The Weekly 2000 AD Prog 2203: It’s Way More Than A Shark

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 Jake Lynch

Under a moody blue cover by Jake Lynch, it’s time to say farewell to Dredd’s accountancy heavy tale, ‘Carry The Nine’ – four parts simply wasn’t enough to play out all the angles here so I’m hopeful we’ll be returning to this at some point in the future. As for the other four strips, we’re seeing more from Hookjaw, Skip Tracer, Stickleback, and Fiends of the Eastern Front.
2000 AD Prog 2203 – out in the UK on 14 October on digital and from newsagents and comic shops.

JUDGE DREDD: CARRY THE NINE – PART 4 – FINAL PART Script by Rob Williams and Arthur Wyatt, art by Boo Cook, letters by Annie Parkhouse
Accounts Judge Maitland has hit a wall when taking her ideas to the Council of Five so she’s toying with the idea of emailing a journo. And that, as we all know, is a seriously bad move in MC-1 – especially as the SJS are monitoring everything.
So now it’s time to have a lil’ chat with Joe and see what he has to say…

Okay then, four parts to this one just hasn’t been enough, and not just because I want to see more of Boo Cook’s Dredd artwork. No, there’s just so much stuff in here to unpack with Maitland’s crime solution still there on the table, Dredd’s promise to take it to the Council again, Chief Judge Logan’s leniency – or failure to act, all depends on how you see it. So hopefully it won’t be too long before we return to the potentially monumental events we’ve seen here – it just seems far too important a thing to leave hanging this way.

STICKLEBACK – NEW JERUSALEM – PART 4 – Ian Edginton, D’Israeli, letters by Jim Campbell
The second part of Stickleback/Sherlock’s psychedelic diversion has the Green Knight accepting the ultimate sacrifice from Holmes and sees Holmes come out of it with a Pentacle. Which is a bit of luck really, as things are about to turn even nastier when Holmes and the gang get back to reality.

Stickleback keeps rocking along, but it’s certainly turned into a serial that benefits from doing a good revisit to the previous series to make sure you have the full story. And it’s another one that does seem to work best read in one long go. Not that that’s a particular problem, since it’s a damn fine read. D’Israeli’s art here lets you compare and contrast his light-drenched first couple of pages and the darker, real-life tones of the latter pages. Both are examples of just how incredibly rich his artwork can be, all drenched with digital effects and the superb textural work that he’s putting into his art here.
Oh, and for more about the brilliance of D’Israeli’s art and Edginton’s work, check out an interview with them both here.

SKIP TRACER – HYPERBALLAD – PART 4 – James Peaty, Paul Marshall, colours by Dylan Teague, letters by Simon Bowland
Babysitting can be tough enough anyway, the constant crying, the requests for just one more story, or a drink, or the dreaded ‘I can’t sleep’. But for Nathan Blake, this latest job has taken nightmare babysitting to the Nth level. Spoiled bratty pop star India (still no explanation of the manga features here) and Blake are now in the Underneath of The Cube, where the Splices need dealing with first before we can get on with the main event that the series has been toying with – the whole ‘Children of the Fury’ thing.

FIENDS OF THE EASTERN FRONT – CONSTANTA – PART 3 – Ian Edginton, Tiernen Trevallion, letters by Annie Parkhouse
If you were expecting this latest Fiends to be another ‘someone goes looking for the Fiends and finds them’ sort of thing, this is probably when you realise it’s going to be very different. Instead, we have the British flyer and the Romanian priest settling in at the lovely warm inn (and yes, Trevallion’s art here is so damn good that you can feel the warmth in the tavern, just as you can feel the cold outside) as a tale is told of Constanta’s origins.

And to do that, we’re going back generations, to a time where magic and monsters were more commonplace, to the Lady Alina’s great-grandmother and then to the Lady Alina herself, trapped in the cold snows with her boy child and a pack of giant wolves.
Again, Trevallion’s artwork here is just a lush, beautiful thing, warm when it needs to be, ice-cold at others, all with that same traditional, edgy look befitting something from this part of the world, the whole Romanian church painting aspect of it all. Quite a gorgeous thing to be looking at.

HOOKJAW – PART 4 – Alec Worley, Leigh Gallagher, letters by Simon Bowland
Hookjaw’s back but no-one believes poor old Jack when he talks about a monster attacking the boat, a monster that began as a shark and then turned into something different – which is putting a whole new spin on this Hookjaw tale. Just what is there in the water, is it the Hookjaw we know or some Cornish folk horror thing that’s taking the form of the mythic shark?

Because things in here are far from what Hookjaw could have been – and it’s definitely not just about a shark anymore.

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