Thursday, January 9, 2014

2000AD Prog 1862

Prog 1862 review
A new year, a new prog, and some new stories.

Cover by Henry Flint.
Cover of 2014 so far! I love seeing Dredd in an action figure outfit like Carl Critchlow’s deep sea diver Dredd on the cover to 1843. Nice to see Flint using elements of the movie uniform in the space suit. A very cool image indeed. Just one question though: where is Dredd’s right arm?

Judge Dredd: Titan part one by Rob Williams, Henry Flint & Annie Parkhouse.
Brilliant opener. Loved all of it. Flint’s city-scapes and moonbase scenes are perfect, Dredd’s conversations with the cadet and the space marine are hilarious, and the story is perfectly set up with this cinematic intro. Not sure how many episodes this is set for, I hope it’s more than three.

Future Shocks: Dying Wishes by Eddie Robson, Jake Lynch & Ellie De Ville
This made much more sense to me on the second read through. It’s a pretty good sci-fi twist and Lynch’s artwork is lovely to behold. Haven’t read a really memorable Future Shock for quite some time and I don’t think this one will linger long but it’s a pretty good effort. ComicBookDB says this is only Jake Lynch’s second appearance in the prog, though he has done a cover for the Dogbreath fanzine. On the basis of this I’m ready to see more of him in 2000AD.

ABC Warriors: Return to Mars part 2 by Pat Mills, Clint Langley & Annie Parkhouse
Tubal Caine (or Happy Shrapnel as he used to be) gets in a bar fight and that’s about it. Admittedly it’s a very pretty looking fight and Langley seems to have toned down some of his more extreme art tricks to tells the story well, but I’ve never really got into the ABC warriors and this still doesn’t grab me. Nice shiny robots though.

Ulysses Sweet: Centred part two by Guy Adams, Paul Marshall, Chris Blythe & Ellie De Ville
An uncontrollable maniac for hire with a chip in his brain and a costume inspired by Zardoz or Borat, in a story with all the usual 2000AD dark satire, including a Britney Spears analogue and the bloody death of Flipper. It’s all a bit dull though isn’t it? I know we are supposed to be impressed because it came from Grant Morrison’s crazy cranium, but actually I would have preferred to leave this character sleeping in the archives.
Strontium Dog: Dogs of War part two by John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra & Simon Bowland
All out war between Mutants and the Norms with plenty of references to modern technology and politics to make us feel a bit uncomfortable. I know some people are bothered by the morality of this new hard-nosed Johnny Alpha, but to me it works perfectly. He has been through so much now, and seen so many atrocities committed against his people that he has become an implacable war general. I’m fully on board to see how this conflict plays out. John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra are the masters of the format. Did I mention how I bought them both a pint at Kendal?

Pick of the prog is Dredd for that perfect pre credits sequence.

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