The Weekly 2000 AD Prog #2322: Knock Knock, Dredd Style
by Richard Bruton
Since 1977 2000 AD has been the UK’s greatest sci-fi weekly comic, and every week we give you a glimpse inside the new Prog… it’s The Weekly 2000 AD.
Yep, 46 years and still going strong. In fact I’d go as far as saying we’re seeing a comic that’s getting better and better and better with age.
It’s the same five as last week here, with the second installment of Judge Dredd: Succession, followed by more from The Out, Proteus Vex, and The Order. As for Joe Pineapples, well we’re here at last with the final episode.
2000 AD Prog #2320 is out on Wednesday 8th March.
JUDGE DREDD: SUCCESSION – PART 2 – Ken Niemand, Leonardo Manco, colours by Chris Blythe, letters by Annie Parkhouse
‘Old Man Gone. It’s On.’ That was the message that started this particular Mega-City One portrayal of corporate bloodletting off.
With the Curare Corporation now leaderless, everyone in the company seems intent on vying for power and position – so it’s a corporate bloodbath on the streets for Dredd to get to the bottom of.
First of all, let’s talk Leonardo Manco – great, great artwork. Packed with details, classic storytelling, and the tech… oh, the tech. Sure, it might not be exactly welcomed by the Dredd-police online [yeah, horrible people by and large], but things like that Manco Lawmaster… gorgeous!
Anyway, it’s turning into a neat little Dredd, one of those where the actions happening and Dredd finds himself lagging behind in trying to figure it all out. But that’s been a feature of Dredd from the beginning and it’s something that NIemand does particularly well. So this one looks like being one to settle back and enjoy, watching the corporate body count go through the roof.
JOE PINEAPPLES: TIN MAN – PART 11 – FINAL PART – Pat Mills and Clint Langley, story by Pat Mills and Simon Bisley, letters by Annie Parkhouse
Okay, it’s over and done with here. 11 episodes that just did not work at all. And, no surprise, the ending carries that on.
From the beginning, this was something that really did belong to a different time – although frankly, it would have been pretty much unreadable in any time.
Mills may have birthed 2000 AD and provided plenty of savagery in his invective and anarchy in his storytelling in the early days. But right now, nope, no more. Please, no more. I’ve never been so relieved to see the words THE END appear on a 2000 AD strip.
Of course, time to insert the obligatory praise for Clint Langley here. [Polishing a what, you say?]. He’s gamely continued with this one after Bisley hopped off the art duties and Langley has, as always, done a spectacular job. But, as I keep saying, if you want to see Langley’s art on something where it’s part of a good story – plot, dialogue, and art all coming together to make great storytelling, head over to the Megazine for the latest ‘Storm Warning’.
THE OUT: BOOK THREE – PART 11 – by Dan Abnett and Mark Harrison, letters by Simon Bowland
Last episode we had Cyd, Bag, and Cheerio having a walk and talk, Abnett having fun with the wordplay, all quite bloody brilliantly enjoyable, just the sort of nothingness that The Out can absolutely get away with. It’s one of those finest of strips where nothing can happen and that’s just fine by me.
However, there is the small matter of Cyd needing to find out what the hell is going on with her. Why did the Zoto plant the dormant Tankinar tech in her? How is she going to avoid going back to Unanima planet-arrest? And just how does the Up factor into all this?
Well, to do that she needs to keep moving, and with the Unama on their trail, that’s easier said than done. Right now, they’re on a planet with some sort of secluded monastery that’s a stop-off for those who believe in the Up.
It’s another wonderful episode in a series that’s just packed full of wonderful episodes. Again, it’s just a walk and talk, this time with Abnett doing the full on exposition thing, having Cyd et. al. take some time to debate the Up. But Abnett, particularly with Harrison making every panel and page look a million dollars, can write anything he wants to when he makes it work like this.
THE ORDER: HEART OF DARKNESS – PART 6 – Kek-W and John Burns, letters by Jim Campbell
So, with The Order wrapping up with this series, we’re seeing every episode push us further towards that end, with the fight-back against the shadow-creatures beginning.
So, as a part shadow, Ben Franklin working for The Order makes his presence known in the White House, The Order themselves are bursting in with shadow tech, determined to overthrow Washington and the rest in the Shadow Congress in this reality and marshalling all the remaining members of the Order in others.
So, just your normal episode of The Order then, all the same bonkers ideas from Kek-W and the usual beautiful artwork from Burns.
PROTEUS VEX: CRAWLSPACE – PART 11 – Michael Carrol and Jake Lynch, colours by Jim Boswell, letters by Simon Bowland
The Imperium prepares for its last stand against the Scorchers – that’s where we’re at with Proteus Vex. We’ve seen Midnight Indicating Shame lead a possible insurrection against Hive Regalis, forcing the Queen to throw in her lot with the Scorchers, and now Vex is throwing the Obdurate forces into battle in an effort to buy time for their world-splitter engine.
All of which means this episode brings you page after page of Jake Lynch’s artwork displaying the sort of magnificent big space stuff that Proteus Vex is so good at.
There’s such a sense of scale in Vex, particularly here in ‘Crawlspace’, as Carroll and Lynch have told a huge tale of galactic warfare, and made it work perfectly.