The Weekly 2000 AD Prog 2161: Wrapping Up More Than Presents In The Last Regular Prog Of The Year!

by Richard Bruton

The Comicon Weekly 2000AD, taking a good look at the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic for you every seven days!
It’s nearing the end of the year, with just the annual X-Mas Prog blowout to come after this. So, before then, inside Prog 2161, it’s the end of Dredd: The Harvest, Defoe: The Divisor, Hope: Under Fire, and The Fall Of Deadworld: Doomed. Brink continues into the New Year (cheers all round for that one)…

(Cover by Nick Percival)

Prog 2161 is out in the UK and on digital from 11 December, with international copies coming out later – ask for it by name at your local comic shop.

JUDGE DREDD – THE HARVEST – PART 4 – FINAL PART – Michael Carroll, Nick Percival, letters Annie Parkhouse.
Dredd’s case of the serial killer harvesting body parts reaches its conclusion with the discovery of the body farm and another aspect of the mechanisation of the Big Meg.
Percival’s visceral artwork was a perfect fit here for a tale of blood and body modding, and Carroll’s ideas of what direction robotic sentience might go, although not the same as the ongoing Mechanismo ideas of Wagner, certainly gave us four parts of food for thought.

DEFOE – THE DIVISOR – PART 12 – FINAL PART – Pat Mills, SK Moore, letters Ellie De Ville
Damn, I’m going to miss this one. As Defoe fights to save Britannia, his country, whether he likes its rulers or not, we get the chance to delight in the glorious rush of SK Moore’s artwork just one last time.

As I’ve already said many times, Defoe was never a favourite for me, but here it feels as though Mills’ writing has gone into places I’m more happy with and Moore’s art has energised the strip.
Oh, it will be so good to see it return, hopefully sometime early in the new year.

BRINK BOOK 4 – HATE BOX – PART 12 – Dan Abnett, INJ Culbard, letters Simon Bowland
Bridge Kurtis and probationer Weyowa are busy investigating a possible gang-related death, with Kurtis making a link to the mass-kill and seemingly managing to put the Hate Boxes to a completely new use…

Brink’s the only strip not ending this Prog, which is as it should be. If ever there’s a story that isn’t contained in 12 parts, it’s the slow burn of Brink.
The glory of the tale comes from that slow build, the gradual reveals as the procedural takes us in unexpected directions. And as usual, it looks simply superb, Culbard’s artwork so evocative and popping from the page.

HOPE… UNDER FIRE – PART 12 – FINAL PART – Guy Adams, Jimmy Broxton, letters Ellie De Ville
It’s all looking very dark, very hopeless for our hero here, with the magically super-charged Alberto Modi seemingly with the upper hand. But magic, as Hope explains, is a difficult thing.

Now, this series of Hope has been a delight, looking magnificent with Broxton’s atmospheric black and white art really fitting Adams’ tale of post-WWII noir magic and gumshoes.
But the ending… well, it does the old favourite thing of putting the hero in terrible peril and then, when all looks lost, having them pull something out of the fire for the finale. And it’s something I’ve never been all that fond of. However, despite that, Hope Under Fire has been thoroughly enjoyable.

THE FALL OF DEADWORLD – DOOMED – Part 12 – FINAL PART – Kek-W, Dave Kendall, letters Annie Parkhouse
With the final part of Doomed, Kek-W does another bait and switch, with the reveal that Chief De’ath had Mortis create a death bomb, something that’s going to accelerate the fall and bring forth the Necropolis.
So the destruction ramps up even more as we lead into a stand-alone mini tale, as much as anything here is stand-alone that is, for the Xmas Prog, Whatever Happened To Sidney De’ath? that’s coming next Prog.
And that destruction really does give Dave Kendall chance to really get his grotesque on, with art such as this…

and this…

and this…

Gorgeous and gruesome all wrapped up into one.
Now, as I keep saying, it’s a series that needed something like this, a deadly kick up the arse, to really move things along, to usher in the Fall of the title. And hopefully, although I do enjoy the series, this is really the beginning of the end of Deadworld. Because it has to fall, it has to end, and those Dark Judges have to sit triumphant on a world of the dead at some point.

And now, time for the special 100-page X-Mas Prog… it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… next week…

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