In February 2012, for the 35th anniversary of 2000AD, I made a pledge:
“But here’s a deal for you. If you’ll do it, so will I. 2012 will be the year I read 2000AD. 2012 will be the year YOU read 2000AD.”
2000AD Prog 1776
Great, great Chris Weston cover there.
Dredd is a bit of a same old same old here, a lull in the storyline, as we see more devastation heaped on MC1, big explosions all around, mass graves dug in the Cursed Earth, looters, rioters, curfews, basically the whole place going to shit (again). And although this is a bit of a lull, the whole thing so far has been a great bit of epic scale fun. We’re in set up mode for the next storyline really, the all gets bad before Dredd pulls it all round sort of thing. Enjoyable yet lightweight in a way, lots of this sort of thing going on:
(Dredd Day Of Chaos, Eve Of Destruction Part 12, by John Wagner and Henry Flint)
Whilst we’re on epic and fun; Flesh – Midnight Cowboys keeps on going for it; big, kinetic, messy b&w art (good messy though), huge dinosaurs trying to eat other huge dinosaurs. There’s a story in there as well regarding the humans around the dino, but really, isn’t it mostly about big dino-fighting? Yep, epic and fun as well.
(Flesh Midnight Cowboys by Pat Mills and James McKay)
The Zaucer Of Zilk by Brendan McCarthy and Al Ewing is another one bringing the epic and the fun, but bloody hell it does it by way of hyper-colourful weirdness and bizarre goings on, just as you’d expect from McCarthy, just as so many of us were hoping when we first heard about this one. Poor Al Ewing though. His role in this has rather been sidelined by us all (me included) talking up McCarthy. But Ewing’s co-scripting duties are just as important, just as much a requirement for our continued enjoyment here.
Back in the realm of Zilk this time, and a fine chance for piling on the weird; magic wands, teapot transports (the Ford Cuppa-T), screaming hordes of Zaucer fans; the texting teenie-moths, and then a chance to get on with a plot, as Zaucer meets Zultan, and family tensions are revealed. Frankly I don’t care what the story is, don’t care where it goes, this is worth it just as a ride-along to see what goes on.
(The Zaucer Of Zilk by Brendan McCarthy and Al Ewing)
Age Of The Wolf has impressed greatly so far, and this episode is the first where a little moment of huh? got into my head. There’s something wrong on the first page, something I first thought was a really dumb move … but it’s all explained, and makes a certain sense as Rowan’s pursuers start to draw in, allegiances are shifting, secrets and instabilities revealed.
There’s a big bit of this that’s starting to feel all-Preacher-y; the freakshow aspects, the backwoods idiots, the violence, and a little bit in the art and especially the layouts. But seeing how much fun Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s series was (well, before it got a little flabby in the middle of course) that’s no bad thing at all. However, the art is beginning, here and there, to look just that little bit ropey. Nothing really bad, just an occasional panel where something jars, there’s a leg that looks wrong here, a shot of Rowan’s face that looked wrong there. That sort of thing.
(The Age Of The Wolf II by Alec Worley and Jon Davis-Hunt)
(Nikolai Dante by Robbie Morrison and John Burns)
Okay, that’s it for another week.
You know, this is really getting stupidly enjoyable for me. I’m having a far, far better time than I imagined I would. In fact, if you want an idea of how much I’m enjoying it, there was a bit of me wondered if our local newsagent had the Megazine this week, but sadly not. I’m a good trip away from a local comic shop, and part of the whole 2000AD every week thing is about going out and getting the comic off the stands each week, so I’m going to resist the temptation to subscribe to both.
But so far, 7 weeks in, this is really getting good. The final key to it all falling into place will be the loss of Nikolai Dante. No offence meant to that strip but it just feels like something I’m coming to way too late in the storyline. So, no, it’s not doing much for me. But I can’t work out whether that’s down to it just not being all that much, or just me not caring all that much.
As for the rest of 2000AD, I’m having a bloody great time. Join me?