2000AD, PROG 2133 REVIEW

by Gavin Johnston on May 29, 2019

Writers: Rory McConville; James Peaty; Ian Edginton; Guy Adams
Artists: Siku; Brian Corcoran; Leigh Gallagher; Dan Cornwell; D'Israeli
Colourists: Matt Soffe; Jim Boswell
Letterers: Annie Parkhouse; Ellie De Ville; Simon Bowland 
Publisher: Rebellion

Way back in Prog 234, Dredd summarily dismissed a teenager from the Academy of Law.  Cadet Spode returns in Judge Dredd: New Blood, and the intervening years have not been kind. New Blood raises questions on how the system treats those who fail to meet its high standards. We rush through Spode’s life, learning what becomes of those who were told they were special, only to have their lives destroyed by the system they were taught to love.

Unfortunately, these questions go unanswered and we get a blunt ending as Spode’s humanity becomes a weakness the brutal Judge-regime is happy to exploit.  New Blood edges close to great things, but backs off before it starts taking itself too seriously.  Even artist Siku, who returns to the pages of 2000AD after some time away, is more muted than normal, his powerful and vibrant style toned-down to suit a largely static tale.



Tharg’s 3riller: The Chimera rushes to an ending that raises as many questions as it answers. A group of office workers, who shared an unexplained virtual-world, have turned to violent insurrection. In the final twist, it was all caused by...something else that’s a bit more confusing.

Chimera has been a huge bunch of strange ideas, pulling together data-mining, virtual worlds, and terrorism. In its final gasp, it throws religious ideology, anarchism and Brexit slogans into the melting pot. Ultimately, the whole thing is lacking clarity, ending with a call to arms against...something entirely unexplained.


Kingmaker: Ouroboros continues to look lovely as it returns to riffing on Tolkien. Returning from the dead, the Orc Crixus leads his army against a bunch of high-tech elves. With its anthology format, it’s unusual for 2000AD stories to spend so long on extended battles, and perhaps Kingmaker creator Ian Edginton and Leigh Gallagher have their sights set on a more epic tale that a weekly comic can contain.


Max Normal: How The Max Got His Stripes finally pulls together its disparate elements this Prog. Mo Bland’s final fate is revealed, whilst the kids who have been hunting Max for the last few months finally get round to explaining their motivation. How Max Got His Stripes has delighted in dawdling, taking its time with poetic dialogue and over the top characters. In a hilarious moment of self-awareness, it’s a relaxed pace that the characters seem to have noticed.


Scarlet Traces: Home Front reintroduces characters from earlier books, as a gang of rebels fight against the Martian tripods who have returned to Earth. Friendly banter makes the return much easier, and even if it’s too much to follow, there’s great beauty in artist D’Israeli’s ruined London. As the sun rises, deep shadows and the glow of distant fire makes even the piles of corpses gorgeous, and the tension of an empty blue sky is chilling.


Our Score:


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