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2000 A.D. Prog 1981

    Ian Jane

  • 2000 A.D. Prog 1981

    2000 A.D. Prog 1981
    Released by: 2000 A.D./Rebellion
    Released on: May 25th, 2016.
    Written by: Various
    Illustrated by: Various
    Purchase From Amazon

    2000 A.D. Prog 1981 is available now and if that creepy Dredd cover from Jon Davis-Hunt doesn't get your attention, well, there's probably something wrong with you.

    Judge Dredd - The Lion's Den by Michael Carroll and PJ Holden: When we last left off, we found out that Dredd, not so surprisingly, wasn't dead. But he was in pretty rough shape. Judge Joyce, extradited to the Brit-Cit, is on the run. He's assaulted by some thugs in an alleyway but makes short work of them and winds up with a phone, some knives and some cash out of the deal. He uses that phone to call for help but a cellphone surveillance sweep picks up his call and reports it to Chief Judge Mayhew. But they got enough info to have at least a rough idea of where he is, so Mayhew orders a team be sent in to take him. And so that team heads into the city with orders to do whatever it takes to stop Joyce from going public with what he knows

    Carroll's story of a conspiracy that goes all the way to the top feels all too real in modern day America, but it's nothing if not entertaining (and all too poignant). It's interesting to see how everyone is scurrying to contain Joyce, the man they set up, in hopes that they can stop him from talking about that which they've set him up to know about in the first place. It's clever stuff, and Holden's art does a fine job bringing the action and intrigue inherent in the plot twists to vibrant and colorful life.

    Survival Geeks -Lord Of The Ringers by Gordon Remmie, Emma Beeby and Neil Googe: That which has been controlling Kev and in turn controlling the rest of the team makes itself known, but this is no time for flashbacks, or so we're told. They make a break for it… and then they find out the truth.

    The last chapter in this run wraps things up amusingly enough. The series is still too reliant for its own good on making obscure, nerdy pop culture references but at least it ties them into a story that proves engaging and humorous enough. Great artwork from the start right through to this final chapter.

    Slí¡ine: The Brutania Chronicles - Psychopomp by Pat Mills and Simon Davis: Having dared to defy Lord Weird and his cohorts, we learn in Gort's own words why he has befriended Slí¡ine and defied his masters. Weird removes the 'earth powers' that enhanced the abilities of the two combatants, and then Gort decides to attack. Bad move. Slí¡ine retaliates in kind but it's no good, it's tough to kill a god…

    This is still more or less a particularly violent brawl mixed together with some high concept dialogue and expository meanderings but it works and it works well. There's a twisted sense of humor here as Slí¡ine and Gort and Weird all more or less stand around and beat the snot out of one another, but somehow in the context of this universe it makes total sense. It's a fun read, that also manages to keep us entertained and in suspense, while Simon Davis' completely over the top illustrations are the deliciously bloody icing on this ultra-violent cake.

    Brink - Part Three by Dan Abnett and Inj Culbard: Brinkman and Bridget are trying to gain access to the Ludmilla Habitat. They get it, they also get some results on the names that they asked be run through the records database, but they come up empty with connections to any known cults. BUT… an undercover op has let HQ know about citizens in the Boilerhouse District complaining about cult activity. This is all off the record, but it's something. They go to bed, in separate rooms, and in the middle of the night Brinkman gets contact from 'the guy' who has been working that case undercover. He calls himself Bilder and he wants to meet, meanwhile Bidget makes a connection to this case and Frannie Lightman.

    Our detectives keep working the case, diligently and with a decent sense of humor about them (“the nipples follow you around the room”!). Abnett's script builds on what came before it in a good way, there's some details here to chew over if you're into trying to figure out whodunit and why. Culbard's artwork is as solid here as it's ever been, and it's always been solid so that's a good thing.

    Tainted: The Fall Of Deadworld by Kek-W and Dave Kendal: Jess, no heavily armed and on her own, tries to snag Fairfax's bike. The bike tells her that Fairfax and Gramps will 'fix this' but the odds are definitely against them. Inside the police station, Gramps and Fairfax aren't taking any chances. They blast their way through whatever stands in their way, but all it takes is one stray bullet to bring it all down around them. And then Jess comes face to face with Fairfax, the man she blames for the death of her parents…

    The end of this storyline wisely leaves things open for more stories to come, not a bad thing at all given how entertaining this run was. Kek-W's tales of good versus evil versus Fairfax managed to stay interesting and suspenseful from the start. A nice mix of effectively grotesque horror, pitch black comedy and action, Tainted goes out with a bang in this final chapter. Kendal's artwork has kept the pace from the get-go, visualizing all the action and horror and flat out disgusting ideas in a big way that fits the writing style perfectly. Sad to see this one go, but there's more on the horizon.

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