The Weekly 2000 AD Prog 2182: Farewell Survival Geeks

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 Neil Googe with colours by Gary Caldwell

Prog 2182 is out in the UK and on digital on 20 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.
This week, it’s a finales special, featuring the end episodes of the latest Dredd – Chimpsky’s Law, the last of Hershey‘s adventures for now, and the last ever outing for those Survival Geeks. Alongside them, there’s a special Future Shock from the winners of the 2019 Thought Bubble 2000 AD contests – Liam Johnson and Robin Henley, and a prologue for the new series of The Order.

JUDGE DREDD: CHIMPSKY’S LAW – PART 5 – FINAL PART – Kenneth Niemand, PJ Holden, colours by Quinton Winter, letters by Annie Parkhouse
As Noam Chimpsky swings through MC-1 with Dredd in hot pursuit, you’d more than likely not be putting money on the wonderful simian vigilante to get out of this one scott-free.
But then again, things can sometimes take an unexpected turn and Noam is a wonderfully resourceful, if unconventional, hero. Or, as Dredd puts it… ‘Tricksy little creep, aint you?’
Here, the best bit comes with Chimpsky blinding Joe with his very own special anti-Judge Dredd defensive measures – just for the wonderful thought process… ‘But now the living legend of the law has a choice – take off his helmet to continue the pursuit…’

Yes, this one’s been a delight to read, with Niemand and Holden really delivering something great, with a load of fun (and funny moments) all the way through and of course, Holden’s art is a wonderful addition to any strip.
Hopefully, this won’t be the last we see of Chimpsky – he’s far too good a character to leave out of Dredd’s world for too long.

THE ORDER – IN BETWEEN DAYSKek-W, John Burns, letters by Simon Bowland.
Okay, I’ll come clean, The Order is one of those strips that I just cannot get into at all. It’s been going on for what seems like forever and just isn’t really going anywhere.
Basically, it’s an alt-history tale, where humanity is under constant threat from the Wyrms and our only defence is The Order, who’ve been fighting the Wyrm threat for centuries. A while back, the Wyrms fractured time to create a new chronology. Which is why, right here, Francis Bacon has access to future tech.
So here, in the prologue to the new series starting in Prog 2184, we’re in 18th Century Prague in the midst of the Franco-Prussian-Bohemian War, featuring King Leopold, fighter planes attacking horse cavalry, tanks ploughing through the citizenry, Zepellins, and armoured shock troops with blast weaponry.
And in the midst of it, Francis Bacon, aka ‘Citizen Tussaud’, Anna Kohl, and Ritterstahl – all wanting to change history once more.
Like I say, it’s a series that’s rather too long in the tooth for me to get on board now, but the one saving grace is seeing the John Burns art in here, which is always a pleasure.

FUTURE SHOCKS – A.I. LOVE YOULiam Johnson, Robin Henley, letters by Jim Campbell
A very special FS here – featuring the winners of the 2019 2000 AD writer and art contests that happen every year at the Thought Bubble festival and this FS is their prize.
And you can definitely see why the pair of them won as well, as this is a really good example of how Future Shocks can cover anything in this world or any other. No far off sci-fi here, instead, we’re in the very near future of smart-tech in everyone’s hands, smart-tech which might one day get too damn smart for its own good, just as it does right here.
It’s got everything a good FS needs. Sure, the twist isn’t anything world-ending, but that’s the point… they don’t always need to be. But it’s really well-written, a satisfying tale in just four short pages, with a romance gone digital and taken over. And Henley’s art is a lovely toned thing, delightfully done, with perhaps the sort of organic stylings of Glyn Dillon that I’m seeing on the page.
But based on this first 2000 AD, it shouldn’t be too long before we see both Liam Johnson and Robin Henley’s names in a Prog again.

HERSHEY: DISEASE – PART 8 – FINAL PART – Rob Williams, Simon Fraser, letters by Simon Bowland
Another ending here, as this first outing for non-Chief Judge Hershey ends. There’s been a hell of a lot to process in this one so far, with Williams’ sparse storytelling giving us clipped, tense dialogue and a hell of a lot of Hershey questioning who she is, who she was, and what the hell she’s doing here.
And then there’s Simon Fraser’s artwork, which is simply excellent, the whole vibe of Hershey carried through in the stripped-back art, the selective colour scheme. And here, in a beautifully done flashback in b&w, he gives us his very best Bolland before we explode into Hershey’s final battle with Falcao.

Oh, and there’s also confirmation of something else that might come as a surprise in this finale.
It was a big deal bringing back Hershey and it’s something that hasn’t gone down well with certain sections of 2000 AD fandom. Although having said that, they’re the same people who really refuse to like anything Dredd related unless it’s got John Wagner’s name on it. But for me, it’s been a success and one I’ll be damn glad to see Williams and Fraser continue.

SURVIVAL GEEKS: CRISIS OF INFINITE NERDS – PART 8 – FINAL PART – NO, SERIOUSLY, THIS IS THE FINAL EVER GEEKS ADVENTURE – Emma Beeby, Gordon Rennie, Neil Googe, colours by Gary Caldwell, letters by Annie Parkhouse
And ‘lo, there shall come an ending… as the Kirby-esque Celestial types are revealed and the whole series plays out… Okay, so it was hardly a surprise to see that those Celestial types were actually another set of Geeks. But like Clive says, ‘How could they not be us?’

As an ending for the entire Survival Geeks saga, this one is a perfect way to wrap it all up, dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s
Farewell you wonderful geeks, it’s been a blast.

Next prog, it’s another of the wonderful all-ages Regened Progs.

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