The Weekly 2000 AD Prog 2180: Aquila Heads Into Hades

by Richard Bruton

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.

Cover by Cliff Robinson and Dylan Teague

Prog 2180 is out in the UK and on digital on 6 May from newsagents and comic shops. At least any comic shops that are open, as this lockdown continues. Please, please, your LCS should offer a standing order service, mail order, maybe even kerb-side pickup – and now is the time to make use of them now. Step up and support the comic shops that keep the industry going. And wash your hands.

JUDGE DREDD: CHIMPSKY’S LAW – PART 3Kenneth Niemand, PJ Holden, colours by Quinton Winter, letters by Annie Parkhouse

More fun with MC-1’s greatest simian vigilante… and it really is loads of fun, even when it’s dealing with a load of non too bright anti-J terrorists. However, Noam’s careful plans are all about to go out the window once Dredd gets involved in things.

This might not be some Wagnerian epic but it’s not meant to be. This is a great Dredd adjacent strip, where MC-1’s greatest Judge is both bit-part player and the authoritarian threat to the status quo that Noam’s spent so long creating. It’s all done from Chimpsky’s unique viewpoint and particular way of speaking/thinking that puts a nicely different spin on things.

And then there’s Holden’s artwork, which is simply superb.

There’s a glorious difference to what he does, it’s not showy necessarily, but it’s just cleverly done, his line is just right, with a quite delightful weight to it… looking great.

Couple of things… the simplicity of this panel, the chimp expression…

And my favourite couple of panels here…

…the way Holden uses the unnatural motion of Noam in panel one perfectly, having him dropping straight down from his hammock. Or the second panel and that magnificent use of the space and the casual swinging of Chimpsky. Beautiful work going on.

SKIP TRACER: NIMROD – PART 10 – FINAL PARTJames Peaty, Paul Marshall, colours by Dylan Teague, letters by Simon Bowland.

The finale of the Nimrod saga, where it does that thing of going out with a whimper rather than a bang, pulling everything together conveniently to deal with Nimrod and the out of control Cube. Still, the artwork from Marshall is the star here.

SURVIVAL GEEKS: CRISIS OF INFINITE NERDS – PART 6Emma Beeby, Gordon Rennie, Neil Googe, colours by Gary Caldwell, letters by Annie Parkhouse

After the various Survival Geek foursomes from infinite worlds have been whittled down (brutally). And the Celestial type beings (again, four of them – hmmmm, who do you think they really are?) have one final test – it’s time for The Crystal Maze!

Huge amounts of fun, plus all the stupid geek references you could want, all perfectly illustrated by Googe’s artwork.

AQUILA: THE BURNING FIELDS – PART 7 – Gordon Rennie, Patrick Goddard, colours by Pippa Bowland, letters by Jim Campbell

A blind man recovers the head of Scarabatus the Undying – instant new pair of eyes. Okay, it’s a little unconventional, but it seems to be working… which means Aquila can see Vesuvius erupting as he looks for the gates to Hades – perhaps Hades is coming to Aquila?

More A to B to C here, but it looks damn good thanks to Goddard’s artwork.

HERSHEY: DISEASE – PART 6Rob Williams, Simon Fraser, letters by Simon Bowland

It’s the little things here that are making things special – the logo falling apart, just as Hershey is busy falling apart herself, first by the disease and then by… well, that’s for you to see in this episode. A bit of a shocker though.

Another strip where the art shines, Fraser delivering a Hershey on the edge, broken, dying, old. But Williams’ story is taking us in strange and interesting directions. Hershey lives and fights on – although quite how she plans on doing that we’re going to have to wait and see.

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