2000 AD Sci-Fi Special 2019 – Paying Tribute To The Genius Of Carlos Ezquerra

by Richard Bruton

(Cover by Mick MacMahon)

This year’s 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special is a very special and sadly bittersweet tribute to the comics legend that was Carlos Ezquerra, who sadly died in October 2018.

Ezquerra was responsible for providing art for some of the most recognisable characters in 2000 AD and beyond, co-creating Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog, Fiends of the Eastern Front, Durham Red, Cursed Earth Koburn, and Al’s Baby. He also worked on the memorable comics adaptation of Stainless Steel Rat, co-created Third World War in Crisis comic with Pat Mills, and created the Rat Pack, Major Eazy, El Mestizo for Battle comic.

Further afield, he worked with Garth Ennis for Bloody Mary, Adventures in the Rifle Brigade, War Story, and Preacher (DC Comics) and Just A Pilgrim and Battlefields for Dynamite.

In this year’s Sci-Fi Special, you’ll find three strips celebrating some of his most popular characters, leading off with a Dredd tale by Alan Grant and Robin Smith, where Dredd tackles some perps in a very unique location in “Night at the Museum“. Guy Adams and Dave Kendall reveal an untold story of the Romanian vampire soldiers in a new Fiends of the Eastern Front story, “Strange Meeting“; and Viking Wulf Sternhammer comes to terms with life in the future in “Valhalla” by Michael Carroll and Patrick Goddard.

But, most importantly, you’ll be able to see Carlos’ last work, the first two completed chapters of the project that John Wagner and Ezquerra were working on when he died, Spector. With this story of an android cop programmed to root out corruption at the highest level, it’s a bittersweet chance to see classic Ezquerra art, as fresh today as when he first burst forth in 1977 to fill 2000 AD with his wonderful art and fabulous creations.

As Wagner notes in the Special,

It never crossed my mind that this would be our last story together, even with Carlos’s impending operation… And then, tragedy.

Initially, when Ezquerra passed, Wagner thought Spector had died with him. But, again from the introduction, Wagner talks of changing his mind,

Why should his last creation finish here? Better to carry on, to allow his artistry to continue bringing delight to readers. So the story of Spector will go on, but here, for the last time, savour the great man himself.

Carlos Ezquerra‘s work is his legacy and it lives on through his creations, and it’s that legacy that 2000 AD celebrates with the Sci-Fi Special. So, raise a glass to the great man and enjoy this very special 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special celebrating the genius that was Carlos Ezquerra.

The 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special is released on 19 June.

 

JUDGE DREDD: NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM – Alan Grant, Robin Smith, colors by Matt Soffe, letters by Annie Parkhouse

 

FIENDS OF THE EASTERN FRONT: STRANGE MEETING – Guy Adams, Dave Kendall, letters by Ellie De Ville

 

WULF STERNHAMMER: VALHALLA – Michael Carroll, Patrick Goddard, letters by Simon Bowland

 

SPECTOR: INCORRUPTIBLE – John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra, letters by Jim Campbell (After Tom Frame) 

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