• 2000 A.D. Prog 1951

    2000 A.D. Prog 1951
    Released by: Rebellion
    Released on: October 7th, 2015.
    Written by: Various
    Illustrated by: Various
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    The four brand new stories that started inside the last issue continue in this latest issue of the UK’s greatest sci-fi comic – and we get the start of a new fifth arc as well! This time with Bad Company sporting the cover (take that, Dredd!) courtesy of the mighty Rufus Dayglo! So without further ado, let Tharg channel pure thrill-power into your minds!

    Judge Dredd – Serial Serial by John Wagner and Colin MacNeil: After the events of the first chapter, Dredd and some other Judges have arrived at the apartment that was tipped off by PJ Maybe and found a man dressed as a woman hanged by her neck. There’s a note for Dredd pinned to the corpse, that corpse, however, is not PJ but the suspect, Winston Rayes. Dredd asks the other Judges to check out local surveillance footage and hit the nearby gay bars where Maybe and Rayes could have possibly met. Dredd, meanwhile, does some thinking about cases from the past that could hold clues to how all of this is going to play out…

    The plot thickens indeed! No action here at all, really, just some fine detective work on the part of Dredd and company. Wagner’s weaving a decent plot here, his whodunit is unfolding at a good clip and artiest Colin MacNeil illustrates it well using lots of lovely thick lines and dark shadows to keep the visual side of the mystery as enjoyable as the written side.

    Defoe – The London Hanged by Pat Mills and Leigh Gallagher: Titus and Tomazine Dafoe face the walking corpses that have literally arrived on their doorstep. The hanged dead – diehards, we’re told, who never repented their crimes. Titus fires off a few warning shots and the zombies retreat, all the while his own son tells him that they mean them no harm. Does he know something his mother and father do not about this situation? Titus suits up and gets ready to head outside to find the walking corpse of Cox, the one that talks, to try and figure out what exactly is going on here.

    The first chapter was great, this one is better. It’s a zombie epic set in days past, which gives what has quickly become a played out genre some new legs. The family dynamic that plays a big part in all of this helps keep us interesting too. What does the kid know? Will Titus make it back to wife and son in one piece? Tomazine is none too pleased with his decision to head outside, how will she react to this if he does make it back? Lots of questions posed here, always the sign of a good story, and the artwork from Leigh Gallagher continues to impress in black and white with some fantastic detail on those nasty shambling corpses.

    Brass Sun – Motor Head by Ian Eddington and Inj Culbard: Flashback to a few months prior, before the events in the first chapter. We see them – Conductor Seventeen and Daughter Of Hind Leg - learning to drive, bickering amongst themselves, but the pod being shuttled runs into trouble in a very bad spot to get stuck – and then they meet the Reverend Mother Gynour, she would have words with them. It seems the Station Master is ‘concerned’ for them.

    Still not really completely sure what’s going on here but it looks like it will start to clear up in the next chapter – there HAS to be a reveal of sorts there for this one to mean much. And it still might. The script is interesting and there are some great character design elements here courtesy of Culbard… it’s just not quite where it needs to be right now to completely hook you. Again though, it might get there. Let’s see what happens in the next chapter as all signs indicate that something big is going to happen.

    Sinister Dexter: The Taking Of Michael – by Dan Abnett and Patrick Goddard: Aboard a boat, there has been a mass slaughter. There are dead bodies everywhere. A professional hit went down and it turns out that the boat was owned by a crime boss named Moses Tanenbaum. Prior to this, Finny and Ray said goodbye to lady friends Piper and Tracy. They hit the road and wide up at a hotel right next to the same boat where the slaughter took place – they’ve got a job to do. A man named Ted Behr and his crew of crooks spots them and rats them out to Tanenbaum and he’s not particularly happy about this.

    Mass slaughter, a tropical location, shifty characters, sexy women, tough talking men, guns, girls, Hawaiian shits – yeah, this is off to a pretty good start, it feels like an eighties action/crime movie in the best way possible. Abnett’s script is fun so far, there are colorful characters aplenty introduced here, while Goddard’s art is slick and nicely detailed.

    Bad Company – First Casualties by Peter Milligan, R. Dayglo and J. McCarthy: Last but most certainly not least, Danny finds out that Kano’s alive. He tells him the war is over in hopes that Kano will stop short of levelling the city – Kano chills out a bit but wants to show Danny what was done to him, what made him the way he is. And so, by a connection they make, he does this and we witness through his own eyes the transformation that befell him. In doing so, the powers that be ‘break’ Kano. His body may have been healed but his mind is a different story but of course the truth behind why the authorities want Danny to bring Kano in, well, that’s got to come out sooner or later, right?

    Again, great to see Bad Company back in action. Milligan is in his element here, he’s always done his best work when dealing with anti-social subject matter and this lets him dive deep into that as the story subverts the fist-pumping nationalism that surrounds too many instances of military action and replaces it with a look at how it completely fucks people up. Dayglo and McCarthy offer up the perfect visual compliment to this, their splatter punk style and ideal companion to the anarchistic storytelling but at the same time nicely detailed and, if over-exaggerated, to the serial’s advantage.