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2000 A.D. Prog 1966

    Ian Jane

  • 2000 A.D. Prog 1966

    2000 A.D. Prog 1966
    Released by: 2000 A.D./Rebellion
    Released on: February 3rd, 2016.
    Written by: Various
    Illustrated by: Various
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    Another new week, another new issue of 2000 A.D. - and dig that Strontium Dog cover by Neil Roberts - it's nice to see him get a bit of love out there! Having said that, let's get down to it, boppers.

    Judge Dredd - Ghosts by Michael Carroll and Mark Sexton: The link that the Judges had that tied Grayden to the killing has been snatched right out of their hands but despite Cheyenne's best efforts, Dredd isn't dead. And if Dredd isn't dead, Dredd isn't going to let this slide. The Chief Judge calls him into her office, asks him about Sector Zero, the urban legend before then explaining how Judge Badger, the fascist man who proposed it, who wanted it to be completely autonomous and answer to no one, disappeared. It was meant to be covert, a secret sector controlled by those Badger deemed worthy - if it has moved along, this might explain why some rejected Academy cadets have been abducted…

    The plot definitely thickens here, as Carroll's story brings in an interesting urban legend, morphs it into what seems like it might be some sort of conspiracy theory, and then posits it by way of the Chief Judge to Dredd as fact. There are some very cool ideas at play here and some interesting political jabs at those who would deem themselves superior enough to even attempt to control the populace with an iron fist. Add to this some fantastic and nicely detailed artwork from the very talented Mark Sexton, and there's no reason you shouldn't be following this latest Dredd serial.

    Kingdom - Beast Of Eden by Dan Abnett and Richard Elson: The giant armored vehicle that the beasts snagged in the last issue has brought them to their target, much to the surprise of everyone who sees Gene emerge from it. He warns them of the oncoming swarm and then goes to warn Lord Mike on his own. Knowing now that they are going to be under attack very soon, Mike has everyone prepare for the attack, while Gene reunites with Clara, a bitter sweet moment before it all hits the fan…

    This one ends on a nice cliffhanger, with the swarm literally at the gates of the Kingdom and those on the other side of the walls ready to do whatever it takes to protect their turf. A good bit of character development between Gene and Clara gives this an unusually effective element of humanity, letting us see that these guys are more than just animalistic warriors - it's a nice touch. Elson's artwork is just as impressive here as in earlier chapters.

    ABC Warriors - Return To Ro-Busters by Pat Mills and Clint Langley: Is Quartz losing it? Is he going to law waste to Ro-Jaws and the rest? All signs point to yes! Mek-Quake tries to get the 'bad robot' to raise his hand, admit guilt, but that's not going to be easy for him. Meanwhile, further conspiracy theories about various disasters and the Ro-Busters' involvement in them unfold, leading some to believe that Howard Quartz is really and truly responsible for a massive amount of death and destruction over the years. Let the inquiry begin!

    Mills' script deftly weaves some elements of social commentary (taking on those who profit off of war and destruction and painting them in an appropriately sordid light) along with the kind of robot mashing action you want from a Ro-Busters storyline and he does it well. This isn't the most action intensive installment, but it doesn't need to be. The actual pages that cover the inquiry are witty, funny and appropriately twisted and all of this is rendered beautifully by Langley, whose art is just absolutely fantastic.

    The Order - In The Court Of The Wyrmqueen by Kek-W and John Burns: Intuitor Brown arrives in London, looking for a carrier pigeon. He's not received with a particularly warm welcome but money talks and he gets the info he needs. He's led towards a barge, no crew around, but once he boards it he's confronted by a swordsman and a ridiculous moustache ripping fight breaks out! Of course, from there it all comes back to Adam Brass, and then there's a mention of the Wyrmqueen herself.

    Lots of action and some good humor in Kek-W's quirky script in this issue. It's fast paced, it's exciting and before it's over it adds another interesting layer of mystery to Brass' story and purpose. This is a fun read made even more enjoyable thanks to Burns' gorgeous water color style artwork. It gets complicated, but pay attention here, these guys are up to something interesting and decidedly bizarre.

    Strontium Dog - Repo Men by John Wagner and Carlos Esquerra: Johnny and his mutant pals send a letter to the ruling council of Galanthus letting them know that they've stolen the sacred brain of Hoomonos and in exchange for its safe return, they want two hundred billion in ransom money. But did the Galanthans actually receive the letter? That's what they're all wondering as they hang out on the beach and wonder why their demands have not yet been met. And then the giant Galanthan war droids show up - they want Johnny and they take Johnny and he winds up aboard where he and a Galanthan higher up discuss… the Xerons! And after that? They get the job… time for Johnny and the rest to take on the non-existent Xerons (easy money), though they are to return the brain. Yeah, that might be a problem.

    This screwy serial keeps getting screwier with every installment, with Wagner's bizarre sense of humor coming through really nicely here. Johnny and his pals are clearly trying to pull a fast one but of course, they're not as smart as they think they are and by the time this chapter ends, they realize that. Esquerra's art on the series continues to be pretty much definitive. Fun stuff to be sure.
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