2000AD, PROG 2071 REVIEW

by Gavin Johnston on March 06, 2018

Writers: Ian Edginton; Pat Mills; Peter Milligan
Artist: Dave Taylor; Patrick Goddard; INJ Culbard; Clint Langley; Rufus Dayglo
Colourist: Dominic Regan
Letterer: Annie Parkhouse; Ellie De Ville; Simon Bowland

After a couple of creepy Progs which reintroduced the exorcist Judge Lamia and set up the mysterious arrival of a ship with a dead crew, Judge Dredd: Live Evil catches up with exposition this week. We learn about the dark force which has arrived in Mega City One in an explanation heavy episode. Ian Edginton gives us a Dredd who does what he usually does in a situation he doesn’t know how to handle, which is to mostly stay quiet and occasionally make angry remarks, but Lamia is clearly the star here. The explanation given for the series of possessions feels a little unsatisfying in terms of the larger world, but does give artist Dave Taylor a great opportunity to show off his otherworldly, organic style.


Savage: The Thousand Year Stare ends as it lived; in a flurry of action that lacks internal logic. Jumping forward in time, Bill sets out to save Volodina from life as a traffic warden, whilst Howard Quartz sets a trap. The fast moving final episode relies characters having knowledge that there’s no reason they could have, other characters being willing to do something that there is no suggestion they ever would, and both Bill and Quartz making incredibly stupid tactical mistakes. The final action is rushed, and the storytelling suffers. On one page, understanding the transition between two panels relies on the reader remembering a short sequence that appeared in 2000AD more than a year ago. The whole purpose of this story was for Bill to abandon his war against the Volgans, and take up a new war against the mysterious Complex who secretly run the world...which raises questions about why Bill was sent on this mission in the first place. The final denouement in which Bill abandons his newly adopted hobby of serial killing feels entirely unnatural. We’re being guided at speed through a story for the purpose of getting to the next collection.


After a couple of emotional episodes, Brass Sun: Engine Summer pulls on its action pants and gets down to business. Artist INJ Culbard shows he is as capable at conveying fast moving action as dreamlike landscapes as Wren’s peace is shattered by invaders. There’s some really interesting panel layouts, and what could have been a confusing battle is clearly conveyed. With the minimal art style and often limited dialogue, it’s easy to quickly flip through Brass Sun. Instead, take a moment to appreciate the delicate use of colour, the design and the sense of movement and emotion.


Is this the end of Blackblood? The Warriors have finally grown tired of Blackblood’s treacherous ways in ABC Warriors: Fallout. After his ill-conceived and lengthy plot to temporarily inconvenience the team for unclear reasons, the gang got together last week to put an end to his meddling. This week, the whole team are surprised the Blackblood possesses an ability that he has demonstrated and explained several times in the last few progs. ABC Warriors allows Clint Langley to provide some nice bullet-soaked fightscenes, but it’s characters behave an a bizarre fashion which serves only the plot. As with Savage, the reader is being led through a story for the purpose of getting to the next story.


Bad Company: Terrorists suffers from similar issues. Whilst visually interesting, the gang have spent weeks stumbling from one set-piece to another. A suggestion made few weeks ago of a reality behind the story has all but fallen away, and this Prog we get yet another lesson on the horrors of war. Bad Company has a whole cast of characters, but few of them have been given anything to do, appearing only for a few lines whilst Danny Franks narrates. With only a week to go, its difficult to see how this mission will be resolved in a satisfactory fashion.

Our Score:


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