2000AD #2217 Review

by Gavin Johnston on February 03, 2021

Writers: Ken Niemand; Alec Worley; Pat Mills; Mike Carroll; Rob Williams
Artists: Dan Cornwell; Ben Willsher; Leonardo Manco; Jake Lynch; Simon Fraser
Colours: Jim Boswell
Letters: Annie Parkhouse; Jim Campbell; Simon Bowland
Publisher: Rebellion



Only a few weeks after one of 2000AD’s “regened” issues aimed at younger readers, Judge Dredd: Naked City features a whole bunch of nude people.
Dan Cornwell is clearly having a blast with the art, as throngs of Mega City Shoppers wander around in their birthday suits, narrowly avoiding full frontal nudity thanks to the judicious application of passing balloons, comedy hotdogs and speech bubbles. Even Dredd is getting in on the all-nude-action, stripped of most of his uniform but still taking down perps in a shootout.

It’s a one joke tale, but well told and doesn’t outstay its welcome. Kenneth Neimand continues his pattern of excellent scripts that place the strange denizens of MC1 centre stage.

Naked City is harmless, grown up, slightly rude fun, more Carry On film than actually raunchy ...but underlines the strange position 2000AD finds itself in at the moment and the need for a separate, kid-focused title from Rebellion.



Slaine: Dragontamer features a bit of shouting, a small amount of satire, and a whole bunch of action.

Last week, Slaine got the ordinary people on his side by battling a bunch of dragons. This week, he turns the ordinary people against him by saving some members of an unvalued minority group for...plot reasons. The shapeshifting Shoggey beasts make their return as a blunt metaphor for the mistreatment of gay people, which Mr Mills does little with other than pointing out that homophobia is both bad and rife. As always, it’s worth it for the art.



A revelatory secret from Vex’s past is revealed in Proteus Vex: The Shadow Chancellor, and we learn a little more about the society he comes from. Proteus is a big bowl of strange, perfectly balancing the entirely necessary exposition with action. The dense, space opera dialogue might put some readers off, but it’s worth fighting through the weird.



Durham Red: Served Cold has been pretty predictable so far in terms of plot, but wonderful in terms of characters and pulling off an action packed siege. Gradually, detail is added, extra background, motivations and characters are layers into the plot. This week, Team Red realise they must rely on the convicts in the basement if they’re going to survive – but can they trust the criminals, and can the criminals trust Durham? 
We've barely slowed down since the action started in the second episode, so Durham's motivations are still undefined: we're told she's a prisoner after slaughtering innocents, but she has also tried to sacrifice herself to save the group.  This lack of explaination, rather than being frustrating, just adds to the tension.



Defiantly slow, Hersey: The Brutal lands enormous plot points, then redirects its attention elsewhere, forcing us to wait.

Hershey’s failing physical and mental health, the diabolical nature of the villains she’s hunting, Frank’s battle to do what is right; all these are balanced against each other, none being allowed the spotlight for very long. It’s a slow-burner, perhaps infuriatingly so.

Hershey’s plan to use underground boxing matches as a pathway through the criminal underworld progresses incrementally, as Frank remember just how dangerous a former Judge can be. The Brutal gets darker, the mission more important and more desperate, but along the way Frank’s opposition to the whole thing becomes more sympathetic. This week's episode starts especially dark, but it's the small details of Simon Fraser's art in the final panels, as the colour shifts towards shadow, that really tops the whole thing off.

Our Score:


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