COMIC REVIEW: 2000 AD Prog 2018

The beloved British anthology comic 2000 AD has been published weekly since February 1977. Prog 2018 (15 February 2017) of “the galaxy’s greatest comic” features Judge Dredd, Sinister Dexter, Kingmaker, The Order, and Kingdom, with cover artwork by Ryan Brown.

The hunt for a fugitive operative of the Sector Zero conspiracy becomes a blur of muzzle flash, high velocity rounds and a spray of blood and brains as Texas City Judges underestimate their quarry. With the aid of Texas City Judges Duke and Brass, Judge Dredd overcomes an autogun, a smokescreen and a fly-away perp to snare the rogue operative, who then proceeds to name his fellow conspirator. Part 07 of ‘Deep in the Heart’ is written by Michael Carroll and features artwork by Henry Flint and lettering via Annie Parkhouse.

Writer Dan Abnett delivers the next gently hilarious installment of the gun-toting antics of Downlode city’s notorious hitmen, Finnigan Sinister and Ramone Dexter, in ‘One-Hit Wonder’. You want our gun-shark duo ‘penny arcading’ a “lodda bodyguards”? Check. You want “two motivated sharks” versus “an infinite number of bullet monkeys”? Check. You want close-focus antimatter compression limpets, personal security forcefields and simulacrum replicant body doubles? Check, check, check! “Funt! Oh funt!” indeed. Sinister Dexter features the illustrative genius of Steve Yeowell, plus colouring by Abigail Bulmer and lettering in the hand of Simon Bowland.

The clash between the Thorn – an alien race which has “enfolded hundreds of worlds and races into its order” – and the inhabitants of the Nine Kingdoms continues in Part Eight of Ian Edginton’s bonkers-in-all-the-right-ways Kingmaker. With the enemy already occupying the Heartwood, the Thorn’s capture of the wizard Ablard – “a magic wielder of no small skill” – pushes the daughter of the overly-compromising King Tycho to breaking point. Unbridled necromancy ensues, all rather spectacularly rendered by Leigh Gallagher with accompanying letters courtesy of Ellie De Ville.

The Order is writer Kek-W’s bizarre genre mash-up of robots, medieval knights, Renaissance history, secret papers, blockbuster action, and eldritch creatures – including Wyrms from another dimension, of course! And Part 8 of ‘Wyrm War’ certainly doesn’t disappoint, featuring a motorcycle-riding Queen Iztaccihuatl, the robotic knights of Ritterstahl, plus a big bunch of Wyrm infiltration. Illustrated by the masterful John Burns and featuring more fine lettering by Annie Parkhouse.

Dan Abnett doubles up with Part Eight of Kingdom, ‘As It Is In Heaven’: it’s the ongoing tale of the gargantuan genetically modified dog-soldier Gene the Hackman and his human companion Leezee Sower set in a far future Earth in which insectile creatures known as ‘Them’ have taken over the world. In this episode Gene and Leezee encounter the hybrid ‘aux’ reject and terrorist Pause who is working “to stop the Masters. To press pause and end their playback.” Before canine Gene can figure out whether he wants to team up with the feline Pause to “finish the Masters,” trouble finds them and the killing begins. Art by the versatile Richard Elson and letters by Ellie De Ville.

Title: 2000 AD Prog 2018

Publisher: Rebellion Publishing

Rating: 3.5/5

Reviewer: Paul Hardacre

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