Okay, I made a pledge back in 2012 to regularly read 2000AD, and cleverly I called it the 2012 2000AD Pledge.
But it’s not 2012 anymore, and I’m sticking with 2000AD after a great year of stories. What the hell am I going to do with that title though? The 2013 2000AD Pledge doesn’t exactly work. I’ll figure it out next week…. in the meantime….
2000AD Prog 1813 – Cover by Neil Roberts
Hold on before I begin, spare just one thought for those poor souls who want to catalogue these comics. I think back to my days in the basement at Nostalgia & Comics. Something like this would cause serious problems. We’ve gone Prog 1812, Prog 2013, Prog 1813. That’s just wrong. Thankfully I don’t have to worry about these sorts of things anymore, but solidarity comrades – spare a thought for those who find their lives messed up with this. Bad Tharg.
Okay, here we go. A new year for 2000AD. Five strips, Dredd plus the four that already started in Prog 2013. I wasn’t all that convinced then. I’m still not that enamoured to be honest. It’s probably just a hangover from the finale to the year, but there’s also a feel here of too many of the strips doing the same sort of second episode thing, but such is the problem with having 4 of your five strips at exactly the same point. We’ll not give up hope yet though eh?
Judge Dredd by Robbie Morrison and Peter Doherty
Okay, this is the impossible task being asked of Morrison here. Make me impressed after the best Dredd for some time, after the superb Cold Deck/ Trifecta. God, it’s not a surprise to find this a bit of a let-down. Or at least a bit of a switch-down, a change of pace, and it simply may take a little while to get used to it. Morrison’s voice at least feels right, and Judge Heller’s voice over on that page above has the required sound of a man at the end of his service, world-weary and tired.
Anyone want to fill me in on the identity of Judge Heller by the way? Is he a recurring character or just someone invented for this new storyline, where Heller is having a performance evaluation from hell courtesy of Dredd. Who really, really doesn’t like Heller all that much, and may well have many more reasons to dislike him very soon.
Savage by Pat Mills and Patrick Goddard
Pat Mills’ 2000AD stuff has had me running for cover thus far (Flesh, ABC Warriors) yet here in Savage he seems determined to prove that his writing is very much the marmite thing so many people tell me it is. Here in Savage it’s maybe too early to be conclusive but this reads really nicely, as we join Bill Savage, resistance leader against those damned Volgons, as he gathers forces for the forthcoming Battle Of London, including some very familiar robots.
So, in two episodes this is already way more interesting than ABC Warriors, and the art’s so much more to my taste. Best thing in the issue.
Ampney Crucis Investigates by Ian Edington and Simon Davis
The Red Seas by Ian Edginton and Steve Yeowell
Stuck together purely because they’re both written by Ian Edginton. The Red Seas frankly I’m just not sure about, part of me liked the idea last time especially when the devil got in on the act right at the end, but here it’s not doing much for me, and is beginning to feel to much like a wind everything up, good for the existing fans sort of things.
I imagine if you’re a fan it’s going to be fun to see the ending, but there’s no way I can get into this now.
Ampney Crucis Investigates on the other hand is something I think I can get into. Again, as with Savage, it’s new to me, but I can get into the quirky set-up of a the monocled gent and his butler swanning around a parallel world, investigating a train robbery with a time-travel twist. And a big twist at the end as well. Liking it.
Strontium Dog by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquera
Right, you know how sometimes you get into something enough that any confusion in joining a long-running story is easily sorted with a little leg-work and reading around the subject. Dredd, Nikolai Dante being cases in point.
And then there’s the opposite. A story that completely fails to engage on any level. Something about the monster that was inside Johnny Alpha and is now inside Sir Pelham – I have no idea of the context or the history. But sadly I just don’t care enough. I know it’s a legacy strip and as such it’s going to really appeal (I expect) to old fans of the character. But that’s not me.