2000AD, Prog 2042

by Gavin Johnston on August 05, 2017

Writer: Michael Carroll; Gordon Rennie; Emma Beeby; Pat Mills; Dan Abnett

Artist: Paul Marshall; Eoin Coveney; John Higgins; Mark Harrison, PJ Holden; Tiernan Trevallion

Colourist: Quinton Winter; Sally Hurst; Len O’Grady

Publisher: Rebellion


It’s Prog 2042 and we dip into five unique 2000AD sci-fi universes, some old and some new.


Ouroboros is, at first glance, a comedic and throwaway short with playful art, a giant puppy and the surprise return of a character, as Judge Dredd investigates drug dealers disguised as giant pandas. But Ouroboros has dark links to previous Dredd tales and hints at the seedy, vicious underbelly of Dredd’s world as a mutant underclass are manipulated by a corporation. Dredd does little more than scowl in this episode, as we get essential plot exposition and comedy barbs from another character, but the small details in the art and witty writing keep the attention.


Nu Earth has been the location of the unending war between the Norts and Southers since 1981, when genetically engineered soldier Rogue Trooper started ignoring orders and set off to track down the Traitor General and avenge his dead brothers. There have been numerous attempts at expanding the universe beyond its simple roots, but until recently they have been unsuccessful. Hunted is the most recent attempt, moving the conflict beyond the battlefield and into interplanetary diplomacy as the Traitor General manipulates warring nations for his own ends. We’re nine parts in, and i'ts only now starting to warm up as the many threads come together, but we find ourselves focussed on a gun battle whilst a massive space war wages just out of view. Hunted is an interesting idea, but this big built up will need a grand conclusion


Pat Mills is the godfather of 2000AD, responsible for many of its early stories and the overall anti-establishment tone of the comic. Stories by Mills are like songs by the Smiths – fundamentally English, popular, catchy, but with dialogue so clunky it must surely be deliberate. Greysuit is the action packed adventure of brainwashed super-agent John Blake, in this episode throwing fruit at his enemies from the top of a bus whilst they shout back song lyrics. Political commentary is the norm in 2000AD, but whilst most other creators are satirising modern populism and the rise of Trump, Greysuit is still commenting on 1980’s Britain, with references to Margaret Thatcher, Princess Diana, Benny Hill and the Falkland War. This world of bowler hat wearing politicians who openly discuss a simplistic class war may have been cutting thirty years ago, but now it feel tired and cliched.


The other shade of grey in this weeks issue, Grey Area, is a more colourful action adventure with messy, neon-glow artwork which encapsulates the chaos of the Exo Segregation Zone, where alien visitors to Earth are detained in the planet’s biggest airport lounge/refugee camp. It’s a fast moving, action packed comedy with big guns, but Grey Area’s already considerable backstory and the frenetic style can make it difficult to follow. This episode is a throwaway one-off, as an alien visitor causes chaos when he journeys to earth of say hello to his old friends.


The Alienist starts this prog, as psychic detectives investigate an unexplained death in 1908 England. It starts well, establishing characters quickly whilst hinting at the slightly askew world where magic simmers just below the surface and dark forces are quietly at work.



Our Score:


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