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Early Peek at 2000AD Prog #2050: A Jumping-On Issue

Saturday, September 16th, 2017 | Posted by Derek Kunsken

2000AD is a weekly anthology book, typically with 4 stories running at a time, with some at the middle while others are ending, which makes it hard to find a meaty run to review. Several times a year, 2000AD publishes issues (pronounced progs if you’re speaking with a British accent) for new people to jump on — where every story is beginning.

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Prog #2050 is such an issue and will be hitting newsstand (and the internet as a digital issue) on September 25th, so I thought I’d get into it. This was a large-sized issue (48 pages) and contained 7 new stories that you don’t have to know much at all about the world of 2000AD to start reading.

Judge Dredd is obviously Judge Dredd, the flagship character of 2000AD, and the first story starts off with the government deciding it would be a good idea to erect a statue of Dredd in a zone of the Mega-City. Him being a zero-tolerance fascist (cop and jury-free judge), this pitted people who hated his guts against people who felt he’d made things better, with some mischief-makers tossed in for measure. This first story in a new arc is by Eglington and MacNiel.

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The Rogue Trooper story by James Robinson (of Starman and JSA fame, as well as many other Marvel and DC properties) and Leonardo Manco: This was actually my first Rogue Trooper story ever. I’d really enjoyed the war crimes investigator stories (Jaegir) set on Nu-Earth and reviewed it here.

We now watch the relentless Rogue Trooper chopping through Nord armies from the point of view of their helpless commander, who may have information about the traitor general Rogue Trooper has been hunting all these years. I enjoy Robinson’s writing and Manco’s art fit perfectly.

Grey Area, by Dan Abnett (of many 2000AD scifi stories fame, as well as the modern, cinematic conception of the Guardians of the Galaxy) and Mark Harrison: Grey Area is a set of story arcs that’s been appearing in 2000AD for a while that I haven’t managed to turn my attention to (I might have been too busy reading Abnett’s Brink series).

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This story follows a crew of armed people who manage and control aliens living on Earth. There’s something weird going on though. A whole lot of crews, plus armies, are being gathered in the Middle East. This can’t be good. Much fun. And loved the art. I will continue reading.

Call me a barbarian, but I kind of skimmed over Slaine. The Simon Davis art is lush and evocative, and I don’t doubt that Pat Mills did an amazing job (I like everything of his I’ve read), but I’m just not drawn (no pun intended) to Celtic war stories. Throw battle axes at Black Gate‘s editor extraordinaire John O’Neill if you’re mad — he hired me!

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Indigo Prime by John Smith and Lee Carter: This is another series that has appeared in 2000AD before (started in Prog #1986). It’s about an organization living outside of time, policing the multiverse. Cool, right? And Carter’s art is amazing, very detailed and emotional and tonally different from anything else in the prog. This portion of the story was the set-up, but things are obviously bad: the agency’s been damaged and it looks like it’s haunted too.

I love me some Sinister Dexter by Dan Abnett and Steve Yeowell. Sinister and Dexter are assassins à la the Pulp Fiction movie, and they’ve been gone a while and are finding their city significantly different than they remember when they try to unload a body that they’ve newly rendered dead. They’re always stylish and fun and violent.

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The last story is set in one of my favorite 2000AD worlds: Deadworld, by Kek-W and art by Dave Kendall. Deadworld carries on after an apocalypse caused by Judges Death, Fear, Fire and Mortis. It’s moody, spooky, dark, depressing, and perfectly drawn/painted by Dave Kendall. The art alone is worth the price of admission. This story opens on the anti-hero (Judge Fairfax) in captivity and Sister Psiren, a captor, trying to hide that she’s not slowly going out of her mind because she just recovered memories of who she used to be. And omg, the art!

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This issue (or prog if you prefer) was a great jumping on point for 2000AD, and I had fun with it. It will be in stores and on the internet digitally on September 25th, 2017. It’s a 48-page beauty, and you may like it. I did. If you know nothing about 2000AD and you’d like to know more, I also took a look at the 40-year history of 2000AD in this post.


Derek Künsken writes science fiction and fantasy in Gatineau, Québec, and tweets from @derekkunsken. He’s heading down to New York Comic Con in three short weeks!

7 Comments »

  1. Sounds great Derek. Some real old classics in there. That Sinister Dexter sounds pretty interesting. Elaine is what got me into 2000AD way back when but I perceive – and I may be off mark as I really have lost touch – that it just became a franchise that had been over worked. I kind of lost interest after the first few story arcs after the horned god, when he had died and been redirected to fight battles in different times. Anyhow maybe I should give it a bash, it’s been many years since I had my weekly dose of thrill power.

    Comment by Tony Den - September 17, 2017 12:57 am

  2. Aargh, auto correct. Slaine not Elaine:)

    Comment by Tony Den - September 17, 2017 1:01 am

  3. There was a time I cursed Diamond distributors for dropping 2000 AD leaving me with a huge gap in my collection (Prog 861-966) before they brought it back with the occasional missed issue. I find them easier to read in a group especially Judge Dredd. Diamond puts a month’s work in a set. I have 1712 out of 2041 progs but the Judge Dredd Case Files have helped in the Dredd gaps. The Megazine is my heart break having almost no early issues. One fantasy would be to have the Ballad of Halo Jones finished by Moore but the loss of artist Ian Gibson makes that a dream denied. Rogue Trooper is always welcome but would rather see more Stronium Dog who I think co
    uld hold a movie down if given the right script.

    Comment by Allard - September 17, 2017 5:25 pm

  4. Hey Tony! I’ve heard amazing things about the reception of Slaine and I should really go back to the beginning. PS: Elaine is the best autocorrect error of the day!

    Hey Allard! Yeah they’re putting out a lot of Case Files and I’m trying to get through some of them. Do you do digital or are you a hard-core paper collector? I find that digital comes out beautifully on the computer and doesn’t take up any space in the house, so double win.

    Also Allard – I’d be curious as to your other comics tastes? Because you like 2000AD, does that translate into Vertigo and Image comics rounding out your reads, rather than big 2? I ask just because 2000AD is so tonally different from Big 2 publishers.

    Derek

    Comment by Derek Kunsken - September 17, 2017 7:01 pm

  5. Derek, you are right. Reading Tharg’s comments in some of the old Best of 2000AD Monthly’s, Slaine was so well received that he almost nudged Dredd off the cover, way back when covers always featured Dredd.

    Allard – if you can lay hands on 2000AD Monthly back issues they were a pretty good way to access early progs as they collected single story arcs. It’s how I got started.

    Comment by Tony Den - September 17, 2017 11:54 pm

  6. To Derek and Tony: Bene trying to answer this briefly and failing miserably so here goes again:

    Derek: Hard core paper collector. Bit of an amateur on the computer. I have some discs with comics on them but they are outdated for the computer it seems. My tastes are all over the place. From Felix the Cat and Mighty Mouse to Batman to Avengers to Suicide Squad and Judge Dredd with King of the Royal Mounted and Grimjack in between and many more. Honorary mention for Blackhawk, Jonah Hex Unknown Soldier, and Phantom Stranger. Only missing ONE DC Archives-Wonder Woman 6 but have only a handful of Marvel Masterworks. I think I tend to like and collect the B characters–Moon Knight, Micronauts, Turok Son of Stone, Sea Devils, Metal Men. Hated the Vertigo Jonah Hex for instance. Sandman Mystery Theatre was a bit too violent. I find Grimjack is as mature as I care to get. I think I sort of like the bad boys leading a rather ordinary life.

    I was fortunate enough to get hooked on 2000 Ad back in 1978-79 and near Wiinepeg Canada where Doug Silupa’s Comic World was 150 miles away and got a run from him. My earliest Prog is #42. My longest unbroken run is Progs 329-681. I l admit I don’t read ALL the features concentrating mostly on Judge Dredd but I like having a unique collection rather then following the herd of X-Men and Spider-Man fans (though I do follow Spider-Man collecting him since the Superior Spider-Man series. I had bailed around the 300s in cutting back. 2000 Ad appeals to my sense of an edge though I admit the constant explosions and deaths can be a little much after a bit.

    Tony: I have quite a few of the early Bets of 2000 AD Monthly when they first came out until the Diamond cut off with issue 71 missing only two out of the first 41 issues, most of th Annuals and all but one of the original Titan Annuals and scattered editions thereafter. Been fun and amazed the series is still relatively fresh to the jaded bones. As much as I love Batman even I get tired of seeing the Joker every now and again.

    Comment by Allard - September 18, 2017 2:42 am

  7. I like those British comics, first exposed to them in the “Quality Comics” imprint in the USA.

    Slaine was my favorite – I liked the primitive take on Conan with Celtic myth mixed in. They took the series through the roof in awesome with “Slaine: The Horned God”

    Lots of cool storytelling in 2000AD.

    One of my favs no one knows about and a lot hate is “Telguuth” – sort of a bizzaro fantasy world – the best way I could imagine it to people here is a “Non-Entropic Zothique” Lots of different tales, mostly doom tales for greedy people, different artists from good to okay. I loved the stories.

    Comment by GreenGestalt - September 19, 2017 2:08 pm


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