The Weekly 2000AD – Prog 2122 Previewed: An End To Machine Law?

by Richard Bruton

Week after week, the Mighty Tharg assembles the greatest sci-fi spectacular to come from the UK. Yes, it’s the Weekly 2000 AD!

This week – it’s time for endings, with the exposive finale for Wagner and MacNeil’s incredible Machine Law in Dredd, the final part for the future detective Skip Tracer, Jaegir exits the Bonegrinder the worst way, and the latest Tharg’s 3Riller is episode three and out. Next week, everything but Grey Area is new, but first, time to enjoy one more week of these great strips…

2000AD Prog 2122, with a not relating to anything inside but looking pretty damn cool cover by Alex Ronald, is out in the UK and digitally on 13 March. North America? You’re just gonna have to wait for the slow boat to get to you with copies.

JUDGE DREDD: MACHINE LAW – PART 8 – FINAL PART – John Wagner, Colin MacNeil, colours Chris Blythe, letters Annie Parkhouse.

In just eight episodes of Machine Law, Wagner has given us the resignation of Chief Judge Hershey, along with a, potentially, lethal diagnosis for the remainder of her days, a new Chief Judge in the shape of machine law loving Logan, a potential coup in the ranks, and Dredd (almost) coming to terms with the idea of mech-judges.

Eight episodes for so much upheaval in the big Meg. Now, that’s something special. And all the way, he’s been accompanied by Colin MacNeil on art, delivering spectacular stuff. Machine Law was big, important Dredd moments with remarkably few action scenes, just the sort of thing Wagner has been doing for so many years. Long may it continue.

SKIP TRACER – LOUDER THAN BOMBS – PART 12 – FINAL PART – James Peaty, Paul Marshal, colours Quinton Winter, letters Ellie De Ville

The final part of the third series of Skip Tracer and we’re with Nathan Blake as he watches the clock tick down on a terrorist’s bomb strapped to a kid’s chest. His solution? Well, you’ll have to see that for yourself, but it’s one of those I’m a little hmmm over. What we have here is a, slightly, rushed end to what’s been a really fine series, a fine protagonist, a good set of procedural adventures, written and drawn well. But the ending, it’s just one of those that comes at you as a a way too easy resolution. But, not one that’s spoilt the fun of the strip overall.

THARG’S 3RILLERS – TOOTH & NAIL – PART 3 – FINAL PART – Andi Ewington, Staz Johnson, colours Abigail Bulmer, letters Simon Bowland

So, an interrogation to uncover the name of the hitman who massacred 17 people reaches its explosive finale. And it’s a fabulously done bit of a takedown, with Staz Johnson choreographing the action so well. But, there’s also a magnificent twist here, one that Ewington very cleverly throws in, one that took me a few reads to realise. It’s well worth the work!

And, as these Tharg’s 3Rillers so often do, there’s definitely potential for a second series, something I’d definitely like to see.

GREY AREA – SHOOT TO KILL – Dan Abnett, Mark Harrison, letters Ellie De Ville

Former exo-squad members, Kymn and Resting Bitch Face, have ditched the black ops team that had them declared dead. Now they’re on the run and their former team-mates know they’re alive. Needless to say, it’s all a bit tense between the Exo-Squad and the powers that be. Which is why he’s having a little heart to heart here with the head of ETC and all sorts of bad things are coming out…

It’s a little masterpiece in tension, something Abnett, we know, does incredibly well. What did come as something as a surprise is how beautifully Mark Harrison’s artwork, usually all massive detailing and packed sci-fi panels, manages this talking heads episode.

It’s a perfect pause in the action, in what is, undoubtedly, one of my favourite 2000 AD strips.

JAEGIR – BONEGRINDER – PART 6 – FINAL PART – Gordon Rennie, Simon Coleby, colours Len O’Grady, letters Annie Parkhouse

After her posting to the Bonegrinder went about as bad as it was planned to be, Jaegir handed herself over to the Southers last episode. As you can expect, this is not a good thing.

But, before that, we get a little setup for the next Jaegir series, Valkyrie…

After all, you didn’t, honestly, imagine that Jaegir’s loyal troops were just going to accept what’s happened, did you? Nope, they’ve set plans in motion, and damn, they’re good plans.

Jaegir returns soon. Frankly, it wont be soon enough for this wonderful series.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: