The Weekly 2000 AD Prog #2258: Dredd Pulls Out The Stops and Cyd Goes Up In ‘The Out’

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

Toby Willsmer has Dredd doing his best Elvis impression underneath the helmet.

This Prog… More from The Diaboliks, more Scarlet Traces, and best of all… more of the quite magnificent The OUT. There’s also the end to Michael Carroll and Simon Coleby‘s fascinating little two-part Dredd, Tread Softly, and the latest return for Sinister Dexter… or maybe just Dexter, in ‘Lordy Jordy, King of Everything.

Okay then… you can grab 2000 AD Prog #2258 on 17th November. So,  time for a preview…

JUDGE DREDD: TREAD SOFTLY – PART 2 – FINAL PART – Michael Carroll, Simon Coleby, colours by John Charles, letters by Annie Parkhouse.

A quick two-parter concludes here with a little twist and an addition to the Judges Dredd considers those he can trust. Which, in itself, is rather a big deal – the concept of Dredd working up his own little team – as first used in Rob Williams’ stories of ‘The Small House’.

Here though, it’s all about Dredd and Judge Vanzura, the Med-Judge working with him. Well, sort of working with him. That’s all part of the thing here, with Dredd working to his own agenda, with Vanzura treating him with suspicion, almost as if she’s there to… well, that’s the whole point of this one really.

Yep, a two-parter that could well have been a longer storyline, but works so damn well as a short. And of course, there’s Coleby’s artwork – he really should be doing more Dredd – hopefully soon.

THE DIABOLIKS – LONDON CALLING – PART 2 – Gordon Rennie, Dom Reardon, letters by Jim Campbell.

Back in good olde London towne, with Rennie populating this one with a veritable team of silliness playing punky black magic stuff – talk of Jim’ll Fix It, Janice, Jimi Hendrix, Marc Bolan, that sort of thing, all tied up in magical doings and all that weird stuff.

Solomon’s punky magic mate, Jake, is after his magical stash, and has pulled in The Baron to help him get it back. All of which gives Rennie the chance to dial it up to 11 and have some fun throwing us into a story.

So, it’s Solomon, Jake, and the Baron up against the Collection… plenty of fun, and all of it looking damn great thanks to Dom Reardon’s gorgeous artwork, everything looking so deceptively simple and so bloody good.

DEXTER- BULLETOPIA CHAPTER 7: LORDY JORDY, KING OF EVERYTHING – PART 1 – Dan Abnett, Tazio Bettin, colours by Matt Soffe, letters by Simon Bowland

Back again with the on-again, off-again thing that’s Bulletopia and Sinister Dexter. Well, just Dexter now, as the AI-infected, newly-resurrected Sinister’s following behind Dexter, with murderous intent.

We’re traveling with Dexter through the Understreet, with the rag-tag little group he’s gathered not exactly trusting one another yet.

Now, I don’t know about you, but hiding out in someplace that used to be a Russian military research zone, packed full of experimental stuff, bio-weapons, gene-crafted clones, that sort of thing, really doesn’t seem like the best idea. Especially when it’s being used by Dexter’s old employer, the Lizard King. Let’s just say the Lizard King looks like he’s living up to his name… remember what I said about the bio-weapons? Oh yes.

Anyhow, it’s good to have Sinister Dexter back, even if it’s only going to be for a few Progs up until the Christmas Prog.

SCARLET TRACES – STORM FRONT – PART 8 – Ian Edginton, D’Israeli, letters by Simon Bowland.

Straight back into the action in Scarlet Traces, with the Jovian warfleet hitting the Martians hard. And that means those stunning D’Israli colours for the Jovian space scenes are back – followed by the muted tones following Ahron and Ikarys et al. And then, to end the episode, there’s another switch in tone – and it’s all just perfectly done.

As we’re reaching the end game for the series, or at least this main part of Scarlet Traces at least, Edginton really is keeping us on our toes about where it’s all going, right to the very end, entertaining, questioning, and ever-inventive.

THE OUT – BOOK TWO – PART 8 – Dan Abnett, Mark Harrison, letters by Annie Parkhouse.

Just as with the first series of the OUT, this one’s meandered along, so wonderfully, without any obvious sense of there being a big, overarching plot for the series. And that, as far as myself and many other fans of the OUT are concerned, is absolutely fine. I could easily enjoy series after series of Cyd just exploring, experiencing things and Abnett and Harrison delivering them to us.

But here, after meeting Rober Lustre, galactic superstar performer, it appears we have a direction for Cyd after all. One that’s going to take her beyond just being OUT.

We first got a hint last Prog, with this… the UP.

And now, as Cyd and Lustre take a walk through his mind palace, things are getting a little more… well, I was going to say clearer, but that’s not exactly the case. The whole point of the OUT, it seems to me, is that things should be alien, should be unusual, shouldn’t make sense, not really, not if it’s going to stay true to that whole idea of the other.

And that’s what Abnett and Harrison do with it here. It’s completely alien, walking through the mind palace, watching Lustre’s form and the rooms shift as the performance changes, seeing all these exotic art pieces (or hell, they might just be the dishwasher – that’s the point of it really – alien art, alien tech, alien ideas).

The UP, according to Lustre, is the next step on from the OUT, and something that Cyd’s already closer to than she realises.

Cyd, meanwhile, is being Cyd, which gives Abnett the chance to switch the tone around. After all, you don’t want to get completely cosmic without a little light relief, do you?

And then there’s the final page here. Oh boy. They’ve done it again. A series that seemed to be just meandering (wonderful, so wonderfully) suddenly has its heart and soul back. Amazing.

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