The Weekly 2000 AD – Prog 2185 – Yee-Haw Cowboy…

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 Patrick Goddard with colours by Dylan Teague

Prog 2185 is out in the UK on 10 June on digital and from newsagents and comic shops. Hopefully, your local comic shop is getting to the stage where they can open. Please, please, get in touch with them, use their standing order service, and support the hell out of them. They need all the help they can get right now.

Okay, back to 2000 AD. After the all-new jumping-on Prog last time, we’re into second parts of everything here, except for the exciting start of Full Tilt Boogie, a strip that had its debut back in Prog 2130 as part of Regened but is getting a full series here.

So, alongside the bounty hunting family in Full Tilt Boogie, there’s a cowboy apocalypse (Dredd), AI v gunsharks (Sinister Dexter), the new adventures of Benjamin Franklin (The Order), and demonic road movie fun with the Catholic Church (The Diaboliks)… let’s take a look inside…

 

JUDGE DREDD: END OF DAYS – PART 2Rob Williams, Colin MacNeil, colours by Chris Blythe, letters by Simon Bowland

Part one saw nightmares spread across MC-1, with Dredd’s dream’s full of doom. And now, all seems to be coming true, with a lone cowboy entering the city carrying a decapitated Angel’s head that’s freaking out every Psy who comes near it. And across the world, all the nukes are going haywire.

This could really be the End of Days indeed with threats of the Four Horsemen in human hosts across the planet.

The name of the cowboy?

Well, I’m not going to spoiler this for you yet, but it’s an interesting one, harking back to another of Williams’ strips.

It’s all fascinating, with Williams doing the slow burn build that he’s always done really well with Dredd. And Colin MacNeil‘s art is just perfect for it all, as always. This one’s set to run 15 parts, the longest single run Williams has done on Dredd, with art coming from MacNeil and Henry Flint later in the run. Williams is promising it’s going to be one of those old-school Dredd mission epics and it’s already looking great.

SINISTER DEXTER – BULLETOPIA – BOYS IN THE HUD PART 2Dan Abnett and Steve Yeowell, colours by John Charles, letters by Annie Parkhouse

Downlode city’s AI problem just gets worse and worse for the boys. But not in any way they expected, particularly Finn… the last person he expected to run into was his ex-wife, Carrie Hosana. Of course, she’s got no idea who he is, thanks to the boys being erased from existence a while back. But it does cause a few problems here. For a start, she’s convinced the only reason the boys are so off-radar is that the rogue AI has erased their identities.

This one’s going to run long I think, with Downlode’s premier gunsharks teaming up with Carrie to bring down the AI, along with the various ‘Flesh Drones’ the AI controls and weaponises.

So far, so good. Steve Yeowell’s clean artwork looking great here as well.

FULL TILT BOOGIE – PART 1Alex De Campi, Eduardo Ocana, letters by Simon Bowland

It started in the Regened Prog 2130, but here’s the first proper Full Tilt Boogie tale. So we join Tee, her grandma, and the mysterious cat as they wander through the cosmos for Tee’s job as bounty hunter/hired help.

In the opening, they rescued Luxine Prince Ifan, crashed on a remote moon, discovered the bizarre A.I. called Horus and met the warrior known as the Black Dog.

This episode…

Oh yes, it’s time for Tee to finally get her hands on the Full Tilt Boogie.

But first, there’s the small matter of worldbuilding for the first couple of pages; a universe at war, empires, knights, big explosion and the reason the Black Dog hasn’t been heard of since then.

And then, 2000 years into the future, we’re off and running, with another awakening and it looks like the old battles are not forgotten.

It’s a great, great opener, keeping all the fun and thrills of what we saw in Regened but adding a good chunk of exposition and background. And as I said back then, Ocana’s artwork is just a stunning thing, beautiful clean lines, watercolour backdrops, fabulous characters, a delight.

THE ORDER – LAND OF THE FREE – PART 2Kek-W, John Burns, letters by Simon Bowland.

Yep, more of the same as before, the new adventures of Ben Franklin, rejuvenated and back in action, catching a ride on a wormhole travelling steam train.

It’s all just rattling along, but it’s never connected particularly well with me and there’s little change in that. I’ll simply make do with enjoying it for the fun pace of it and the gorgeous Burns artwork.

THE DIABOLIKS – LA VITA MALVAGIA – PART 2Gordon Rennie and Dom Reardon, letters by Simon Bowland.

Demon child in hiding, ex-Caballistics, Inc. operatives Jenny and Solomon make a deal with the Church.

And just like that, we have a truce, with the pair doing a little wetwork for the Church (hmmm, can’t imagine that’s a first either).

All of which gives The Diaboliks a structure, rogue operatives making new deal with enemies to get them off their backs once and for all.

Yep, it’s been done before, most recently in Feral & Foe, but so what, it’s got the legs to work and with Dom Reardon’s fabulously loose, scratchy artwork looking like nothing else we’ve seen for a long time, I’m enjoying this one.

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