2000AD #2199 REVIEW

by Gavin Johnston on September 16, 2020

Writers: Rob Williams; Dan Abnett; Kek-W; Gordon Rennie
Artists: Henry Flint; Mark Harrison; Nicolo Assirelli; David Roach; Dom Reardon
Colours: Chris Blythe; John Charles; Peter Doherty
Letters: Annie Parkhouse; Simon Bowland; Jim Campbell
Publisher: Rebellion



“I don’t understand what’s happening”, says Judge Izaaks half way through the final episode of the mini-epic Judge Dredd: End of Days. I share his confusion.

Dredd and the Law Gang have travelled the globe battling the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and ended up on the moon, where it turns out that Death was Dredd all along and his compatriots must find a way to stop him. This prog is the final showdown, where the heavily foreshadowed ending comes to pass.  What should be a momentous event as Dredd is forced to face the darkness within instead collapses into a deus ex machina conclusion.

Judge Dredd: End of Days has wonderfully captured the sense of a world in a swirling, panicked decline. Its chaotic sense of everything going wrong perfectly suits 2020. Later in the storyline it became apparent that these world changing events weren’t going to stick. Last week Anderson was dead, the moon about to crash into the Earth. By the end of this week, the good guys have to win, Anderson has to survive and Judge Giant has to finally do something to justify his presence.

The result is a meta-ending that feels rushed and unsatisfying. The bizarre, dimension-hoping story is wrapped up by throwing out the rulebook and having a magic thing happen. The whole event collapses in an unsatisfying fashion that will leave more than poor Judge Izaaks feeling that they’ve missed something.



The Out also takes a weird turn in its final episode. Photojournalist Cyd has journeyed into alien worlds in the search for meaning, finding herself so far from home that the locals haven’t even heard of “humans” from “Earth”. In this final episode she discovers she isn’t quite as alone as she thought, as she packs her belongings to continue her trek across the universe.

Moving from a quiet and touching penultimate episode into a slightly comedic, buddy road trip story finale, The Out ends up feeling a bit...uneven. The shift is clearly intended to set up a second series, but suggests that any further adventures would be quite different from what has gone before.



Tharg’s 3riller: Saphir rushes to an ending, with our characters back in the real word, battling….things...in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. An invasion is thwarted with a bit of shouting and a spear, in a conclusion that feels squeezed into its five pages. It gets in a quick commentary on how modern culture is all about spectacle, before the wrong heroes disappear in preparation for further adventures.

This could easily have been extended at least another week to give some weight to the battle. As it is, this looks like a bit of a rushed introduction to the magical Lady Corundun and her tall partner Jorges before further adventures... but they are still undeveloped as characters.



The Diaboliks are under attack by a bunch of lightning wielding angels in The Diaboliks: A Crooked Beat. They’re off on a journey through the secret passages of a castle as we finally get to see what these characters are capable of.  The highlight is Dom Reardon’s art, which does strange and unusual things with panels and gutters.



In Sinister Dexter: Ghostlands, several characters are brought together to find out more about the dangerous A.I. taking over the city of Downlode. It’s yet another talky episode, with some characters knowing alternative-dimension versions of others, and the confusing web of relationships having to be explained to the reader. Finney makes a joke about a tinfoil hat, followed by Ramone explaining that it was a joke about a tinfoil hat.

It’s all a bit slow...until writer Dan Abnett turns around and smacks us in the face with a final page twists that blows everything up. In a slow Prog, it’s sadly one of the few highpoints.

Our Score:


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