The Weekly 2000 AD Prog #2275: Bowel Bothering Nasties Beware, The Intestinauts Return
by Richard Bruton
45 years and better than ever – it’s the UK’s greatest sci-fi weekly comic and we’re here with The Weekly 2000 AD to give you a preview.
With the end of the third book of Proteus Vex last issue, the gap in the Prog gets filled by the latest series of The Intestinauts by Arthur Wyatt and Pye Parr, joining the four excellent stiprs that carry on their storylines – Judge Dredd: The Crucible, Fiends of the Eastern Front: 1963, and Brink, alongside Kingmaker which reaches its finale this week. And again, that means we’re still hitting five for five here. Damn, it might be 45 years old this year, but 2000 AD just keeps on getting better and better.
Right then – 2000 AD Prog #2275 is out on Wednesday 30th March (bloody hell, that means 2022 is a quarter over… how?)
Anyway, time for a preview…
JUDGE DREDD: THE CITADEL – PART 6 – John Wagner, Dan Cornwell, colours by Dylan Teague, letters by Annie Parkhouse
At last – there it is, finally the explanation for what The Crucible is, right there on the first page here – the old conference hub that Dredd’s intelligence says that the Sovs are using as a detention and torture centre. And now him and his not so merry (and not all that big) band of cadets and cit-def are off to take it down.
To which Winterton, the possibly unreliable narrator of this whole thing, responds… ‘Just us?’ Oh yes, Dredd, a few cadets, a few moany cit-def muppets versus the elite Sov military, of course Dredd thinks it’s doable.
As for Winterton, it’s easy to think that this is just what happened, just another Dredd story from the past. But you have to remember that it’s a very pissed-off Winterton telling this one to his audience 35 years in the future. So, what’s true, what’s not? We’re not really going to find out until Wagner really wants us to find out, but it’s damn good trying to work it all out.
And then, of course, there’s Dan Cornwell, who really is doing great things – here, it’s great things in the rain, absolutely fantastic.
KINGMAKER: FALLS THE SHADOW – PART 12 – FINAL PART – Ian Edginton, Leigh Gallagher, letters by Jim Campbell
So, for the finale of the latest Kingmaker, we get a little bit of insight to the chaos that’s resulted from Crixus taking over the mantle of the Horde’s representative on this world. And it’s not all good. Sure, the magical extraction might have stopped, but the powers that be will have noticed and are going to be taking action…
Oh yes, notice the menacing shadow? Perfect use of an old trope from Edginton there. Which is pretty much a good description of Kingmaker so far, it really is a perfect melding of fantasy and sci-fi, Lord of the Rings meets Star Wars, with plenty of twists and turns thrown into the mix to really make it all work. And all of it brought rather spectacularly to the page by Leigh Gallagher.
So, we’re left here, at the end of Book Three of Kingmaker, with Crixus and Abelard staring at whatever the hell the Horde are going to hit their world with yet, plus there’s still the none too small matter of Ichnar to deal with. But all that comes in Book Four, The Twilight Kingdom.
INTESTINAUTS: THE BOWEL IMPACTORS – PART 1 – Arthur Wyatt, Pye Parr
When your tummies all tortured and you’re feeling all yuck, it’s time to call in the incredible Intestinauts, battling bowel bother from the moment you take the nano-bots in pill form. And once the micro marvels have done their thing, it’s time for the bog flush and they’re uploaded to headquarters.
Well, at least that’s what’s meant to happen. Not quite the case here though, with a lonesome bunch of Intestinauts down in the sewers unable to get that upload signal. What’s gone wrong with the Intestolab servers to leave them deep in the poop this way?
Much fun to be had here, just as in past series, with Wyatt and Parr having a blast playing up to all the nonsense of the concept… now we just have to wait to see just who or what the impactors are.
FIENDS OF THE EASTERN FRONT: 1963 – PART 3 – Ian Edginton, Tiernen Trevallion, letters by Annie Parkhouse
Well, that’s a turn up… by page three of this episode, everything goes very much sideways for Constanta. I certainly wasn’t expecting Constanta to fall foul of the other spooks hanging around a cold war Berlin this fast – or this decisively, in fact, I’m not showing you any more art from this one because everything after those first two pages are very very spoiler-filled.
In some ways, I’m just that little bit disappointed that it’s all taken off so quickly, shifting away, perhaps, from the cold war chills of Constanta making his way around a 1963 Berlin awash with spooks of both sorts. But then again, I’m just going to let this one play out and see where it goes after the rather brutal and swift bit of vengeance meted out this episode.
In the meantime, just take a look at Trevallion’s artwork on those first two pages, the tonal work is just so impressive, the mood and the threat so clear…
BRINK: MERCURY RETROGRADE – PART 6 – Dan Abnett, INJ Culbard, letters by Simon Bowland
While we’ve been following Nolan Maslow, the investigative journalist looking into sect crimes, Union links, and the death of Bridget Kurtis’ partner Brinkman, there’s also been another strand of this current series of Brink establishing that Mas is right about the Unions and their Sect links, something we’re deep into on the first two pages here.
And then there’s the mention of first the whole ‘Mercury is in retrograde,’ which we know is going to be hugely important sometime in the near future and then there’s the ‘whispers’ mention, first by the guy proving his credentials to the Union/Sect and then from Mas himself – something that doesn’t go down too well with his Union contact…
We’re six episodes in and this is every bit as amazingly tense as all the previous Brink series have been, full of Abnett writing a tight, exciting, slow-build sci-fi procedural.
And as I keep saying, Culbard’s art is such a huge part of what makes Brink so damn good. The colours, the expressions, the stylish, cinematic cuts from character to character, and making a comic series just leap from the page, full of both stunning ideas and pages of fascinating conversations as the plot comes together and the tension mounts.