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2000 A.D. Prog 1958

    Ian Jane

  • 2000 A.D. Prog 1958

    2000 A.D. Prog 1958
    Released by: Rebellion/2000 A.D.
    Released on: November 25th, 2015.
    Written by: Various
    Illustrated by: Various
    Purchase From Amazon

    2000 A.D. carries on, as it will forever, and this time around under the spotlight of a pretty sweet Leigh Gallagher illustrated Defoe cover.

    Judge Dredd - The Beating by John Wagner and Patrick Goddard: Counselor Spivey, a member of Mega City One's Enterprise Committee, is caught on camera making a deal with a company called Kazco - or more accurately, taking a bribe from them. See, after the Chaos Plague certain things had to be privatized and one of those things was The Office Of Cooperative Development. Since K3 Security took it over, it's basically been run like an extortion racket. A guy named Lars has the footage of Spivey and intends to use it to make him cooperate. Meanwhile, Lars' lackey, Vin, shows him some interesting footage of a certain Judge busting up a gang called The Night Terrors in which Dredd executes a gang member for mouthing off. Has Dredd lost it? We're going to find out.

    It makes sense in this day and age where police brutality is on the news pretty much every night that Judge Dredd would eventually tackle the issue and it looks like that's the direction that Wagner and Goddard are taking this. This is a text heavy first chapter but it takes the story into some dark territory and really makes you think about Dredd's methods and mental state. Goddard's art is nice and detailed but pretty dark too - when Dredd clocks that guy with his club, you can tell it hurts. Where it'll go from here obviously remains to be seen but this is a great first installment of the latest Dredd multi-parter.

    Defoe - The London Hanged by Pat Mills and Leigh Gallagher: Last go round we learned that Judge Jeffries, though to have been executed by the zombie hordes, is not dead at all. Titus is in the pub, trying to block out the protest song coming from outside from the hordes of the poor and the destitute. He knows that the reason they're all walled in is so that when the attack comes, there's no escape. The Superior Heroes, The Vizards, are coming and Titus wants to do something because he knows it will be mass slaughter when they do. And he's right. His conscience catches up with him and if it means his position with Scotland Yard is in jeopardy, so be it. It was a mistake letting a Leveller live…

    This allegorical class war by way of zombie/action horror story, now in its ninth installment, continues to be one of the more interesting of the recent 2000 A.D. storylines and as it seems to be heading towards its finish, Mills is starting to ramp up the tension and the action considerably. This uptick in pacing is complemented by Gallagher's hyper-detailed black and white art and atmospheric illustrative style and it continues to make for great reading.

    Brass Sun - Motor Head by Ian Eddington and Inj Culbard: As The Automaton rages, slaughtering anyone who won't help him find Wren, she figures she can stop the killing by revealing herself. She's wrong. But so too is the voice behind The Automaton and it turns out that Wren and her allies have done a better job of planning for this than their foes realized.

    This installment is pretty much entirely action - it goes by quickly but we got all the character development we needed and all the setup we wanted in the earlier installments. Now it's time for the payoff, and Eddington is giving it to us. It ends with a pretty solid cliffhanger and you won't see it coming. Culbard's artwork is nicely detailed, the design work is great - very unique, with some impressive architecture and character design on display.

    Terror Tales: Night Shifts by David Baillie and Joshua George: A young woman named Olive looks out the window of her cabin and wonders about what the sun would feel like, and what the crows' beaks would feel like. Years back there was 'The Hatching' and since then the crows have been big and the crows have been hungry. You can't go outside without an iron suit or they make a meal out of you. Olive's grandfather is dying and he's promised her hand in marriage to a man named Huckas, but she doesn't love him. She doesn't want him. What she wants is to feel the sun and to feel the crows' beaks.

    This creepy self contained story is well written if a little bit predictable. The opening text makes it pretty clear how it's going to end but the marriage entrapment idea is an interesting one and it sets up the characters' motivations nicely. Joshua George's artwork, presented here in black and white, is stunning. At times it's reminiscent of John Bolton's work, it has that same level of insane detail in it, but he's got his own style. More from this guy please, what a talent!

    Bad Company - First Casualties by Peter Milligan, R. Dayglo and J. McCarthy: The boys from Bad Company have landed on the Penal Planet and are laying waste to pretty much everything that they come into contact with - because they have to. For reasons they can't quite figure out yet, the prisoners are attacking them. The guys figure it's because the prisoners have nothing better to do, this is entertainment for them. Thrax gets hurt but once the prisoners back off, they fix him up and get on their way… they've got to find the Krool.

    Milligan's anarchic script continues to build nicely, adding further layers of chaos to an already out of control situation. But there's more to it than that. The members of Bad Company understandably want answers and if they have to slaughter their way to the Krool to get them, well, that's what they're going to do it would seem. Not sure where it's going to go from here, you can't really predict this story - which is a good thing indeed. Dayglo and McCarthy on art chores keep firing on all cylinders, they opening page to this chapter really just perfectly encapsulating what this story is all about. Great stuff.
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