2000AD #2222 Review

by Gavin Johnston on March 10, 2021

Writers: Kenneth Niemand; Brendan Mccarthy; Roger Langridge; TC Eglington; Mike Carroll, Alec Worley
Artists: PJ Holden; Brendan Mccarthy; Len O’Grady; Simon Davies; Jake Lynch; Ben Willsher
Colours: Quinton Winter; Jim Boswell
Letters: Annie Parkhouse; Simon Bowland; Jim Campbell
Publisher: Rebellion


During last week’s opening of Judge Dredd: Who Killed Captain Cookies?, few readers could have suspected the story would become the origin tale of a completely different, already established character.

Noam Chimpsky takes the lead this prog, with Dredd making a cameo appearance. The super-smart chimpanzee vigilante, it seems, was a long time friend of the departed Captain Cookies and is determined to find his killer.

This is an absolutely charming story. The people of Mega City One, so often seen through a Judge’s eyes as violent and stupid, from Chimpsky’s hopeful point of view become kind and friendly. Still stupid, but kind and friendly. Even murderers show compassion. The story adds weight to the numerous eccentrics that populate Chimpsky tales, giving them a sense of unity and moral purpose, as well as presenting a less brutal and more considered form of justice

PJ Holden’s art is as fantastic as always, fom Chimpsky’s big, innocent eyes reflecting a snarling Dredd, to the lovely detail of the chimpanzee’s return to the place he first met the Captain.



There’s a delay in completing Leonardo Manco’s sexy, sexy Slaine art, so the “conclusion” to the Slaine saga is delayed. Instead, a Tharg’s 3riller fills the gap: Nakka of the S.T.A.R.S.


The 3riller format is always a strange one. These three part stand-alone tales often feel like condensed longer stories, or heavily padded versions off one-shot Futureshocks.

Nakka of the S.T.A.R.S sees an Inspector Nakrosky investigate a poisoning with the help of his robotic assistant. With a unique mix of quaint Englishness and clunky sci-fi, this is a world where robots work as vicars, organising village fetes for a population of clones, Like if Terry Gilliam's Brazil had been set in the leafy Home Counties. It’s a very different world, but a lot of this feels like extra. The story opens with Nakrosky meeting his new co-worker, driving to the crimescene; it’s almost two pages until they get into the story, and plot points come with a bit too much signage. At always, its hard to make a determination on the opening part of a 3riller – it's the second part that does most of the heavy lifting.

On a positive note, this does allow me to return to my continuing joke about not knowing how to pronounce “3riller” that I shoehorn into every review where the format is used. Keep an eye out in next week’s review...



John Wick, James Bond and Flash Gordon had a stylish, alien baby and that baby’s name is Proteus Vex.

Secret agent Proteus is gunning down punks left, right and centre in the latest episode of The Shadow Chancellor, desperate to reveal the secret of the war against an alien race known as The Silent, and causing a diplomatic incident as he does so.

Smart, packed with action and incredible design, I love Proteus Vex. There’s style and intelligence in every part of this. One action set-piece sees Vex dispense with a pack of enemies, in a hugely elaborate way across four quick panels. Lesser creators would have just had a gunfight. Mike Carroll and Jake Lynch have gunkata on a jetpack.



Here’s something else I love; the huge variation allowed by 2000AD’s anthology format. From the violent pomposity of space opera to the modern horror of Thistlebone: Poisoned Roots, where the drama comes form two characters chatting in a cafe and the reveal that a man’s name is Malcolm.

Thistlebone might in places be gory, but it’s the slowly building sense of unease that brings the fear. This episode is mostly exposition, as we catch up with what happened in the last Thistlebone story.


Last week’s Durham Red: Served Cold had two characters sit down and discuss their motivations….which means that this week we’re due a massive fight. The character design here is great, the action incredibly well communicated. It’s mostly gunshots, blood splatter and exclamations of “Urg”, but rockets along nicely and is still full of character. Pause for a moment and appreciate the lettering of Jim Campbell (who now letters approximately 83% of all British comics), and the way a gunshot “Blam” can be reused, but a “Slatccch” and a ”Splatcchh” require slightly different shape and shading. Masterful.



Our Score:


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