The Weekly 2000AD – Prog 2131 Previewed: Going Ape With Dredd

by Richard Bruton

After the all-ages extravaganza of Prog 2030’s Regened, we’re back to the regular programming here, with more Scarlet Traces, Kingmaker, and Max Normal, there’s fun ape antics in Judge Dredd and the first part of a new 3-part Tharg’s 3Riller strip to enjoy. And enjoy you shall!

PJ Holden with a great looking Dredd cover, glad to see his art back on Dredd with the World according to Chimpsky… and always with a great cover line.

Prog 2131 comes out on digital and in UK comic shops on 15 May. Now, what’s waiting for you inside…

JUDGE DREDD: THE WORLD ACCORDING TO CHIMPSKY – Kenneth Niemand, PJ Holden, colors John Charles, letters Annie Parkhouse

When those synthi-pecan nuts go up in price, it can really tick some folks off… especially if they happen to be Bonobo descended, just like Noam Chimpsky. But this aint no ordinary ape, this ape’s got his own mission, one that won’t be stopped by an encounter with Dredd.

A beautifully done 6-pager from Niemand and Holden, with the great twist of hearing things from Chimsky’s vocab…

“< Intimidating threat of incarceration >”
“< Confounded Snarl >”
“< Further intimidation tactic >”
“Not to worry, as a native of Mega-City, I’m fluent in fascist.”

And a perfect response… but not said. Oh no, definitely not said. You don’t say that to Dredd!

Great single strip, the sort that’s never important in the long-term, but just adds something wonderful to the world of the Big Meg.

SCARLET TRACES: HOME FRONT – Part 5 – Ian Edginton and D’Israeli, letters Ellie De Ville

As they escape the lone Martian underground, we’re finding just that little bit more out about the life of the mysterious Mrs Hemming. Down in a secret bolt-hole with a decidedly well-stocked library and an even more impressive comms centre… but looking at the outside world just shows them how nightmarish things have become.

It’s a slow, wonderful build, all lo-key, the only signs of the devastation of the outside world coming through those vid-screens. And all along, D’Israeli’s art just shines, the effects he’s using just look gorgeous and his colors are a real treat.

MAX NORMAL: HOW MAX GOT HIS STRIPES – PART 7 – Guy Adams and Dan Cornwell, colours Jim Boswell, letters Simon Bowland

Mo Bland’s got a gun to little Max’s head, so will he be winding up dead? Well, dear reader, you know that isn’t true, so here’s where we find out what the young lad has to do.

More details of Max’s past come to light, just not all of them quite yet. But we do discover how he first met a certain young Cadet.

Ok, enough bad rhyme. Adams does it way better, with first Mo and then Max dropping into verse. It’s getting to the end now, but Max Normal’s getting a great origin story, with some impressive art from Cornwell, his cartoon styles coming off really well when it comes to young Max.

THARG’S 3RILLERS: THE CHIMERA – PART 1 – James Peaty & Brian Corcoran, colors by Matt Soffe, letters by Annie Parkhouse

Another time, another big city, complete with the usual social divide, the haves and the have nots. And the worst of them end up down in the depths of the Grind, morally dubious types known by those above as the ‘Dubes’.

But, as a group of data farmers and upside workers are about to find out, hitting the depths to party can take a real strange turn.

Looks like it’s going to be a quick 3-parter of altered states and dream worlds in Chimera. So far, so good, nice art from Corcoran and a decent enough setup from Peaty.

KINGMAKER: OUROBOROS – PART 8 – Ian Edginton and Leigh Gallagher, letters by Ellie De Ville

So, before the quick break for the 2000 AD Regened, we left Kingmaker with Crixus the Ork with a huge hole through his head and a mystery man appearing out of nowhere. Here, after Crixus gets his head put together we find out just who this mystery being is… even if Crixus can’t quite believe it.

But, when something as close to a God as Crixus can imagine is asking for his help, what’s an Orc to do?

Yes, it’s that old chestnut of getting a new character to deliver a huge chink of exposition and move everything on, but it’s alright here, it fits into everything nicely, and all along we get some gorgeous fantasy visuals from Gallagher.

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