The Weekly 2000 AD Prog 2189: Gaze Into The Teeth Of Dredd?

by Richard Bruton

The Weekly 2000 AD… Week in and week out, giving you the preview of the new 2000 AD Prog. The UK’s best sci-fi weekly since 1977. four decades and still going strong.

Cover by Neil Roberts

Prog 2189 is out in the UK on 8 July on digital and from newsagents and comic shops. And with those comic shops opening up once more, it’s a great time to support them – even if you don’t like the idea of risking going out there’s always mail order. And if you do go out, wear a damn mask people.

Right then, Prog 2189 where everything keeps on keeping on. And that means apocalyptic body takeovers, mango loving bounty hunting fun, paranormal problems twixt heaven and hell, something disorderly happening in time, and stranded universe exploring photo-journos. All in all, pretty damn good right now in the Galaxy’s Greatest.

JUDGE DREDD: END OF DAYS – PART 6Rob Williams, Colin MacNeil, colours by Chris Blythe, letters by Annie Parkhouse

It’s Dredd & the gang, including old Ichabod Azrael and that damn Angel head, up against the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

First up, Brit-Cit and Famine. One of the Justice gang dead already, now Dredd the latest to be possessed and a toothy, wormy thing on the loose.

If only there was some way to just shoot it?

Oh, okay.

And that’s the beginnings of a potential problem with the strip, with these global level threats gotten rid of just like that. Always the risk when you do the whole build up the bad guy thing and have to get four of ’em done in 15 episodes.

Still, loads of suitably Dredd-ish doom and gloom thinking to enjoy, and loads of great MacNeil artwork on show.

FULL TILT BOOGIE – PART 5Alex De Campi, Eduardo Ocana, letters by Simon Bowland

The Luxine Knights have a getting to know you meeting before the war they’ve been chosen for kicks off. Their suitably deranged looking mentor isn’t exactly delivering any good news though – it’s a life-time gig with the mission to incinerate the Anubites. But I can’t see De Campi making things anywhere near the simple good guys onboard the Full Tilt Boogie and the bad guys doing the evil empire Gatchaman thing – she’s too good a writer and obviously enjoying writing this far too much to make it that simple.

A slowing down episode here, time to catch a breath and set up the next phase. But also a time to relax a little and really enjoy the muted tones onboard the Luxine Knight’s ship.

THE DIABOLIKS – PART 6Gordon Rennie and Antonio Fuso, letters by Jim Campbell

Damien Dellamore, ‘Investigatore di Fantasmi’, a lothario now stripped of libido… that’s what happens when the Diabolikal duo need you on board to go up against the Coven of the Five Sisters.

It’s a great thing they’ve done here, swapping out Dom Reardon for Antonio Fuso, two wonderfully similar artistic styles, all sharp, simple lines in b&w. At a push, I prefer Reardon’s for it’s looser, raw stylings, but Fuso does a grand job.

THE ORDER – LAND OF THE FREE – PART 6Kek-W, John Burns, letters by Simon Bowland

Recently listened to Kek-W on the 2000 AD Thrill-Cast podcast thingy and he talked about The Order in such a wonderful way, making it seem really interesting, involved and weird.

But then I came back to it here and yet again, it’s just an uninvolving thing once more where more and more characters get thrown at me and I have no idea what they have to do here. It’s just another episode that looks far, far better than it reads.

THE OUT – PART 3Dan Abnett, Mark Harrison, letters by Annie Parkhouse

The adventures of Cyd Finlea, photo-journalist for Global Neographic continue in brilliant fashion. She’s a galaxy away from Earth, way out in The Out and has just realised she’s somehow broke, the company stopped sending her the creds a year ago and she has no idea why.

Already seen some moaning in various places about this one having no plot. Yet that’s patently absurd. What those having a pop mean is that it doesn’t have the traditional goodies versus baddies thing going on. Nope, this one’s way, way better than that – the plot is a simple one (at least as yet) – it’s the adventures of Cyd, attempting to get by in the wonderful Out she finds herself in.

And I, for one, couldn’t be more happy with the simplicity of this strip.

Cyd’s still taking photos – glorious things, whether they’re monumental things such as that first incredible page by Harrison or the more mundane yet equally interesting shots of the daily going-ons in her new life as barkeep.

It turns out the planet she’s marooned on has a lot of leavers passing through, murmurs of bad things happening to cause this. But with eight shifts this week, we’re getting the news as Cyd gets it – fractured and bitty snippets from the at bar conversations between Cyd the barkeep and the patrons.

Adding to her problems, her translator appears to be on the blink just when she needs it the most.

So, maybe there is going to be more to The Out than simply Cyd getting by. So it all ends with Cyd and her boss on a transport ship to somewhere else, fleeing the ‘Tankinar’.

Simply put, it doesn’t matter one bit whether there’s a bigger picture story going to go on here, what Abnett and Harrison are doing is giving us the best story I’ve read in 2000 AD for many, many years. It’s one of those low key tales that simply does what it does so brilliantly, the genius in the fact that it’s so low key yet manages to be magnificently, wonderfully epic at the same time.

Gorgeous, involving, cleverly done, Harrison’s art so perfect for the wonderful chaos of the thing. Absolutely loving it all.

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