2000AD #2212 REVIEW

by Gavin Johnston on December 15, 2020

Writers: Kenneth Niemand; Rob Williams; Gordon Rennie; Emma Beeby; Kek-W; Michael Carroll; Pat Mills; T.C. Eglington; Alec Worley
Artists: PJ Holden; Laurence Campbell; Neil Googe; Dave Kendall; Jake Lynch; Leonardo Manco; Simon Fraser; Warren Pleece; Ben Willsher
Colours: Quinton Winter; Dylan Teague; Gary Caldwell; Jim Boswell
Letters: Annie Parkhouse; Jim Campbell; Simon Bowland
Publisher: Rebellion



It’s almost Christmas and that means finding an extra large helping of 2000AD in your stocking. The end of year special is a bumper 100 pages, with nine stories instead of the usual five. It’s going to need an extra large review...


The pseudonomic Kenneth Neimand has been the biggest gift of the last few years. Neimand’s real identity remains a mystery, although he’s apparently a writer with some years of professional experience outside comics. He’s demonstrated a fantastic understanding of Judge Dredd’s world, producing story after faultless story, and introducing some immediate fan favourites such as the vigilante chimpanzee, Noam Chimpsky.

Judge Dredd: Three Kings is your contractually required festive episode, as Chimpsky hatches a plan to save a baby from the clutches of the Judges. It’s essentially a fun heist story, with Chimpsky and his gang of misfits pulling one over on the justice department with an elaborate plan and some derring-do...but it also hints as the darker work of Dredd-flavoured fascism.

PJ Holden’s art is as wonderful as ever, with his usual flair for design and comic detail. It’s the small things that make a story like this, and Three Kings if packed full of wonderfully elaborate nonsense




Johnny Alpha and Wulf Sternhammer return in Strontium Dog: Once Upon a Time in Der Vest. Art from Lawrence Campbell (with colours from Dylan Teague) is suitably Western-esque, harking back to the dearly missed Carlos Ezquera, whose art defined Strontium Dog for nearly forty years.

Johnny and Wulf are hunting a weapon scientist on an alien planet. All the boxes are ticked. There’s a tense stand-off, a shootout and a double cross, as well as the Strontium Dog tropes of time weapons, cucumber references, and the threat of genocide. There’s even an entirely unnecessary cameo from The Gronk. Rob William’s script nudges towards bigger things, hinting of new threats and adventures. It’s good to see Strontium Dog is in good hands.





There’s more cheerful fun in Survival Geeks: A Quiet Night In. Several years have passed since the housemates returned from their inter-dimensional adventures, and we catch up with the characters as they settle back to normality.

A Quiet Night In is a light-hearted epilogue to Survival Geeks. Simon and Sam have settled down into comfortable monotony, and reflect on their past and the awful people they once shared a house with. In all, it’s a nice, wholesome ending.




Now you’ve settled into the comfortable rhythms of the Christmas Prog with its slightly edgy but humorous scripts and it’s heart warming nostalgia...what could be up next….

Uh-oh, it’s Visions of Deadworld: A Girl’s Gotta Eat.

In a rusted and decaying world, bands of cannibals pick over the ruins. Somewhere, The Dark Judges are swiping out every living thing and the last surviving humans have been driven insane by the utter futility of existence. Y’know, like 2020.

One such survivor, Channing, has discovered and made friends with a malfunctioning soldier-drone, and they set of to look for something to eat. What could go wrong?

Perhaps writer Kek-W has been overcome by the spirit of the festive season, but A Girl’s Gotta Eat actually feels Christmassy, despite its cannibalism, its zombies, and its beheadings. I spent the whole thing on the edge of my seat just waiting on something awful happening...and it did, but in a festive way.



From the grime of a decaying world, to the space opera antics of Proteus Rex: The Shadow Chancellor.

This episode, Vex tries to… well maybe it’s best to just show you what the catch-up text in the very first panel says:


After the death of Chancellor Rho 7 Baryon, Emperium Agent Proteus Vex and his Citheronian captive Midnight Indicating Shame approach Barriero Anchorage, located in a barren, unaligned region beyond the main kingdoms.


Now you’re caught up, Proteus Vex really is just an adventure story, with weird aliens with strange names and bizarre dialogue. It’s almost become accepted that all science fiction must be gritty and hard, a satirical comment on the awful complexity of the real world. Proteus Vex feels like a deliberate move against that. Maybe its level of alien-ness makes it an acquired taste, but it is a wonderfully realised world of colourful, soft sci-fi, without ever being dumb or speaking down to the reader.





Slaine has always been about the art. The wandering saga of a Celtic warrior fighting invaders and demons take an incredible amount of time to get anywhere and is full of overblown, hammy dialogue. What it does, though, is provide a platform for artists to produce page after page of muscle-bound, axe-swinging action.

Recent stories have been hampered by a script that involved Slaine fighting uninteresting monsters in a lacklustre environment. Artist Leonardo Manco’s debut, Slaine: Dragontamer, looks like classic Slaine, with panels you could cut out and frame if you wanted incredibly gory interior design.




Once upon a time, in 2000AD, dead meant dead. Unlike other comic publishers, who can find themselves in a constant loop of dying and returning characters, when 2000AD killed off a character, they were gone, never to return. It gave a real threat to stories. Killing a character can be a shocking, emotionally jarring event, but only if it comes with the understanding that they are gone, forever.

For this reason, I’m not entirely sure how I feel about Hershey: Brutal, which features two characters who should definitely be dead. Not much happens in this episode, other than we are reminded that they are not dead. It does it well. There’s some nice dialogue, and Simon Fraser’s colours are just great, but this story is really going to have to achieve something special to justify a couple of resurrections after two important and powerful deaths.




Time Twisters: Time Hygiene is a fun little one-off with some nice call-backs for older readers. A scientist invents a time machine, only to receive visitors from the future. It’s a very familiar set-up, which quickly builds into an old-school 2000AD adventure. It’s very knowing, playing with the format and referencing other time travel stories.




The opening of Durham Red: Served Cold is a familiar one. The vampire bounty hunter is in chains, lock in a small town jail cell waiting for the big city lawmen to turn up…but when the lawkeepers show up, they may not be who they claim to be.

Regardless, it’s well told, with some really vibrant art from Ben Willsher. Traditionally an edgy hero, Durham Red is reimagined as a villain, with the story told from the point of view of a couple of immediately engaging characters. The incredibly polite bounty hunter Rocky Didlittly is a character I already want to see more from

Our Score:


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