The Weekly 2000AD – Prog 2136 Previewed: Welcome To Harry’s Game – One Last Time

by Richard Bruton

The Weekly 2000 AD, giving you a first look at the weekly delights of Britain’s best sci-fi comic, 2000 AD.

This week, it’s just four strips, but they’re a fine looking quartet, including the double-sized opening of the final series for the wonderfully grumpy Inspector Harry Absalom, as featured on the cover by series artist Tiernen Trevallion. Other thrills under the cover include a new Dredd serial in The Samaritan and continuing adventures from Scarlet Traces and the beautifully horrific Thistlebone.

Prog 2136 comes out on digital and in UK comic shops on 19 June.

JUDGE DREDD: THE SAMARITAN – PART 1 – Kenneth Niemand, Staz Johnson, colors Chris Blyther, letters Annie Parkhouse

In Mega-City One, there are many perps and most of them get what the Justice Department thinks is coming to them. But, just occasionally, one slips through the net. Can you imagine how pissed this makes Judge Dredd?

One such perp is known only as The Samaritan. She has a thing going on where she can see into people and discover whether they have something wrong with them. Which doesn’t seem too bad, right? Unfortunately, The Samaritan isn’t interested in working with the Justice Department and ends up forcibly operating on the ill and dying. Not so good.

But now, when she gets a psi-flash of a shooting in MC-1 leaving the victim struggling for life, she’s going to come face to face with the law. Because… well, spoilers, but hey, take a wild guess who the victim is here?

Great opener from Niemand and Johnson’s artwork looks real good, with a final page splash that’s really, really powerful.

SCARLET TRACES: HOME FRONT – Part 10 – Ian Edginton and D’Israeli, letters Ellie De Ville

We switch from Earth to the moon now, to Copernicus Sound, the site of the launch of Earth’s fleet to Mars in the last war, the site that fell to the Martians, who used it to devastate London by launching mass driven moon rock into the city.

We’re with the last two Earth astronauts on the moon, last seen here in Prog 2134…

The plan is to fire the driver at the Martians, destroy as many as they can before the Martians come for them. A real last ditch play.

Scarlet Traces moves wonderfully slowly, Edginton putting all the pieces in place, D’Israeli giving those pieces beautiful form. And now, as we learn more of the Martians and their new abilities, we’re getting towards the endgame of the series.

THISTLEBONE – PART 2 – TC Eglington, Simon Davis, letters by Annie Parkhouse

The opening episode of this new series was just beautifully done, setting up the story so well, where cult survivor Avril Eason and journalist Seema Chaudry head back to the village of Harrowvale to investigate the cult that held Avril prisoner with the intent of sacrificing her to the deity known as Thistlebone.

Now, they’re back in Harrowvale, but Harrowvale seems to have changed. New housing has replaced the farm, and for all intents and purposes, everything seems calm. Until we see this…

It’s a little touch, but does so much, filling our heads with all sorts of possibilities and potential horrors.

Thistlebone is really building so well, and Davis’ artwork is just perfect for the whole folk-horror feel of this incredible strip.

ABSALOM: TERMINAL DIAGNOSIS – PART 1 – Gordon Rennie, Tiernan Trevallion, letters Ellie De Ville

The return of the oldest of old-school coppers, the curmudgeon that is Inspector Harry Absalom. His 40 years on the force are coming to an end, thanks to the inoperable cancer riddling his anti-authoritarian frame, but he’s not going down without seeing through his mission as head of the special squad enforcing the Accord.

Since the 16th Century, this version of Britain has seen the throne of England and the powers of hell connected through the Accord, a powerful diplomatic treaty.

But now, in the second book of Terminal Diagnosis, Harry’s grandchildren are being held by the demonic Rathborne family and he’s taken the squad to the Rathborne familial stronghold, The Mills. One way or another, this will be Harry’s last case and it’s unlikely to end with Harry enjoying anything like a nice day on the beach.

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