2000AD, PROG 2057

by Gavin Johnston on November 14, 2017

Writers: Michael Carroll; Pat Mills; Kek-W; Dan Abnett; Gordon Rennie
Artists: PJ Holden; Simon Davis; Lee Carter; Steve Yeowell; Tiernen Trevallion; Boo Cook
Colourists: Quinton Winter; John Charles
Letterers: Annie Parkhouse; Ellie De Ville; Simon Bowland
Publisher: Rebellion


It’s all kicking off in Judge Dredd: Black Sun. With a Siberian refinery under attack by battle-hardened locals, Dredd is leading a team to liberate the facility. Whilst the Ostatki tribe are eager to explain their motives and the oppression of their people, Dredd is eager to shoot them dead as terrorists. With a series of small skirmishes between two groups who are each essentially wearing a uniform, there is a risk of loosing track of the overall battle. However, artist PJ Holden creates a bunch of characters who are unique enough to stand out and allow the story to flow.


Slaine; The Brutanian Chronicles: Book Four: Archon finally gets were it was going, with the celtic warrior discovering the secret of his parentage. After several episodes of the plot stalling as Slaine battled, the shift to new characters allows the plot to jump forward. In flashback, we learn about Slaine’s mother, who was just as bloodthirsty as her son would become. Its a solid episode, which begins with a bluff and quickly builds the drama before coming to a shocking conclusion which will no doubt resonate for many, many years to come.


One battles comes to an end as another begins in Indigo Prime: A Dying Art. The agents have struck back against the feared Nihilist and take a moment to recoup and remember the fallen, as the looping conspiracies involving the agency’s founders are gradually revealed. After the nightmare logic of the last few episodes, it’s a small respite and creators Kek-W and Lee Carter take the opportunity to pay a tasteful tribute to the artist Edmund Bagwell, who passed away earlier this year, as well as continuing to dip in a respectful manner into the back catalogue of Indigo Prime creator John Smith. This run has been consistently impressive so far, taking the shifting foundations of the Smithiverse and delivering a highly original, mature and complex story.


Hitmen Sinister and Dexter have been a feature in 2000AD for more than two decades. The long running story has in the past tied readers in knots, with its comedy violence amid dimension hopping doppelgängers. Recent stories appear to be intended as a gradual introduction to new readers and a reassurance to long term fans. These have been simple tales which have slowly reintroduced the main elements of this world. They have also focussed on the idea that the characters themselves are perhaps a little out of their depth, trying to keep up with a world that has changed. Sinister Dexter: The Sights introduces the continent spanning city of Downlode in the style of a tourist guide, with the main characters popping up occasionally to illustrate the darker side of this environment. Whilst its a nice idea, there’s no overall narrative here to pull us in.


Harry Absalom is inadvertently building an army in Absalom: Terminal Diagnosis: Book One. After joining forces with some little old ladies last week, we delve into the disturbing backstory of the defector Mister Crich, who also seems eager to assist in the battle against the forces of Hell. Once again, writer Gordon Rennie balances backstory and exposition with action, as we skip through Crich’s life, taking in the terrifying highlights of a man who found himself a servant to demons as a child. Absalom is slowly building characters with sound motivations in preparation for the battles ahead.


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