In February 2012, for the 35th anniversary of 2000AD, I made a pledge:
“But here’s a deal for you. If you’ll do it, so will I. 2012 will be the year I read 2000AD. 2012 will be the year YOU read 2000AD.”
So I am doing. And you know what, it’s a great time to be doing it.
Nice Clint Langley cover. I’m not one to go overboard on this style, but that’s not bad at all.
Okay, onwards inside the Prog. See, I’ve even lost my reluctance to call each issue a Prog. Can’t quite believe that. Anyway….
Judge Dredd: Debris from Michael Carroll and PJ Holden really is a great little storyline. It’s been the one to make the transition best from Wagner’s epic storyline to the more everyday stuff. Well, that’s everyday as in Dredd against a city block claiming independence from MC1, using a repurposed mass driver to blow everything out the sky, including a Space Marine shuttle. Okay, maybe not everday then. or maybe, and this may well be the point, this is the new everyday of MC1 right now, living in the debris lying in the wake of the Chaos Day.
But at least with problems like a newly independent Sue Perkins Block to besiege, Dredd can at least take his mind off things by being his old, hard as nails self:
(“… I’m busy – arrest each other”. Great bit of Judge Dredd by Michael Carroll and PJ Holden)
Oh, and I could have tried to be clever and say I got the reference on the final page of this weeks Dredd, the reveal over who the non-combatant advisor to the Space Marines turns out to be, but to be honest I had to google it. Interesting idea and continuing proof that Carroll has a nice feel for the history of the character.
The Red Seas is following a nice set pattern right now; couple of pages, a great gag or two, then on with the plot…. and from what I’ve read so far, the gags win. It’s fun, fairly shallow stuff. But hell, it’s nice to have something like that in here….
(“I’m a chunky academic, you’re a cocksure dandy….”. Again with the great gags in The Red Seas by Ian Edginton and Steve Yeowell)
Aquila opens with a gag as well, but quickly heads over into big blokes beating each other up with a historical theme. The good news is that the gag to open it is good, and the ultra-violence fits in as well as Aquila heads to Londinium, ready to do Boudica’s bidding, not knowing there’s a surprise inside the Roman walls waiting with answers and a big pointy spear (not necessarily in that order).
The ultra-violence also makes an appearance in Ichabod Azrael this week, but even there we have a gag to set the whole thing up, as the ex-ferryman of the dead tries to relax with a manhattan in troubled waters whilst Ichabod finds love once more. Still loving Dom Reardon’s artwork in this one.
All three strips; The Red Seas, Aquila, and Ichabod Azrael are sitting in that troublesome so-so area of being neither wonderfully good or terribly bad, but not really exciting me in many ways. I’m enjoying them sure, but they’re not anything I’ll necessarily miss when they’re gone. Does this count as a slump for my 2000AD reading?
(Aquila by Gordon Rennie and Leigh Gallagher)
(Ichabod Azrael by Rob Williams and Dom Reardon)
Thankfully the issue leaves me with something far more exciting and to my taste. Lenny Zero by Andy Diggle and Ben Willsher is a cracking tale, doing a great job of mixing a little comedy into the unfolding story of Lenny Zero’s plan to rob the Judges. A ridiculous cast of crooks has been assembled, the plan is being put into practice, there’s hints of conflict in the gang already, and the possibility that Lenny’s not just doing this for the money, but wants a little payback instead.
There’s even the return of a familiar face playing out a game of shuggy in the final panel. (And yes, again, I had to hit google for that one).
(Lenny Zero by Andy Diggle and Ben Wilsher)
Yep, ending on a high note with Lenny Zero after three so-so strips. Two out of five isn’t really enough is it? Fear not though. I’m in this for the long haul, and I’m well aware that there will be things not to my liking. The good thing with 2000AD is that there’s always something coming along to tempt you once more.