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2000 A.D. Prog 1978

    Ian Jane

  • 2000 A.D. Prog 1978

    2000 A.D. Prog 1978
    Released by: 2000 A.D./Rebellion
    Released on: May 4th, 2016.
    Written by: Various
    Illustrated by: Various
    Purchase From Amazon

    2000 A.D. Prog 1978 offers up the start of a new Dredd serial, a new Survival Geek serial and a new Brink story while continuing with the Tainted, and Aquila serials. Here's how it all goes down…

    Judge Dredd - The Lion's Den by Michael Carroll and PJ Holden: Judge Joyce is knocked through a glass window by a thug with a bionic arm. He radios in for a meat wagon and then shoots the perp between the eyes and when the thug's partner in crime doesn't drop his weapon, she's put down as well. A few more of the crooks robbing the store are also shot dead - no warning, no attempts to arrest. Joyce is summoned to the Hall Of Justice to meet with the Chief Justice who tells him the Brit-Cit Justice Department wants he and Dredd extradited for their part in the Murphyville Spaceport Massacre. She also tells him Dredd died four hours ago in the Cursed Earth. Given that they need to Brit's as allies, it doesn't look good for Joyce.

    This is off to a pretty political start but it's an interesting idea that Carroll is putting for here and it ties into the last serial in nice ways. Is Dredd really dead? Probably not, he's 2000 A.D.'s most popular character, but Joyce, whose tactics we clearly saw in action in this chapter, doesn't know that. He's being thrown under the bus for the Chief Justice and her team can make the much needed alliance with the Brit's work. But is Joyce really guilty? Lots of food for thought in Carroll's tense story to mull over, and great artwork from PJ Holden as well, lots of nice background details that really stand out.

    Survival Geeks - Lord Of The Ringers by Gordon Remmie, Emma Beeby and Neil Googe: This chapter opens with a very knowing, self aware cold open. Kevin narrates, tells us that something odd happened at the end of their last adventure, and then we flashback to the team all hanging out and talking about how great Kevin really is. See, he's got a magic ring of some sort that makes everyone remember things his way, how he saved them from the rodent army, and now they all just want to make him happy. If that involves a certain pretty blonde putting on a French maid costume and baking him a cake, so be it. But is Kevin answering to a sinister higher power?

    This one jumps off of the finale of the last Survival Geeks storyline in a fun way. While that last storyline never caught on for this reader, this one is funnier, a little more twisted at least in this opening chapter. There's enough fun to be had here that you'll probably want to see where it goes and the anime inspired artwork remains crisp, clean, colorful and very detailed. And hey, French maid costumes are always a bonus.

    Tainted: The Fall Of Deadworld by Kek-W and Dave Kendal: John is shot, Grandpa is driving the bus over whoever is foolish enough to get in his way and Cassie is more or less freaking out. Things have gone from bad to worse. When a corpse gets gummed up in the wheels, Grandpa heads outside and notes that the corpse, still alive, is grey and sickly - like what happened to Luke. Is there a cure? Meanwhile, Judge Fairfax is booking it across town on his bike pursued by some local cops he makes short, gory work of.

    This storyline is pretty bonkers, but in a really great way. It's dark, twisted and unpredictable, a mix of Judge-inspired action and nasty, gory zombie horror. The dialogue reflects the characters' different personalities, there's a lot of dark, messed up humor here (particularly when Fairfax and his bike talk to each other) and it's just solid, dark entertainment. Kendal's artwork is fantastic, ridiculously horrific at times but always detailed and, well, appropriately sick.

    Brink - Part One by Dan Abnett and Inj Culbard: Carl Brinkman and Bridget Kurtis, investigators that they are, are securing a crime scene where they find the corpse of Xan Harbin. He was on a pretty heavy prescription. The two hear someone approaching the apartment and hide quickly enough to get the drop on the two men who come looking for Harbin. One escape the other is cuffed but warns them that 'the Leper Heart will see you for what you are!' When he says 'Phale Chronozon' Bridget vomits on the back of his neck, while Brink heads after the escape only to find out these two weren't working alone.

    Black humor, snappy dialogue, sturdy violence and some bizarre plot elements make this first chapter a fun read. It sets up some potentially interesting things to come and it lets this week's cover artist, Inj Culbard, show off some really nice fine line work. Great coloring here too.

    Aquila: Charon's Mercy by Gordon Rennie and Paul Davidson: Tortrix The Necromancer communicates with the dead in hopes of getting the information Aquila needs, summoning Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, who appears in the form of a maggot with a human head. He recognizes Aquila and curses him out, but agrees to tell Aquila where his soul is being kept if he'll free him from Pluto's hold. Aquila agrees, and then Scarabatus and his legions invade Tortrix's castle, which winds up reuniting Aquila with Fenix, but in a very bizarre, brutal and bloody way.

    This latest Aquila storyline ends with this installment but it's clear that there's more to come and hopefully we get that sooner rather than later. This was a fun read, nasty, gory, crazy stuff and the finale here obviously sets up the next installment. Rennie's script has been a kick to read, a great mix of mythological insanity, fantasy and horror elements and pitch black humor while Davidson's illustrations have done an excellent job of bringing it all to sickly life.

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