The Weekly 2000 AD Prog 2234: You Ready To Go Ape Again With Chimpsky?

by Richard Bruton

The Weekly 2000 AD, Comicon’s weekly preview of all the thrill-power the UK’s finest sci-fi comic has to offer…

Cover by PJ Holden

After last week’s Regened Prog, we get four brand-new strips this week, as well as the return of Feral & Foe. First up, the great Chris Weston returns for a very special one-off Judge Dredd, we get more diabolical robotic action in Mechastopheles, and the start of the first full-length outing for the hit  Regened strip Department K. And finally, as featured on the cover this week, there’s the return of Ken Niemand and PJ Holden‘s wonderful Chimpsky in his own strip at last!

2000 AD Prog 2234 is out on Wednesday 2nd June. Remember, your local comic shop needs you to stay in business: keep your social distance, keep wearing the masks, keep safe.

Okay then, Prog 2234 is waiting for you, how about a bit of a preview?

JUDGE DREDD: ADIOS, ROWDY YATES – Chris Weston, letters by Annie Parkhouse

The return of Chris Weston to writing and drawing Dredd here, with a return to Rowdy Yates block, the one place in MC-1 that Dredd might actually consider something like home.

Except now it’s under threat, the developers moving in to demolish the famous block – with Dredd drafted in to say a few words before doing the whole plunging the lever thing to bring down Rowdy Yates at last.

Thing is, there’s someone out there who is desperate to stand with Rowdy Yates one last time.

There’s a great moment halfway through this perfectly done Dredd single episode where Weston has Dredd looking back, the contrast of the here and the then just lovely, a chance for Weston to draw the full Carlos Ezquerra Dredd again, even if only for one panel.

But all in all, this one manages to mix a healthy slice of nostalgia with a great little story… Weston even went so far as to get John Wagner’s blessing for this one.

And there’s a great last line, playing right into the very beginning of Dredd.

MECHASTOPHELES: THE HUNTING PARTY – PART 1 – Gordon Rennie, Lawrence Rennie, Boo Cook, letters by Annie Parkhouse

Demons rose up, society collapsed, and what was left of humanity have sought refuge in a demonically powered robot called Mechastopheles. Using this infernal ark, the remains of humanity are searching for their new Eden, a sanctuary away from the hellish horrors walking the Earth.

Now, we find out that the demon bound to the Mek, Apollyoneth Morga, has its fair share of enemies in hell as well.

And that’s where we’re at with this first episode, deep down in hell – and it’s a perfect introduction for new artist Boo Cook, whose art is just gorgeous for this sort of thing, the details you can see in his excursion into hell, the imagery, the staging of it all – wonderful stuff.

DEPARTMENT K: COSMIC CHAOS – PART 1 – Rory McConville, Dan Cornwell, Colours by Len O’Grady, letters by Simon Bowland

We met Deptarment K in Regened, and the whole idea of it was a wonderful thing, the wacky, weird world of the Department in Mega-City One where the team of Judge Kirby, intern Afua, Mechanismo Judge Estabon, and the alien Blackcurrant investigate every interdimensional threat seeking to break through reality.

In the first two Regened Progs, it was all about meeting the team and getting them back to MC-1.

Now… the fun really begins, with the start of a regular series from Rory McConville and new series artist Dan Cornwell.

There’s an alien incursion on the pitch at the MC-1 Staring Championships and the Justice Department are on the trail of this alien from another dimension – time to call in the specialists.

Loads of fun as we’ve come to expect from Dept K, with plenty of potential to go anywhere McConville wants to take it. And although it’s a shame not to see Holden stepping back in for the art, Dan Cornwell’s stepping up to do some great work.

FERAL & FOE II – PART 10 – Dan Abnett, Richard Elson, letters by Jim Campbell

Right then… so, Feral & Foe need their bodies swapped back and Krodgun’s looking to get his soul back. They’ve made a deal with the Necromancer Golgone that she’ll help out if they get the Chalice of Malice for her.

Now, after ‘Fecking tons of peril. And Walking,’ the gang are back and it’s time for things to go back to whatever normal was….

Now… just the small matter of Phaeton Gyre, their possessed comrade that Wraith and Bode thought was afflicted with undead pestilence.

Well, here comes the final act twist.

And oh boy, it’s a doozy.

In fact, I’ll leave it to Wraith, Bode, and Krodgun to show you what they think of it – yeah, it’s the last panel, but it’s non-spoilery…

It is still a wonderful load of fun, Abnett obviously having a great time doing the whole over the top fantasy thing, developing characters that we’ve all managed to get behind after these two short series. The twist of swapping bodies of Wraith and Bode at the end of season one has been the trigger for so much of the comedy that’s filled the pages this time round.

But let’s talk about Richard Elson and his wonderful artwork as well, which has been so much of what has brought the series to life, with those great character moments, the wonderful facial expressions, all within a perfectly realised fantasy world.

CHIMPSKY’S LAW: THE TALENTED MR CHIMPSKY – PART 1 – Ken Niemand, PJ Holden, colours by Chris Blythe, letters by Simon Bowland

Noam Chimpsky is a super-intelligent ape, part of the world of simian society in MC-1. We’ve seen him come up against a certain grumpy Judge a few times now, but here in The Talented Mr Chimpsky, it’s time for Noam to set out on his first solo adventure.

First page and we’re completely on-board with this, Chimpsky in space… not enjoying himself.

Cut to a week earlier and Chimpsky’s in MC-1, doing his vigilante thing, before getting his own little special delivery…

Suddenly, Noam’s in trouble, all tied in to the Jepperson Family, torturers, murderers, slave owners… the ones who developed the intelligent apes, killed them in testing in their thousands, enslaved hundreds of thousands.

He’s got a mission to get to the Jepperson’s orbital mansion, and someone’s giving him the information he needs to get up there and prevent the family’s murders. But who’s feeding Noam all this info? And what do they want?

It’s a great opener, so much fun, doing everything it should to set the adventure up – this one’s going to be a real fun thing.

%d bloggers like this: