The Weekly 2000 AD – Prog 2160 – Damnation And Destruction In Defoe

by Richard Bruton

Front cover by SK Moore

Time once more for the Comicon Weekly 2000AD, where we look into the greatest sci-fi comic of the last 40+ years…
And inside Prog 2160, we’re seeing the penultimate episodes of Dredd: The Harvest, Defoe: The Divisor, Hope: Under Fire, and The Fall Of Deadworld: Doomed. We’ll also see the continuing brilliant adventures of Bridge Kurtis in Brink: Hate Box. Next week it’s the final regular Prog of the year, but before then, there’s time to enjoy five excellent tales in Prog 2160, all under another stunning wraparound Defoe cover from SK Moore
Prog 2160 is out in the UK and on digital from 4 December, with international copies coming out later – ask for it by name at your local comic shop.
JUDGE DREDD – THE HARVEST – PART 3 – Michael Carroll, Nick Percival, letters Annie Parkhouse.
Dredd continues on the case, tracking a serial killer with a penchant for taking body parts and a doctor involved in transplanting body parts is under suspicion.
Again, it’s Carroll doing a great procedural, and again, it’s so good to see it’s not just Dredd who plays hardball with perps, even perps who assist in ongoing cases…

As for Nick Percival’s artwork… it’s just so damn good here, perfect for capturing a tale where there’s at least one ripping off of a body part per Prog. And then there’s this…

It’s the little touches sometimes, touches like that highlight. In theory, completely pointless, maybe even something that could be accused of breaking the rules of panel composition, but in practice, it’s just a fabulous use of comics, bending the rules for the benefit of crystal clear storytelling. Wonderful stuff.

DEFOE – THE DIVISOR – PART 11 – Pat Mills, SK Moore, letters Ellie De Ville
The penultimate episode of what’s been a revelation (for me at least), making a series I was always somewhat on the fence about transform into something I can’t wait to see and read the next episode of. Yes, Defoe: The Divisor is a spectacular turnabout of a strip, all brought about down to Mills’ excellent new tale and artwork like this…

Spectacular, so many different styles, so many effects, varying line, ambitious layouts, it’s something that’s just so different, so wonderful. I’m just smitten basically.
Here in part 11, it’s the final conflict between Defoe and Kearney, and the end to the Britannia. But there’s still the final conflict to come.

BRINK BOOK 4 – HATE BOX – PART 11 – Dan Abnett, INJ Culbard, letters Simon Bowland
In Brink, Bridge Kurtis is back on the case, back investigating what she thought might be sect crimes, but instead she’s just frustrated at being out of the loop, something that was intimated last Prog might be a deliberate thing, chucking her back to her home Hab just to keep her out of the way.
But, even though it’s not sect, it’s still the impetus to get Bridge back in the game, get her thinking, get her detecting, with those bloody Hate Boxes actually coming in handy for once…

So, we’re off on a different sort of crime, no sect, but still full of the potential for nastiness.
Brink is the one tale here that’s not finishing next Prog, and that’s a great thing. It’s a strip whose pacing just doesn’t fit neatly into a short run, or even the longer 12-part run for the rest of the strips here. And that’s all down to Abnett’s way of slowly unfolding the story, unwrapping a mystery. And of course, it’s all beautifully accompanied by Culbard’s delicious artwork.

HOPE… UNDER FIRE – PART 11 – Guy Adams, Jimmy Broxton, letters Ellie De Ville
Hope’s looking to take down the magically super-charged Alberto Modi, giving him a dose of the nightmare he got himself, sending him back to the war, but with Modi’s power, Hope finds the plan falling apart before it even really begins…

It’s all set up for a climactic, nightmarish finale next Prog, full of the nightmares from Hope’s past that we’ve had glimpses of all through this series. And it’s been a real good series, Adams’ plot diving into Hope’s past and Broxton’s artwork creating a perfect blend of chaos and beauty, noir that looks just beautiful.

THE FALL OF DEADWORLD – DOOMED – Part 11 – Kek-W, Dave Kendall, letters Annie Parkhouse
As Casey tells us here, everyone’s coming for him… the Sovs, the resistance, ‘That crazy old bag-lady Judge’, and his comrades in death have seemly deserted him, and now there’s even a reanimated Judge’s Byke coming for him.

All seems lost for Casey… but we know that’s not the way things go here in Deadworld, where everything twists and turns, where there’s little distinction between the living and the dead, between the sides here.
As I’ve said already, I’m enjoying Deadworld for what it is, a race to destruction, throwing everyone into the mix and seeing where it falls. But there’s still that bit of me just wanting it to be more, more structured, more driven to get to the ending. But here, with just one more part, it seems that we’re going to get another ending that isn’t an ending, setting up the next part.
Enjoyable, gorgeous to look at, but frustrating at times.

And finally… the front and back cover to this Prog, SK Moore doing a fabulous job…

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