• 2000 A.D. Prog 1954



    2000 A.D. Prog 1954
    Released by: Rebellion
    Released on: October 28st, 2015.
    Written by: Various
    lllustrated by: Various
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    Here’s what to look for in the latest and greatest issue of 2000 A.D., carrying on with the current run of five new storylines and led by a slick Brass Sun cover courtesy of that story’s artist, Inj Cullbard.

    Judge Dredd – Serial Serial by John Wagner and Colin MacNeil: Mega-City One’s toughest lawman arrives on the scene with a few fellow Judges in tow to stop another ‘Judge’ who is a little too close to the dying body of a competitive eater. Turns out this other ‘Judge’ is Ronald Lung, a spoiled rich kid that the Judges thinks might tie into the case. Then Younis radios in, they’ve got serial killer P.J. Maybe in custody. They grabbed him as fast as they could to avoid seeing him outwit them again, and they offer Dredd the chance to interrogate but he declines, doesn’t want to feed his ego. Maybe is sentenced to death and seems to relish the opportunity, but then Dredd calls off the execution.

    Wagner’s story ends on a solid note. Like it’s been from the start, this is more of a mystery than an action story and once again the focus is on Dredd’s skills as a detective more than as a bruiser. It works. The plot is pretty thick here but it’s laid out well and plenty suspenseful. The twist at the end is maybe a little too easy to spot but it works. MacNeil’s art is strong, great use of shadows here in an installment that takes place almost entirely inside the dreary corridors of the Judges’ HQ. Now that it’s all over and done with, if this isn’t maybe a ‘classic’ Dredd story when it’s all said and done, it’s a certainly a very good one.

    Defoe – The London Hanged by Pat Mills and Leigh Gallagher: Dafoe is brought to see ‘The Temple Of Solomon’ built to replace St. Marks, a building that holds many secrets within its walls. It’s a building made using sacred geometry mean to prepare the spirits of men to converse with the angels – the good kind. Dafoe has had enough, he splits, while in the Blood Bowl Cellar Mungo, Mrs. H. and a few others discuss the current situation. When they’re alerted by Mr. Brodie to a new reek outbreak, they gladly realize it’s time to get back to work.

    So while the last chapter set up what is essentially a class war, with the zombies representing the poor fucked over by the one percent, this issue moves forward with that. What exactly Defoe’s role will be in this remains to be seen, he backs out of the story when we switch to the pub, but it’ll certainly be revealed soon enough. This installment bridges the early setup with what will obviously be the big finish and if it’s heavier on dialogue and exposition than action, it sets the stage nicely and ends with a pretty rock solid cliffhanger. Leigh Gallagher’s art is just as nicely detailed here as in the earlier chapters and the guy really does a top notch job when it comes to illustrating gruesome walking corpses. This is perfect in black and white, color would spoil it.

    Brass Sun – Motor Head by Ian Eddington and Inj Culbard: With the Hull Seal activated and the bridge closed in the same section as ‘the girl’ the Captain and Reverend Mother as suspicious as to the how and why behind it. Septimus is trying to save her but possibly losing his mind but promises he will fix this for her. Then they decide to make their escape.

    To be continued! This serial started off kind of slow and a little needlessly complicated maybe but it’s turned into something very much worthwhile. Cullbard’s art is interesting, there’s a great sense of style to the backgrounds here and to the wardrobe, while Eddington’s high concept storyline is now moving at a quick pace and starting to tie together the different threads in pretty satisfying ways.

    Sinister Dexter: The Taking Of Michael – by Dan Abnett and Patrick Goddard: Aboard the St. Michael, Tanenbaum is chastising Ted for failing at his assignment. Tanenbaum does at least seem to care that Ted’s been shot and that he’s dying, he gets him stabilized, but he’s not happy. He has the crew ready for departure, an then we flash forward to the Feds investigating the crime scene, wondering how two guys took down an entire boat’s worth of armed bad guys. It looks like we’re about to see just how that happened.

    Aside from the overuse of the word ‘funt’ in place of the word ‘fuck’ (we can say that here) this is still a pretty decent crime yarn. It switches back and forth between time frames pretty effortlessly and it does set up Tanenbaum to be enough of a monster that we don’t mind seeing him get what he deserves. Of course, that hasn’t happened yet but at this point it does seem inevitable. Goddard’s artwork remains nicely detailed and pretty realistic too. It complements the story appropriately.

    Bad Company – First Casualties by Peter Milligan, R. Dayglo and J. McCarthy: Flashback! We see some soldiers handling a division of Krool warriors pretty easily, taking them down in style. This is when they were still the 19th Division, before they were Bad Company. But what starts off promisingly enough soon goes wrong. It seems that in the present day, all of the members of Bad Company have this same sort of flashback, at least since they stopped taking their meds. They figure something happened on Arrarat that the powers that be are trying to suppress. Time to go see Doctor Malarkey and figure out what and why and to figure out if there are any other surviving members of the 19th Division left around to talk to.

    With the horrors of war laid bare and the mistreatment of veterans obviously a current issue at least in the United States if not the rest of the world, Milligan’s script is both topical and delightfully subversive. It also makes for good entertainment. The bizarre characters that makeup the cast are interesting and fun to read about and there’s always a good mix of action and intrigue here to keep us interesting. Rufus Dayglo and J. McCarthy continue to provide top tier artwork that channels an exaggerated punk style in just the right doses. This has been a great read so far, let’s see where they take it from here.