The Weekly 2000 AD – Prog 2151 Previewed: Madmen & The Moon For Defoe In Divisor

by Richard Bruton

More spectacular sci-fi from 2000 AD, with yet more brilliant Dredd as MC-1’s finest heads down to robo-controlled Guatemala, Defoe is on the hunt for the Reeks, Bridge pops up in Brink, Magical PI Mallory Hope is under the cosh, and in the Fall of Deadworld, everything’s going the way we know it’s going to go. Yep, it’s another cracking issue of Britain’s finest.

First though, after his art debut on Defoe last Prog, Stewart Kenneth Moore steps up to cover duties… and it’s a damn fine cover, full of layer upon layer of detail in full wrap round glory.

Prog 2151 is out in the UK and on digital from 2 October, with international copies coming out later – ask for it by name at your local comic shop.

JUDGE DREDD – GUATEMALA – PART 2 – John Wagner, Colin MacNeil, colors Chris Blythe, letters Annie Parkhouse.

Last Prog, we bade farewell to Chief Judge Hershey, with Wagner and MacNeil delivering an opener that absolutely broke hearts.

And now we’re moving on, to Hershey’s mysterious last request perhaps, with Dredd, Beeny, and one of the new Mech-Judges travelling to the rogue nation of Guatemala, post robot coup and led by El Presidente, with his robo-fingers poised on the nuke button.

A third world country, the robo-junta at war with the human rebels, and the Justice Dept caught in the middle. It’s all a bit classic Wagnerian stuff really, politic points made with style, drama, and some grand humour.

DEFOE – THE DIVISOR – PART 2 – Pat Mills, SK Moore, letters Ellie De Ville

Back to 17 Century London, where Defoe’s on the case of those targeted zombie attacks, which is why he’s headed for Bedlam to have a chat with a madman, the Divisor, Dark Lord of the Selenites, a man who knows more about Defoe than Defoe would really like.

How? Why? Who? All up in the air right now, but as with last Prog, this is a Defoe series that’s actually got my attention and interest. Now, a lot of that might be down to the mixing of Defoe’s heavy-handed zombie bashing and the space stuff going on, but so much of it is down to the fact that I’m really loving the artwork from Moore.

Yes, Defoe’s had some brilliant artists before, but this smacks to me, and I said it last time, of John Hicklenton coming onboard Nemesis after the likes of Kev O’Neill and Bryan Talbot. Something with Hicklenton’s art just hit me in the gut and I grew to love the series even more. Now, with Defoe, Moore’s artwork is the strange thing that’s allowing me to connect with a series that hasn’t connected before.

There’s just something about the mix of styles and effects, the fluid panel compositions, the exaggerations, all of it just makes this a joy to see.

BRINK BOOK 4 – HATE BOX – PART 2 – Dan Abnett, INJ Culbard, letters Simon Bowland

Last Prog, with the return of Brink, we met Probationer Tunde Weyowa of HabSec, a young kid just starting out in the Habitat Security division responsible for keeping the lid of the chaos threatening to engulf the remnants of humanity. And he’s just begun to discover the strange things going on, presumably all tied to sect crimes. A dog with a bone, he just can’t let it go, which is just where Bridget Kurtis comes in…

Brink is just that perfect example of a slow-burn thriller, where all this close inspection of the characters is so masterfully done to really tighten the pressure Prog by Prog, building and building, the tightness of the narrative reflecting all the claustrophobia of the Habitats the characters are trapped in, until it all explodes towards the end.

And that’s just what this is doing, brilliantly, perfectly.

HOPE… UNDER FIRE – PART 2 – Guy Adams, Jimmy Broxton, letters Ellie De Ville

Magician/P.I., Mallory Hope is in New York in this alt-40s tale of magic in the world, there to help out someone he knew of in the war, albeit not by choice.

Alberto Modi was a natural for the battlefield and took that killer instinct to the Lower East Side, rising as a made man. And he’s a made man who owns Hope. This is never going to be a good thing for Hope. And he knows it.

Modi wants Hope to find out who’s been stealing from him and Hope really can’t say no. Oh, this is not going to end well for anyone.

Classic noir feel to this one, all helped by both Adams’ tone and Broxton’s tones.

THE FALL OF DEADWORLD – DOOMED – Part 2 – Kek-W, Dave Kendall, letters Annie Parkhouse

As the dead overrun what will become Deadworld, in-fighting is breaking out amongst the factions of those in thrall to the Dark Judges. Meanwhile, the human resistance, those poor doomed things, are mounting something akin to an offensive. And all the while the Sovs are there in the background.

Basically, it’s more Deadworld action, watching the fall happen before our eyes is a fascinating thing and with Kendall on art, it’s got just the right look for a world falling into decay and death.

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