2000AD, PROG 2049

by Gavin Johnston on September 19, 2017

Writers: John Wagner; Gordon Rennie; Emma Beeby; Pat Mills; Rory McConville; Guy Adams
Artists: Dan Cornwell; Eoin Coveney; John Higgins; Jake Lynch; Jimmy Broxton; Alex Ronald
Colourists: Abigail Bulmer; Sally Hurst
Publisher:  Rebellion

2000AD clears the decks this week in preparation for a bumper sized jump-on issue next week. All of the ongoing stories come to an end, but this is 2000AD and there are no happy endings here.


Dredd’s old war buddies have gone rogue in Judge Dredd: War Buds. The gang of misfits have desperately fled the city in an attempt to get medical help for former Judge Costa, whose mental scars have become too much to bear. With the unrelenting Dredd in pursuit of men who were once heroes and friends, War Buds was always going to end in blood. The only question was how many would die and who might escape. The whole thing comes crashing to an end this issue, as it becomes clear that some of the these old soldiers just can’t face living in this cruel world any more.


Dredd is not a character given to introspection. There’s no brooding here. He’s too busy arresting perps. There are, however, often small moments, quiet scenes, where Dredd considers his personal flaws and the mistakes he has made. These moments inform the character, providing colour to his monochrome view of the world, but rarely openly define his actions. War Buds has been one of these stories.


No fairytale ending either in The Alienist, as the otherworldly Madelyn Vespertine makes great sacrifices to fend off the dimension-scourging Society. The motivations of characters have gradually been revealed and for much of this story the main character was reduced to the background whilst others were given room to develop. It’s been a wild ride, where no-one’s motivations have gone unquestioned. The Alienists ends gloriously with a lead into a possible new beginning.


Greysuit dies as it lived: in a hail of fart jokes, gun fire and nonsensical dialogue. Good guy super spy John Blake has impregnated the bad guy’s impregnable headquarters using a deus ex machina plot device he stole from Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible, before abandoning any plan which might have actually succeeded and setting about single-handedly attacking an army. The moral is that the decks are stacked in this world and the establishment will always win. Especially if your plan to fight them is rubbish.


Greysuit might have been a political satire, but its targets were ridiculous anachronisms. It might have been a self-aware pastiche, but for its bland, po-faced characters and its delight in petty brutality. Greysuit was a story where characters say things like “you need to pay...and I don’t mean in bitcoins!” before firing an assault rifle and missing. Greysuit was a cheap, 80’s action movie in comic book form.


The second Futureshock in as many weeks from script-droid Rory McConville, Alt-Life is an action packed four pages, with an unexpected twist. Bailey Bluthe is living the best possible life, which makes him a target for jealous Bailey Bluthes from alternate dimensions, who want to kill and replace him. Luckily, the Interdimensional Border Enforcement force is on the job. Four pages of relentless violence could have been a little bland in other hands, but quick witted dialogue which flows effortlessly and the extraordinary art of Jake Lynch make Alt-Life special.



Hope..for the future reaches its downbeat denouement. The mystery of the missing child actor has been solved and private investigator Mallory Hope reflects on who has been pulling the strings, and tries to do what is right by those who have been hurt along the way. The final episode allows Hope... to gracefully fade from view and leads nicely into a possible second part.

Our Score:


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