2000AD #2223 Review

by Gavin Johnston on March 17, 2021

Writers: Kenneth Niemand; Brendan Mccarthy; Roger Langridge; TC Eglington; Mike Carroll; Alec Worley
Artists: PJ Holden; Brendan Mccarthy; Len O’Grady; Simon Davies; Jake Lynch; Ben Willsher
Colours: Quinton Winter; Jake Lynch
Letters: Annie Parkhouse; Simon Bowland; Jim Campbell
Publisher: Rebellion



In the week London police forcibly remove women from a candle-lit vigil and lined up to defend statue of Churchill against imaginary attackers, Judge Dredd: Who Killed Captain Cookies? opens with a statue and offers a different kind of justice. Frustrated by the judges’ lack of interest, vigilante super-chip Noam Chimpsky has tracked down the killers of his friend Captain Cookies, and launches a single-handed assault.

The lovely thing about Chimpsky stories is that they offer a different view of justice. Balanced against the judges’ heavy handed approach where everyone is a potential, and probable, criminal who needs stomped into the sidewalk, Chimpsky is about working people out and solving problems by outsmarting everyone else. It’s quite touching to see Chimpsy and his old pal discussing the philosopher Thomas Paine and dreaming of a different world.

Again, Dredd makes a small cameo in what is officially his own strip...but it’s a cameo filled with comedy detail. We land right in the middle of what could easily have been the final scene of a whole different story, with Dredd battling against a robot orchestra.


It’s the 2ndRiller episode of Tharg’s 3Riller: Naka of the STARS, and Inspector Nakrosky and his robot sidekick are looking into a murder. There’s a charming Englishness to this story, set in world that’s a strange mix of sci-fi and pastoral. Nakrosky is a mix of bumbling and brilliant that appears in British day time detective dramas.

The setting is the main character, however, and it’s not quite pulling me in at this stage. It’s nice.


There’s more backstory in Thistlebone: Poisoned Roots, as journalist Seema Chaudry puts together the pieces of a cult’s backstory. This is a slow paced story, with close views of characters having stories, and as such isn’t going to be to everyone taste, and might be one to read in one go rather than on a weekly basis. In a nice shift in tone, local weirdo Malcolm gets a bit of an origin story with a charming shift in art style.




Proteus Vex: The Shadow Chancellor reaches its climactic, world changing, strangely downbeat ending this episode. The war crimes committed against The Silent are finally in the open...but will anyone in power care enough to do anything about it?

After weeks of running gun-fights and exposition on the move, the most dramatic thing in the whole story happens this week is a handful of wordless, near static panels which are totally heartbreaking. Proteus Vex has been joyously alien, standing out as unique even in a comic packed with alienness. It’s all underlined by a final, full page image on the strange, Citheronian homeworld; an image that oozes an unearthly, majestic strangeness, and where the stage is set for even greater adventure.




Also ending this prog is Durham red: Served Cold, and again a further adventure is heavily signalled. Whereas Proteus Vex was a violent ballet, Durham Red has been wonderfully popcorn entertainment almost from the very beginning, to the extend that the whole thing could be put on the big screen without any backstory and it would make a summer blockbuster with Danny Glover in a late career supporting role.

Amid the bullets, Durham has been made more interesting in this strip than she has been in years.


Our Score:


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