A,B.C. Warriors: Khronicles of Khaos Part 1 750-757 – I’m not sure who did what in the writing combo of Mills and Skinner but I have to say it works well. The ideas are plentiful but it more of a reigned in approach that makes it more accessible and less confusing that some Mills wares. It’s all mainly set-up as the Warriors get the band back together for a new mission. Kev Walker excels on art duties.
Robo-Hunter: Escape from Bisleyland 750-759 – if the first Millar Robo-Hunter was bad this is even worse.
Strontium Dogs: Monsters 750-761 – With Johnny Alpha out of the picture, Feral gets to star in the first of the Garth Ennis penned SD tales. It’s a story that mirrors Alpha’s origin as a human family give birth to a mutant girl who ends up teaming with Feral to extract revenge on her hate filled father. It’s pretty good and Steve Pugh provides some really nice painted art.
Universal Soldier: Indestructible Man 750-759 - I honestly can’t remember what happened in this other than it being quite boring.
Trash 760-770 – I seem to recall this being on a few ‘worst of 2000 ad’ lists but it’s actually not that bad. It’s the near future and plant life is massively protected. Deep underground in a hidden lab, a giant plant is given sentience, breaks free from human control and decides to wreck havoc Day of the Triffids style.
Bix Barton: Bloated Case of the Fatted Keef 761-766 – More crazy out there comedy tinged detective work from Mr Barton. Good stuff as always although I think the strip is better in B&W.
Brigand Doom: Voodoo Child 764-773 – Hhhmm, this fails to build on the promising opening story a while back and instead is a bit of a cluttered mess. Is Doom a bad guy? is he actually undead? What is his mission? Why is the villain such a chump? Unfortunately none of these questions get answered.
Durham Red: Island of the Damned 762-773 – Ezquerra is quality here and really imparts Red with a sexy flare and yet still establishes her as a bad ass. The story is nothing original but it rolls along at a good pace.
Finn: Finn Book 1 770-779 – I only made it half way through this. It’s kind of a twist on what would happen if Slaine was set in modern day and it’s truly awful.
Skizz: Alien Cultures 767-775 – What a great strip. I’d even go so far as to say it’s as good as the original. There are two main differences here. The first is that Baike continues drawing the strip but also replaces Alan Moore as writer and the second is that it’s in colour and the pastel tones are excellent. The alien Skizz is on a mission to return to earth and we gets loads of characterisation, emotional developments from the human cast and plenty of action. This is surely an underrated gem.
The Clown: The Clown Book 1 774-779 – Another for the stinker pile.
A.B.C. Warriors: Khronicles of Khaos Part 2 780-790 - Now that the team is assembled, Deadlock, who is firmly established as the leader of the group, explains that they must obtain the heads of seven agents of order. There’s some dodgy comedy and socio-political aspects but overall it’s good with Deadlock showing the many sides of his personality and Blackblood forever scheming against his fellow warriors.
Rogue Trooper (Friday) Apocalypse Dreadnought 780-791 - Like the previous Fleischer/Smith tale, this starts off well but descends into Rogue fighting, them teaming up with, then fighting a weird alien talking stingray thing. Smith who is perhaps my favourite Dredd artist is an ill fit for this story with it’s heavy war tones.
Button Man Book I: The Killing Game 780-791 – This story of an ex-military man getting dragged into the world of a professional killing game is pretty bleak stuff. Lead man Harry is a bit of a cold fish which makes him hard to route for sometimes yet he still displays morals and a sense of fair play. Wagner gets us straight into the action and it doesn’t let up. On the art front, Arthur Ranson delivers a master class in mood and tone. He uses varied textured art and interestingly never really shows Harry face clearly and he doesn’t use many close ups. Overall, great stuff.
Tales from Beyond Science 774-779 – These are kind of sciency future shocks that delve into mysteries of spontaneous human combustion, the Bermuda Triangle, the lost 13th month, and the real reason men have nipples. Mark Millar Alan McKenzie and John Smith write while Rian Hughes draws.
Kola Kommandos 780-794 - Wow, how did editorial ever consider this was a good idea? Steve Parkhouse is clearly a better artist than he is a writer and surely Anthony Williams must have the dubious title of having drawn more badly written stories than any 2000 ad artist.
Bradley: Bedtime Stories 795-799 - Fun takes on fairytales with the narcissistic Bradley twist.
Robo-Hunter: Return to Verdus 793-802 - Another horrible Millar story. This time he parodies Wolverine, The Watcher, Terminator, Fat Slags and The Metal Men. Not good.