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2000 A.D. Prog 1959

    Ian Jane

  • 2000 A.D. Prog 1959

    2000 A.D. Prog 1959
    Released by: Rebellion/2000 A.D.
    Released on: December 2nd, 2015.
    Written by: Various
    Illustrated by: Various
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    This latest issue of 2000 A.D. puts its not so subtle message right in your face, what with that cover from Cliff Robinson. Who says comics can't be topical and deal with real life issues?

    Judge Dredd - The Beating by John Wagner and Patrick Goddard: When the first chapter of this latest Dredd serial ended, Dredd was caught on camera beating a perp to death for a pretty minor offence. Larsen, at the Office Of Cooperative Development, brings Dredd in and shows him the footage and accuses him face to face of judicial murder. Dredd seems unphased. Larsen will make the footage 'go away' if Dredd will do him one favor - arrest Fauna McRudd, the CEO of Netspag. Just hold her for a few days and release her uncharged. Dredd thinks about it, but he's Dredd - no way he's going to go along with that. He roughs Larsen up but in doing so, the guy goes into cardiac arrest and he dies. Dredd knows someone else was in on this with Larsen, and he intends to find out who that is…

    This is about as current and topical as it gets these days, what with all of the police related murders in the news in these here United States of America, and it makes for pretty great reading. This is interesting territory in which to bring a character like Dredd. We know he takes the law more seriously than anyone else in the universe and that he'll do what he needs to do in order to enforce it, but he can and, this time around does, go too far. Bringing the blackmail scheme into play is a great move as it allows Dredd to legitimately investigate things - this is suspenseful, well written and Goddard's artwork is fantastic. Lots of great detail and Dredd, in this portrayal, looks tough as nails and like quite the force to be reckoned with.

    Bad Company - First Casualties by Peter Milligan, R. Dayglo and J. McCarthy: When we last left Bad Company they were slaughtering their way across the Penal Planet looking for the Krool. As they're doing this, the meds they were on start wearing off and memories long suppressed come flooding back. Here we learn what really happened to Fly-Trap and Mad Tommy… and then one of the Krool makes a mind-link with the boys in what may be the one and only time the guys in Bad Company are ordered to stand in a circle and hold hands - all so that they can see things from the Krool's perspective.

    Milligan's exploration of the long term effects of the horrors of war continues to be an engaging read and the twists in this installment are as surprising as they are warranted. While you can't quite call the Bad Company characters sensitive, this time around they at least approach that quality and it changes things, as you'd expect it too, once they see what they see. It's an interesting approach to the story that is once again perfectly illustrated in gritty, grainy, trash-tastic black and white artwork from Dayglo and McCarthy (once you get hooked on their style you don't ever want to see another art team handle these characters).

    Brass Sun - Motor Head by Ian Eddington and Inj Culbard: Wren's memory data is going to be transferred into the Automaton now that it's been captured and subdued thanks to Septimus taking care of that problem in the last chapter.

    This brings the current Brass Sun storyline to a close - and of course, there's a twist that we shan't spoil here, one that leads into the next storyline Brass Sun: Engine Summer, presumably coming soon to a comic store near you. This one took a while to get going but once it did proved to be a nice heady mix of high concept science fiction and trippy, almost surrealist, action set pieces. Eddington's script didn't move at a rocket's pace but by the time it all ends, you realize it didn't need to while Culbard's artwork has been consistently rock solid since the get go.

    Defoe - The London Hanged by Pat Mills and Leigh Gallagher: Titus knows what he has to do, Scotland Yard be damned. He arrives at the pub and acquires from Ketchie the assistance he needs to bring a passenger to St. James' Park. In Alsatia, it was a mass slaughter, the 'Superior Heroes' laid waste to everyone in their path. What Ketchie soon learns is that Titus has killed one of the Superior's, hence his 'passenger' but it's not what it seems - the corpse reanimates but a bullet to his brain solves the problem. Ketchie thinks they're in over their heads, he doesn't want anything to do with this, but Titus… he's not going to take no for an answer. They've got to dump Carrion Killer's body and make it look like the reeks got him.

    When you think you've got this one figured out, Mills suckerpunches you and you're once again left surprised. There are some really solid twists and turns here, and while the politics of the story may be obvious (and spot on), the storyline itself is smart, unusual and suspenseful. It makes for considerably more intense and intelligent storytelling than you might at first suspect, it's really very solid stuff. The black and white artwork from Gallagher is just as strong here as it has been all along, with some more great rotting corpses thrown into this chapter (the longest in this issue) and some impressive facial detail present in the close-up panels.
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