The beloved British anthology comic 2000 AD has been published weekly since February 1977. Prog 2019 (22 February 2017) of “the galaxy’s greatest comic” features Judge Dredd, Sinister Dexter, Kingmaker, The Order, and Kingdom, with cover artwork by Greg Staples.
With the fugitive Sector Zero operative captured, and Texas City Judge Brass named as a fellow conspirator, Judge Dredd and Texas City Judge Duke handle boots to the face and high velocity bullets to the body in the way that only grizzled judicial veterans can. Meanwhile, the operative spills some intrigue on Texas City Chief Judge Lewis and a stoic Brass affirms: “All I ever wanted to be was a good Judge.” ‘Deep in the Heart’ concludes with Part 08 written by Michael Carroll, illustrated by the art of Henry Flint and the letters of Annie Parkhouse.
Fed up with “living out of suitcases in rental funt-holes” since their return to Downlode, gun-sharks Finnigan Sinister and Ramone Dexter splash some cash to shack-up in apartment nine of the luxurious Titwiler Building in the city’s exclusive Blevmoi district. “Pre-wired with the latest technology” and “equipped to the highest specifications” the Titwiler Building features Kalinka, an A.I. domicile unit that acts not only as “the building’s dedicated janitor, cleaner and function coordinator” but also as its security system, standing “ready to both raise the alarm if a threat is perceived to building security … and protect the residents using a suite of countermeasures.” With two of Downlode’s most notorious hitmen in residence, what perceived threats to the building’s safety could there possibly be? Written by Dan Abnett, Sinister Dexter’s ‘Electric Landlady’ Part One is made manifest by the artwork of Steve Yeowell, colouring of John Charles, and lettering of Simon Bowland.
When the answer to the question “Fight or flight?” is a hoarsely screamed “Both!” then it could only be Part Nine of Ian Edginton’s enthralling fantasy strip Kingmaker: because a hoary wizard with a penchant for necromancy and a renegade princess jail-breaking an ork with the assistance of an army of wraiths and then making good their escape on dragon-back is never anything other than excellent – especially when so spectacularly illustrated by Leigh Gallagher. Ellie De Ville’s fine letters are worth more than a mention, too.
The Wyrm-breaching antics continue in Part 9 of Kek-W’s ‘Wyrm War’ series of The Order. Battling these brutish (and outrageously eldritch!) abominations as they attack New Atlantis, Queen Iztaccihuatl, Intuitor Browne, Cyrano de Bergerac, Daniel Calhoun, robotic knight Ritterstahl, and a veritable rampaging mob of professional and amateur Wyrm burners – including, of course, Queen Izta’s crack troops, the Wyrm-slicing Amazons of Atlantis. Comprehensively queer, ‘Wyrm War’ features art by John Burns and letters by Annie Parkhouse.
With genetically modified dog-soldier Gene the Hackman and his companions – the hybrid feline ‘aux’ reject and terrorist Pause, and the human Leezee Sower – set upon by Reject Clan members, Part Nine of Dan Abnett’s brilliant Kingdom is so much blood spray, kill shots and skull cleaving; for a big bunch of gory “Yhhkkk!” “Uhhhhgg!” “Graaahhhhh!” “Ukk!” and “Nhhkkk!” it’s marvellously compelling. Convinced that he must end “the reign of the Masters,” Gene faces the tough prospect of bringing this about whilst maintaining his loyalty to Leezee (herself one of the Masters) and not handing the far future Earth over to the insectile dominion of the Neosectus ‘Them’. Can Gene successfully reconcile the many actors? It’s one woof for ‘yes’, two woofs for ‘no’. Art by Richard Elson and letters by Ellie De Ville.
Title: 2000 AD Prog 2019
Publisher: Rebellion Publishing
Reviewer: Paul Hardacre