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2000AD: The Galaxy's Greatest Comic Thread


#1661

Yeah, I read it.

I thought it was a solid effort, continuing from where Ewing left off, but a bit less irreverent & anarchic in tone.


#1662

Thanks, might give it a look - there’s two trades I get at a decent price each.


#1663

I agree. Mills and Wagner are still the best. Milligan so-so, while Michael Caroll is perhaps the best of these “newbies”.

@ChrisS I dunno, there are some good work by female creators, except my experiences were mostly not so good. Ann Nocenti’s run on DD is mediocre at best, her Catwoman even worse; Rachel - something, who worked on Doom Patrol after Grant Morrison, is terrible; I found Devin Grayson issues on No Man’s Land boring; Meredith Finch on WW not worth mentioning and said Alexx DeCampi. On the contrary, Louise Simonson could write Superman any day and Gail Simone’s run on WW was solid, her A Death of the Family not so much (which perhaps is not her fault).


#1664

Woah, hold the bus - there’s LOADS of female creators I like - i just really don’t like De Campi or Beeby’s work and I felt bad because they are the only two women writing for 2000ad/Megazine at the moment, and I was worried it was coming across as female creator bashing, when it’s really not the case. Just coincidence that 2000ad have hired 2 female writers that I really don’t enjoy the work of.


#1665

Really? I think of it as one of the great DD runs.


#1666

Ahahahaha, yes. I was carried away there.


#1667

Milstar is getting close to a Bobby S disclaimer of wrongness. :smile:


#1668

Yeah, we both hated Francavilla and Jock art on The Black Mirror :grinning:


#1669

“Always two there are.”


#1670

2000ad 2073-2080

Part one

dredd: fit for purpose
By Williams and Weston was superb.
Like Carroll, Williams has been given his own little corner of the Dredd mythology, and like Carroll, his stories are weighty and top class. The next best thing to Wagner himself these two guys.
This story continues what has been hinted at in past stories by Williams and it goes right to the root of Justice Department itself and although a 2 parter it feels suitably epic.
Therefore pairing with one of the best artists 2000ad has ever produced is fitting. Weston is incredible as always. His storytelling and characterisation as impeccable as ever: his meticulously detailed linework lends itself well to the facial expressions of the characters within, which tell a story in itself.
His art is slightly different here, slightly muted on the blacks - I wonder if he has done this digitally, or part digitally or if it’s Teague’s colouring.
Either way it looks great and Dylan Teague’s (a talented artist himself) colours compliment Weston’s art perfectly.
This is the reason why, despite bemoaning the dearth of quality new talent, I have hope on the other hand as they continue to producing masterclass in 6 pages such as this.

dredd: the death watch
By mcconnville and marshall was almost classic Dredd. It was a brilliant idea however I feared the landing would not match the opening concept, it seemed to be tapering off into a run of the mill Dredd caper but he pulled it back round on the last page for the ending which was excellent.
Not for the first time I think this was a future shock that mcconnville has come up with and turned it into a Dredd story.
The idea was an on the nose commentary of a lot of the issues we see currently with tech addiction and mainly health anxiety; with all the info and misinformation we are bombarded with about health and maximising our lifespan, the stress of coping with all this information and pressure will probably take years off of some of being our lives.
Good effort from mcconnville and Marshall is on the ball as ever, although his style appears a little more rushed these days.

dredd: flaws
By Ellington and Staz Johnson
Pretty much a retread of the last son’s of booth story, and even this new storyline seems to repeat its beats.
I don’t whether it’s the structure or the pacing that’s off, but it didn’t really grab me and the dialogue isn’t particularly engrossing or enjoyable to read.
I’m not a fan of the art either, but it does its job. The kernel of the idea is fine, basically a commentary on media manipulation, agendas and splits that are turning people against each other in modern politics. But the execution is pretty bland.

dredd: nans of anarchy
By Worley and Richardson
It’s always a pleasure to see Alec Worley in the prog/Meg and Karl Richardson’s art has never looked better. He’s stripped his style back a little and rounded out his previously more angular approach and he’s done his own colours here which look great. I like him a lot as an artist and I’m enjoying this tweaked style. I think the Less is more adage applies here, definitely.
It’s well written enough, with some good moments of humour and some nice touches and crisp dialogue, but it’s a bit uneven. Although not as uneven as this post.


#1671

I’d left your post to come back to, until I’d read he progs, so just reading this just now…Kek-W broke thru about the same time as Millar did in 2000ad. There were rumours that they were the same person at one point (similar to rumours that Warren Ellis was a pen name of Garth Ennis - a comparisson which I never got personally). He’s been kicking about for at least a couple of decades but he kinda disappeared off the scene for a bit.

I do agree with your comment though. There’s making the reader think and then there’s just poor reader engagement and I think he can suffer from the latter quite regularly.


#1672

2000ad 2073-2080

Part Two

Jaegir: In the Realm of Pyrrhus
Rennie & Colbey
Despite being relatively fond of both creators, this has never been a series that has grabbed me. Although Rennie can be hit or miss.
Like previous instalments there’s nothing here for me to get invested in. There’s a lack of characterisation and it just comes across as a story about 2 almost faceless, factions. Neither of which I have any reason to root for, and fighting for reasons I can’t even remember.
The art is nice to look at but it also adds to some of the confusion for me as I often can’t tell sides or characters apart.
It’s competent enough but I’m not a fan. It’s all a cold for me and too much technobabble and military speak. My eyes just glaze over with that pish.
Why would I care about this long running storyline?
Stopped reading after chapter 3.

Future Shocks: Freedom Wears Two Faces
Peaty & Teague
Fantastic art from Teague, really great to see him drawing rather than just colours.
No idea what it was about though

Judge Fear: Memories Are Made of This
Kek-W & Dan Cornwall
This was a decent little done in one, revolving around the weaponising of memories against Psi judges reading minds, which is a pretty great idea.
Dan Cornwell’s art gets better and better each time I see it. Enjoyed his Rok of the Reds work and his last Dredd and this have both shown progress. One to watch.

Anderson Psi Division: Undertow
Beeby & Roach
Reading this is a bit like watching the Justice League movie. There’s no cohesion or the craft of being able to tell a story. I sometimes give Kek-W a pass because his stories transport you to another place, are atmospheric and have some really smart ideas and interesting scenes. This has none of that.
I though the first couple of pages were alright but it’s just not very well written. There no other way of putting it, it’s not even an subjective thing or personal preference.
In fact I’m being too kind. This was awful. Just awful. Hyperbole fully justified in this case.

It actually made me put the comic away and stop reading for a few weeks. That’s how bad it was.

Needless to say when I returned to a bigger pile of progs I didn’t read any more of that particular series.

More later…


#1673

2000ad 2073-2080

Part Three

So…now saving the best for last.

Sinister Dexter
Abnett & Yeowell
Abnett was never a writer I followed when I was younger. I always remember at a Glasgow comic con he had a massive queue and he was a big deal. He was doing a DC book at the time I think. Maybe Legion or something like that, and this was a time where I wasn’t buying many superhero books; probably over 20 years ago when I was 16.

Obviously by my posting history on here I’ve developed into a pretty big fan. I’m in total awe of his standards given the extent of his output. He never writes a bad book, mostly writes good books and is often great.
He’s a storyteller, no fannying about, straight to the story.

Sinister and Dexter are actually one of his creations that I’m not overly bothered about and it’s a strip I’m rarely delighted to hear the return of. I don’t dislike it, but it’s nowhere near top of my list.

However I think this run has been great. Very inventive and he seems to have rediscovered his buzz for the characters. The Commando comic spoof in particular was really clever and contrasting this to nearly every other story bar a couple of Dredds and the series I’m about to talk about next, the gap in quality is huge. Sinister Dexter is fucking Shakespeare in comparison to that Anderson story.
(Where the fuck is Alan Grant while this is happening, incidentally - I can’t imagine he is overly thrilled at reading that pish on a character he is so beautifully nurtured over the last 30 fucking years. Yes, it’s borderline offensive).

Anyway back to the positives - the current run of Sinister Dexter is great and this is some of the best art Yeowell has turned in for a few years.

Strontium Dog: The Son
Wagner and Ezquerra

Aye so this is fucking brilliant.
By the second page Wagner has already used the word ‘toley’. That’s just laying down a marker. It’s basically a signal to me as a reader to say ‘settle down Chris, forget about the other stuff you have read. Pour yourself a nice glass of wine and put your comfy pants on. This is 2000ad. Wagner and Ezquerra are still here putting out quality stories. Stop worrying for a while and just enjoy it’.

Take the opening chapter of this and compare it to just about any other opening chapter in 2000ad or any other modern comic and look at the difference.
Everything you need in 6 pages; the SD agency is re-open for business, there’s a bunch of new recruits signed up, one of whom is a the son of the legendary Wulf Sternhammer, who is assigned to Jonny for his first mission and Johnny isn’t happy.
It’s a classic set up.
Wagner and Ezquerra have an almost symbiotic relationship now. It’s a match made in comic book heaven and has been for about 4 decades.
Strontium Dogs is one of my favourite series in comics from childhood, thru my teenage years into adulthood - and it’s easy to see why.
This series sews in elements of so many key moments in the SD history. It’s funny, it’s sad, it’s thrilling. The dialogue is great, the action bursts of the pages, it’s a masterclass in comic book storytelling.
They’ll be teaching this shit in comics degrees in 20 years time.
Perfect.


#1674

Yeah as I said before, these two old guys make it all look so easy. Exactly how you should do a weekly strip.


#1675

prog 2081

nerve centre
New incoming stories include the return of durham red written by Alec Worley (yaay), the return of kingmaker by edington & Gallagher (yaay), and the return of survival geeks (go suck a dick).

dredd: the chosen one
Mcconville & cornwell

More Dan Cornwell art, which im really happy about. He is a talent that is worth nurturing.
It looks great but his storytelling is so good, and always has been - he worked with Wagner and Grant on Rok of the Reds and I feel they must have given him a lot of great advice.
Contrast this to Nick Dyer’s storytelling, who has been kicking about for a while, on the incomprehensible Future Shock last prog with James Peaty and there’s a really big gap in the ability for sequential storytelling.
(Peaty’s script couldn’t have helped though, it was all over the place - as was his previous future shock.)
This was a really good Dredd from McConville.
Unlike the last couple it wasn’t an idea for a Future Shock repackaged as a Dredd story.
For it to be effective though, you need to know your Dredd history or the last page would have you shrugging your shoulders and wondering what it was all about.

**sinister Dexter ** wrapped up with more of the same, which I was happy enough with. It had a few humours moments and classic last couple of panels.

skip tracer
Is a new series from James Peaty and Paul Marshall.
Marshall is a terrific artist, so no qualms there.
However, both of Peaty’s Future Shocks were poorly written and hard to follow.
This was a good opening chapter though. The writing was a lot cleaner and it was easy to undertand what was happening from 1 panel to the next, although I dare say Marshall’s experience may have helped.
The Cube is a deep space housing solution with 2 billion resident. The protagonist is a telepathic bounty hunter and when one of his targets is shot by a sniper just as he is about to cuff him a conspiracy may be about to unfold.
Standard but solid enough.

fall of Deadworld: damned
More atmospheric alt universe stuff from Ke-W and Dave Kendall. Not sure this would work with any other artist, but it continues to be effective in its own very particular way. The sense of hopelessness is so strong in this strip it’s probably just as well that it’s delivered in 6 page chunks with large gaps in between each series.

Agatha tries to help Jess understand her purpose and Jess believes a rescue mission to save Fairfax is key.

strontium dog
This was just too damn short. I could read happily this story every single week. I’m hoping that this being a shorter than usual installment means it will be back soon. I hope it wasn’t cut short for Ezquerra having to work on Cursed Earth Coburn!
This was brilliant, classic 2000ad from start to finish and I guess Kenton sternhammer is going to be a new partner for Johnny. Which is a wise idea. It opens doors to new story ideas and the strip always works better when Johnny has someone to bounce off. Although we have McNulty, this adds some variety.


#1676

Megazine 395

Dredd: Krong Island
Part 4.
Just pish. Wyatt’s attempt at doing Wagner/Grant but lacking any personality or real sense of humour that is a requirement for something like this to work.
Guy doesn’t have an original idea in his head.
Possibly now bordering on my least favourite writer in 2000ad history.
Reading it is like having a wank while you are so drunk that you’ve lost all the feeling in your cock.
Pointless

The Returners
There’s another one. Si Spencer has written for the meg since it launched more or less. And hasn’t written a good story for it yet.
Episode 2 and Ive already lost he plot.
Like his last series I have no interest or idea what is going on. Read about 3 pages then skipped it.

cursed earth koburn
McConville’s finest effort to date, this series.
Really enjoyable.
It helps that Ezquerra is on top form though.

chopper: wandering spirit
David Bailie & Brendan McCarthy
The return of Chopper is a really big deal for me, with the character being a childhood favourite along with the likes of PJ Maybe.
In fact this along with the son of Wulf Sternhammer story have been 2 of my most eagerly awaited comics of 2018.

My fear going in here is that McCarthy on art eclipses the character and it becomes a vehicle for his self indulgence as opposed to a Chopper series worthy of the character.

This wasn’t unenjoyable. In fact, it’s the best McCarthy’s art has looked in anything I’ve read by him in the last 15-20 years.
But I feel this story could have been done with a new character rather than chopper. It’s kinda what I was expecting and not really what I wanted.

dredd: the dead world
I don’t even bother trying to read this crap any more. Waste of brilliant artist and colourist.
Glad next issue is the last part.

Razorjack: A Glimpse of Summer
Carroll & Higgins

I’ve read this before, in the Razorjack hardcover.
For those who don’t know, Razorjack is John Higgins creation. I think he originally wrote, drew and coloured it. Then it got revised with a Michael Carrol script. The volume I have has the main Razorjack series plus a couple of back ups, both of which I’m sure are written by Carroll.
Well this certainly is.
Razorjack is utterly bonkers and a bit of an undercooked character. I really enjoyed the book, but it was very confusing and was not an easy read.
I really like John Higgins though and it’s quite unlike anything I’ve read before.

I think the point of including this is because the next issue of the meg includes a Dredd/Razorjack crossover.


#1677

Apart from the confusing Future Shock last week this is the first thing I’ve read from Peaty. It was easy to read if maybe not the most original (the setting reminds me of Brink with their huge offworld societies) which was heartening as that previous story was messy.


#1678

Dredd Megazine 396

Dredd vs Razorjack
I didn’t think this would work, but it really does. It actually works really well.
It’s a lot easier to follow that previous Razorjack material, written by both Higgins and Carroll.

This series is written by Carroll with Higgins art. It’s a lot clearer. I’m a big fan of Higgins, but although I do really like it, the original Razorjack series takes a lot of concentration and time to absorb what is going on. Plus Higgins actual storytelling, usually impeccable, was pretty ‘off’ when he scripted himself - weird that really, but i struggled with it at times in Razorjack.
No such issues here at all, he’s at his best, which is a very high standard.
In fact both the art and colours (by Sally Hurst) are absolutely fantastic - as is the painted (I think) cover from Higgins (been a while since I’ve seen him flex those muscles - he’s a great painter. There’s too much text on the cover though, which ruins it.
I feel Higgins has really went for it here, possible because Razorjack was a real passion project of his.
Carroll’s script is good as well, which is standard for him. No prior knowledge of Razorjack required, although they do provide a recap.

the returners
No idea what this even is now

chopper
The artwork is amazing but this has descended quickly into ‘magic mushrooms required’ territory, which isn’t really what I was hoping for.

There’s a text piece about an exciting new line of books coming out from Abaddon which is going to be curated by Michael Carroll who will also write the first book. These books will be cannon and will delve into the origins of the judges, which is not a subject that has been touched on in great detail over the last 4 decades.
I don’t really ‘do’ prose for comics characters however this series of books sounds fascinating and pretty much required reading. The first book is even more appealing because it is written by Carroll. Unfortunately all the print editions are sold out and this is only available as an ebook which is no good for me as I just forget I have them and they never get read.
I believe they are going to do an omnibus when the first 3 have been released, I’ll hold out for that.
The Paradigm Shift, a new 5 parter starting in this week’s prog, also written by Carroll will cover this era also.

There’s another text piece on Mark Russell’s upcoming Dredd series for IDW, which should be really interesting, given Russell’s sensibilities and massive talent as a writer.

cursed earth koburn
Fizzled out slightly, but it’s McConville’s best effort to date. Overall it was a good series and I wouldn’t be against reading more from him on Koburn, providing Ezquerra is on art, who was up to his usual level of utterly brilliant.

The less said about the dredd movieverse story the better. Thank fuck that’s over and I hope to never see Wyatt or Di Campi’s names in the Meg again.


#1679

I’ve been reading quite a bit of prose Dredd recently - the Year One and Year Two omnibuses - and they were both solid, enjoyable reads. I’ve got the new Judges one too (it arrived yesterday) but I haven’t had a chance to read it yet. There weren’t any of the regular paperbacks left so I ended up spending an extra couple of quid on a signed copy.


#1680

Any idea if there is any of those left?

Can’t see any anywhere?

Let me know how you get on with it.