200AD #2219 Review

by Gavin Johnston on February 17, 2021

Writers: Ken Neimand; Alec Worley; Mike Carroll; Pat Mills; Rob Williams
Artists: Patrick Goddard; Ben Willsher; Jake Lynch; Leonardo Manco; Simon Fraser
Colours: Dylan Teague; Jim Boswell
Letters: Annie Parkhouse; Jim Campbell; Simon Bowland
Publisher: Rebellion

Kenneth Neimand continues his run of well executed stories focussing on the people of Mega City One in Judge Dredd: Against the Clock.

With many of us trapped indoors, courier companies have been especially busy. The gig economy and corporate greed means many couriers are pushed to the limit just to pay the bills. Against the Clock answers the question that 2000AD has always asked: What if now...but more?

Patrick Goddard and Dylan Teague look to be having a great time producing detailed cityscapes from weird angles.

A sky-surfing courier takes an urgent delivery and Dredd proves to be an inconvenience. That’s it. No third act twist, or world eating monsters. Just a series of events, well conveyed. Dredd takes a supporting role in what’s almost an anti-story, and what I hope is just an introduction to a recurring character.

There are some beautiful design details in the courier and the baby, Bloop, strapped to her back...and in writing a world that allows people to do dangerous jobs with babies strapped to their backs provided they can afford a licence to do so. Mr Neimand has already tweeted that the courier will return, so this looks to be a great introduction to another original character.



Slaine chops up some guys and we finally get to meet Brutus’s imprisoned son in in Dragontamer. It’s another all-action episode, throwing out weirdly elaborate monologues whilst bad guys are beheaded. This looks like classic Slaine. If you like that sort of thing, you’ll love this.



The tiny man who was hiding inside Proteus Vex is on the run, Vex himself is out of action, and Midnight’s people are about to arrive and aren’t too happy. Proteus vex: The Shadow Chancellor is straight up crazy space opera.

Maybe it;s not for everyone, and the over the top world and visuals might put some readers off, but it’s really worth a read. At its heart, Proteus Vex is a spy story, which just happens to involve aliens in tight bodysuits, where no one can trust anyone else for very long.



There’s even more backstabbing in Durham Red: Served Cold. The prisoners have escaped and taken Red prisoner, planning to sell her to the mercenaries threatening to kill them all. The plot might be popcorn fodder, but every character here is driven by clear motivation. It’s betrayal layer upon betrayal, but the great characterisation and Ben Willsher’s clean art and unique character design ensure that things don’t get too muddled. This is certainly unique – I’m willing to wager that in no other comic this month will the villain be a floating brain wearing a balaclava.



We have reached the final showdown in Hershey: the Brutal. Hershey confronts mob boss Edu, whilst Frank battles El Diablo, and both get help from unexpected quarters. The Brutal has been bloody and, well, brutal, returning two characters from the dead only to batter and bruise them for our entertainment.

Hershey, who despite being a 2000AD institution has always been a bit of a personality vacuum, has been given more depth here than in forty years of stories. Dirty Frank remains tragic, mourning the loss of yet another friend. He may never be funny again, but remains an emotional gut punch. This final episode makes it clear there are more revelations to come.

Our Score:


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