The Weekly 2000AD: Prog 2099 – Clearing The Decks And A Stunning Future Shock

by Richard Bruton

Karl Richardson on the cover for Mechastopheles, and inside this week’s 2000AD it’s the regular clearing of the decks, with everything finishing this Prog ready for the massive Prog 2100 next week, featuring all-new tales. So, here’s a quick look through Prog 2099, including the very best Future Shock I’ve read in years.
Prog 2099 is released in the UK and digitally on 19th September, North America gets the Prog as part of a 4-Prog pack, you’ll need to ask for it at your local comics shop.
JUDGE DREDD: THE BOOTH CONSPIRACY – PART 5 -TC Eglington, Staz Johnson, colors Abigail Bulmer, letters Annie Parkhouse
The Sons of Booth think they’ve got the upper hand, but by now I reckon we know how it’s going to play out… Dredd springs his trap and the Booth boys pay the price. Eglington turns things round nicely, and Johnson’s art really does suit Dredd, definitely look forward to more of it.

SURVIVAL GEEKS: SLACK N’ HASH – PART 4 – Emma Beeby, Gordon Rennie, Neil Googe, colors Gary Caldwell, letters Ellie De Ville
You know, there’s 2000AD fans out there who think Survival Geeks just doesn’t fit in 2000AD. They’re so wrong. It’s a funny, tongue in cheek exercise where Beeby and Rennie take pot shots at whatever the hell they fancy, and this time round it’s the whole ridiculous horror thing, with plenty of gags about cheerleaders, nerds, and what it takes to survive a classic stupid horror film filling the pages. And giving them the chance to deliver some great gags along the way, best of all being Sam and this…

“And now I’ve got brains in my pompoms”.

Fabulously funny stuff. Can’t wait for more.

MECHASTOPHELES: TRUE FAITH – PART 8 – Gordon Rennie, Lawrence Rennie, Karl Richardson, letters Simon Bowland.
For something that started out as a 3-part 3Riller and basically just a giant robot demon bit of fun, the Rennies and Richardson have really fleshed this one out to something far deeper, far better. Sure, still lots of giant demon-robo action, but they’ve built a world out of the concept and a good storyline with potential to grow.

THARG’S FUTURE SHOCKS: TALK’S CHEAP – Mark McCann, Adam Brown, letters Ellie De Ville.
A rare color Future Shock, one of the classic 2000AD staples, usually 4 or 5 pages, where sometimes it can be a simple thing to see the twist, others, such as this, where it’s something very different, complex, and very, very disturbing. It’s also very, very good.
In ‘Talk’s Cheap’, Environmental terrorism leads to a different sort of criminal interrogation technique and a very nasty choice… Sophie’s choice of a sort, albeit with more variables, and a time-twisting background.
Frankly, I think this might be the best Future Shock I’ve read in many, many years. And the incredible thing – it does it all in just those four pages. Wow. Just three pages and it develops a story, establishes a world (well, worlds) view, sets up a terrifying and disturbing idea and leaves you questioning it all. That is incredibly impressive.

THE ORDER: THE NEW WORLD – PART 13 – Kek-W and John Burns, letters Annie Parkhouse.
The end of The Order for now, and to be completely honest, I simply have very little idea of what’s been going on. It’s one of those rare strips that just passes me by, incomprehensible to me. Now, this is not to say that it’s the fault of writer or artist, as Burns’ stuff still looks gorgeous, and I’ve enjoyed Kek-W’s writing on many other things. It’s just this one strip. And perhaps it’s just me. It usually is.
As for the story, well, I’ll go with the blurb… it’s all down to the Wyrms, “creatures from another plane”, who’ve “fractured time”. Against them, the Order, “a secret band of warriors that have fought the entities across the centuries”.
But no, not for me, I’m afraid.

And as for next Prog, it’s a biggie, all wrapped up in a cover by George Perez. Yes, that George Perez…

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