The Weekly 2000 AD Prog #2167: Pantemonium With Zaucer of Zilk

by Richard Bruton

Cover by Brendan McCarthy and Len O’Grady

The Weekly 2000 AD… We’re like the USPS, no matter what happens, the Weekly 2000 AD always happens* and this week, it all kicks off under a trouser-tastic cover (or if you’re from the States, a phenomenal-pants thing) from Brendan McCarthy and Len O’Grady.
Inside Prog 2167, it’s time for a new Dredd tale, Future Crimes Unit, with Zaucer of Zilk, Feral & Foe, and Proteus Vex keeping on keeping on (as Cabaret Voltaire once said), and as for Brink, it’s all building up towards the finale in Prog 2169.
Prog 2167 is out in the UK and on digital from 5 February, with international copies coming out later – those of you in the good old US of A might need to ask for it at your LCS. Now, without further ado… The Weekly 2000 AD

JUDGE DREDD: FUTURE CRIMES UNIT – PART 1 – Rory McConville, Jake Lynch, colors by Jim Boswell, letters by Annie Parkhouse
Future Crimes Unit, an easy sell, just think of Tom Cruise in Minority Report, a whole branch of the Justice Department tasked with seeing crimes before they’re committed, and that’s where we’re at here.
I have no idea whether this is a new bit of Dredd lore, my Dredd reading before about 2006 was sporadic at best, call me a recent convert if you will, but as far as I can see, this is all new in MC-1, a new branch of the Justice Department, something interesting and fun.
So McConville is having fun with it, the time travel stuff, the future crimes unit involved in a murder of their own bringing in the SJS… and all beautifully put down on the page by Lynch, one of those new breed of Dredd artists whose work just get better and better. No idea where this one’s going, but this is a damn fine opener.

BRINK BOOK 4 – HATE BOX – PART 18 – Dan Abnett, INJ Culbard, letters Simon Bowland
There’s madness abroad in Brink, and Bridget Kurtis is right in the middle of it. The Hab Sec Division has active shooters, there’s a plot to get a vid out that drives people insane, and it’s all happening right here, right now.
That’s the thing with Brink… it’s all slow build, tantalising you with how it all just works, how all the pieces pull together, all the clues, the hints, the small pieces… and then it all starts coming together.

And here… this is when it all starts blowing up, everything we’ve seen before, it all comes to this. And yes, it’s all just so damn good.
Because it’s Brink.
Because it’s Abnett and Culbard at the top of their game, a synergy of writer and artist doing incredible work.
Brink is one of the best things there’s been in 2000 AD for a long, long time.

THE ZAUCER OF ZILK: A ZAUCERFUL OF SECRETS – PART 6 Script by Peter Hogan, art and story by Brendan McCarthy, colors by Len O’Grady and McCarthy, letters by Jim Campbell
The madness continues… the Zaucer is on the case, T’tooth has his trouser army, there’s a flying teapot, and there’s a big old fight…

The Zaucer of Zilk is one of those glorious moments in comics where art subsumes story, where the joy of looking surmounts the idea of the words dominating all, so look, read with your eyes, take in the glorious technicolour madness, and just enjoy the craziness. Yes, there’s a tale to tell in here, but it’s secondary, and that’s just fine.
In possibly secondary issues, T’tooth and Zaucer finally come face to face again. But that’s for next time.

FERAL & FOE – PART 6 – Dan Abnett, Richard Elson, colors by Richard & Joe Elson, letters by Annie Parkhouse
The comedy-fantasy drops a dark episode, where Bode and Wraith come up against those they’d previously fought side by side with.
And then there’s a choice, do they stay doing what they do, hunting down their old comrades just to stay off the Feral & Foe list, or do they go rogue and turn again? See, you knew there would be more to this than just what had gone before didn’t you?

PROTEUS VEX: ANOTHER DAWN – PART 6 – Michael Carroll, Henry Flint, letters by Simon Bowland
Proteus Vex, envoy of the Imperium Ascendant turns out to be something more (or less) than he/she/they/it was set out to be. It’s all about the whole flesh pilot thing going on in the couple of preview pages you can see below.

All of which means we get to get some more great dialogue from his new colleague, Midnight Indicating Shame, including this doozy, ‘So in honour of the flesh-pilot who saved my aunt, I vow not to eat you no matter how hungry I get’. Yep, this is full of that sort of stuff. And all the better for it.
Meanwhile, there’s so much going on, it’s all weird empires and strange beings, and it’s just bloody marvellously weird, Flint doing his Kirby and it looks superb.

*Seriously folks. This week’s been a tale of terrible things. Life gets in the way of doing things. In this case, it was my dad and a huge heart attack. He’s doing okay, thanks very much. But do me a favour and call your folks once in a while… it’s not too much to ask.

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