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2000 A.D. Prog 1973

    Ian Jane

  • 2000 A.D. Prog 1973

    2000 A.D. Prog 1973
    Released by: 2000 A.D./Rebellion
    Released on: March 29th, 2016.
    Written by: Various
    Illustrated by: Various
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    Hey now - a new week, a new issue. 2000 A.D. Prog 1973, here it is wrapped up with Dredd back on the cover, asking you to respect his authority in an eye catching piece by Mark Sexton.

    Judge Dredd - The Grindstone Cowboys by Michael Carroll and Colin MacNeil: It's harvest time at Remus Bagley's Munce Farm on the Cursed Earth. Raiders calling themselves The Grindstone Cowboys are laying siege to the farms and water treatment plants in the area and the Judges need to do something about it, especially after they've hit one of the Judges' supply bunkers. So who do they get to head out there and deal with it? Dredd, of course, accompanied by a few others. They head into the home of the mutants and along the way wind up in a small town called Hickory… raiders HQ.

    This first chapter sets things up nicely, sending Dredd and his associates into the wasteland for a purpose, albeit under a bit of duress. As you'd expect a first chapter to do, it ends with a cliffhanger and it's a neat one - this could get interesting, and at the very least it should provide some pretty solid post-apocalyptic action. Nicely paced, well-written and as a fan of MacNeil's art, it's nice to see him working on this storyline.

    Tharg's 3Rillers - Repossession Orders by Eddie Robson and Jake Lynch: A guy named Steve wakes up when someone starts banging on his apartment door with a lead pipe. It turns out this isn't Steve's place, he's freeloading and someone wants him gone. A real estate agent brings a buyer into the building, it's not been properly finished but it's close, while the same guy with the pipe starts knocking on a few other doors in the complex. And then Steve? He turns up dead, but it wasn't the guy with the pipe that did it.

    This one starts off as an overly complicated tale of the haves versus the havenots but by the time it ends, the story has become that and a whole lot more. The story's politics, which are spot on in this lefty writer's opinion, are worn plainly on their sleeve but Robson injects a welcome does of horror into the last few pages that will see us returning again next issue to see where this goes. Lynch's art is also very cool, sketchy in style so that it convey movement and chaos nicely, but not without a whole lot of appreciable detail.

    Survival Geeks - Geek Fatales by Gordon Remmie, Emma Beeby and Neil Googe: A bunch of weird rabbits dressed in old timey French military uniforms are attacking a woman with a flamethrower and another woman with some sort of laser goggles things going on. Meanwhile a girl with some sort of psychic bubble named Ruby and then a gal named Sam shows up to get in on the chaos. The fight gets nutty and the ladies split, then the General of the rodent army arrives forcing the girls to take shelter in a nearby house.

    Not sure about this one so far, but the verdict is still out and it deserves its fair day in court. The art is decent enough, nicely detailed with lots of bright colors that catch your eye but the story… it's chaotic and hard to get into, at least in this first chapter. Maybe that'll change in the coming installments.

    Tainted: The Fall Of Deadworld by Kek-W and Dave Kendal: This one takes place in a world where things have stopped growing, where the surviving humans look older than their actual years. Here a grandfather teaches his granddaughter, Jess, how to use a gun. Her mom is none too happy about this - kid's and assault rifles don't mix despite what the NRA would have you believe - and she says as much to the old man. Gramps tells her that the government is coming for them and that they need to be ready. And maybe he's right. Regardless, a storm moves in and the survivors head underground to take shelter. When they head outside after the storm, everything that they had is gone…

    The best story in this issue is dark, grim and twisted but not without a sense of dark humor that makes it a pretty compelling read. This sets things up nicely, the first chapter again ending on a cliffhanger (first chapters obviously sort of need to do this and there are a lot of first chapters in this prog) while at the same time doing a nice job of establishing the characters and their situations and personalities in only a few pages. Beautifully grim artwork from Kednal is the icing on the cake, it looks great and it matches Kek-W's story perfectly.

    Aquila: Charon's Mercy by Gordon Rennie and Paul Davidson: Rome, 68 A.D., here General Marius and his friend bicker amongst themselves about who they should have bet on and why. They're watching the gladiators go at it, killing each other in the name of sport, in the name of entertainment. The main event is the bout between Mercury and Charon, really two slaves dressed as the respective figures, but of course, this can only end in violence for the two of them.

    This is off to a good start. It's violent, bloody, fast paced and exciting. Most of the story really just shows us the two of them enjoying the games but their dialogue hints at both their collective past and possibly of things to come, so there's some appreciable depth here. Great artwork from Davidson brings the action to life in a big way, great use of color too. Bring on the next chapter!

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