2000AD #2254 Review

by Gavin Johnston on October 20, 2021

Writers: Rob Williams, Arthur Wyatt, Gordon Rennie, Ian Edginton, Roger Langridge, Dan Abnett
Artists: Jake Lynch, Antonio Fuso, D'Israeli, Brett Parson, Mark Harrison
Colours: Jim Boswell
Letters: Annie Parkhouse, Jim Campbell, Simon Bowland
Publisher: Rebellion


Judge Dredd: The Hard Way is throwing everything at poor old Dredd, and this Prog he looks thoroughly exhausted. Trapped in a flooding undersea tunnel with a bunch of dedicated assassins, the Hard Way hasn’t just tried to kill the Lawman with explosions and bullets and knives, but with his very past: from unkillable hitmen, Soviet war droids, Pseudo-Kleggs, and this week Mrs Trapper Hagg and some Mechanismos. The Hard Way basically has Dredd trapped in a watery box with forty years of angry backstory coming at him from all angles.

Last week saw the unexpected arrival of Keeper Hagg, the bigger and angrier relative of Trapper Hagg, a fan favourite from way back in Prog 305. The drama is almost topped, though, by a division of Robot Judges infected with the delicious idea of a Memetic virus.

A viral form of mind control that makes the infected believe the sort of crazy things that Youtube algorithms have been trying to get us to believe for years is such a wonderfully relevant bit of satire.

There’s a lovely last minute twist this week, grounded in the idea that Dredd is the Meme-daddy; a man who exists as a representation of an idea.



Well, Diaboliks: Arrivederci Roma escalated quickly. One minute the paranormal troubleshooters are in disguise at a secret Vatican auction in order to buy a book of mysteries. The next, they’ve taken the Pope hostage and are trying to rescue some kids from a vault, provoking a diplomatic conflict between Heaven and Hell.

Previous episodes quietly shoo-ed away the idea that the strip was critizising mainstream religion, pointing out that the suspect behaviour was instead down to an offshoot of the church. All pretence is now throw from the window, with the Actual Pope showing up as a character and scenes of drinking, smoking nuns being mean to kids. 2000AD has never not been controversial.



At the other end of the spectrum, Pandora Perfect sets out to save her robo-friend Gort, in Mystery Moon. Poor Gort has been kidnapped and forced to work in the sausage mines, digging for sausages. If that’s already a little too silly for you, this episode includes a full song and dance number.

Pandora Perfect is a fun strip, with its origins in the Re-gened issues of 2000AD which are aimed at younger readers. It is silly, it is absurd, it is charming, it doesn’t have a hidden message, and it’s full of jokes. How well it sits alongside other stories in this Prog, I’m not entirely sure...



The Jovians (who are to Jupiter what Martians are to Mars), have arrived in the war between Earth and the Martian invaders. Scarlet Traces: Storm Front continues to be visually stunning, a blend of alien colours and shadow.



Taking a short break from her regular quest to give meaning to life in an infinite universe, this week sees Cyd captured by aliens whilst trying to retrieve her stolen luggage in the Out: Book 2.

It’s a bit of a side-adventure, breaking up the usual story whilst reminding us of the sheer alienness of aliens. It also includes what might be the first occasion of someone else speaking to Cyd’s magic talking bag (which destroys my previous theory that the talking bag is a symptom of a psychotic episode), and the second suggestion that Cyd has some bigger relevance to alien races than she thinks.

Our Score:


A Look Inside