The Weekly 2000 AD – Prog 2143 Previewed: Exit Grumpy Old Man – Harry Absalom’s Last Hurrah…

by Richard Bruton

This week, the Weekly 2000 AD bids a fond farewell to a stalwart of the comic, as Harry Absalom has his very last hurrah and Gordon Rennie and Tiernen Trevallion send him off in the final ever Absalom… but dead or alive?

Elsewhere in the Galaxy’s Greatest, we have more nail-biting tension as Dredd and Pin face off in Control, the madness escalates in Indigo Prime, Anderson gets nearer and nearer to saving Judge Karyn, and the little town of THistlebone gets creepier and creepier.

Oh, it’s a wonderful time to be a 2000 AD fan right now! And this week, it’s all under a suitably wonderful cover from Tiernen Trevallion…

Prog 2143 is out in the UK and on digital, released 7 August and available internationally through your local comics shop. So, shall we take a look inside?

JUDGE DREDD: CONTROL – PART 3 – Rob Williams, Chris Weston, colours Chris Blythe, letters Annie Parkhouse

SJS Judge Pin vs Judge Dredd. This really does feel like something very final. And bloody hell, this is something incredibly good, incredibly tight, the tension palpable in every panel, every page.

Here, we get Dredd in Pin’s clutches, and it is so damn good, you can see it from these two preview pages, as Pin’s anger and psychotic nature is explained as we drop, gloriously, all thanks to Chris Weston’s fabulous artwork, going from colour to black and white to wonderful effect.

And then there’s this moment…

As colour comes back, blood red, brutal, sudden, brilliant. And that’s just the encapsulation of Control, brutal, brilliant, Williams and Weston working so well together. With The Small House coming out in September, Control might be slightly overshadowed, but it really shouldn’t be, this is top class Dredd from two amazing talents.

INDIGO PRIME: FALL OF THE HOUSE OF VISTA – PART 5 – KEK-W and Lee Carter, letters by Ellie De Ville

As Redman and the others are inside the Christhulhu, we view what’s going on through the letters of HP Lovecraft, another IP agent, caught up un the mass psychic joining to form the Egregor, able to inhabit the Christhulhu as they all face down the monsters of Jekyll Island. Just like this…

We’re in a bit of an uncertain place narratively, where the weirdness is still there, and it’s a weirdness that I enjoyed, but it’s weirdness that is serving to give us a rather simple tale, and here it’s gone all a bit Godzilla and Transformers, huge things beating up on other huge things. Hopefully, we’ll get back into the weirdness as the story unfolds.

ANDERSON PSI-DIVISION: MARTYRS – PART 7 – Emma Beeby. Aneke, colors by Barbara Nosenzo, letters by Simon Bowland

The Judges are outside now, with Anderson increasingly desperate to save Psi-Judge Karyn from her own demons. But it’s nowhere near as simply as she hoped it would be.

We’re in the endgame now, and things are still hanging in the balance of what has been a really good, really solid Anderson tale, with both Beeby and Aneke delivering some great work.

THISTLEBONE – PART 9 – TC Eglington, Simon Davis, letters by Annie Parkhouse

Avril’s got the petrol, got the lighter, and is walking back to the woods, seemingly overtaken by madness. Is it all inside her head, or is it down to the madness that surrounds her?

Frankly, it could be both, but she’s determined to see things through in what really has been a high-point for non-Dredd work in 2019. Thistlebone is the epitome of slow-burn brilliance, with Davis’ artwork just sublime, every panel worth a lingering look, taking in all the details.


ABSALOM: TERMINAL DIAGNOSIS – BOOK TWO -PART 8 – Gordon Rennie, Tiernan Trevallion, letters Ellie De Ville

The ending for Absalom. But don’t expect me to spoil it for you.

Needless to say, it’s a fitting end to a great series as Harry and what’s left of his crew storm the Mills to attempt to rescue his grandkids.

It’s all been done superbly, Rennie and Trevallion combining so well to deliver something very satisfying and give their character a fine sendoff.

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