The Weekly 2000 AD Prog 2220: Brings Back The Regened!

by Richard Bruton

Four times a year, the pages of the Galaxy’s Greatest get turned over to Tharg’s lil’ nephew, Jojo-Jargo, who fills the pages with five all-ages tales to appeal to the next generation of readers – it’s time for 2000 AD to get Regened!

Cover by Nick Roche, colours by Gary Caldwell

2000 AD Prog 2220 hits the shelves in the UK, and digitally, on Wednesday 24th February.

Go get it from anywhere you can get good comics from – and if that means getting in touch with them and getting your normal comics mail ordered to you instead of picking them up in person, do it!

Right then, on to the preview of Regened… and this is a really good Regened Prog, one that really benefits from the extra pages and one that’s got three new strips, all of which could easily transfer into longer series. So… enjoy!

CADET DREDD: SUBOPTIMAL – Arthur Wyatt, Davide Tinto, colours by Gary Caldwell, letters by Annie Parkhouse

Cadet Dredd out on a case, missing kid Timmy Prinn, paired up with Tek-Judge Cadet Quinn, gets into a mite of trouble thanks to a group of Mechs running their own new underground mall experience … the Opti-Mall.

One of the great things about these Regened specials is the increased length of the strips, letting the done-in-one stories breath a little more, and that’s just the case here with a Cadet Dredd that gets to tell a satisfying, if not spectacular, tale of a young Dredd making friends in Tek-Div.

 

ACTION PACT: THE RADYAR RECOVERY – Mike Carroll, Luke Horsman, colours by Matt Soffe, letters by Simon Bowland

Commander Drake leads a team for very specialist operations – assisted by heavy-weapons agent Warsaw, tech expert Elton, twin gunners Tevyr and Jiago, and the silent and deadly assassin Shadow, from across the galaxy and across time. She takes her orders extremely seriously and faces the most dangerous of enemies.

So many questions – who are they, who brought them together, who’s setting the missions… and why is Drake keen for this op to be the big one.

That’s the setup for this one, which proves to be as action-packed as the title would suggest, with Carroll and Horsman pulling out all the stops to give us as much action as the pages can hold – it’s all explosions, laser blasts, and lots of frantic action taking us down to the target… well, a target surrounded by a big-ass nasty purple tentacled thingy…

And then we get to find out the reasons why Commander Drake’s team are doing what they do – it’s hardly out of the goodness of their hearts.

A fast-paced, action-packed thing (well, you were expecting that from the title), but also one that delivers a simple tale yet also sets up plenty more to come – and one that could easily transition straight from Regened to 2000 AD.

VIVA FOREVER: 9 AMAZING TIPS – David Baillie, Anna Morozova, colours by Pippa Bowland, letters by Jim Campbell

Another Regened strip exploring the Dreddworld, this time it’s all about a champion of the people, a super thief, going by the name of Viva Forever, who’s posting online guidance on how the little people can take the big bucks from the rich folks.

Yes, it’s in Dredd’s world, but it’s very much done from the other side of the law, more Chopper than Justice Department, with the brilliantly named (although sadly nothing to do with The Spice Girls) Viva Forever making the billionaires of MC-1 all a-tremble for the last six months by going about and stealing the unstealable.

And now she’s posted her nine tips for making the billionaires suffer online.

Now, suspend your disbelief a little… after all, if she’s been active for six months, I reckon the billionaires would be getting the Justice Department involved way before this.

But having gotten over that, it’s a huge bit of fun seeing this super-thief do her thing and then it’s something more, another strip that twists the initial premise around so much and creates something that could run and run.

FUTURE SHOCKS: GEENO FIRENZO – Karl Stock, Silvia Califano, colours by John Charles, letters by Annie Parkhouse

There’s a new social media thing out there, Allthefeels, allowing every user to connect emotionally – meaning all those influencers out there can now really go to town on selling those ‘unique’ experiences.

The greatest of all the emotional influencers? That would be the ridiculous Geeno Firenzo, showing the people how to think only fashionable thoughts 24/7… it’s a nightmarish but only natural extrapolation of the facile and pointless influencer culture that’s all around us right now.

But when the people are so plugged in and so dependent on someone else’s experiences, what happens when they wake up one day and the last three months of everything they experienced is gone? Well, that’s what’s happened, that’s the Blank.

Karl Stock delivers another interesting Future Shock, the extra page count allowing the twist to run longer than just on a final page.

MAYFLIES: PRECIOUS CARGO – Mike Carroll, Simon Coleby, Dylan Teague, Simon Bowland

We’ve already had Rogue Trooper in Regened, but this is something way different, dropping us right into the middle of the Nort-Souther War on Nu-Earth where the gene-engineers are constantly looking for the next-gen of Genetic Infantrymen, the next Rogue Troopers.

This is the most surprising of all the strips here in this Regened Prog, as this is the one that feels not only like it could transfer to 2000 AD but that it’s actually a 2000 AD strip already, firstly because of Simon Coleby’s art already being so familiar on the other Rogue Trooper-verse strip, Jaegir but also because of the tone of this one – dark, very, very dark.

After all, this is a story of war, the Norts overpowering a ship with the intent of gaining genetic test subjects, including a scout model marked for disposal because of abnormalities.

And that genetic test subject – the Mayfly of the title (they’re expected to last a day on the battlefield) – is what drives the storyline, getting free from her Nort captors and gathering her fellow Mayflies around her – again, something that sets up the story for a continuation.

All very edgy for Regened – not that I’m saying that kids can’t cope with edgy, they absolutely can, but this one really does seem somewhat out of the Regened style or remit. Having said that, Mayflies is a damn good little opener and it’s so good to see Coleby’s artwork here in the world of Nu-Earth again.

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