The Weekly 2000 AD Prog #2289: Dredd Goes To War With The Brits
by Richard Bruton
45 years and better than ever – it’s the UK’s greatest sci-fi weekly comic, 2000 AD and we’re here with the Weekly 2000 AD to give you a preview.
This week, it’s new Dredd with ‘Special Relationship‘, picking up plot threads from last year’s ‘The Hard Way‘ as MC-1 and Brit-Cit have a political falling out, and we’ve also got the first episode of Dexter: Malice in Plunderland, the penultimate chapter in the ‘Bulletopia’ saga. Then we have ‘Hope… In the Shadows‘ ending its current run as Reel One ends on a devastating note. Alongside that, more Skip Tracer and another slice of the best thriller in 2000 AD for decades with Brink.
2000 AD Prog #2289 is out now so it’s time for a preview…
JUDGE DREDD: SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP – Rob Williams, Patrick Goddard, colours by Quinton Winter, letters by Annie Parkhouse
This one all revolves around the Atlantis complex, the undersea link between Mega-City One and Brit Cit, currently being rebuilt along with the Black Atlantic Tunnel in the wake of the attacks we saw in The Hard Way last year where The Red Queen went after Dredd once more.
First episode… well, it’s got all sorts of intriguing little plot threads popping up before we get into the meat of it next episode. There’s the Sov hacking connection, Chief Judge Logan sending Dredd into the Atlantis complex colony base on a very hush-hush secret, Brit-Cit gentry having hushed chats about doing what’s right for the country… and all of it ending up with a bit of an intriguing ending.
All in all, pure setup of an episode but a damn good one that promises a hell of a lot. Williams back writing Dredd is a good thing and having the sheer solidity and scale of Goddard’s art is damn fine to see.
HOPE IN THE SHADOWS – REEL ONE – PART 12 – FINAL PART – Guy Adams, Jimmy Broxton, letters by Jim Campbell
The final chapter of this first reel of ‘Hope… In the Shadows‘ and Mallory finally appears to be getting what he most wanted in the world… his wife…
But, as that climatic panel from last episode shows you, getting what you want and being happy with it are often two different things.
And Mallory’s wife seems to have her own agenda, her own motivations in this one. Something that doesn’t auger well for Mallory at all…
Damn, that’s one impressive Lauren Bacall that Broxton draws. All the way through Hope it’s been fun seeing his reference writ large on the page, but because of the sheer dark beauty of his pages it never really distracts.
The whole of this Hope serial has been a slow-boiling thing, more so than usual as Adams and Broxton were obviously both working to just the halfway point here. It’s a tonal thing, dark and full of nasty pieces of work, Mallory included.
DEXTER: BULLETOPIA CHAPTER 10: MALICE IN PLUNDERLAND – PART 1 – Dan Abnett, Tazio Bettin, colours by Matt Soffe, letters by Annie Parkhouse
It’s just Dexter solo once more, with Dexter and the group on the run still from the rogue AI that’s taken over Downlode – the same AI that’s re-animated Sinister and set him on his ex-best-pal’s trail.
As with all the previous ‘Bulletopia’ chapters, I’d imagine this one’s going to be a short, three parts or so, but it’s certainly built up into a big old tale. After their horror story moment last time with The Thing In The Thing, Malice in Plunderland brings them to another hoped for sanctuary… which works out about as well as you’d expect…
Hey, they only wanted to buy a car. Shame they walked into a mob town where they have a real hatred of Downlode city types.
More Dexter action, more interlude stuff really. We’re all waiting to see where Abnett goes with this, whether we’re going to see the return of the full Sinister Dexter at some point.
SKIP TRACER: VALHALLA – PART 3 – James Peaty, Paul Marshall, colours by Dylan Teague, letters by Simon Bowland
The former Skip Tracer, on the run with daughter Eden, has bumped into some familiar faces from earlier chapters of the tale and is wondering, as we are, just what the hell’s going on.
By bringing back characters and looping us back round to Nolan going back to the Cube, there’s that real sense of things all being tied up neatly by Peaty in this one, the final Skip Tracer.
BRINK: MERCURY RETROGRADE – PART 18 – Dan Abnett, INJ Culbard, leters by Simon Bowland
So, as Mas, our investigative journo wonders what the hell he’s going to do, we get caught up by undercover HabSec Bilder who fills Mas in on what Kurtis was up to just before Mercury went dark – the taking down of the group poisoning the Boilerhouse water supply. So again, we’re deep in the past of Brink, right at the end of Book 1.
And Mas is deep, deep into the nasty here, paranoid as hell, seeing HabSec everywhere. There’s a perfect little moment across page 2 that you can see below where Culbard gets all that across in the art while Abnett is having Bilder and Mas have a catch-up, Maz clocking what he thinks is the shifty-looking guy… it’s a masterful bit of storytelling from Culbard, playing the art against the dialogue, doing so much, just as he’s doing all through Brink.
As for Bilder, he’s convinced there’s going to be huge shift now, the Sects building, the chaos circling, and he’s convinced it’s all connected. Mas though, he’s not so sure – after all, he’s been drinking clean water all the way through this so hasn’t been affected by the water poisoning… another moment you find yourself in wonder at how interconnected Abnett and Culbard have made Brink.
It is, as I’m not getting tired of saying, one of the best things in 2000 AD for the last couple of decades and right up there with all the very best of 2000 AD full stop.