2000AD #2235 Review

by Gavin Johnston on June 09, 2021

Writers: Ken Niemand; Gordon Rennie; Laurence Rennie; Rory McConville; Dan Abnett
Art: Dylan Teague; Boo Cook; Dan Cornwell; Richard Elson; PJ Holden
Colours: Len O'Grady; Chris Blythe
Letters: Annie Parkhouse; Simon Bowland; im Campbell (l)



Apparently, until now Dylan Teague has provided a whole bunch of colour to other artist’s strips (in fact, that’s his colours on the cover), but hasn’t had his own solo Dredd work. Luckily this outrage will continue no longer, as Judge Dredd: Brief Encounter is here.

There’s no bombast or explosions. It’s just a quiet and gentle tale of two citizens waiting to be swept up in the justice machine, perfectly suited to the detailed, intimate art. I was expecting a damning final twist – this is scripted by Ken Niemand, a man who may not even exist, after all– but none came. Just a lovely story, packed with character. Dredd shows the same view of lawyers as the British Home Secretary, and a couple of people briefly encounter each other.




Mechastopheles continues it’s sort-of-soft-reboot in The Hunting Party. The massive killer robot is now home to entire societies, warring among themselves within his giant metal belly. Those factions are the focus here, as characters are introduced in the midst of a small battle. It does a good job of introducing characters whilst looking beautiful.



The justice department dimension-hoppers investigate an alien invasion in Department K: Cosmic Chaos. It’s a surprisingly quick five pages, probably due to a...well, I’ll leave you to find out, but I think it might be cheating. It’s an efficient set up, taking characters from safety to the midst of battle on an alien world.




There’s a bit of a change of pace in Feral & Foe. Every week until now has been a pacey adventure as the trio of heroes recovered the malignant Chalice for the necromancer Golgone. That done, we’re into the stage of the story that requires exposition – but even that doesn’t go as expected. As the characters quarrel over whether to resurrect a long dead leader and shake up the balance of power, the self aware dialogue and high faluting philosophising soon descend into angry swearing and accusations, along with a shocking revelation.




Finally, Noam Chimpsky is in space in Chimpsky’s Law: The Talented Mr Chimpsky. There’s a truly charming set up here, as the awful Jepperson family are introduced in a style that’s a mix of Agatha Christie and Guy Ritchie, before both genres are smashed to bits.

The Jeppersons made their fortune in enslaving intelligent apes. For all the knockabout humour and over the top characters, there’s a real darkness to this tale. Chimpsky has been developed as a character who can solve technical issues with ease, so giving him a moral dilemma in his first solo story is a smart move.

Our Score:


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