2000AD, PROG 2123 REVIEW

by Gavin Johnston on March 20, 2019

Writers: Rory McConville; Emma Beeby; Gordon Rennie; Ian Edginton; Dan Abnett
Artists: Jake Lynch; Neil Googe; Leigh Gallagher; Mark Harrison
Colourists: John Charles; Gary Caldwell
Letterers: Annie Parkhouse; Elle De Ville
Publisher: Rebellion

Prog 2123 features four strips rather than the usual five, all of them new stories.  It's a potential jump-on point for new readers...

Judge Dredd: Citizenship deals with the issue of casual racism and privilege, and how institutions can disadvantage, or just ignore minority groups. What happens when those in power neither appreciate different cultures, nor care to find out?

A distressed citizen recaps her struggles through the Mega City One immigration system, and how she and her alien husband turned to the criminal underworld just to survive. It’s a journey through the strange and wonderful and vicious world of Mega City One, it’s colourful inhabitants and its grey bureaucracy.

Judge Dredd is relegated to a background character, but his few appearances are powerful. He’s the silent representation of an uncaring system...but note how he offers grudging kindness and turns away once the story is told. Writer Rory McConville and artist Jake Lynch have managed to perfectly capture one of the most important contradictions of the character – how to show the inner-world of a character who never expresses his emotions. Citizenship is a perfect little, self-contained introduction to the world of Dredd.



There’s something joyful about Survival Geeks. And there should be, because geekdom is about joy, despite the angry self-importance of a vocal minority. Whether you’re a geek for comics, or video games, or football, its about loving something a little too much, and wanting to share that with the world.

Dungeons & Dating plunges the housemates into the world of role playing games, as Clive drags the gang into a virtual reality world of orcs and goblins. It’s full of nice in-jokes, like a vintage Jar-Jar t-shirt (after all, who would keep Jar-Jar clothing? That stuff must to be valuable), or using D&D nomenclature to explain the passing of time.

It’s perhaps a little too much for new-readers. Most of the characters aren’t even referred to by name, and the fleeting glimpse of Howard the Junior Cthulhu is without any explanation, let alone the passing references to dimension jumps powered by a toaster. Still, there’s enough here to hang onto if you’re happy to accept the deliberately silly premise, and Survival Geeks is certainly worth being confused for a week.



The fantasy theme continues with Kingmaker: Oroboros, which riffs on the Hobbit we visit a Shire-like community of halfings. Kingmaker is a strange mix of science fiction and traditional fantasy, with orcs and wizards in a world where spaceships and laser guns are just on the horizon. Leigh Gallagher does a fantastic job with the art, with panels that incorporate both deep and washed-out colours, giving the impression of rich sunlight.

Kingmaker takes the idea of the Hobbit, and adds spaceships and racial tensions. This is a world where there’s a reason the Shire is left alone… It’s a captivating introduction, which retells a familiar story, then adds a dark mystery.


The alien race known as the Congruence are invited to Earth for a political summit in Grey Area: Making History. Last week came with a warning that Grey Area’s Black Ops team are planning something bad for the summit, and Bulliet and his team plan to stop them. Grey Area is usually packed with action and detail, and this episode is especially word-heavy. Action shifts from different points of view as the historic events unfold, and there’s a huge amount to take in. Despite this, creators Dan Abnett and Mark Harrison manage to cram in humorous details, such as familiar aliens packed-in behind a fence. Again, it might not be the most inviting introduction to the Grey Area, but it’s fun and fast moving, and opens a new era in the long running story.


Our Score:


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