2000AD, PROG 2091 REVIEW

by Gavin Johnston on July 25, 2018

Writers: Rory McConville; Kek-W;  Dan Abnett; Laura Bailey
Artists: Leonardo Manco; John Burns; Mark Harrison; David Hitchcock; Dave Kendall
Colourists: Chris Blythe
Letterers: Annie Parkhouse; Simon Bowland; Ellie De Ville 

The Justice Department face off against superpowered villains in Judge Dredd: A Better Class of Criminal. There’s chaos on the streets of Mega City One following a bank robbery, and the fallout isn’t impressing Dredd or the Chief Judge. The streets of artist Leonardo Manco are crowded and chaotic with some beautiful panels and great fast moving action, but they do become a bit overly confusing in places and with some elements a bit anachronistic – at one point, a Twentieth Century fire hydrant is used as a weapon, and one character, who appears to be a judge, is dressed in a suit rather than a uniform. Rory McConville’s script covers politics as well as the grimy underclass, with Dredd on perfect form. After a blast of action, there’s a lot of exposition, which suggests an action heavy episode next week


More politics in The Order: The New World, as the history of the USA is disrupted by time travellers, space worms and robots. With the Wyrms attacking historical presidents, its down to the varied cast of time travelling characters to save the day. The Order is difficult to keep up with, although it’s packed with interesting ideas here. The story is non-stop action, and where else would you see lumberjack Paul Bunyan fighting a giant robot over the fate of George Washington?


Things are also confused in Terror Tales: Quilli. A ventriloquist claims to be acting as a conduit for a supernatural entity in the form of an ancient wooden doll. A small band of fanatics quickly flock to him, desperate for moral guidance and leadership...but was it all just a scam? It’s an interesting idea, with several twists along the way. There’s surely more to be said, though, about how eager many people are to jump on any passing bandwagon, and the ending doesn’t provide any clear answers.


Beneath a cover showing...the heat of the action, the Earth border control force are battle against an enormous, alien intruder. Last week’s shock ending to Grey Area: KIA is immediately confirmed, as two of the best loved characters from this ongoing series are dispatched without even having appeared. The willingness of writer Dan Abnett to dispose of much characters with so little fuss isn’t new, but is likely to divide fans. The character “Resting Bitch Face”, who was frequently dressed in a skimpy costume whilst everyone else wore combat armour, was known for her naivety, and frequently just called “Bitch”, is killed off without actually appearing in this story.  Mark Harrison’s art is suitably chaotic, capturing the madness of battle. Tensions are running high, as there are calls for an enquiry...but with too many high powered heads on the line is it likely that those in charge will carry the can? Grey Area continues to be a commentary on modern day politics, whether it's trying to or not.


Death and politics continue in Damned: Fall of Deadworld. Chief Judge Death has remained in the shadows so far, shifting the pieces on his chessboard as madness spread around him. Until now Death has been portrayed as sadistic and coldly efficient, but in his first real appearance he’s shown to have reached Norman Bates level of comedic insanity. It’s a fine line for writer Kek-W to walk, given how quickly the character has fallen into cackling, Joker-style madness in the past. Regardless, it’s an episode full of twists we know will be inconsequential, and we can but hope that this version of Death veers away from the more comedic elements.


Our Score:


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