The Weekly 2000 AD – does just what it says – every week, Comicon.com takes a look through the pages of the Galaxy’s Greatest comic.
Under the sort of cover Cliff Robinson does so very well, there’s Parliamentary problems for Dredd, role-playing rigmarole in Survival Geeks, Martian malarkey in Scarlet Traces, a trip down memory lane for Max Normal, and more epic fantasy in Kingmaker. Join us, it’s a good one!
Prog 2127 comes out on digital and in UK comic shops on 17 April, if you’re soemwhere out of the UK, make sure you order a comic at your local comic shop. You won’t regret it!
JUDGE DREDD: THE LONG GAME – PART 2 – Michael Carroll and Mark Sexton, colours John Charles, letters Annie Parkhouse.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that there’s a level of organised crime in MC-1, something dominated, so it seems, by two organisations, The Parliament and The Kindred. And there’s an alliance on the cards.
Now, one of the Parliament’s own has been killed and questions are being asked, operatives are positioning themselves to his place. But first, they’re going to need to protect themselves from a Judge led investigation.
Again, as with the last episode, it’s a Dredd strip without any active involvement from Dredd, and that’s something Carroll is just excellent at. He’s long been my favourite Dredd writer to deal with the complex politics of Dredd’s world, but usually that’s outside MC-1, whether it’s Tex-City or something to do with the Sovs. Here, it’s great to see him get to grips with the goings-on in Dredd’s backyard. As for Sexton, the art is effective, shadowy, good on character and expression, making a story that’s dialogue heavy interesting and eminently readable.
I have no idea where The Long Game is going, but, as with so many of Carroll’s works, I’ll be hoping it gets played out slowly.
SURVIVAL GEEKS: DUNGEONS & DRAGONS (BASIC) – PART 5 – Gordon Rennie & Emma Beeny, Neil Googe, colours Gary Caldwell, letters Annie Parkhouse
The gang are in some serious trouble, a role-playing monster thingy wants them dead. And if this was any other strip, we’d have a big fight and lots of shouting. Yawn. Thankfully, this is Survival Geeks, so the big nasty gets dealt with quickly, although not in the way Rufus fancies…
“Here’s an idea – we destroy it with the power of love!
Kit off everyone! Worth a go!”
But that does leave us a few pages of recrimination (with laughs) as the housemates realise that Clive has been conning them all along. And it all ends, spectacularly, in a Neil Googe splash page that has to be seen to be believed.
SCARLET TRACES: HOME FRONT – Part 2 – Ian Edginton and D’Israeli, letters Ellie De Ville
The Martians are attacking again, having destroyed the Earth’s battle fleet, caused millions of Venusians to flee to Earth, and weaponised the sun. To say things look bleak is a huge understatement.
The last remaining Earth defences prove no match for Martian firepower and it looks like the invasion of Earth just can’t be stopped.
Last Prog was the gentle lead in, this time it’s all out action, D’Israeli’s artwork looking so good as he gets to draw the big, albeit very one-sided, space battle. The effects he uses throughout to get those really distinctive looks to his art are just so different, his work really does stand out amongst everything else in the Prog.
MAX NORMAL: HOW MAX GOT HIS STRIPES – PART 4 – Guy Adams and Dan Cornwell, colours Jim Boswell, letters Simon Bowland
So, we’ve seen Max when he was just, well, normal. A poor little waif on the streets, finding a place in the Golden Pocket, the same Golden Pocket shuggy hall he’s just taken ownership of. Max is off again in his own personal memories, building up a picture of how he became the pinstriped wonder. Vito, meanwhile finds it all damn funny (in what just occurred to me is a Killing Joke reference).
And that’s the takeaway from this Max Normal series, Adams playing it well, mixing up the laughs (the Morrisey tattoo incident a particularly fine giggle) and the back-story so well. And as I keep saying, Cornwell’s art has a great quality to it, wandering around the line between cartooning and realistic with ease.
KINGMAKER: OUROBOROS – PART 4 – Ian Edginton and Leigh Gallagher, letters by Ellie De Ville
Sure, it’s high fantasy, playing up the whole Lord of the Rings thing, but Edginton’s building characters as well, and the dialogue between the wizard Ablard and everyone’s favourite Ork…
“Just because I’m a wizard doesn’t mean I know everything!”
“No, like most wizards you just bugger about pretending you do and taking the credit if it works.”
“This is a gross exaggeration… on the whole.”
Frankly, if the LOTR films would have had more of this, I wouldn’t have fallen asleep during them. As it is, Kingmaker gets more enjoyable as it goes on, with Leigh Gallagher’s art proving an absolute joy, all lush (and insane) detail, with a final page that bursts into fabulous gruesome life.