I’m now more than a year into a decision to see what all the fuss was about with 2000AD. It’s going well. Every Wednesday I’m off to the newsagent, every Sunday, I tell you about it, every Monday we preview the next issue.
Cover this issue by Ben Willsher, and although it looks great, there’s always a feeling with Willsher’s Dredd that he’s simply to damn clean and polished. Dirty is what I get from MC1, especially now. But despite that, very nice cover.
Judge Dredd by Michael Carroll and PJ Holden
Carrol and Holden are doing consistently great things with Dredd, As usual with Carroll there’s a sense of complexity, of looking beyond the immediate problem to address the bigger societal stuff happening in Mega-City One right now.
And Holden’s big blocky line style is perfect for describing the urban squalor of post Chaos Day MC-1.
This issue we’re back with Dredd in MC-1, Dollman in MC-2, and they’re following up on Cadet Kessler’s report of the events of Chaos Day with his group lost and trapped in MC-1 mid chaos. Again, action and character and a look at the bigger picture handled really well.
Gunheadz by TC Eglington and Boo Cook
Still got that 80s/90s Vertigo thing going on, but the highlight here is watching the shift in Boo Cook’s artwork, as he really works it to distinguish between the bright and sharp comic within a comic sections looking at the Gunheadz battling Popcorn, and the more sombre colours and style of reality.
There’s a real feel of Morrison or Moore in the plot, with the Gunheadz comic existence coming out of fiction to influence reality as young obsessive fan Lee uncovers the secret history of the Gunheadz. It’s fun, but it’s beginning to feel just a little too much like a comic rooted firmly in the 80s/90s.
Dandridge by Alec Worley and Warren Pleece
Conclusion of Dandridge this episode, and it all comes across as a bit too much “slot magical weapon A into surprisingly easy to find, incredibly convenient, kill all the baddies slot B”.
Even saying that I’ll acknowledge that it’s all been well done, a fun enough story, and the art from Pleece always well done. But there’s still that sense that it was all wackiness for the sake of it, rather than the far better method of pulling the wacky into the story and making it part of it. Good, but not all that good.
Stickleback: Number Of The Beast by Ian Edginton and D’Israeli
Again, it seems like a talky talky episode, but looking at it a second time, there’s lots of action punctuating the chat, but Stickleback’s cast do talky so well, with Edginton capable of great easy-going, interesting dialogue, and D’Israeli so capable of making anything and everything pop from the page.
The tension’s building up here, with the sewers full of angry dinosaurs, and Stickleback and his crew on the run, tooth and claw in pursuit. Still loving this.
Zombo by Al Ewing and Henry Flint
Bonkers of course, we all know that by now. But dammit, it’s so well put together that the bonkers bits sit easily with the plotty bits, and all the way through both it’s all peppered with dialogue that’s filled with funny. Effortlessly funny, and weird, and a good story. Can’t ask for much more really. Henry Flint’s art is perfect for this.
This episode sees the Padre find his second wind and come out fighting. Or maybe he’s being manipulated just like everyone else? There’s psychic thumb wars, the lab’s in chaos, the tech team’s in pieces, and Zombo and the Padre are about to go diving into trouble, lots of trouble.