Time once again to take our regular Comicon.com look at the greatest sci-fi anthology from the UK, the thrill-power packed 2000AD. As I’ve been saying over the last few weeks, it’s really going through something of a purple patch right now with the likes of Judge Dredd: The Small House and Brink: High Society leading the way once more this issue. Alongside these two incredible strips we have the continuations of Skip Tracer and Kingdom and, replacing the beautiful Fiends Of The Eastern Front, we have one of Tharg’s 3Rillers, the three-part strips with the abdominal fixated Infestinauts.
2000AD Prog 2106 is released in UK comic shops and digitally on 7th November. If you’re in the North Americas, you’ll sadly have to wait a little while till it appears in the 2000AD monthly pack.
As for the cover… wow. INJ Culbard there with a spectacular Brink cover.
JUDGE DREDD: THE SMALL HOUSE – PART 7 – Rob Williams, Henry Flint, colors Chris Blythe, letters Annie Parkhouse.
Well, it’s definitely the best Dredd since Trifecta and Day Of Chaos. Full of hold your breath tension, beautiful artwork from Henry Flint, and a sense of real import. It is, quite frankly, the perfect Dredd for me.
As for where we’re at, no spoilers bar what’s in this episode’s preview but I will say this… Frank. Poor, poor Frank. It was always going to go down this way, we secretly knew it, maybe all the way back to Trifecta where we saw just how deep Smiley had his hooks into Franks fragile psyche. But knowing it and seeing it all happen here are two different things. Damn, Frank might not want to do it but it’s all too late for that. And then there’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for… the confrontation between Dredd and Hershey. Six words is all it takes to destroy so much. The reaction from Hershey and the crowd says it all…
Brilliant, beautiful, thrilling, important stuff. The greatest Dredd for years. Williams and Flint excelling.
We’re accelerating now, towards an ending… although what that ending will bring and what it might mean for the future of Dredd, MC-1, and the Justice Department we just don’t know yet. But damn, I reckon it’s going to be big.
SKIP TRACER: LEGION – PART 7 – James Peaty, Colin MacNeil, colors Dylan Teague, letters Ellie De Ville.
Nolan Blake’s out of his brother’s brain now and has a few questions for those in charge. Meanwhile, Legion is out and causing trouble… and with that name, no prizes for guessing how.
Skip tracer is one of those strips that’s still too early on to decide which way it’s going to go. First series was all intro, dropping us into a quick but good PI adventure with a sci-fi twist. Whereas this Legion tale has been all about family and ties to the Consociation, what seems like the big military bad of this series. It’s been as different in tone to the first adventure as the art styles of Paul Marshall and current series artist Colin MacNeil. But different good, as Skip Tracer has that feel of a 2000AD strip of old, something that sits nicely in tone amongst the range of strips in here.
BRINK – HIGH SOCIETY – PART 7 – Dan Abnett, INJ Culbard, letters Simon Bowland.
With Bridge deep undercover on Yuliya Habitat, the tension is mounting, especially as it feels like it’s just a matter of time before things go wrong. Even something as small as the wrong expression could blow her cover. Although, on the other hand, another expression could open the case wide. And in a way, that subtlety plays to the heart of Brink, a strip that just gets tighter and tighter as tension ramps up. Five pages of basic talking heads is something that would never have found a place in 2000AD of old, but this five pages of talking heads is a wonderful thing, with Culbard’s line and colour work simply stunning to read.
THARG’S 3RILLERS: INFESTINAUTS ARE GO! – PART 1 – Arthur Wyatt, Pye Parr
Following up the Intestinauts previous appearances as first Future Shock (Prog 1822) and in the excellent all-ages 2000AD Regened, 2000AD’s free comic book day comic this year, the nano-robots to sort all kinds of medical maladies return with all the glorious tongue in cheek (and nano-robots in various icky bits of body) nonsense we’ve seen before.
Now, whilst the Intestinauts are ideal for a spot of gastric grief or sicky stomach when it comes to epidermal issues, the Infestinauts take over. Now… this group of nano-robot medi-marvels have to deal with the rather personal problems of Dave Dwayneski’s scrotal thatch. Oh, it’s a gross-out delight!
KINGDOM: ALPHA AND OMEGA – PART 7 – Dan Abnett, Richard Elson, colors Abigail Bulmer, letters Ellie De Ville.
Battle lines are being drawn, with the Masters, the Aux, the ticks all in there. Plus Gene the Hackman, undecided as yet but still caught in the middle of it all. Like Skip Tracer, it’s a strip that could have been in any era of 2000AD, but that’s the joy of it. Abnett and Elson are delivering great action but also wrapping everything up in a more thoughtful, interesting treatment of evolution, 2000AD style.