2000AD Collects Occult Cop Drama ‘Absalom: Terminal Diagnosis’

by Richard Bruton

Harry Absalom, everyone’s favourite grumpy old copper is dying. But there’s one last thing he needs to do before he karks it, one last mission to beat the odds one last time – and Terminal Diagnosis is a perfect ending to a great series from Gordon Rennie and Tiernen Trevallion.

Police Inspector Harry Absalom is the grumpy, irascible, cantankerous copper responsible for policing the terms of ‘The Accord’, the long-standing agreement between Royalty and Hell in this world. It’s hardly the easiest job, but Harry does it well, dealing with everything in his own unique way.

And what’s that way? Well, I reckon page 1 tells you a lot about Harry…

Pillock is exactly the right word, full of total contempt for the world and the idiots in it. Not worth wasting more breath over. And he’s just the same whether it’s some muppet protestor or an Arch-Duke of hell sticking his hooves in where they aren’t wanted.

But, things aren’t really in Harry’s favour. Because Harry’s in trouble, a lot of trouble. How much? Here’s page 2…

Yes, this is the terminal diagnosis and Harry Absalom is finally dying.

He looks like hell and feels it too. With his bloody spectre over his shoulder all the time, full of snark and good cheer… it’s no wonder Harry’s such a grumpy old git.

But before he shuffles off this mortal coil, he and his team have one more job to do – rescue Harry’s grandkids from The Mills, ancestral seat of the demonic Rathborne family.

Which means this lot…

Against this lot…

Fabulous art from Trevallion, showing you just how wonderfully weird and bizarre things can get in Absalom.

Before that can all play out in the second part of Terminal Diagnosis, Harry’s got to deal with those on either side of the Accord buggering about with him. Which means a real treat of a tale with both sides of The Accord, human and demonic, plot, plan, and scheme, all of which really pisses Harry off. And a pissed off Harry is bad news for everyone. When he does finally take his team into The Mills, it’s something akin to a suicide mission, and no-one’s expecting for such an audacious move to work out.

Rennie and Trevallion have shaped the character from the start, and in Terminal Diagnosis they make sure to give him a fitting send-off.

Rennie has the voice of Absalom just right, that grumpy, sarcastic, pissed off nature acting as a perfect counterpoint to the fantastical elements. Whilst Trevallion’s artwork is a gorgeous thing, stark black and white throughout, angular and capable of doing all the macabre demonic stuff perfectly, yet also being able to give the characters some fabulous personalities and expressions.

And that ending… perfect stuff. Just as it should have been.

Now, sit back and enjoy the last you’re going to see of Harry Absalom, the gruff guv’nor, the perpetually pissed off plod, with a quick little Comicon preview & some of Travallion’s fabulous covers.

And it’s away we go for the very last of Absalom.

Now a few of Trevallion’s great looking covers…

Absalom – Terminal Diagnosis – By Gordon Rennie and Tiernen Trevallion, letters by Simon Bowland, published by 2000 AD.

Published on 17 October.

Originally published in 2000 AD Progs 2053-2060 & 2136-2143.

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