2000 AD, the British sci-fi anthology magazine has been around for nearly 40 years. Let that sink in: 40 years. Since its inception, the publication has survived radical terrorism, made it through the Thatcher administration, witnessed the loss of a princess, had their country host an Olympics ,and more. Week in, week out, no matter what is happening there is one thing we, the people, can count on: there will always be a new 2000 AD.
This week readers are treated to something truly special from the 2000 AD camp. While 40 years of backstory is indeed intimidating, The Mighty Tharg, the all powerful alien editor has created the perfect jumping on point for new fans. This weeks prog #1874 features 5 brand new stories featuring some of the biggest names in 2000AD’s huge stable. With a strong line-up and solid stories contained within, prog 1874 is definitely worth your attention:
Judge Dredd: Mega City Confidential Part One
Writer: John Wagner
Art: Colin MacNiel
Colours: Chris Blythe
Letterer: Annie Parkhouse
First on the docket we have ol’ faithful himself, Judge Dredd. Written by Dredd legend John Wagner, this story involves a systems analyst named Erika who uncovers a dark secret within the government. Fearing she will be silenced, Erika goes on the lam with Dredd in hot pursuit.
With everything that is going on with the NSA, Snowden, the Ukraine, and South America, it’s safe to say that government confidence is at an all time low. In fact, the one system set up to protect us has seemingly turned into an unstoppable enemy capable of great evil. Wagner has always been a writer with his finger on the pulse, and this new Dredd story is no different. By casting the Judge in a villainous light, the reader is treated to a terrifying deconstruction of the modern world.
Sláine: A Simple Killing Part One
Writer: Pat Mills
Art: Simon Davis
Letterer: Ellie De Ville
Next on the docket we have Sláine, the Celtic warrior. Created by Pat Mills, returning once again to writing duties, Sláine is a barbarian epic, perfect for those of you who need their fantasy fix. One of the more straight forward stories in the bunch, Sláine comes across a group of thieves who are ransacking a shrine to long forgotten deity. Eager to teach the thieves some manners, with his expert killing skills, he learns that the thieves are not acting alone. It seems someone has been sacking shrines, and it’s up to Sláine to stop them.
The strength of Sláine lies in its art. While the simple story is premise enough to engross the reader, it is Simon Davis’ spirited pencils that make Sláine a must read. He perfectly captures the brutality and beauty of Sláine’s world.
Outlier: Part One
Writer: T.C. Eglington
Art: Karl Richardson
Letters: Annie Parkhouse
Outlier takes place in a neo-futuristic world with a huge class divide. On top of that, the universe is seemingly divided into two separate realms. One with a real God and one with a placebo God. While Eglington doesn’t delve too much into the world building, he does create a wonderful murder mystery. Without giving too much away, Outlier is by far the strongest story within the prog. Sporting excellent art and a tight script, Outlier will definitely bring readers back for another round.
Sinister Dexter: The Generican Dream: Gun Shy Part 1
Writer: Dan Abnett
Letters: Ellie De Ville
The long running series involving a pair of futuristic gun runners is far and away the weakest link in the prog. Its dated look and even further dated dialogue make Sinister Dexter more of a chore than an event. One to skip.
Jaegir: Strigoi Part One
Writer: Gordon Rennie
Art: Simon Coleby
Colours: Len O’Grady
Letters: Simon Bowland
This one is a spin-off from Rogue Trooper and one of the more exciting new properties from 2000AD. Focusing on Atalia Jaegir, a Dredd like female protagonist, Jaegir spends her time hunting down escaped fugitive on Nu-Earth.
Saving one of the best stories for last, Jaegir has a strong premise, great art and a fantastic hero. While it may have been a little on the short side, it’s enough to hold your interest. Readers will no doubt be excited to see where this story goes.