2000AD, PROG 2051

by Gavin Johnston on October 03, 2017

Writers: TC Eglington; Pat Mills; John Smith; Dab Abnett
Artists:  Colin MacNeil; Simon Davis; Lee Carter; Jake Lynch. Mark Harrison
Colourists:  Chris Blythe; John Charles
Letterers:  Annie Parkhouse; Elle De Ville; Simon Bowland
Publisher:  Rebellion


Whilst the creation of Judge Dredd: Icon apparently predates August’s tragic events in Charlottesville, the parallels between the real world events of 2000AD and the spiralling pseudo-reality we find ourselves living in today are obvious. A statue of a fractious figure; a disingenuous narrative spread for clicks via a willing media; political gains made in the performance art of populism; brutal violence directed against innocents - it’s all here in this darkly satirical tale by TC Eglington. This is what Judge Dredd is for – to show the absurdity of our own world by pushing its petty weakness and selfishness to extremes.  2000AD has been predicting world events for forty years now. It’s rare that reality steals so shamelessly from these pages. Is the human race so predictable? Don’t answer that...


...Instead, slip on your NetherSuit, prepare for the grav-well to collapse and brace for reality drop...it’s Indigo Prime: A Dying Art. Now, I don’t want to spoil it for you, but following the Christhulhu event, the Imagineers division and the Glancers, who lack the Rembrant gene, are incapacitated, necessitating a journey into the psychosphere before the Warpspan Droves can lay waste to entire unprotected realities. I have no idea what most of that means, but my goodness it's compelling stuff, littered with small moments of humanity amid the chaos and some character filled art by Lee Carter.  


If you like your comics to be a bit more simplistic and shouty, maybe you’d instead enjoy some Slaine: The Brutania Chronicles: Book Four; Archon: Part Two, where the most complicated thing is the title. Now, I don’t want to spoil it for you, but following last week’s issue where Slaine killed some things with an axe, in this episode he kills some more things with an axe. These stories continue to take up page after beautifully painted page, where not very much happens, very slowly and very loudly. Unfortunately, in this particular issue the art is somewhat stilted. Slaine’s foes are largely stationary, there is little compelling action, and he same image even appears to be used twice.


Killers for hire Sinister and Dexter are given the role of protecting a professional gambler in Sinister Dexter: Snake Skinned. Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t go well, and the pair find themselves covering their mistake in this nice little one-shot. Full of action and comedy, this charming five pager would work just as well as a Futureshock with unknown characters. It’s a masterclass in concise storytelling.


Things are snafu in Grey Area: Homeland Security, as the officers of the Exo Transfer Zone find themselves deployed in a middle-eastern warzone, where precious alien technology is up for grabs. Last week introduced this new set up and a whole host of new characters to the already large ensemble cast. This week, those characters are developed...and heartlessly culled. Its a brutal episode, which is quite a shift, but it’s shocking violence is portrayed as entirely real despite the unreal circumstances.


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