The Weekly 2000 AD Prog 2202: Hook-Jaw Bites Back

by Richard Bruton

The Galaxy’s greatest comic has been delivering the thrill power week after week since 1977. So it’s only right that we take a look inside every week here at Comicon. It’s time for the Weekly 2000 AD.

Cover by Simon Coleby

If you hadn’t worked it out by now, Hook-Jaw is back for the very first time in the Prog to take a bite out of the Cornish tourist trade. Alongside the shark, we’ve got the accounting department taking centre stage in Judge Dredd, Sherlock Holmes running London’s criminal underworld as Stickleback, Skip Tracer finding out that babysitting can be murderous, and the search for the vampire Constanta continues in Fiends of the Eastern Front.

Five great strips for Prog 2202 – out in the UK on Wednesday 7th October on digital and from newsagents and comic shops.


JUDGE DREDD: CARRY THE NINE – PART 3 – Script by Rob Williams and Arthur Wyatt, art by Boo Cook, letters by Annie Parkhouse

Accounts Judge Maitland has worked out a model where crime could be practically wiped out if MC-1 pumps resources into education. Radical? In a city where the entire Justice System is based on the idea that the Cits must be kept in place by the Judges – you better believe it’s radical. And Maitland knows it.

But she also knows the models and the data show it could work. So it’s time to take it to the council…

Damn, you knew it wouldn’t go down well, didn’t you? But how badly and just how many repercussions there would be… that’s the nasty bit. (Although frankly, if you worked for Justice Department, wouldn’t you be a little more bloody careful with where you store your emails?)

Anyhow, this one’s just so full of potential, really digging into the core of the Justice Department. And as for Boo Cook’s artwork, it’s just a stunning thing, textured, detailed, fabulous layouts – a great looking Dredd.

STICKLEBACK – NEW JERUSALEM – PART 3 – Ian Edginton, D’Israeli, letters by Jim Campbell

After heading for the Brotherhood of the Book and necking a few psychedelics, Stickleback and co. are doing a little inner space adventure, all of them reverting back to inner, truer forms – including Sherlock.

What we get is D’Israeli laying on the effects to show us the otherworldly nature of this setting and it’s stunning – right up until it just breaks with the face of the Green Knight, which just looked strangely wrong and threw me out of the moment.

But aside from that, this one’s a mystery, Sherlock/Stickleback and the gang looking for the means to defeat those that threaten Queen and Country and single combat against the Green Knight wanting to know just what we all want to know – Stickleback? Sherlock? Which is the true face we’ll see?

SKIP TRACER – HYPERBALLAD – PART 3 – James Peaty, Paul Marshall, colours by Dylan Teague, letters by Simon Bowland

Nathan Blake’s babysitting duties aren’t going too well. There’s a bit of a spoilt brat (India, the girl with the as yet unexplained Manga features) who’s been getting threats, her manager has that shifty look about him, and now there’s a malfunctioning spatial gateway to deal with. All in all, just about what you expect from Skip Tracer, one of those do it by the numbers sort of strips that’s still damn good fun at its best. And of course, it’s one that benefits a hell of a lot from Paul Marshall’s artwork.

FIENDS OF THE EASTERN FRONT – CONSTANTA – PART 2 – Ian Edginton, Tiernen Trevallion, letters by Annie Parkhouse

On the trail of vampire Captain Constanta – British pilot, Tim Wilson, has travelled to Romania and is getting himself a quick Knights of Constanta history lesson. It’s all the sort of familial nightmare of jealousy and betrayal that you’d expect, but no worse for being predictably a mix of Shakespeare and Hammer Horror.

What makes this one so good this far is how Trevallion has made Romania look like exactly the sort of place you’d expect to find vampires – the muted colours of the strip, the deep and thick lines of Trevalllion’s artwork, all of it looks so stunning, taking on something of the look of church murals and mosaics about it.

HOOK-JAW – PART 3 – Alec Worley, Leigh Gallagher, letters by Simon Bowland

Okay, so Hookjaw’s back and as bad as ever, a myth of old brought to life in pop culture. But this myth has already killed two and now Jack Noon’s fishing boat is under attack from the huge beast.

And here’s where Hook-Jaw fails just that little bit. The pop culture thing worked so well, along with the slow reveal of the threat, the flash of teeth and the blood pouring – that was so good these past couple of episodes. But here, with old Hooky flopping around on the boat, it’s the whole thing from Jaws about it being far better to just not see the entire damn shark so early. Jaws kept things going for more than an hour, Hook-Jaw does the reveal in three episodes.

It’s good, it really is, but there’s the inevitable thought of how many different ways can you do the giant shark storyline and how do you manage to end the thing without falling back into the old cliches of monster and shark flicks.


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