an incredible piece of work.


One of the main issues with Skip Tracer: Louder Than Bombs is it’s lack of time and place.

Skip Tracer is set in a place called “The Cube”, which is presumably some form of space station...but any external views just show a featureless box floating in nothingness.  Louder Than Bombs revolves around a war taking place on another planet, which we know nothing about other than it's name.

This is a world with mobile transporters, flying bikes, and genetically enhanced superpowers...but where people still use USB sticks. It’s a place populated by humans, aliens, human-animal hybrids, and characters that look like they’ve been lifted from other tales. At one point, we met a literal devil who ran a brothe, l.

It’s a mish-mash of ideas, tied together by unlikeable character whose only traits are his unexplained powers that are used inconsistently, his childish temper tantrums, and complete lack of self awareness.  Even as the action picks up it’s hard to care. This week, just as Nolan meets the freedom fighters who with secret information that could bring down the government, the bad guys show up and Nolan must flee, whilst the good guys decide, for no real reason, to stay and die.  



If you want to throw a society together, Grey Area: Hunted shows how it’s done. It’s an eclectic mix of different races and cultures, each panel bursting with detail and comedy. Here, Kym and Bitch seek out help from the Grey Area’s underworld, to escape the black ops unit who would happily commit mass-murder to track them down. Hunted is a fast moving blend of politics, drama, and dark slapstick comedy.


A young man finds himself in the middle of a mobster-based hostage situation in the Tharg’s 3riller: Tooth and Nail, thrown into a showdown between a one-man army and a restaurant full of gangsters. 3rillers is a difficult format with a silly name, with none of the concise storytelling of the one-part Future Shock. This episode is just set up, with no hints of the sci-fi premise we might expect. At part one, this is too early for judgement.


Having taken command of a squadron of Nord forces on the verge of defeat, Kapiten Jaegir negotiates surrender in Jaegir: Bonegrinder. Despite the politcking, Jaegir never slows down, and the whole thing is non-stop battlefield action.



Our Score:


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