The Weekly 2000 AD Prog #2169: 43 Years Of Smoking Lawgivers & Bloody Night Sticks

by Richard Bruton

Cover by Cliff Robinson and Dylan Teague

(UPDATE: We posted this preview/review of 2000AD waaaayyyy too early, so we’re rectifying that with a re-posting of The Weekly 2000AD from Prog #2169, out 19th February from Rebellion – Olly MacNamee)
The Weekly 2000 AD: Week in and week out giving you the preview of the new 2000 AD Prog. The UK’s best sci-fi weekly since 1977. four decades and still going strong.
This week, Cliff Robinson & Dylan Teague giving you Dredd with the big, bloody stick while inside Prog 2169, you get a one-off Judge Dredd, the finale of Brink, and more from Zaucer of Zilk, Feral & Foe, and Proteus Vex – all three of which are taking a week off for next week’s Prog 2170, the first Regened all-ages Prog of the year.
Prog 2169 is out in the UK and on digital from 19th 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: COLD CASE – Kenneth Niemand, Tom Foster, colors by Chris Blythe, letters by Annie Parkhouse
A done in one from the mysterious Kenneth Niemand along with Tom Foster’s very Bolland-esque artwork. The mystery of Niemand is real – just who is it behind the nom de plume? Because no-one thinks this is a real person.
Anyway, Cold Case is one of those Dredd done in one tales, this time heading on back to the days before the Apocalypse War, a familiar name triggering Dredd’s memory of an old case of Judge Giant. And then it’s just a simple thing of hitting the record stacks, doing the investigation, tracking down the leads… classic bit of Dredd, very well done.

BRINK BOOK 4 – HATE BOX – PART 20 – Dan Abnett, INJ Culbard, letters Simon Bowland
So it’s all over for another book of Brink, 20 parts all building to last Prog’s explosive finale and this episode’s coda, where Bridge goes home, secretly and illegally in possession of the Mercury event clip, the thing that’s been driving all who see it round the bend. But that’s going to be one for the next book.

As I’ve said, over and over, Brink is a delight of a comic, something that builds and builds over the weeks. And most definitely something, now complete, that’s well worth revisiting in book form. Something I shall be doing over the next few days, going from Brink – Book One to this Prog, just to enjoy one of the best strips of the past few years in 2000 AD, and then to look forward to see where Abnett and Culbard will take us next.

THE ZAUCER OF ZILK: A ZAUCERFUL OF SECRETS – PART 8Script by Peter Hogan, art and story by Brendan McCarthy, colors by Len O’Grady and McCarthy, letters by Jim Campbell
The story threads keep ravelling, the tailor of tales is busy spinning the yarn and gathering up all those naughty, naughty trousers, and the Zaucer, well he’s all busy with T’Tooth and discovering that it’s the Criminaut coming for him. The who? That would be the mysterious woman we’ve seen around the strip.

But, as always, it’s not so much about the storyline (which, let’s face it, is just that bit slight), Zaucer is all about watching McCarthy and O’Grady play with all the tools and make some sumptuously over the top art.

PROTEUS VEX: ANOTHER DAWN – PART 8 – Michael Carroll, Henry Flint, letters by Simon Bowland
Against a backdrop of the battle between Vex, envoy of the Imperium Ascendant and the ex-Chancellor, Baryn, there’s a voice-over, almost a documentary soundtrack, looking back on events. It’s both jarring and stunning, forcing you to concentrate on the twin narratives playing out. And jarring/stunning is an apt description for much of what’s going on in Proteus Vex.

Things are coming into play here that were seeded episodes ago, and everything shapes up to lead to some finale. And hopefully, this is going to be one of those that comes back for a second series some time soon.

FERAL & FOE – PART 8 – Dan Abnett, Richard Elson, colors by Richard & Joe Elson, letters by Annie Parkhouse
Speaking of strips I want to see another series of, here’s Feral & Foe, a dash of pretty straight-forward comedy fantasy to act as palette cleanser after Zaucer of Zilk and Proteus Vex.
And it’s doing what it does ever so well, the grand gag of the cursed, fundamentally evil, and way too talkative sword Wraith picked up managing to really give Bode the chills…
“Maybe it’d be a good idea to ditch it?”
“I can hear everything you’re saying.”
Or I could hex it?”
“Try it, fatty.”
Funny. Although annoyingly hard to read the sword’s lines – thin red text on a black background? Hmmm.

Anyway, they’re back on the job, with yet another Tank on the go. They get through an awful lot of Tanks, don’t they?
Oh, this pair really aren’t making things easy for themselves, are they?
Fun, fantasy, a few laughs along the way, great artwork from Elson, this is one of those simply fun strips.

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