2000AD, PROG 2069 REVIEW

by Gavin Johnston on February 20, 2018

Writers: Ian Edginton; Peter Milligan;Pat Mills
Artists: Dave Taylor; Rufus Dayglo; Patrick Goddard; INJ Culbard; Clint Langley
Colourists: Dominic Regan
Letterers: Simon Bowland; Ellie De Ville; Annie Parkhouse
Publisher:  Rebellion

After his little Russian adventure, Dredd is back in Mega City One in Judge Dredd: Live Evil. Artist Dave Taylor provides a strangely organic vision of the megopolis with some lovely, smoggy cityscapes as a spacecraft crashes into a crowded marketplace.  Dredd is forced to rely on unconventinial methods to determine what happened to the crew. Ian Edginton, a script writing veteran who has previously provided only a handful of Dredd stories, gives us a blunt and heartless Dredd, who forces the exorcist Judge Lamia, last seen way back in 2009, back into action. After his quiet brooding of the last few issues, and his role as a soldier in the Progs prior to that, its nice to have Dredd back in a police procedural. Its a little jarring though, that the change in writer means that Dredd appears to have learned nothing from his prolonged mistreatment and lacks any compassion for those who suffer in the same way. Judge Lamia, who is part of the long list of female psychics who have been introduced to counter Dredd’s toxic masculinity, is an interesting character who is (literally) haunted by past disasters and will hopefully stick around.


After promising a plot twist that might just turn all of this craziness around, Bad Company: Terrorists becomes almost indecipherable weird once more. Friends are reunited, only to be be lost again, and we’re left wondering why the returned in the first place. I lost track of what was happening in this episode, as it reads like some panels are missing. We rush through action, old soldiers reflect on loss, and we rush headlong into the next battle.


Savage: The Thousand Year Stare opens with a Mexican stand-off, as the evil Howard Quartz has Bill at gunpoint, but for convoluted reasons can’t pull the trigger. General Rakov is himself at the mercy of Volodina, who led Bill into this trap in the first place, but has an inexplicably changed her mind yet again about what side she is on. Rakov, meanwhile, is threatening to have his robots attack Quartz, who for some reason is unable to control the robots which he funded and is worried despite having spent the last few weeks demonstrating just how bulletproof he is. None of this makes sense. As an extended action sequence it’s well executed, but logic has long since abandoned Savage and characters exist only to move the story forward, and the story exists only to repeatedly tell us all about the evils of capitalism.


As does ABC Warriors: Fallout. Quartz’s evil plan to...kill some robots? Conquer the society he already secretly runs? Win the Iron Throne? It’s not entirely clear. Anyway, his plan to make the good guys fight each other over several Progs has been utterly and immediately abandoned for no real reason other that to move the plot forward. Meanwhile, Blackblood, whose sole purpose is to betray the Warriors in every story he appears in, has unexpectedly been revealed as responsible for betraying the Warriors. The good guys are now at least fighting the bad guys, in a series of well executed and shiny panels from Clint Langley.


“Brass Sun”: words as likely to divide the 2000AD fanbase as “Savage is overrated” or “Alpha and Wulf were secret lovers”. With last week’s almost soundless discovery that Wren had abandoned her quest and was living quietly on a tropical world, we get some exposition this Prog, as we catch up on what is revealed to be a gap of several years. Brass Sun: Engine Summer, has begun to remind me of the video game No Man’s Sky. Undoubtedly beautiful worlds, filled with wondrous forms of life are visited in each episode, as the characters undertake an unimaginable journey. But its not for everyone. Plenty of readers will be disappointed at the lack of sustained action, or the glacial pace, or just find the whole thing repetitive and unappealing. But with so many bullets and squarejawed heroics elsewhere, some will find solace in this quiet corner of the universe where the unexpected might just happen.

Our Score:


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