• 2000 A.D. Prog 1960



    2000 A.D. Prog 1960
    Released by: Rebellion/2000 A.D.
    Released on: December 7th, 2015.
    Written by: Various
    Illustrated by: Various
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    2000 A.D. continues, this time with an unusually psychedelic Bad Company cover courtesy of Brendan McCarthy!

    Judge Dredd – The Beating by John Wagner and Patrick Goddard: Images of Dredd beating an unarmed perp to death are going viral in Mega City One. Lars Larsen might have died, but his promise to expose Dredd’s doings was made good on. As Dredd walks through the crowded streets he can hear them calling him out, calling him a murderer and a criminal – but he doesn’t let that stop him from doing his job. He kicks down the door of Edison Brubaker and arrests him for blackmail. He knows Brubaker was in cahoots with Larsen, but Brubaker claims he doesn’t know who let the pictures out to the media after Larsen died. And then Dredd gets a message… the Chief Judge wants a word with him…

    The last chapter of The Beating ends with a pretty neat twist that you won’t see coming and that we don’t want to spoil here, but let it suffice to say that Wagner does a pretty fine job of pulling the rug out from under the readers. Goddard’s artwork is just as strong and nicely detailed here as in the first two chapters and it complements the writing nicely. It’s nice to see Dredd portrayed as a force to be reckoned with and 2000 A.D. would do well to keep this guy around for more Dredd work in the future!

    Bad Company – First Casualties by Peter Milligan, R. Dayglo and J. McCarthy: After the Krool made the mind-link with the Bad Company boys, we find them dealing with what really happened on Ararat, how Faulks flipped out and didn’t want to see them land in one piece and how their doctor messed with their meds. And of course, they arrive back home just in time to disrupt the mayor’s ceremonial unveiling of a new statue honoring those who fought carved from the rock of Ararat itself! TAKKA TAKKA TAKKA! BRAKKA BRAKKA BRAKKA! Machine gun fire aplenty. This is going to get ugly judging by the crowds’ reaction – unless Danny tells them the truth?

    The more things change, the more they stay the same and when the chapter ends with ‘Next: One Last Bloody Shit Storm!’ then you know things are going south and fast. The conspiracy theory elements brewing in the earlier chapters are laid bare here as we, along with the guys, learn why they were really sent into Ararat. It isn’t pretty, not at all, but sadly it’s an all too realistic take on why wars happen when and where they do. Milligan’s script isn’t subtle (who wants subtlety with a Bad Company story in the first place?), but it is poignant. Dayglo and McCarthy continue to illustrate the serial exactly how it should be illustrated, with a nice splattery and fairly loose style that looks fantastic in black and white.

    Terror Tales: Why Did The Priest Cross The Road? by David Baillie and Paul Marshall: This self contained story follows Father Rob Glenn as he writes his last testament. We learn how he joined the priesthood to become an exorcist and how he was recently summoned by a cop to the location of a recent murder where a cabinet minister was found dead with the words ‘THE DEAD ARE ANGRY’ scrawled on the wall in the man’s brains and blood. The man was murdered by a ghost and when Glenn calls an associate of his for help and learns that this associate is dead by his own hand, he and the cop try to figure out the connections here. Hell is getting full.

    Braillie tells a dark and eerie tale this time around, no happy ending or cheerful way out. He takes an interesting idea and runs with it, bringing the supernatural into the real world and back again. Marshall’s artwork is fantastic here in black and white. There’s fantastic detail evident in the pencils and it has a nice sort of vintage Creepy/Eerie vibe to it that works perfectly alongside this twisted little tale.

    Defoe – The London Hanged by Pat Mills and Leigh Gallagher: Last but not least, we once again catch up with Titus, this time in front of John Elevyn’s manor, Gallowgrass at his side. Defoe needs to end this. He knows that who is behind the resurrection of the London Hanged and not only that, he’s figured out how and why they did it. “Hypocrisy is typical of the ruling classes and hardly proof of your guilt.” But what of the reeks? The zombies? Money truly is the root of all evil.

    With this eleventh chapter, book six of Mills’ series comes to a close, and it’s a very fine close at that. By mixing elements of horror stories and superhero epics here the story is able to take the 1% with a metaphorical class war that seems entirely too appropriate in the current political climate where the haves not only rule over the have-nots, but exploit them for their own means and gain. It’s clever, the way it’s worked into the story, and it hits the right mix of political commentary and good old fashioned entertainment. Gallagher’s art is as nicely detailed and atmospheric in this last chapter as it was in the first and together they’ve delivered a really strong entry in the Dafoe universe.