2000AD, PROG 2052

by Gavin Johnston on October 10, 2017

Writers: John Wagner; Pat Mills; Kek-W; Dan Abnett
Artists: Colin MacNeil; Simon Davies; Lee Carter; Steve Yeowell; Mark Harrison
Colourists: Chris Blythe; John Charles
Letterers: Annie Parkhouse; Elle De Ville; Simon Bowland
Publisher: Rebellion

Populism and media manipulation are rife in Judge Dredd: Icon. The construction of a pro-justice department statue has been hacked, resulting in a monument bearing the face of Robert Booth, the last President of the United States. Booth, who first appeared in 2000AD back in 1978, was a media savvy, self aggrandising isolationist, who rose to power amid rumours of voting corruption and promised to defend the United States with a hugely expensive and ultimately unsuccessful wall missile shield. A divisive figure, his sudden appearance provokes anger on many, many sides, both of which contain some very good people. 2000AD’s scathing satire of populist movements utilises Dredd as he was always intended – to speak truth to power and to hold a dark looking glass to political naivety.


The warrior Slaine battles with a demon in Slaine: The Brutanian Chronicles: Book Four: Archeon. In standard Slaine style the brutal brawl involves a convoluted conversation about how awful those in authority often are. Taking its precious time to get anywhere is Slaine’s style. Whilst the plot might be mindnumbing, it’s the art which drives Slaine forward. In places, the art here is excellent, but artist Simon Davies is being given a limited palette to play with. Slaine’s foes are largely static, the environments grey and uninteresting.


No such limitations in Indigo Prime: A Dying Art, where anything can happen. The reins of this wild horse have been handed from John Smith, who has had control of this insane adventure since the 1980’s, to writer Kek-W. The new writer takes tentative steps as a group of agents enter a dreaming AI in an attempt to save their stricken colleagues, whilst elsewhere the motivations of management are questioned. This is as close as your going to get to exposition in Indigo Prime. Little makes sense here, as future science and magic are stirred together into an obtuse and heady psychedelic brew. It’s the human element which is compelling, the small, touching moments of character which encourage us to care.


Hitmen Finnigan Sinister and Ramone Dexter have been in the game for a long time, and one big criticism of their stories has been the ever growing complexity of the back story. More recently, they’ve have returned to basics, with small and self contained comedy adventures. Sinister Dexter: The Devil & All His Wacks, dips lightly into the past, reviving a character with potential in future stories. Overall though, this particular tale says little, acting only as a reintroduction for those who may have been lost along the way and a promise of things to come


No plan survives contact with the enemy, and in Grey Area: Homeland Security the squad struggles to regroup after an equipment failure. Again, its a moment of exposition before the storm. Grey Area is still warming up, still building its team of characters, but the true enemy is still to be revealed.  


Our Score:


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