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2000 A.D. Prog. 1950

    Ian Jane

  • 2000 A.D. Prog. 1950

    2000 A.D. Prog. 1950
    Released by: Rebellion
    Released on: September 30th, 2015.
    Written by: Various
    Illustrated by: Various
    Purchase From Amazon

    Four brand new stories start inside this latest issue of the UK's greatest sci-fi comic - you feel lucky punks? You should, because underneath that awesome Judge Dredd cover by artist Chris Burnham, there is some pretty cool stuff waiting to be explored.

    Judge Dredd - Serial Serial by John Wagner and Colin MacNeil: A magician who calls himself The Amazing Devo lays down in a box on stage so his two assistants can saw him in half, but even the assistants are surprised when that actually happens. Left on the chest of the corpse is a letter for Dredd from PJ Maybe telling him that The Horseless Headsman, Doc Death and Jack The Skewer are all the same person - a serial killer who creates new identities. Dredd heads to the scene of the crime, talks to the assistants and examines the prop room. Forensics finds prints on the letter belonging to a stage hand named Winston Rayes employed at the theater where the murder took place but the manager tells Dredd they haven't used him for a few weeks!

    This one, at least in its first chapter, is more of a traditional 'whodunit' so far than a sci-fi action story but that's alright, it's fun to see Dredd do some actual sleuthing from time to time and who better than Wagner to take us there? There's enough of a hook that we want to see where this one goes from here while the artwork, courtesy of MacNeil, is solid. Colorist Chris Blythe impresses here too. We're only one chapter in, but so far so good.

    Defoe - The London Hanged by Pat Mills and Leigh Gallagher: This story begins with some text that explains to us why Tom Cox was put to death for robbery. A younger man named James Leonard suffered a similar fate for similar reasons as did a woman named Jenny Diver. The corpses of these three, and scores of other condemned criminals, seem to have risen from their graves this dark and stormy night. Nearby, in the home of Titus and Tomazine, the couple prepares dinner for their son Sean while their infant child rests nearby. When a zombie snatches the infant through an open window, Titus grabs his guns and gets ready to do what needs to be done.

    This is dark and twisted so far, a fun read with some nice moments of creeping horror. Mills' script sets things up nicely and this first chapter features a pretty great twist at the end that promises things will ramp up even more next go round. Gallagher's art is fantastic, channeling Berni Wrightson at times but never aping that legend's style. There's a lot of great detail in the black and white illustrations and this is a really great looking entry in the issue.

    Brass Sun - Motor Head by Ian Eddington and Inj Culbard: A young woman named Wren escorts an older man through a city - he tells her he knows that they've found him and that they're coming for him, but she's got a plan. Just then massive tentacle-like things explode all over the place and the hordes of people around transform from humans into something else. Wren pulls him into an old book store to hide and when he tells her she doesn't have to do this and that she should give him up she gets terse with him. There's more to this than just saving his life. Then she folds him up and hides him on a shelf and then things go from weird to weirder.

    Not really sure what's going on here but the story is catchy enough to make you want to come back next issue to try and sort it all out. Eddington's story blends sci-fi and horror well and there are some interesting concepts at play here. Culbard's art is attractive enough as well and while it isn't hyper detailed he manages to come up with some impressive line work. Not the stand out story of this issue but it's definitely got potential to evolve into something interesting.

    Bad Company - First Casualties by Peter Milligan, R. Dayglo and J. McCarthy: When this new story starts out the members of Bad Company are in the middle of a firefight. Except they're not. This is happening in Danny's head and he's currently in a hospital under the watch of Doctor Malarkey. They're medicating him to keep him sane, so his flashbacks won't drive him nuts, and as he regains his memory we learn how he fought alongside the long dead Kano in the Ararat Campaign against the Krool. Thrax tries to convince Danny to go out with his old pals but he's not having any of it. He's got a speech to prepare. The next day he delivers an address at the unveiling of a monument erected in honor of those who died in the Ararat Campaign, but he's interrupted and pulled away in the middle of it by some military officials. Looks like the war might not be over after all…

    You've got to love the sloppy gutterpunk style artwork that Dayglo and McCarthy use here - it's got an eighties vibe to it without seeming unnecessarily retro or kitsch at all. Great stuff. Lots of over the top style and plenty of detail to look at. At the same time, Mills' story has enough going on to presumably set up some interesting things to come for Danny and the rest of the characters. We'll see where it goes from here (obviously) but this is a solid first chapter.

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