2000AD, PROG 2124 REVIEW

by Gavin Johnston on March 27, 2019

Writers: Rob Williams; Chris Weston; Ian Edginton; Emma Beeby; Gordon Rennie; Guy Adams; Dan Abnett
Artists: Patrick Goddard; Leigh Gallagher; Neil Googe; Dan Cornwell; Mark Harrison
Colourists: Chris Blythe; Gary Caldwell; Jim Boswell
Letterers: Annie Parkhouse; Ellie De Ville; Simon Bowland 
Publisher: Rebellion

One of the great things about Judge Dredd stories is their range, and how quickly they can shift in both genre and tone. Judge Dredd: Unearthed starts sombrely, remembering those lost in the Apocalypse War in the fashion of the modern-era’s more reflective Dredd. Before long, it morphs in to a twisted comedy with the wacky absurdity of early-2000AD.

The Day of Chaos disaster left huge swathes of Mega City One abandoned and in ruins. A clearance crew working amid the rubble of Dan Tanna Block dig up some old Sov technology, and unearth the terrifying secret lost within...


Unearthed is packed with character. Even the clearance crew, who could be expendable background, are a satire on television’s habit of turning industry jobs into adventure shows. A simple scream for help becomes a hilariously deliberate shark-jump. Unearthed is a proper, old-school Dredd adventure.



On the theme of wacky, early Dredd, Max Normal returns this Prog in How Max Got His Stripes. As long tern readers will know, Max was one of the colourful background characters in Dredd’s life before comics insisted on getting serious in the ‘80s. It was a wonderfully strange time, when a fascist cop could be frenemies with a vending machine with a lisp, had a cleaner who was an Italian stereotype, and spent time with talking monkeys.  Max Normal was Dredd’s informant. A man with his own unique style and outlook on life, with neatly tailored pin-strip suits and habit of speaking like a 1950’s beat poet.


Characters age in real time in the Dredd-verse, and Max wasn’t a young man to begin with. In How Max Got His Stripes, the ageing Max and old friend, the gangster chimpanzee Don Vito, get together to discuss an investment to try to recapture their former glory. It’s a story that revels in delicious wordplay, only slowing down for one powerful moment when Max calmly explains just who he is.



The lesson from Kingmaker: Ouroboros is “never trust a hobbit”. There’s a reason they live so quietly in a such a peaceful corner of the world.  

Last week saw Ablard the wizard journey to meet a halfling friend, recapping a tale that walked suspiciously close to Tolkien’s classic before dipping off into a murder scene. This prog relies a little too much on a deus ex machina turnaround, although it’s a fun story well told...and it looks like it will continue next week, even though things look to be nicely wrapped-up.




The Survival Geeks have found themselves trapped in a virtual reality game in Dungeons & Dating (Basic). Forced into the roles of characters and sent into unwinnable battles by an evil AI, whose personality is based on reluctant player, Sam.

Survival Geeks does what it does best, poking fun at the geekdom it loves. With Rufus in a fetching chainmail bikini and Simon transformed into a clueless barbarian, the gang bicker about character motivation and complain about the lack of preamble as they’re thrown into a battle with no preamble. Survival Geeks is always fun, funny, and very clever.



The Black-Ops squad launch an attack during an intergalactic peace conference. Grey Area: Making History is a flurry of chaotic action and technical jargon as the Grey Area authorities try to grasp control of the situation, and Bulliett and his teammates try to take revenge. Mark Harrison’s electric art jumps between scenes, capturing the madness of a surprise attack. Grey Area has taken some risks in the past, and Making History ends with a final twist that changes the game all over again.

Our Score:


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