Journal of Luke Kirby: Sympathy for the Devil 850-851 & 873-888 - Luke travels to the Underworld to free the soul of his deceased father. Nothing groundbreaking but this series retains a wonderful whimsical feel to it.
Rogue Trooper (Friday): Scavenger of Souls 850-851 & 873-880 - There’s a new bad guy on the scene and he’s on a mission to scoop up biochips for his own personal pleasure. After Top, Lucky & Eightball bite the dust, Rogue beats him to it and they get the standarised treatment of having their biochips implanted into G.I. equipment. It’s neither great nor rubbish and benefits from nice Chris Weston art.
Strontium Dogs: How The Gronk Got His Heartses 850-851 - The Final Solution has come and gone, Alpha is no more, Alan Grant has been replaced by Garth Ennis and after his serious Feral tale, it’s back to a bit of light heartedness.
The Mean Arena: Mean Arena 852-863 - Antony Williams gets saddled yet again with another duff strip. The usually dependable Alan McKenzie seems to have got caught up in the new wave Millar/Morrison hyper violence and the story suffers for it. It’s definitely accessible as it is stripped back to a series of future sports fight scenes but unfortunately that’s about it. Poor.
Slaine: Demon Killer 852-859 - More time travelling and this time Slaine is mixing it up with the Romans. Fabry is on art so it looks great but I always wonder with these tales if they are alternate timelines as Elric always pops up and sides with the enemy as if that’s normal behaviour. I guess the key is not to question it too much but just go with it.
Strontium Dogs: The Darkest Star 855-866 - Nigel Dobyn draws a great Gronk but his Feral isn’t quite as imposing as Steve Pugh’s. That said, by now Ennis had proved he was a good choice as Stront Dogs writer and here Feral makes another transformation and there are few jokes to found as the tone gets suitably darker.
Tyranny Rex: Deus Ex Machina Book 1 852-859 & Book 2 873-880 - First of all the downside, the rotating artists. Mark Buckingham sets the standard with the first batch of episodes and although the following art is okay it doesn’t quite hold up. Storywise, Tyranny has found herself taking refuge with alien nuns who are now under assault by bad guys who are after something or other. In part 2, Tyranny heads of to God City to find something called the God Skin. In all honesty I can’t really remember what happened but I seem to remember quite liking it. As with the majority of John Smith stories it needs multiple rereads to either fully appreciate it’s greatness or come to the conclusion that it’s nonsense.
Timehouse 860-866 - The normally dependable Peter Hogan writes this lame series about a group of time travellers who potter round in history…doing stuff…uh…not sure why…don’t bother reading it, it’s rubbish.
Canon Fodder 861-867 – I went in thinking this would be turd but in fact I quite enjoyed it. It’s probably the best thing Millar ever wrote for 2000 ad. Dressed in fetish gear, Fodder is part of the church secret police and dispenses justice in violent fashion. The jist of the story is that Holmes and Moriarty (yes the Holmes and Moriarty) are on a quest to find out who killed God. Canon is almost a secondary character in his own story but that’s okay as it rips along at a frantic pace and Chris Weston draws the hell out of it. Good stuff.
Mother Earth: Mother Earth 867-872 - This was the time period where the prog featured quite a few eco friendly/environmental awareness strips. This one is something about time travelling and saving the planet I think. I honestly have forgotten.
Revere: Book III 867-872 - The conclusion to the trilogy and it’s definitely an acquired taste. Perhaps not mine. Tick the box for another John Smith reread required.
Soul Gun Warrior: Soul Gun Warrior 867-872 - Off the wall craziness doesn’t always work but here Shaky Kane hits all the right notes. The ghost of Yuri Gagarin is messing around smashing up American spacecraft, so Dr Oppenheimer creates the Soul Gun which sends some dude to battle Gagarin on the astral plane. Worth a read.
Dinosty 873-882 - Remember that kids TV show called Dinosaurs? Well this is pretty much what would happen if Pat Mills wrote it. Clint Langley is the perfect artist and although it’s pretty throw-away, it’s no stinker.
The Grudge Father 878-883 - For every good Millar series there are unfortunately 3 or 4 duffs ones. This is the latter. Cloning, genetic engineering, the anti-christ and religious madmen take centre stage. Avoid.
Babe Race 2000 883-888 - Wow, fanboy misogyny at it’s worst. Scantily clad ladies racing motorbikes across the country whilst blasting hapless fools with machine guns. A true low point for Millar.
Bradley: The Sprog Prince 885-888 - Fun mini romp with stylised art from Harrison featuring everyone’s favourite troublesome brat.
The Clown: Book 2 881-888 - So, the first series followed a revenge seeking clown whose pony has been killed. This series follows the detective hunting him down. They are both as rubbish as each other.
Rogue Trooper (Friday): Mercy Killing 889-891 - Wow, I love Henry Flint’s version of Rogue. This could be my favourite of all his art. With Steve White on as full time writer we also get military heavy stories that remind me of when Larry Hama was at his peak on G.I. Joe.
Armoured Gideon: The Collector 889-899 - Star studded cameos from Bill Savage, Wolfie Smith, Angel, Shako, Ant Wars, Ace Garp, Meltdown Man, Agent Rat, Rick Random, Harry Twenty, Harlem Heroes and M.A.C.H.0. Wow. reluctant centre piece, Frank, gets caught up in time twisting reality altering shenanigans all whilst Gideon is doing the usual annihilate stuff.
Mambo: The New Flesh 889-896 - Rachel is a future cop and whilst investigating a murder she encounters shadowy conspiracies and covert operations. It might sound clichéd and to an extent it is but as well as writing, David Hines also draws the strip and he produces some great grotesque visuals alongside sci-fi tech.
Slaine: Queen of Witches 889-896 - I know most people would say McMahon, Fabry, Bisley or Langley when talking about their favourite Slaine artist but for me it could be Dermot Power. This is essentially Demon Killer part 2 and sees Boudica and her troops slaughtering Romans with glee on their faces and then inadvertently magicing Elfric back to life. Oops!
Durham Red: Mirrors 901-903 – Insight into her possible split personality? Is she a vampire who can contact her dead victims or was it all a dream? Peter Hogan dishes out a nice little teaser story that is moody and intriguing and has suitably creepy art.
Rogue Trooper (Friday): G.I. Blues 901-903 – A Millar scripted tale and we get rape camps, despicable baddies and yet again Rogue gets lumbered with a female sidekick. Yawn.
Nemesis the Warlock: Hammer of the Warlocks 901-903 – This is recap story that serves as an excellent into for new readers. Just a shame then that the next instalment doesn’t come for ages.