2000AD #2244 Review

by Gavin Johnston on August 11, 2021

Writers: John Wagner; James Peaty; Dan Abnett; John Tomlinson; Gordon Rennie
Artists: John Higgins; Paul Marshall; Tazio Bettin; Smudge; Patrick Goddard
Colours: Sally Hurst; Dylan Teague; John Charles
Letters: Annie Parkhouse; Jim Campbell; Simon Bowland
Publisher: Rebellion



Judge Dredd: Now That’s What I Call Justice has quietly, surreptitiously become a sequel to a Dredd classic. Way back in Prog 460, A pro-democracy terror group hijacked a television studio and were killed in a hail of gunfire in a show of force by the Judges. Letter from a Democrat was one of a number of tales from the era that pushed the fact that Dredd is not the good guy. It ended with the tragic sight of a widower consolling his two sons, and Dredd warning that they should keep an eye on the boys: “no knowing what bad habits they picked up from the mother”

Jump forward more than three decades and John Wagner has made good on that promise, with a layered tale of a broken man taking revenge on a system that almost gleefully crushes any dissent. Intelligent, thoughtfully, shocking, NTWICJ uses the justice department’s often brutal methods as literal entertainment for the oppressed masses, balancing it against the tragic outcome, with a quietly reflective Dredd as the fulcrum of the see-saw metaphor.



Take a look at that cover. I’m fairly sure that’s the first time you’ve seen a comic book cover where an undead gladiator holds aloft the Emperor Nero, who has been transformed into a man/grub hybrid. It all takes place in this weeks’ Aquila: The River of Hades, where the heroes have descended into the Roman afterlife and are currently hacking their way through the already dead. For all it’s heavy sources and morbid imagery, it’s a fun story with fun characters.


Talking of fun stories, Nolan is being tortured in Skip Tracer: Eden. Having put his daughter into a deep sleep prior to being captured by the baddies, the baddies are now trying to get him to wake her up by feeding him some fairly predictable dream imagery which can probably be summed up in the clunky line “we are the faces that keep you awake at night”. Yes, it’s that obvious.


The hero has also been captured in Dexter: Somewhere Beyond the Sea, this time by sewer pirates. There’s some heavy discussion before things get awfully un-obvious in an incredibly stylish way.


Which brings us finally to Terror Tales: The Way Of The World, a five page one-off horror that I’ve read several times and had a different reaction every time. There’s is a lot going on…

In a world where a virus is turning people into werewolves who feel really strongly about working environments, the staff at a publishing agency battle to escape from an office building under the control of a demonic boss. There’s a hastily assembled cast of characters, scatter-gun jokes, and a bunch of self-awareness

A dangerous virus rampaging across the globe. Empty cities. Workers put in danger by a system that loudly signals the importance of employee well-being whilst systematically removing the very measure that keep people safe. Is it a smart social commentary on the ‘rona?  Is the weasel-faced mastermind character pulling the strings and waiting for people to die supposed to be Michael Gove?  How many people would actually get a joke about Larry Talbot? Why would air ducts be big enough for people?  Have we all been inside too long?  Get vaccinated, people!


Our Score:


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