You know those weekends where you get a load of things done, with no stress and loads of relaxing going on? Yeah, well that’s what I wish this weekend would have been like. Sadly not. Which is why this is a run-through at some speed of the 2000AD I have just managed to find time to read.
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.”
First impressions – I have no idea who or what is going on on Cliff Robinson’s cover of the new strip The Simping Detective, but everything about it makes me want to delve inside and find out. Great, great cover. Best of the year contender I reckon?
Judge Dredd: Another post Chaos Day storyline, another post Chaos day writer. And this tale of a sleeper agent awake and loose in Mega-City One sees Rob Williams setting up fairly nicely, with his overweight mid-life crisis builder suddenly finding he has abilities way beyond his expanding waistband. The art from Harrison aint bad either, although the occasional computer generated backdrop just clatters against the figure stuff.
One thing that did make me think “huh?” – would Dredd really jump to the immediate conclusion that this was one super rogue agent at work all of a sudden? Would he really immediately go running to the Chief Judge with this assumption? Maybe that’s just me, but it just seems a bit “moving it all forward as fast as we can”. And the great joy of Dredd for me thus far, has been reading Wagner doing everything deliciously slowly. I’d love to see more of that.
(Judge Dredd by Rob Williams and Mark Harrison)
Brass Sun: It’s absolutely my favourite thing right now. Something near perfect in so many ways, that this episode gives us the huge reveal. Or at least it would have done, had the little summary paragraph not been blowing it for weeks now. But despite that, Edginton and Culbard still manage to ramp up the whole unreal and epic feel of this strip, with a pull-away shot that fills me with so many questions, and an ending that may begin answering just some of them next episode.
(Brass Sun by Ian Edginton and INJ Culbard)
ABC Warriors: Nope, I’m just not getting it. And week on week it just feels ragged and pointless, even though Langley’s black and white stuff is far more acceptable to me than his overdone computer generated work (and yes, I do realise I’m a minority of one in that respect).
(ABC Warriors by Pat Mills and Clint Langley)
Grey Area: Oh, Abnett continues to frustrate with this one. Every time I think (hope) he’s delivering something very political, dealing with the hard edge of xenophobic extremes, where both the extra-terrestrial immigrants and the Exo Transfer Control Agents who police them are shown to be equally imperfect, he almost delivers…. almost.
And so it is here, that feeling of setting it up so strongly, but coming back to the routine standard of this sort of police procedural tale. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good ending, but given how interesting the setup and beginning of this was, the good ending is still a let-down. And then we have the art issues. Now Carter has been getting better, and I’m okay (ish) with his style now, but the hideous photoshopped head on body stuff here? Ouch.
(Grey Area by Dan Abnett and Lee Carter)
The Simping Detective: Like I said when talking about the cover, I have very little idea of the background to this one. But fear not, since the inside front cover and the first couple of pages do the trick and bring me up to speed; Undercover Judge Jack Point of the Wally Squad dresses up as a clown as cover, and like many other Wally Squad Judges, doesn’t have to do much to convince the world he’s a screw-up. But forgive my ignorance here…. Simp? There’s a reference to Church of Simpology, but that’s about it. Anyone want to fill me in?
But despite not knowing what’s going on with the whole Simp thing, everything else here works really rather well as a first episode. Spurrier’s script does the whole hard-boiled comedy stuff neatly and is eminently readable and fun for it. Not certain on Coleby’s art at times, but overall he’s doing enough to pull the strip off.
All in all, a neat start. But I’m beginning to have issues in 2000AD with the number of strips (Grey Area, Lenny Zero immediately spring to mind) that start so strong, yet fizzle out somewhat towards their end. Fingers crossed for The Simping Detective.
(The Simping Detective by Simon Spurrier and Simon Coleby)
Okay, five to eleven on a Sunday…. a touch late with this perhaps, but trust me, it’s been one of those weekends.