The Weekly 2000 AD – Prog 2123 Previewed: A Wizard, An Orc, And A Dryad Princess Walk Into Hobbitville…

by Richard Bruton

Time once more for the weekly Comicon 2000AD preview, featuring the very best of all things Brit Sci-Fi.

As you can see from that spectacular Leigh Gallagher wraparound cover, things are changing inside, with the double-sized debut of the second series of the epic fantasy Kingmaker in Ouroboros. Alongside it, you’ll find new role-playing ridiculousness with another series of Survival Geeks, a complete Dredd thriller and, best of all, more from the incredible Grey Area.

2000AD Prog 2123 is out in the UK and digitally on 20 March. Outside of that, maybe in those North Americas or the rest of the world… well, it might be a while.

So, let’s have a look…

JUDGE DREDD: CITIZENSHIP – Rory McConville, Jake Lynch, colours John Charles, letters Annie Parkhouse.

In these trying times of Brexit, it’s always good to find out there’s somewhere in a worse mess… and that’s Mega-City One.

Yes, imagine the mess of immigration in Mega City One, especially after Chaos Day, with all those records lost, all that potential for new identities? This is a just where McConville and Lynch take us in Citizenship, with a beautifully done in one Prog Dredd tale that really hits all the right notes, complete with some gorgeous Lynch artwork.

SURVIVAL GEEKS: DUNGEONS & DRAGONS (BASIC) – PART 1 – Gordon Rennie & Emma Beeny, Neil Googe, colours Gary Caldwell, letters Annie Parkhouse

Survival Geeks is one of those that some really don’t like and others (including me) think is just the sort of different strip 2000 AD really should be doing.

Rennie, Beeby and Googe have had great fun skewering all manner of geek subjects and this time they’re casting their withering gaze over D&D and Role-Playing. Expect it to be just as daft, just as silly, just as funny as it’s all been before as we join the housemates careering across time and space in their trans-dimensional traversing ship that just happens to look like your average two-up, two-down house.

KINGMAKER: OUROBOROS – PART 1 – Ian Edginton and Leigh Gallagher, letters Ellie de Ville

It’s cover-featured and opens with a double-length episode that feels, very deliberately, like Edginton and Gallagher riffing off Lord of the Rings, but taking it that step further. Imagine seeing off the Dark Lord Sauron and then having to put up with Darth Vader turning up in a spaceship to subjugate the place. That’s exactly what’s going on in Kingmaker, where the Nine Kingdoms sucessfully defeated Ichnar the Wraith King only to see the alien Horde turn up and overthrow the place. It’s just not fair, is it?

Kingmaker is a real treat, with so much going for it, whether that’s Gallagher’s sumptuously done artwork or Edginton’s LOTR pastiche here in this first episode. All of it setting up for a grand adventure as the wizard Ablard, ork Crixus, and dryad princess Yarrow journey into Hobbitville, where things are not what they seem…

GREY AREA – MAKING HISTORY – Dan Abnett, Mark Harrison, letters Ellie de Ville

It’s still the highlight of the issue, even with such a strong line-up, but I’ve long been in love with Abnett and Harrison’s tale of the Earth’s exo-immigration force, policing the aliens looking to visit.

But things are taking a real turn for the dark in these latest tales, first with the deaths of Exo-Squad members Kymn and Resting Bitch Face, then the twist that they were, in fact, merely seconded to a brutal new black ops unit, led by the near psychopathic Grell.

Last Prog was the perfect set-up, the chat between Bulliet and the head of ETC showing us just how bad things had got and just how far Grell might just go to disrupt Earth-Alien relations. This Prog, it’s day one of the Earth-Congruence summit and Bulliet’s squad are working covert ops against Grell’s black ops.

It’s gearing up for a spectacular climax to a stunning strip.

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