The Weekly 2000 AD – Prog 2132 Previewed: Mars Triumphant In Scarlet Traces

by Richard Bruton

Another week, another Comicon.com Weekly 2000 AD, doing exactly what you think it does!

Prog 2132 gives you more Scarlet Traces, Kingmaker, and Max Normal, the second part of the Tharg’s 3Riller, The Chimera, and the start of a brand-new Judge Dredd series, New Blood by Rory McConville and Siku.

As for the cover…as great as that Scarlet Traces cover from Jon Davis-Hunt is, it’s a generic what’s happening in France while we’re focused on Britain in the strip, and I’d have loved to have seen series artist D’Israeli given a cover.

Prog 2132 comes out on digital and in UK comic shops on 22 May. Now, what’s waiting for you inside…

JUDGE DREDD: NEW BLOOD – Rory McConville, Siku, letters Annie Parkhouse

How long has it been since Siku’s distinctive artwork featured in the pages of 2000 AD? Too long, I reckon. He’s got such a distinctive and lush style, it’s good to see him back here on Dredd.

New Blood, not surprisingly, is all about getting those new cadets into The Academy Of Law. Taking babes in arms from mothers and setting them up for the hard life to becoming a Judge on the mean streets of MC-1. And since Chaos Day, getting new blood in has never been more important, as the Mechanismos are only partially filling the void in recruitment. But, in McConville’s New Blood, we’re asking the question, what happens to the Cadet Judges that don’t make the grade? What life do they have once their days in the Halls of Justice are finished? What’s it like to be washed up before you hit your teens?

SCARLET TRACES: HOME FRONT – Part 6 – Ian Edginton and D’Israeli, letters Ellie De Ville

It’s all over, the Martians have taken Britain, the military has gone, government has gone, hope has gone. That it’s happened mostly off-page is what makes the story work in Home Front, as so far we’ve simply concentrated on the smaller scale conflicts on the ground.

But, here we see the first glimpse of something, a resistance movement, perhaps there’s a glimmer of hope left?

Beautiful work from D’Israeli here, of course, with his line and colors unlike anything else you’ll see anywhere.

MAX NORMAL: HOW MAX GOT HIS STRIPES – PART 8 – Guy Adams and Dan Cornwell, colours Jim Boswell, letters Simon Bowland

Last Prog, Vito found out the secrets of Max becoming Max Normal… and how much money was involved. Suffice it to say, Vito was not impressed!

Now, it’s getting near opening night for ‘To The Max’, and Vito’s not really letting it slide…

The way you’re going here, you’re going to be real broke real quick. The sort of broke that takes death to cure. I figure I’ll hang around to watch that.

More than that though, it’s Vito who’s asking the important questions here. And it’s those questions that lead us to a surprise ending.

Max Normal really has proved to be marvellously entertaining stuff, juggling comedy and drama, never forgetting to drive the story, something both Admas and Cornwell have done extremely well.

THARG’S 3RILLERS: THE CHIMERA – PART 2 – James Peaty & Brian Corcoran, colors by Matt Soffe, letters by Annie Parkhouse

Escaping the big city for a bit of a fantasy getaway might have seemed like a great idea. But for this particular group of thrill tourists that meant heading down to the depths of the Grind, and plugging into the Shock Corridor, a portal to transfer consciousness into a fantasy dreamworld.

But, if you’re a data-miner, with a brain and access to the right algorithms, wouldn’t it be tempting to try and bring a bit of that fantasy into real life? Or, perhaps, you won’t get to it, as things are going to take that, inevitable, turn for the worse.

Strong second part from Peaty and Corcoran.

KINGMAKER: OUROBOROS – PART 9 – Ian Edginton and Leigh Gallagher, letters by Ellie De Ville

Crixus now knows just what it’s like to have power now, and frankly, he’s never looked cooler than on that very first page of this episode, some top-notch artwork from Gallagher there that carries on through a brutal fight scene.

Kingmaker really has been a big surprise to me and, thanks to both Edginton and Gallagher, something I thought might just be a simple fantasy thing has turned into a much more interesting thing.

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