2000AD #2221 Review

by Gavin Johnston on March 03, 2021

Writers: Kenneth Niemand; Pat Mills; TC Eglington; Mike Carroll; Alec Worley
Artists: PJ Holden; Leonardo Manco; Simon Davies; Jake Lynch; Ben Willsher
Colours: Quinton Winter; Jim Boswell
Letters: Annie Parkhouse; Simon Bowland; Jim Campbell
Publisher: Rebellion



Behind a great cover evoking the earliest days of 2000AD, Dredd is called to the scene of an unfortunate death in Judge Dredd: Who Killed Captain Cookies?

A local celebrity is found dead, but the judges have few leads and just too much crime. Barely a handful of minutes are dedicated to the murder, before Dredd is called to deal with something more pressing.

It might be a story about a beloved costumed hero killed in a mugging while a fascist police force does nothing, but there’s something genuinely touching about this story. The citizens of Mega City One are mostly portrayed as a friendly community, rallying round Captain Cookies as a symbol of hope and kindness, inspiring ordinary people to do extraordinary things. It’s filled with originality and I I have to admit that I actually gave a little cheer at the final panel, which sets the whole story off in an unexpected direction.



Slaine fights yet another Dragon in Slaine: Dragontamer. As always, this looks wonderful. There are few positives, however on the writing side. Slaine is always filled with overwrought, knowing monologues with not very deep subtext, and they frequently get in the way. With writer Pat Mills expressing his frustration at, well, everything to do with writing for Rebellion, Dragontamer looks to be the final Slaine story. I did not think it too soon.



Modern horror Thistlebone returns with Poisoned Roots. In the style of Wickerman or Midsommar, Thistlebone is a slow burning tale of brooding terror. Opening with a seemingly ordinary meeting in the street, theres a sense of unease from the very beginning. Maybe it’s seeing a glass bottle fall without the release of a “smash, or the weird eyes looking out at us...just a few pages later there are ancient corpses being unearthed.

I also love seeing Scots dialect in print, and artist Simon Davis’ art sparkles even when his characters are deliberately ordinary.


In Proteus Vex: The Shadow Chancellor, The flesh pilot/Vex finds a data filter spliced in Andrum’s system, designed to inhibit translation picoborgs for the Silent. It’s that sort of story.

Filled with sci-fi babble, weird characters and warring alien species, Proteus Vex may well have lost some readers by now. At heart though, it’s an action packed romp that throws out twists at every turn.

This episode, Vex plans to reveal the truth about the War. Within five pages three new characters enter the fray, there’s a shoot-out, two flashbacks, an introduction to the importance of “translation picoborgs” in interspecies espionage, a tense conversation at gunpoint, and a bit of diplomacy. It doesn’t stop, and it never looks less than wonderful.


Durham and the man who wants her dead come head to head in Durham Red: Served Cold. After weeks of cross and double cross, and several episodes of gunfights and explosions, the whole things slows down as we learn about what brought us here. It’s a well written character piece, as hero and villain sit and talk and both get a sympathetic backstory. Durham Red has been reinvented a couple of times in 2000AD history, never with huge success, but this episode gives a whole new edge to the character.

Our Score:


A Look Inside