Friday, 4 March 2011

2000AD Prog 1723

A review of 2000AD Prog 1723 (released Wednesday the 2nd of March,) comments as always appreciated. You can also click on the cover to find the naked image in full resolution over on the brilliant 2000adcovers blog.

This is what’s known as a ‘Stock Cover’ to the guys (and girls) on the 2000adonline forum, meaning the editor has a pile of story neutral Dredd images in this style (Dredd appears in every issue) for when an interior artists  doesn’t have time for a cover too. These covers are typically forgettable but always done to a high standard and I’d say this weeks cover by Nick Percival is no different. My only complaint is that Dredd’s face is rendered in such detail the Lawgiver (gun,) by comparison looks a little lacking in texture in areas. On the other hand, I'm not normally a fan of tag lines on covers but I think these really liven things up.

A Dangerous criminal is on the loose and is about to bring his revenge plot to its conclusion. Meanwhile justice department uses all of the resources at their disposal to begin to track the killer, breaking up an auction illegally selling the badges of dead Judges to collectors.

Al Ewing is the master of crazy Dredd stories, that’s a given, he consistently takes obscure bits of the Mega-City One mythos and uses them  in a way that simultaneously acknowledges their craziness whilst never undermining the drama of the story he is telling. What you often forget though is how well he handles the straight up police procedural elements as well, and for both these reasons he is regarded to be John Wagner’s (A History of Violence) successor on the character.

Overlord Brenneka’s forces attempt to engage Shakara at his home base, but Shakara is already making his move on the Overlord himself.

Shakara’s base appears to be nothing more than a rickety outhouse, but is in fact the war museum where Shakara’s people stored all their most powerful weapons, one of which, a black hole bomb Shakara leaves active for Overlord Brenneka’s troops. If you think a picture of gun toting dinosaurs being sucked into a black hole would be awesome, you‘d be right.

Ampney Crucis Investigates:
Ampney’s vehicle fails just before making it to the portal through which he entered into the demon infested alternate London. We then see news of his death being delivered to his Aunts before cutting to him sat huddled, bruised and beaten in a military complex in Siberia.

A good cliff-hanger I suppose; it’s difficult to see where this will be going but the title of the next instalment ‘The English Assassin’ is very interesting.  

This story concludes with Uriel slaying Lucifer and dyeing himself leaving hell to his lover the succubus Cythea.

After much criticism by the 2000ad fan base Tony Lee jumped to the defence of his series on the forums, saying that the much berated modern lingo used in his version of hell had been a trademark of the series from the beginning. Not out of place as some people had said. It still doesn’t make it a good choice by the writer though does it? It adds almost nothing to the story. In fact, the series ends with a line so bad that it has been seen as a dig of sorts at the fan base by the creator.  I don’t think that’s the case, I just think he thought it was genuinely funny...

The caretaker of the facility which gene is being held captive in is revealed to be one of the key figures in the early days of the Auxiliary program kept alive inside a machine. Gene has no choice but to surrender when they threaten to kill his mate Clara Bow and taken before the original figure in charge of the military when the Them first attacked.

These flashbacks to the 1950’s America and the Auxiliary programs origins have been a treat throughout the series. The first Aux solider is designed brilliantly and the final page ends with one of my favourite Gene the Hickman lines yet “Your head is full of wrong!” Looks like everything is set to kick of next prog and since Richard Elson is one of 2000Ads artists most dynamic artists, his fight scenes unparalleled, it’s bound to be a treat.
So a strong issue throughout only Necrophim letting the side down in my books, but the best thing has to be this preview of next week’s cover by Liam Sharp which shows the return of Flesh.

One of the most popular strips in 2000ads early days saw man going back in time to farm dinosaurs facing a food shortage in the future. Well this series picks up directly where the original series left of almost 30years ago and we will what happens when the cowboys attempts a prehistoric cattle run to get reach a time base in Texas. Really looking forward to this and again click for a full resolution image.