2000AD Prog 2075 (e-mag review).

April 9, 2018 | By | Reply More

It’s not easy reviewing a weekly comic! The next one arrives before you draw breath from the last one and you have to go again. Here’s a quick update on the stories in this issue. Some are on-going and a couple are one-shots.

‘Judge Dredd: The Death Watch’ is a one shot. The Chronos 5000, which came along in 2040, is a little instrument that tells you how much time you have left alive, adjusting it according to your current activity. It was a fad for most but Gavin Meany was obsessed with his mortality and, when the watch stopped, he careened to the company shop on his turboseg, thereby attracting the attention of…Dredd. This was a good old-fashioned Judge story by Rory McConville with black humour and irony. I loved it. The clean lines of Paul Marshall’s art were easy on the eye.

‘Jaegir: In the Realm Of Pyrrhus (Part Three)’ is still as confusing as part one. The art by Simon Coleby is very good in a faded grey way but Gordon Rennie’s script is unenlightening. I don’t really know who the characters are and fear there’s a lot of history on this strip that you need for context and I came in too late. There’s plenty of military action and some kind of conspiracy going on.

‘Sinister Dexter: The Devil Don’t Care (Part One)’ opens in the ‘Gigantoconurbopolis’ of Downlode with professional Virtacker Billinomates telling her friend Polly Graff that she’s put out a contract on Sinister and Dexter, the ‘Funtbags’ who killed her sister. Billi is a professional hacker and is sure the thing can’t be traced back to her. Clever wordsmithing by Dan Abnett and stylish, competent art by Steve Yeowell. I read an interview with a failed comic artist-turned-writer who was told that you need a ‘style’ nowadays to make it in comics, something to make you stand out. Being able to draw is not enough or even necessary in some cases. This produces a variable output. Steve Yeowell draws well but I was just making the point in general.

‘Anderson Psi-Division: Undertow (Part Three)’ has a script by Emma Beeby and pretty pictures by David Roach. In this one, some supernatural threat is affecting all Psi-Division operatives. Cass Anderson releases a dangerous prisoner to help her track down the bad guy. That sort of thing never ends well. The prisoner has been hanging in chains in a cell being tortured for a while but kept her supermodel figure, like everyone else in Psi-Division. If real women looked like comicbook women, we wouldn’t need the new sugar tax in Britain.

‘Strontium Dog: The Son (Part Three)’ has the classic team of John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra. Johnny Alpha and his partner, Kenton, son of Wulf Sternhammer, are told their assignment. People on planet Protoz had long since abandoned violence but, as a condition of joining the Astral Union, had to accept immigrants. Now crime is rampant but Johnny’s a bounty hunter, not a cop. They give him a few days to think it over and then Kenton causes trouble. The mocking allegory of the Protozian situation is not subtle but the story is shaping up well.

There’s a lot to like in this issue but it’s worth buying the previous two if you’ve missed them to get in on the start of the stories. Either that or wait for the graphic novel collections to come out.

Eamonn Murphy

April 2018

(pub: Rebellion, 4th April, 2018. 32 page digital magazine: £ 1.99 (UK))

check out website: http://2000ad.com/

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Eamonn Murphy is a science fiction, fantasy, horror and graphic novel reviewer who lives in the south west of England. He's written a few stories too. Details at https://eamonnmurphyblog.wordpress.com/

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