The Weekly 2000 AD Prog #2294: Dredd’s Idea Of The Special Relationship? What Special Relationship?
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.
Again, same five strips as last week, but there’s two finales as Judge Dredd: Special Relationship and Dexter: Malice in Plunderland reach their finales this week. Alongside them, continuing brilliance in Brink: Mercury Retrograde, the final, final Skip Tracer: Valhalla series gets deadly, and Jaegir: Ferox gives us a technicolour madness on Nu-Earth.
2000 AD Prog #2294 is out on Wednesday 10th August, which means it’s time to take a little look through for you …
JUDGE DREDD: SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP – PART 6 – FINAL PART – Rob Williams, Patrick Goddard, colours by Quinton Winter, letters by Annie Parkhouse
Last episode, so no spoilers bar what you’ll see in the two preview pages and the little extra art here. I’ll simply say that Dredd does his Dredd thing and sorts out the little matter of the Atlantis colony invasion by Brit Cit in his usual fashion, wrecking years of the special relationship in the process and re-writing the political map of Brit Cit and their Euro neighbours.
And that, lest we forget, includes the Sovs.
But, after all… it was only Brit-Cit. Ouch.
But without going into details, it’s been six episodes that have been rather excellent espionage meets all-out Dredd action, sprinkled with a little political intrigue and what I’m hoping, rather confidently, that we’ll see explored more when Williams comes back to Dredd. It’s been, to be honest, pretty damn good.
If I had an issue, it would simply be that this one I’d have liked to have seen run longer, letting Williams, accompanied on this with some absolutely great art from Patrick Goddard, explore things in more depth. But hey, six is what we get and it’s been an excellent six at that.
BRINK: MERCURY RETROGRADE – PART 23 – Dan Abnett, INJ Culbard, leters by Simon Bowland
As has been my want with the last few episodes… episode 23? Well this one can just keep going and going and going as far as I’m concerned. It’s just doing everything so damn well.
We’ve got Mas, investigative Journo with a huge story to break, headed down into the underneath with the mysterious Evan Leeden, possible Interhab Intelligence agent who’s deep into the whole Union/Cult thing going on.
The underneath is hot, venting going on, but Mas keeps drinking the stuff Leeden gives him… and that’s when it suddenly gets weird for Mas, as Leeden brings up what we already knew from Brink Book 1, that the activists have been lacing the food and water from the Macrobio store, you know, the one run by Frannie Lightman… oh dear, poor Mas…
So yes, Mas is in deep, we already knew that. But that was in deep with HabSec and whoever gets hit by the story he’s developing. But now he’s in deep with Leeden and his lot… and that’s right now, right in front of him.
Again, just sheer brilliance on the part of Abnett and Culbard. Doesn’t matter how many episodes we get, this is a classic book of a classic series.
SKIP TRACER: VALHALLA – PART 8 – James Peaty, Paul Marshall, colours by Dylan Teague, letters by Simon Bowland
Well, so far the operation to infiltrate the Cube and free it from the influence of the blackstar hasn’t exactly gone too well, all the way up to this happening at the end of last episode…
So now it’s just Nolan Blake, on his own, all his team dead and appearing in that mystery other world we keep seeing – Valhalla? Heaven? Limbo? Something to do with the blackstar? Don’t know yet, but figure we’ll find out by the end of this last ever Skip Tracer.
As with all the previous Skip Tracer serials, this one just moves on along, Paul Marshall’s controlled, cultured artwork perfect to capture all that occurs while James Peaty just gets on with telling a straightforward, unashamedly so, bit of sci-fi thriller.
DEXTER: BULLETOPIA CHAPTER 10: MALICE IN PLUNDERLAND – PART 6 – FINAL PART – Dan Abnett, Tazio Bettin, colours by Matt Soffe, letters by Annie Parkhouse
The finale for Malice in Plunderland with Dexter et al figuring out just how much trouble they’re in now that the deputy bosses of the two rival gangs have assassinated their way to the top and have a hankering to off the gunsharks from Downlode city.
It all ended with a mystery phone call at the end of last episode… one that swiftly gets things moving in the finale. It wasn’t, like I figured it might be, Sinister on the end of the line – there’s time for that before the climactic end to Bulletopia I’m sure. Instead, it’s the cavalry rushing in and wrapping this one up nice and neatly.
Loads of fun, one of the best of this Bulletopia saga, with Abnett playing with loads of genre ideas and Bettin’s art just looking quite gorgeous.
JAEGIR: FEROX – PART 4 – Gordon Rennie, Simon Coleby, colours by Len O’Grady, letters by Jim Campbell
Kapiten-Inspector Atalia Jaegir of the Nordland State Security Police is having a bad, bad day. Her team are spread around the toxic swamps of Miasma, along with a Souther GI on the loose, not to mention that she’s discovering that Nordland’s General Kurga has gone rogue. Torture, nastiness, and Kurga spouting off about Nu Earth talking to him in the Miasma, this special place.
It’s all looking like the classic sort of Jaegir, dark, gritty stuff going on, nasty things on both sides, Jaegir straddling somewhere in the middle, hated by both sides for who she is and what she does. And all the while, Coleby’s line work and Len O’Grady’s colour work just crackle with energy to make this a visual delight.