The Weekly 2000 AD Prog #2249: Endings, Endings, More Endings

by Richard Bruton

Time to head out to the land of 2000 AD, the UK’s greatest sci-fi weekly comic for four decades and counting… it’s The Weekly 2000 AD

Paul Marshall on the Skip Tracer cover

Right then, it’s clear all the decks time for the next jumping-on Prog #2250, with the return of Scarlet Traces, The Diaboliks, and The Out, plus the first full series for Pandora Perfect, as well as a lot more!

But, before then, time for final episodes in the latest Dredd 3-parter, The House on Bleaker Street, three and out for Tharg’s 3Riller, ‘The Mask of Laverna’, the finale to the latest Skip Tracer, and the end of a mini-return for Jaegir, plus a rather good little chill in the Tharg’s Terror Tales, ‘The Thing In Cell 4.

So… what you waiting for? 2000 AD Prog #2249 in store and online from 17th September.

Ready for a look inside? You know you are…

JUDGE DREDD: THE HOUSE ON BLEAKER STREET – PART 3 – FINAL PART – Kenneth Niemand, Nick Percival, letters by Annie Parkhouse

Well, here’s your classic example of a Dredd that could have been way longer, gone way more into the ideas Niemand’s playing with, all of which would have meant more time to luxuriate in the dark and nasty art of Nick Percival. Damn, he really does a great Dredd in peril, dialing up the gore and the horror, just as you’d expect.

Dredd in Bleaker Street, investigating a house with a reputation to keep all away, all that’s stopping him from rescuing the kidnapped kid is an army of the dead, a nightmare holdover from Necropolis.

Like I say, it’s a damn fine little three-parter, full of fascinating little callbacks to Necropolis, but just too damn short to really get into the questions it’s possibly asking. But still, as a little three-parter, it was a load of fun.

THARG’S 3RILLERS – THE MASK OF LAVERNA – PART 3 – FINAL PART – Robert Murphy and Steven Austin, colours by Matt Soffe, letters by Simon Bowland

Okay, this one ended up being a decently done thing, great art from Austin to elevate an okay storyline, with Adelphi the Oracle on the trail of anything little God making their way onto this Earthly plane.

But… the thing is, the ending falls into the trap of a pitch for the next series, concentrating a little too hard on the setup for what’s to come rather than spending the limited pages of the finale wrapping things up. Hey ho, fair enough.

SKIP TRACER – EDEN – PART 12 – FINAL PART – James Peaty, Paul Marshall, colours by Dylan Teague, letters by Jim Campbell

Well, across just a few series, Skip Tracer’s certainly come a long way from the basic setup of a psi-powered bounty hunter tracking down bad guys. It’s gone big, taking in the military industrial complex that is the Consociation, and slowly pitched Nolan Blake against them. Along the way, he’s also picked up a newfound daughter, who just happens to be one of the most powerful beings in this world.

Here, it’s a pause rather than an ending, with everything wrapping up neatly and simply, although we do get the seeds of the next series planted firmly on the final page.

Is it groundbreaking? No, but it was never pitched that way. Instead, it’s some good old-fashioned sci-fi, all brought to the page by Marshall’s understated, ever-so-good-looking artwork.

TERROR TALES – THE THING IN CELL 4 – John Tomlinson, Silvia Califano, letters by Simon Bowland

Six pages, beginning, middle, end… and designed to make you squirm, if not perhaps filled with terror. That’s the way the Terror Tales are meant to go – a Future Shock with a darker twist. And that’s exactly what The Thing In Cell 4 does.

It’s full of both ideas and plot, tells a damn fine little story, makes you think, and looks damn good as well – more from Califano in the pages of the Prog would be a very good thing.

JAEGIR – THE PATH OF KALI – PART 2 – FINAL PART – Gordon Rennie, Simon Coleby, colours by Len O’Grady, letters by Annie Parkhouse

It’s nothing more than an intro to the next Jaegir series, Ferox, but damn, it’s been a fine little intro…

But then again, with all that stunning Coleby artwork, ANY Jaegir always looks stunning and Rennie does seem to enjoy the grimness of the entire setup so much.

So, as it says at the end of this, Jaegir will return in Ferox. I cannot wait.

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