I love comic book history. I’ve got a few books at home of the golden and silver age of American comics I reread every so often.
I recently got the chance to check out Thrill-Power Overload, the history of the British comic book series 2000AD in honor of their 40th anniversary.
I usually read only American comics, but over the last two years, I’ve been reading 2000AD and Judge Dredd comics, both the recent ones, and some of the their collected volumes, so this was a timely discovery for me, and a fascinating one.
2000AD was an experiment when it launched in 1977. British comic books were weekly publications, and not glossy, and until the launch of 2000AD, they were very much targeting younger readers with pretty tame, conservative stories with production and artistic values that didn’t even credit the creators.
2000AD‘s editorial and creative team had a vision of a far edgier anthology science fiction comic book, one whose tone I can best describe as punk rock sensibilities seen in sequential story, or an anti-authoritarianism giving the finger to the world. The creators of the time call the tone comedy and violence.
It featured genetically-engineered soldiers, robot fighters (and fighting robots), soldiers, assassins, and most importantly, Judge Dredd, a futuristic police officer of centuries in the future, stopping crime in the combined roles of police, judge and executioner.