2000AD, PROG 2127 REVIEW

by Gavin Johnston on April 17, 2019

Writers: Michael Carroll; Emma Beeby; Gordon Rennie; Ian Edginton; Guy Adams
Artists: Mark Sexton; Neil Googe; D'israeli; Dan Cornwell; Leigh Gallagher
Colourists: John Charles; Gary Caldwell; Jim Cornwell
Letterers: Annie Parkhouse; Ellie De Ville; Simon Bowland 
Publisher: Rebellion

Judge Dredd: The Long Game travels through unusual territory in its tale of Mega City One’s underworld. Dredd often takes a back seat in his own stories, and indeed some of the best have barely involved the man. The Long Game goes even further, throwing us into the middle of a deadly gang dispute which, other than a handful of sci-fi references, could be lifted from the Sopranos. A couple of weeks in, and I’m still not sure where The Long Game is headed, but it’s a very grounded view of Dredd’s world.


Survival Geeks: Dungeons & Dating (Basic) winds things up neatly with its fifth episode. A little... too neatly. The dimension=hopping house mates escape their virtual reality nightmare a little too easily, and the whole things feels very light. A little...too light.

I love Survival Geeks because of it’s cheerful attitude, jumping from one adventure to the next with gleeful abandon. Dungeons & Dating (Basic) seems to exist just for a single scene in which Sam realises she’s actually in love with the guy she’s been forced to spend time with, whilst quietly pointing out that clever Simon is actually a terrible human being. It’s been the lightest of Survival Geek stories, although it does end with a glorious tribute to Jack Kirby. A little...too Jack Kirby.


Scarlett Traces started back in 2002, published by Dark Horse Comics, as a wonderfully strange sequel to HG Welles’ War of the Worlds. The Martians had been defeated, leaving the British Empire free to reverse engineer the alien technology littering the South of England. But shot through all this was a mystery of missing women, and commentary on colonialism.

By Scarlett Traces: Home Front, decades have passed and interplanetary wars are being waged. Here, Earth is under attack, and this week is full of massive spaceships exploding each other. Things take a weird swerve to League of Gentleman county with stolen fictional place names. Artist D’Isreali makes fantastic use of colour. His space is never black - it’s yellow and orange, explosions are lime green, and characters yell at each other under strange blue lighting. This weird world might very complex (...a little too complex) for uninitiated readers. It’s a fun adventure even without the backstory, but I would whole-heartedly recommend tracking down trades of earlier stories if you can, to better appreciate just how good this is.


I had hoped that we’d get the uninterrupted story of how Max became Normal in Max Normal: How Max Got His Stripes. Instead, we’re back in the present, as Max again comes under attack from his pre-teen nemeses and jokes around with Don Vito. It’s very nice, and Dan Cornwell does impressive things with a repeated motif. The highlight though is the handful of panels where young Max reappears, and is given guidance by his self-aware mentor.


Gandalf and the hobbits manage to open the gates of Moria, and journey into the abandoned Dwarven city beneath the Misty Mountains in Kingmaker: Ouroboros.

Okay, not quite. But mostly. Kingmaker continues to riff on Tolkien’s classic, with it’s characters undertaking a similar, interminably long journey, under the watchful eye of an unknowable, immense intelligence. But this time it’s a bunch of aliens rather than what ever Sauron was. Kingmaker is visually beautiful, blending fantasy and science fiction, but if the population can be divided into those who have read Tolkien’s classics, those who have not, and those who pretend, then there’s a whole bunch of people who aren’t going to get joke.


Our Score:


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