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Author Topic: 2000ad Prog 2013  (Read 3133 times)
Rob, no not that one.
Charmander
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« on: January 03, 2013, 02:25:53 PM »

New year new 2000ad review from me this time the bumper 100 page end of year special prog 2013 only slightly delayed by festive shenanigans.

As usual this is a mixed bag of sci-fi and fantasy stories all starting at episode one to create a handy jumping on point for new readers. Let me break it down for you.

Cover: Tharg the Mighty 2000AD's alien editor hogs the front page glory courtesy of Edmund Bagwell. An odd choice for the cover star and kind of a flat composition this one fails to pop for me would have prefered something a bit more dynamic or at least something festive. 2stars

Judge Dredd: Violent night
Story Mike Carroll Art Ben Willsher

Previously Following the disastrous events of Day of Chaos Megacity 1 is a smoking ruin with 80 percent of the population dead and the survivors attitudes to the Judges ranging from sullen hostility to armed insurrection Dredd faces a daily battle to bring order from the chaos.

An action packed start to the issue with Dredd in hot pursuit in a snowstorm before being taken out by a sniper. He wakes up to find he has been rescued by a group of civilians before to bad guys show up again so that Dredd can deal with them in his own inimitable style. A fantastic stand alone story Mike Carroll showing once again that he has a firm grasp of Dredd's character, his interactions with the civilians are particularly impressive,  the whole thing brought to life by Ben Willsher’s art. 5 stars

Absalom: Dirty postcards

Previously: A grizzled cancer ridden alcoholic kept alive by black magic and spite Harry Absalom heads up the branch of the metropolitan police that enforces "The Accord" the secret treaty between the English Crown and the forces of hell.

Harry and his two deputies are called to a run down seaside town where Harry meets with a mysterious thin man leaving the other two to deal with a soul stealing photographer. This whole thing is creepy as hell the clown like photographer and the ghosts of his victims are particularly effective. As an introduction to the series it does a good job of setting the tone and exploring character interactions but skimps on minor details like telling us character names and explaining the plot. Overall a good story despite some narrative flaws.
4 stars
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Rob, no not that one.
Charmander
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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2013, 02:30:00 PM »

part 2

Savage book 8: Rise Like Lions.
Pat Mills and Patrick Goddard

Previously: Another England another 2010. When the fascist Volgans conquered Britain in 1999 truck driver Bill Savage took up his trusty shotgun and fought back. Eleven years on Bill is a leader in the resistance still taking the fight to the Volgs preparing for liberation.

We open with a spetsnaz squad executing a brutal dawn raid ending with the apparent death of Bill Savage and his family. Of course the real Bill is alive and well and the rest of the story follows him as he discusses the morality of armed resistance to invaders with some barflies before meeting with his American contact who promises him that they will soon be able to break-out of their beachhead in Wales with the aid of the new mark two war robots.

It's amazing to read this and look back to the first Savage story, Invasion:1999 that appeared in the first issue of 2000ad some 35 years ago and compare the simple adventure yarn it was with the dark complex tale it has become. Despite being mostly talk Goddard brings the characters to life and imbues the few action scenes with a real sense of movement and danger showing himself to be a worthy successor to Charlie Adlard and Jesus Belasco. This new chapter is of to a flying start with the promise of many cool robots and desperate behind the lines fighting to come.
5 stars

Ampney Crucis Investigates: The Entropy Tango.
Ian Edginton and Simon Davis

Previously: Aristocratic detective Ampney Crucis may appear to be a mystery solving Bertie Wooster but he is in fact one of England’s foremost defenders, facing down terrors from beyond space and time with the aid of his faithful butler.

Following a series of misadventures Ampney and his butler Cromwell are stranded in a parallel world. Standard parallel world rule apply WW1 never happened, enemies are now friends, lost loves are returned and Zeppelins abound. Ampney doesn't have much time to reflect on living the life he might have had before being called up to investigate the destruction of a steam train by an inexplicable flood and the strange creatures that washed up in it. The story fairly zips along here establishing a new status quo, introducing a brace off new characters and a troubling new mystery for our heroes. Art by Simon Davis is well handled especially the characterizations and the splash pages depicting the flood and it's aftermath. 4stars
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Rob, no not that one.
Charmander
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« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2013, 02:36:03 PM »

part 3

Ack-Ack Macaque: Indestructible
Garth Powell Nick Dyer

Previously: The only entirely new story this issue so jump right in.

Ack-Ack is a Spitfire flying monkey with an eye patch and a spunky girl sidekick here he is blasting into action against a squad of Nazi tripods attacking shipping in the English channel. I wanted to like this I really did the art is solid and the story has enough mad ideas that it should appeal but I just didn't warm to it. Apparently this leads into a new novel from Solaris which might explain why it feels so flat being. It's a shame that an extended ad.
2star

The Red Seas: Fire Across The Deep.
Ian Edginton and Steve Yeowell

Previously: Dashing buccaneer Jack Dancer and his crew were infamous across the seven seas until they got tangled up with the supernatural. After many adventures Jack and the survivors of his crew prepare to face their final challenge.

Edgington and Yeowell pull out all the stops to kick off the last chapter of this long running series featuring an army of bronze automatons, a two headed talking dog, Sir Isaac Newton, a (not stupid) kraken and the devil himself. Not bad for the overture hopefully future installments will keep up the pace.
5 stars

Aquila: Quo Vadis, Domine?
Gordon Rennie and Leigh Gallagher

Previously: Former Nubian slave Aquila sold his soul to save himself from crucifixion in return for immortality he now serves the Destroyer walking the ancient world sowing death in his wake. However recent events have lead him to question his masters true purpose and his search for answers has brought him to the gates of Rome.

A more or less stand  alone episode, more of a promo for the next story arc than a tale in it's own right, still has much to recommend it. Aquilla gets to demonstrate his high levels of badassery by fighting some monsters in a graveyard and saving some early Christians including St. Peter, an incident my Sunday school teacher inexplicably failed to mention, before heading off to Rome to continue his quest. A well written and original story further enhanced by outstanding art Leigh Gallagher once again showing why he's the goto guy for historical action.
5stars
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Rob, no not that one.
Charmander
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« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2013, 02:47:34 PM »

part 4 (last one, promise)

The Visible Man: Scars
Pat Mills and Henry Flint

Previously: Another story from the early days of 2000ad the Visible Man told the tale of of Frank Hart whose skin and muscles are rendered transparent by a freak accident with some toxic waste. He is persecuted for his freakish appearance before being imprisoned and subjected to monstrous medical experiments he eventually escapes by hijacking a space capsule and declaring his resignation from the human race.

In this one off story Frank has returned to Earth and finds himself once again in the hands of the scientist who had experimented on him years before. They argue about the morality of the situation and the scientist tries to gain Franks trust by introducing him to a visible woman. Meanwhile a squad of navy divers investigate Franks capsule and are attacked by an alien. The story here is fairly basic and ends on a weird cliffhanger but Henry Flint’s wonderfully grotesque art lifts it above being merely filler.
3stars

Strontium Dog: Mutant Spring
John Wagner and Carlos Esquerez

Previously: Johnny Alpha is a mutant his genes twisted by the aftermath of nuclear war he was faced with a stark choice, accept his lot as part of a downtrodden underclass or risk his life hunting the scum of the galaxy as a bounty hunter. Johnny choose to become a search/destroy agent one of the feared and hated Strontium Dogs. Recently returned from the dead and back on Earth Johnny a mysterious voice in his head has guided him to a genocidal plot in the Canvey island mutant ghetto.

Captured by the worlds dumbest goons and brought before the big boss Alpha escapes by vomiting up an ugly green smoke monster and jumping out the window. A disappointing return for an old favorite that left me confused and hoping for better to come.
 2 stars

So TLDR? A solid 3 stars overall perhaps not quite you up to the dizzying heights of recent weeks but good fun regardless. If you are looking to jump on with 2000ad I recommend the recent prog 1800 over this but a hundred pages of original strip for under a fiver is not to be sniffed at.
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nathanaelrey
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« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2014, 03:31:09 AM »

Good to hear Like this site It makes me feel good to have people to share and listen.
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