The Monthly 2000AD Preview – Progs 2095-2098: The Best Of British! Coming To The USA In October

by Richard Bruton

Every week, for the last four decades and more, Tharg has been publishing the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic, packed full of all the very best in sci-fi comics. It really is the greatest sci-fi anthology you’ll find. Published weekly in the UK and digitally, US comic shops get it in a 4-week, 4-Prog pack – or at least they’re meant to. Problem is, very few shops regularly get it, which is a damn shame. So, we’re trying to get the word out, here at Comicon, with a regular look through the pages of the latest issues. Here’s what to expect in Progs 2095-2098:

Judge Dredd: The Booth Conspiracy – TC Eglington and Staz Johnson – Progs 2095-2098
The return of the anti-Justice Department terrorist group, The Sons of Booth, spells trouble for Dredd and the Justice Department. Not because they’re obviously hatching some new plan to cause mayhem through Mega-City 1, but because the cits are sympathetic to the cause, with the media coming round to the question – “terrorist or freedom fighter?”
Having said that, there is some confusion amongst the people about just what they’re out on the streets for…
“Sir, could I ask you why you’re here today?”
“We’re protesting against the rise in protests in the area.”
“No, we’re not. We’re protesting against the Sons of Booth. We’re sick of the media portraying them in a positive light.”
“What, I’m here to protest the Judges’ lack of action. We need stronger, less tolerant Judges. We need Judge brutality now!”
“You’re in the wrong protest, you dumb muncelicker!”
“Hey, I come from a long line of muncelickers! I wont tolerate that hate-speech, you four-eyed stomm-stain!”
Oh, heated political debate, ever the same. Best bit by far though has to be the sight of Dredd interrogating a cuddly toy.

Survival Geeks: Slack N Hash – Emma Beeby & Gordon Rennie and Neil Googe – Progs 2096-2098
The return of the funniest 2000AD strip in a long-time, where Beeby and Rennie set their sites on a different bit of pop culture / geeky idiocy (delete as you see fit) every new series. This time round, it’s time to take on the daftness of slasher movies, with a little bit of a kicking for The Walking Dead along the way. Our nerdy quartet’s mis-firing trans-dimensional 2-up 2-down has dropped them into a world full of all the dumbest hack & stuff going on, and it’s as funny as always.

The Order: The New World – Kek-W and John Burns – Progs 2095-2098
The Order are a historical group who’ve long battled the threat of the extra-dimensional Wyrms, creatures from another plane. But, with time fractured and things going wrong, everything seems to be taking a turn for the worse. We’re deep into this latest adventure for The Order here, and, as I’ve said before, it’s one of those that I’ve just never been able to get into. Happens sometimes with anthologies and, to be honest, I’m always reassured when I come across something like this, as it shows me that 2000AD is genuinely doing a wide range of strips, and because of that you’re never going to enjoy them all. Still beautiful to look at though, with Burns’ artwork looking different to anything else that’s in the pages of 2000AD.

Mechastopheles: True Faith – Gordon Rennie & Lawrence Rennie and Karl Richardson (Progs 2095-2098)
You really can’t go far wrong with giant demonically powered robots! After the fall, with humanity decimated after the rise of the demons, a group of refugees have found sanctuary within Mechastopheles. But, after battling others of his kind, the robot demon needs repairs and has headed for the city of Benedictia. Wouldn’t you just know it, there’s trouble and Machiavellian plans afoot from the authorities. The Rennies built up the world in the first 3-part Mechastopheles series and here they’re delivering on it.

Grey Area: Objectives / Evidence / Every Dirty Job – Dan Abnett and Mark Harrison (Progs 2095-2098)
Absolutely the best thing in this current run of 2000AD, the world of the Grey Area has long been my favourite place, with Abnett and Harrison really creating a classic here. The Exo-Squad is still reeling from the loss of two of the team, and Bulliet and Birdy are slowly investigating just what happened. But, with a secret black-ops team involved, including Kymn and Resting Bitch Face, things are going to get very nasty very soon. Well, soon being 2019, as this is the final Grey Area of the year. It’s going to be a long, long wait to see where this is going.
There’s a palpable sense of dread building here, with the formal talks between Earth and the Congruence coming up and the black-ops team looking likely to be the ones to blow it to bits. Add to that the fact that Bulliet’s investigations have been noticed. It’s all building to something very bad. But damn, Abnett and Harrison are delivering a masterpiece here.

As for covers this month, here they are… Prog 2095 Staz Johnson, 2096 Neil Roberts, 2097 Neil Googe, 2098 David Millgate

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