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2000 A.D. Prog 1969

    Ian Jane

  • 2000 A.D. Prog 1969

    2000 A.D. Prog 1969
    Released by: 2000 A.D./Rebellion
    Released on: February 24th, 2016.
    Written by: Various
    Illustrated by: Various
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    2000 A.D. celebrates thirty-nine years of toothsome thrill-power with a new Dredd serial starting this issue underneath a painted cover from Alex Ronald!

    Judge Dredd - Undercover Klegg by John Wagner and Carlos Esquerra: Dredd hates Kleggs. When this new story begins, the Klegg ambassador is ranting at the Judges, threatening to take not just their city, but their world. Dredd puts him in his place and they try to get him to sign the peace treaty and the ambassador agrees to take it back to his people to further discuss the matter. He gets the Klegg royals to agree to sign, but only at a compromise site so they don't have to set foot in Mega-City One. The site? Sino-Cit. The Kleggs insist on Dredd's presence but in the interim, he's been called to a crime scene at the Phil Spector Luxury Condos…

    If the last serial was dark and serious, this time around the focus is a bit more humorous as Wagner's story ends with what we'll describe as a wacky cliffhanger and sets in motion what will surely be even stranger events to come. Carlos Esquerra pulls double duty along with Wagner in this Prog but his Dredd art is always a lot of fun and he's the perfect artist to illustrate Wagner's rather unorthodox script.

    Kingdom - Beast Of Eden by Dan Abnett and Richard Elson: Major Canis has snapped and is attacking Gene when this installment starts off but when Gene's backup arrives, Canis steps down. He knows he can't beat all of them. It turns out Canis is there to guard Numan, a human on site to check things out and figure out just what the Neosectus - 'them' - are up to, to see if it is possible to beat them and reclaim the planet. What Numan and Hershall don't realize is that the Neosectus have evolved…

    Abnett takes things in an unexpected direction in this issue, continuing from what transpired in past issues and bringing the script into newer territory. This started off as what seemed like a basic post-apocalyptic style thriller but here we're starting to go a bit more high-concept. Elson's artwork has been excellent since the first installment and it continues to be just that. Things are about to get interesting indeed.

    ABC Warriors - Return To Ro-Busters by Pat Mills and Clint Langley: Sir James proclaims the rise of the robots and artificial intelligence to be a huge threat to humanity. Meanwhile, Ro-Jaws is instructed to pass on the defiance code that was planted in him to Hammerstein and the ABC Warriors on Mars through the memory patches that Led Belly has. Ro-Jaws boards his transport ship, The Satan Dart, and heads to the red planet, the cops give chase and Ro-Jaws retaliates. The powers that be will not let the defiance code escape…

    This series has been strong from the start and Mills has kept the action and humor in fine form ever since. The highlight of this installment is the chase scene, which delivers some solid suspense and neat plot twist while simultaneously giving the insanely talented Clint Langley the chance to strut his illustrated stuff. Top notch entertainment and some fine social commentary all wrapped up in some truly stunning artwork.

    The Order - In The Court Of The Wyrmqueen by Kek-W and John Burns: We get a quick rundown of the rumored origin of the Wyrmqueen before Intuitor Brown brings the rest of the crew up to speed on why he's arrived. The unexplained disappearances taking place across London are starting to be less unexplained than they were, while Calhoun, feeling better, tries to figure out just what Izta's game really is. When they find the location that they are looking for, things get ugly.

    This chapter adds an element of Lovecraftian horror to the proceedings and it makes for interesting reading. The character development is interesting here too, as we learn more about Brown's background and the relationship that seems to be developing between Calhoun and the lovely Izta. It's a good chapter with a suspenseful finish and once again some gorgeous water color style artwork from Burns.

    Strontium Dog - Repo Men by John Wagner and Carlos Esquerra: Last but more certainly not least, Johnny and his crew need to figure out what to do about the Twister Sisters, since they stole the brain they need to pull off their scheme. He goes to a Galanthan and gives him his take on the situation and once he's annoyed enough, tells the cloaked alien his plan. The Galanthans send a war ship to the rock that the Twisters are hiding on that allows the Stronts to port onto the rock in hopes of swiping the brain back in the ensuing chaos but of course, nothing ever goes as planned for Johnny…

    Wagner and Esquerra do what they do best - keep Johnny moving from one misadventure to the next and this chapter mixes the humor and action that make Strontium Dog such a fun read front and center. Esquerra's artwork really shines during the space battle scenes and his talent for quirky character design gets a workout here too.

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