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2000 A.D. Prog 1967

    Ian Jane

  • 2000 A.D. Prog 1967

    2000 A.D. Prog 1967
    Released by: 2000 A.D./Rebellion
    Released on: February 10th, 2016.
    Written by: Various
    Illustrated by: Various
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    The 2000 A.D. train keeps rolling right along, this time hiding behind a slick cover from artist Patrick Goddard.

    Judge Dredd - Ghosts by Michael Carroll and Mark Sexton: Dredd's only lead to the mysterious Sector Zero group is Bethilda Radzik and she's gone, kidnapped or abducted or… something. With little else in his pocket, Dredd turns to Galen Demarco, a failed Judge, for help. PSI Judge Lewis put some of Radzik's memories into Demarco's brain and bingo, they've got the impersonator that they need to infiltrate Sector Zero. She makes it in, convinces Bethilda she's her sister, but really, it doesn't go well, not at all…

    Ghosts has turned into a pretty complex mix of hard hitting action and conspiracy theory thriller, tightly scripted by Carroll who has a real knack for a multilayered storytelling approach. It's complex but not overly so, and more importantly it makes you think. Sexton's artwork continues to impress, it's very detailed and the colors look great. It's a realistic approach to the characters that complements Carroll's dark and twisted storyline perfectly.

    Kingdom - Beast Of Eden by Dan Abnett and Richard Elson: The super swarm has laid siege to the walls of The Kingdom, leaving its inhabitants scrambling to defend themselves. Gene keeps it going, however, and just as it looks like they'll be overrun he changes the tide of the battle. The bugs retreat, but Gene knows it's only a temporary reprieve. But days later, they haven't made a second attempt. Gene thinks they're waiting for something, someone… and how did a mountain spring up almost overnight? It's not a mountain, it's a hive and if they want to take out the bugs, they're going to have to deal with it.

    Some solid action opens this chapter which then leads into further exploration of the story itself, the development of the threat that the bugs pose to the Kingdom and why. The hive idea is an interesting twist and could lead to some unexpected ideas taking shape in the pages to come, while Elson's artwork is just as rock solid here as it has been since the beginning.

    ABC Warriors - Return To Ro-Busters by Pat Mills and Clint Langley: Howard Quartz and his family have left the Court Of Justice, the robot boss has been found innocent of any crimes. But profits are falling, there hasn't been a good disaster in what seems like an eternity and without disasters to deal with, they don't profit. To come up with some quick cash, the robot boss decides to have a few of his robots destroyed to he can con the insurance company out of some money. And of course, the robots he wants destroyed are the Ro-Busters… they figure this out pretty quickly and given that they don't want to be destroyed, they come up with a plan.

    Mills' story is clearly raging against the corporate machine the profits off of war and death, and rightly so, but the politics here don't overshadow the entertainment value that the script provides. There's just the right mix of humor, action and social satire in here and Langley's (almost entirely) black and white artwork is fantastic not just in the amount of detail that it contains but in the quirky panel layouts that are used as well.

    The Order - In The Court Of The Wyrmqueen by Kek-W and John Burns: The Crown Agents have grabbed Brass, snatched him right up, but his new found female companion takes care of that problem. They make a daring and violent escape as Brass' adrenals hit full capacity. After that, well, he falls for the foxy lady who calls herself Iztaccihutal, Queen of Lost Xingu! They try for sanctuary, but it is not to be found, at least not yet.

    Kek-W's story is quickening in its pace at this point, as there's a lot of action in the pages of this story, but the plot moves along quite a bit here too so it feels nicely balanced. Again, there's some humor here, it's an important part of what makes this a fun read, while Burns' water color style artwork is impressive and frequently gorgeous.

    Strontium Dog - Repo Men by John Wagner and Carlos Esquerra: Someone has stolen the brain that Johnny and the boys worked so hard to steal and they have no idea who would have even know that they had it in the first place. The hint of perfume and beer is a clue - it turns out that Shaggy was out drinking, met up with some girls, and maybe he mentioned it in passing. And maybe those girls were the Twister Sisters, a pair of con artists! The girls told Shaggy they were working at the nearby resort, so that's where the guys go, in hopes of getting back that which doesn't rightly belong to them in the first place!

    Definitely a talkier entry in the storyline so far but that's ok, the dialogue is always a kick to read in the Strontium Dog stories and nobody writes the characters better than Wagner. It's amusing to see the tables turned on the mutants in this issue, they've clearly been outsmarted, but of course it would be foolish to write them off just yet. Esquerra's 'classic' style of artwork has always complemented the characters and this issue is no exception.

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