The Weekly 2000 AD Prog 2190: Another Victim Of The Lack Of Open Nail Salons…

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 Cliff Robinson and Dylan Teague

Prog #2190 is out in the UK on 15 July on digital and from newsagents and comic shops. And seeing as the world is opening up now, it’s time to get the mask on, sanitise your hands, and head to your local comic shop for a copy.

Inside… we’re keeping on keeping on with the five strips. More Full Tilt Boogie, more The Order, More Diaboliks, and best of all – more of my favourite thing… The Out.

As for Judge Dredd: End Of Days, it’s changing of the artistic guard time, with Colin MacNeil handing the pen to Henry Flint as Dredd and the gang head off for another leg of the worst holiday experience you’ve ever seen.

JUDGE DREDD: END OF DAYS – PART 7 – Rob Williams, Henry Flint, colours by Chris Blythe, letters by Annie Parkhouse

Yep, it’s time for Dredd and the gang to head off to the next major disaster – this time it’s Pestilance’s chance to do some damage. Although after Famine, the crew are looking rather worse for wear… painfully thin isn’t a look that suits Dredd, Anderson, or Giant.

Henry Flint on art duties – and if anyone can keep up the quality of MacNeil, it’s Flint.

There’s a real doom-laden thing to ‘End of Days’. Look at that line in the panel below…

Deposit your team on deck where… it can rip us to shreds, like in Brit-Cit.

That’s the sort of thing you just don’t hear coming out of Dredd’s mouth too often. That’s exactly why End of Days has that real sense of dread and importance. Whether or not it has any long-term implications, who knows. But Williams is consistently showing he does have a real feel for writing Dredd as he comes to the end of his term at MC-1.

The thing with ‘End of Day’s is that the best bits so far are the moments of calm between the nasty stuff. Not that the fighting the Four Horsemen bits aren’t as much fun as I reckon Williams wants them to be – all old-school Dredd versus something bloody world-ending and all that.

But the quiet times are absolutely packed with tension, full of the important sorts of conversations people living on borrowed time have. And it’s fantastic.

FULL TILT BOOGIE – PART 6 – Alex De Campi, Eduardo Ocana, letters by Simon Bowland

This week, we open with the cat throwing up a net – although as Granny points out, it could have been a nuclear weapon like last time.

It’s those little touches, the fun extras, that gives Full Tilt Boogie its lightness, even as the story unfolds into something somewhat darker – the whole galactic war thing kicking off in the background. But even with that, it’s got the whole Saturday morning cartoon feel just right.

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

The Lady of Vendetta, Blessed Red Madonna makes an appearance (as you’d expect from that cover), but before then it’s a case of our team of Diaboliks attempting to royally piss off the powers that be.
So, time to steal a load of magically tagged cocaine (“Salvatore, he likes these new world spices!) to get the message out…

Still enjoying it all here, although Fuso’s art does a bad thing on one of the pages and completely loses the idea of flowing the reader’s eye around the panels.

And frankly, I’m slightly favouring Dom Reardon’s art on the earlier episodes over the art here – and hopefully, we’ll see Reardon back before the end of this one. But for all that, Fuso’s art still does a very decent job of looking very different to all else in the Prog right now.

THE ORDER – LAND OF THE FREE – PART 7 – Kek-W, John Burns, letters by Simon Bowland

Dead folks, Armoured Gideon, young Clara with old pistols, Ritterstahl, John Dee’s occult engine, other people.

That’s about what I got from it anyway. There were people and things on the pages and they did things. That’s about it. Still, got to love those pages for the John Burns artwork. Apart from that, I’ll have to pass.

THE OUT – PART 4 – Dan Abnett, Mark Harrison, letters by Annie Parkhouse

Definitely one of the best things I’ve read in the Prog for many years. I think the last time something grabbed me like this was when Brink started. These adventures of Cyd Finlea, photo-journalist working at the far end of the galaxy, are just magnificent things.

There’s an argument to be made here that there’s some similarity to Halo Jones, the concept of a story that simply (and wonderfully) observes a life, follows the lead character as events overtake them. But I doubt Mssrs Abnett and Harrison would mind that comparison at all.

As for where it’s going, the events are rather overtaking Cyd, where she used to take photos of normal, everyday life on strange worlds, now she’s getting shots of refugee ships coming in as they flee the invading Tankinar. She’s one of those refugees, she’s alone, a long way from home, well out of her comfort zone, and very, very scared.

The Out is just beautifully done. Abnett and Harrison are building worlds through Cyd’s pictures, each shot filed adds more to our understanding of the story, even as the actual story is taking place around Cyd. And special credit to Harrison for continuing to make everything look both incredibly and wonderfully readable.

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