2000AD, PROG 2096 REVIEW

by Gavin Johnston on August 28, 2018

Writers: TC Eglington; Gordon Rennie; Lawrence Rennie; Emma Beeby; Kek-W; Dan Abnett
Artist: Staz Johnson, Neil Googe, John Burns, Karl Richardson; Mark Harrison
Colourists: Abigail Bulmer, Cary Caldwell
Letterers: Annie Parkhouse, Ellie De Ville, Simon Bowland
Publisher: Rebellion

Judge Dredd: The Booth Conspiracy shifts gear, becoming another exciting police procedural after last week’s straight-forward opening. Stories involving the Sons of Booth often manage to touch on far-right conspiracy theories and how they’re peddled for cash to distract attention from the real issues – an increasingly important subject. That’s not to say they aren’t packed with humour, and Dredd shouting threats at stuffed toys.

Survival Geeks is the story of a group of housemates who, for reasons that are unimportant, travel around the multiverse having adventures. More importantly, it’s a way for writers Emma Beeby and Gordon Rennie to mess with geek stereotypes. In Slash n’ Hack the gang find themselves wandering a picket-fenced suburbia, pursued by tropes of the horror-slasher genre. Survival Geeks is smart, funny, and always on the ball: satirising what it clearly loves.

With so many vocal gatekeepers in the fan community insisting that their favourite fandom can only be appreciated in a particular way and by particular types of people, it’s reassuring to be presented with a geek-based story so willing to laugh at itself. This opening episode neatly introduces the concept, whilst never being entirely obvious. Art from Neil Googe, coloured by Gary Caldwell, is smart and innovative...Follow the smoke from Rufus’s medicinal cigarette as it guides us through the panels, and leads the monsters back to wars him.


The gang head through the Ghostlands, towards the Wyrmrealm in The Order: The New World. Haunted by memories and twisted dreams, they quietly squabble whilst trying to keep hold of reality. After previous action, The Order has slowed down since the arrival of Armoured Gideon. It’s always been a little difficult to follow, with multilayered characters, each of whom have their own motives. This might be a chance to catch-up, but too little is actually revealed that might be useful information. With the frequent talk of different realms of reality, and with a history of cross-overs from writer Kek-W, I have concerns that this might be heading towards familiar territory...


After plenty of big-robot action, Mechastopheles: True Faith also finally slows down to spend more time with it’s characters. Having gained access to the city, the group is split asunder, as some are captured, and others are lost in the chaos of battle. Finally, we get a chance for some of these characters to be heard, after spending the last few episodes shouting directions at each other. True motives are slowly being revealed. There are some nice elements of design from artists Karl Richardson.


The calm, rational art of Karl Richardson is entirely countered by the deliberate disorder of Mark Harrison. Grey Area: Objectives looks like it was painted using raw neon. Its panels overlap and in places seem to be out of order. It’s the perfect style for the map cap action taking place within the cramped and diverse Exo Zone. In this episode, Grell’s black-ops squad are put to work, and their true purpose of revealed – as is the fallout of their actions. Credit is also due to Ellie De Ville, who managed to squeeze a huge amount of dialogue into the panels, an orderly path guiding us through the madness.

Our Score:


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