Comics: 2000 AD – the 1812 Overture

Published On December 5, 2012 | By Richard Bruton | Comics

If you were on Twitter during the latter half of last week you more than likely saw a whole bunch of Brit comics fans (myself included) raving about just how drokking superb that week’s 2000 AD had been (you can read Richard’s review here). As the latest Judge Dredd story arc took place in a ruined Mega City One (yes, Mr Wagner unleashed the wrath of Grud on the Big Meg again and left it in a terrible mess for this story!) we had the simultaneous events in two other strips coming to a head, The Simping Detective (which I’ve always had a soft spot for) and Low Life (we do like Dirty Frank). Over the preceding weeks it has become clear that the those other two strips, set in the Dredd universe, were converging with Dredd, events in Dredd having effects in Low Life and Simping Detective.

And by last week it was the same tale being played by three sets of writers and artists, being told from three different perspectives at the same time. That’s quite a major feat of logistic to pull off – the writing, art, editing and timing all having to coincide into the same weekly issues at just the right time for it to mesh together seamlessly. Just managing that alone would be worthy of some respect, but to do it and carry off an incredibly strong storyline that has the reader utterly hooked in, turning the pages, waiting to see what will happen at the conclusion? That right there is some seriously brilliant creative work, and a great example of the sort of innovative storytelling that you can create in the comics medium (and all handled weekly in the smaller confines of one comic, not spread out across many titles as crossover events tend to be for the major US comics publishers – here told with just enough breathing space but still with economy that keeps it all tense, paced, sharp). It all concludes in Prog 1812, released today (with that cover, above, by Cliff Robinson and Dylan Teague), with the entire issue being given over to wrapping up all three strips’ worth of convergent tales with Trifecta with Al Ewing, Simon Spurrier and Rob Williams on script droid duty and Carl Critchlow as the art droid. Thrill power circuits may be overloaded across the UK…

And once it is all concluded, do not give in to that plumetting sensation that it is all over, because the very next week, on December 12th, Uncle Tharg brings us the special Prog 2013: one hundred pages to mark an end of the year special (and what a year, one of the best in recent 2000 AD’s vintage), with Judge Dredd: Violent Night by Mike Carroll and Ben Willsher, Ampney Crucis Investigates: The Entropy Tango by Ian Edginton and Simon Davis, Strontium Dog: Mutant Spring by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra, Aquila: Quo Vadis, Domine? by Gordon Rennie and Leigh Gallagher, The Red Seas: Fire Across the Deep by Ian Edginton and Steve Yeowell, Savage: Rise Like Lions by Pat Mills and Patrick Goddard, Absalom: Dirty Postcards by Gordon Rennie and Tiernen Trevallion, The Visible Man: Scars by Pat Mills and Henry Flint and Ack-Ack Macaque: Indestructible by Gareth L. Powell and Nick Dyer. It ain’t over till the fat Betelgusian sings…

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About The Author

Richard Bruton
- Started in comics retail aged 16 at Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham. Now located in Yorkshire, he's written for the Forbidden Planet International Blog since 2007. Specialising in UK Comics and All-Ages comics, Richard's day job in a primary school allowed him to build the best children's graphic novel library in the country.

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