The Best of 2000 AD is a new 12-issue series from Rebellion (out April 29th), that draws some of the best strips from the history of 2000 AD and is designed to answer that most common of questions… ‘Where the hell do I start with 2000 AD?’
Ok, well, not quite the entire history of 2000 AD. Let’s face it, this is a thing designed to make sales as well as bringing some classics back and that means appealing to new readers, especially new readers from the US. Which means it’s US format, perfect-bound, has brand new design from the great Tom Muller, and a set of covers from the likes of Jamie McKelvie, Annie Wu, Erica Stephenson, Charlie Adlard, Beckie Cloonan, and more. And it’s also pulling strips from the Rebellion era, 2000 onwards, which also means your going to see a load of colour here. Yes, I know there are a stunning array of black & white strips from years before, but that isn’t the point here.
Instead, what’s in here is a really strong representative sample of what to expect, week in and week out, from 2000 AD, a comic I look at every week in ‘The Weekly 2000 AD‘.
So, to give you an idea of what to expect, the first issue has five strips; Judge Dredd: Terror by John Wagner and Colin MacNeil (the complete tale from Progs 1392-1399), Jaegir by Gordon Rennie and Simon Coleby, Halo Jones by Alan Moore, Ian Gibson, as recently colored by Barbara Nosenzo, Brink by Dan Abnett and INJ Culbard, and ending with the single-pager Mr Meat Bingo’s Zombie Umbrella by Henry Flint.
Judge Dredd: Terror by John Wagner and Colin MacNeil, letters by Tom Frame
Well, the big part of the first issue is taken up by Terror, a complete Judge Dredd tale from Progs 1392-1399 (2004). It’s a Democracy tale, a Total War tale, one of the infrequent returns to the idea of a terrorist group looking to overthrow the Justice Department. As always, it’s something Wagner’s writing particularly lends itself to.
Jaegir by Gordon Rennie and Simon Coleby, colors by Len O’Grady, letters by Simon Bowland
A more recent addition to the pages of 2000 AD, coming from 2014, the first couple of episodes of the adventures of Kapitan-Inspector Atalia Jaegir, serving in the Nordland State Security Police.
Basically, Rennie & Coleby revisiting the world of Rogue Trooper, but this time taking things from the side of what had always been seen as the bad-guys. And in doing so, they’ve created something of a modern classic. Here, you get the first three episodes from the very start.
The Ballad of Halo Jones by Alan Moore, Ian Gibson, colored by Barbara Nosenzo, letters by Steve Potter
The oldest strip in here, a classic from Moore and Gibson that began in 1984, but included after the recent recoloring job from Nosenzo. The story of the sci-fi everywoman begins with an 18-year-old Halo’s having a strange shopping day in The Hoop.
An absolute classic, of course, one of 2000 AD’s premier female characters and, if it’s something you’ve never read before, you’re in for a fine treat.
Brink by Dan Abnett and INJ Culbard, letters by Simon Bowland
The newest of the strips in here, Brink only began in 2016. But, as anyone knows from the regular Weekly 2000 AD articles here at Comicon, one I absolutely think earns its place here in a Best Of series.
In the first few episodes here, you get to meet Carl Brinkman and Bridget Kurtis, two investigators of the Habitat Security Division, responsible for policing the space stations, the ‘Habitats’, housing the last of humanity. A beautiful piece of slow-burn crime procedural storytelling from Abnett and Culbard that goes, very quickly, into unexpected territory.
And finally, a single-page strip…
Mr Meat Bingo’s Zombie Umbrella by Henry Flint, letters by Annie Parkhouse
Given how important shorter strips, the likes of Future Shocks and others, are to the long history of 2000 AD, there’s something satisfying about seeing this in here…
The Best of 2000 AD #1 will be out April 29th from Rebellion