2000AD, PROG 2094 REVIEW

by Gavin Johnston on August 14, 2018

Writers: Rory McConville; Kek-W; James Peaty; Gordon Rennie; Lawrence Rennie; Dan Abnet
Artists: Leonardo Manco; John Burns; Andrea Mutti; Karl Richardson; Mark Harrison
Colourists: Chris Blythe; Eva De La Cruz
Letterers: Annie Parkhouse; Ellie De Ville; Simon Bowland
Publisher: Rebellion

This prog, Judge Dredd: A Better Class Of Criminal rounds out nicely with a big fight and final denouement. The judges finally face off against superpowered street gang, the Azure Skeletons. Condensing a battle to a few pages, artist Leonardo Manco continues to deliver to a high quality. Varied layouts capture the madness of the street fight, with characters escaping from their panels, and dutch angles throughout. The final summing up is a little blunt: often a feature of Rory McConville’s scripts. No third act twist here, just a solid story with a sound ending. But A Better Class of Criminal has been fun throughout. The old-school silliness of Dredd and his absurdly over the top world – note the comedy judge names this prog – mixed with a more modern, grimy violence.


This is becoming a bit of a habit. Writer Kek-W previously took over the helm of John Smith’s dimension hopping agents of Indigo Prime and controversially dragged another one of Smith’s characters, Revere, from his own story and into the Indigo Prime world. Here, Kek-W does it again, pulling the mostly forgotten Armoured Gideon, who last appeared in the mid-90s, into the world of The Order: The New World.


It sort of works. Armoured Gideon isn’t much of a character – he’s just a big robot that punches monsters. But he fits into the madcap Order, which for all its speechy seriousness is essentially about ridiculous characters getting into running fights with monsters. The action continues to rattle along, although it feels like we’ve slowed slightly just to introduce this new character.


Low rent journalist Adrian Jones goes undercover at a creepy spa in Tharg’s 3rillers: Appetite. In this second part the tension slowly builds, first from the slightly unnerving language of capitalist hippies, to the use of a security camera point of view. Again, the storytelling feels a little slow here, but there’s plenty of character thanks to writer James Peaty – if you like this, check out his solo comic Grind.


The appearance of a weird kid hiding in an air duct won’t make any sense unless you caught the original miniseries which led into Mechastopheles: True Faith. We once again slip inside the steampunk giant, to the humans squabbling over the direction in which they should point him. After last week’s battle, this prog is another couple of conversations, leading into another, bigger battle next week. This seems to be the format here. There are some small details about these characters, but we’re just working up to something bigger. Karl Richardson’s art continues to be solid, with lots of interior claustrophobic close-ups, and wide exterior landscapes.


Another big fight in this week’s Grey Area: The Laundry Room. It’s an all action five pages with a twist you were probably expecting, as the conspiracy at the heart of the Grey Area get darker. The neon art from Mark Harrison is packed with action and disjointed panels, and letterer Elle De Vile does well to guide us through this strange adventure.


Our Score:


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