• 2000 A.D. Prog 1971



    2000 A.D. Prog 1971
    Released by: 2000 A.D./Rebellion
    Released on: March 9th, 2016.
    Written by: Various
    Illustrated by: Various
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    Check it out – a new week, a new issue. 2000 A.D. Prog 1971, here it is wrapped up with some The Order cover art from Tiernan Travallion.

    Judge Dredd – Undercover Klegg by Rob Williams and D’Israeli: Dredd’s found a Klegg to impersonate the dead ambassador needed to sign the peace treaty, but time is running out. The fact that his replacement is stuck from his parachute in a tree doesn’t help matters and when the locals try to shoot him down from there, Dredd has no choice but to take action. They can’t stay where they are and wait for the Judges to show up, because there are more locals out there with guns, leaving an injured Dredd no choice but to ride this Klegg to safety. And then he meets a Zen Master.

    Again, with Williams playing this series more for laughs than anything else those expecting a darker, more serious Dredd story will no doubt be disappointed but this one is starting to grow on me. The Klegg characters are annoying but they’re supposed to be and Dredd’s reactions to them are consistently funny. D’Israeli has a bizarre art style, cartoonish and sometimes very exaggerated, but it works in the context of this story. Not essential Dredd, but fun.

    Kingdom – Beast Of Eden by Dan Abnett and Richard Elson: Gene and Numan and the rest are surrounded and likely going to die but Numan wants one shot at talking to the creatures in the hive to see if he can save their lives. The others think he’s nuts but what have they got to lose? He tries to communicate with the queen and it works – he learns that they’re actually defending themselves against ticks invading and feeding on them. Then Gene dog figures since he’s got the thing distracted, maybe he should try and kill it.

    Abnett’s story takes some solid twists here, giving the run new life and making things more interesting than they were a couple of chapters ago – it’s a good move, it brings us back into things and on top of that it offers some solid suspense and action as well. Elson continues to deliver nicely detailed art and dynamic panel compositions. Nice use of color here too.

    ABC Warriors – Return To Ro-Busters by Pat Mills and Clint Langley: Here we learn how Sir James Grey led one of the biggest police chases ever in his attempts to snag Ro-Jaws and we also learn how Blackblood was sending out scam emails to everyone and, eventually went back to working for Quartz again. As to Quartz, he was sprung from prison and reinstated as human only to learn that there is internet outrage over all the dead bodies that lay in the wake of his attempts to stop our robot heroes. But what of Ro-Jaws and Hammerstein?

    More media savvy writing from Mills with some legitimately clever political satire working its way into the script keeps this series fun and interesting. Digs at the ownership of mainstream media and corporate control of, well, literally everything are thinly veiled but wholly accurate. Langley’s art is much more colorful here than in earlier chapters but just as detailed and just as awesome. This storyline continues to be the highpoint of each new issue.

    The Order – In The Court Of The Wyrmqueen by Kek-W and John Burns: This chapter introduces us to Grozny Zhuk and his famous moustache. He killed Izta’s father, raised her as his own, and brought her into his plan to kill the wyrms. We see this through flashback, then cut to the present where she and the rest are continuing Zhuk’s work. But it won’t be easy, the wyrm’s are spawning…

    A pretty action packed chapter, this one is violent and gory with some great monster slaying action and maybe, just maybe, a wee bit of romance. It’s not out of place, in fact if you’ve been paying attention you’ll have seen it coming but don’t let that dissuade you, this is fun stuff and again, Burns’ art is simply gorgeous.

    Strontium Dog – Repo Men by John Wagner and Carlos Esquerra: With the block no under control of the Stronts, Johnny and the guys effectively shut everything down – and they make it known, broadcasting the news as fast as they’re able. The Galatians beam Johnny aboard their ship to finalize things – he hands over the brain, and with some misgivings, they honor their end of the deal. This ends the storyline, but of course, there’s a twist or two.

    This was fun read. Not the best SD story ever told but a good one with the right mix of humor and action. Wagner and Esquerra have worked this character long enough that its’ pretty much a sure thing that if you’re a fan you’re going to like what they do – and that’s the case here too, and to their credit they end things quite nicely in this chapter.