Okay, I made a pledge back in 2012 to regularly read 2000AD, and cleverly I called it the 2012 2000AD Pledge. Well, it may not be a whole year yet, but seeing as I made it one of my ten best comics of 2012 I reckon the pledge bit worked out fine. I’m staying with the comic, even have it on order at the local newsagents (yes, they even do the thing of writing my name across the cover – oh, the memories that brings back!)
So here we go, nice and simple, the weekly 2000AD…..
(Oh, and if the first thing you thought of when I told you that they wrote my name on the cover was “that just reduces the value”, then please, you need to remember that these are comics. Comics are for reading.)
2000AD Prog 2014
Love the cover from Simon Davis, especially that “The Martian Monocles” strapline pun.
Underneath it all it’s still the same line-up as last week, and still suffers somewhat from being the inevitable come-down from the highs late in 2012. Still, it was always going to be a cyclical thing, peaks and troughs inevitable with a weekly anthology. We’ll see where it goes, and after this long I know it’s got potential to do so well. Give it time, give it time.
Judge Dredd by Robbie Morrison and Peter Doherty
Okay, episode 2 of Heller’s Last Stand, with Dredd’s continuing evaluation of Judge Heller not going well. Thing is, Heller’s got a secret far more pressing to him than an expanding waistline and killer cholesterol level. Problems, problems eh?
Doherty’s art is fine, but all the way through dammit if it just doesn’t look too bright and clean and artificial to be MC1 right now. And Morrison’s story works just fine. I’m just having to adjust to normality once more, having to get used to issues where we’re not just smack in the middle of a complex multi-part thriller such as Day Of Chaos or The Cold Deck/Trifecta. I’ll get there I’m sure, and this isn’t bad at all.
The Red Seas by Ian Edginton and Steve Yeowell
Nope. Not really doing much for me still. It certainly has the whole end times feel to it, a series coming to an ending. Oh, and there’s a two-headed dog. Nope, no idea. But hey, each to their own.
Savage by Pat Mills and Patrick Goddard
Again, Savage continues to both disprove my thinking that Pat Mills’ writing was terminally awful lately and prove my assertion that there’s good Mills and bad Mills. Weirdly this serial seems to be establishing a cross-over between good and bad Mills as we’re veering into ABC Warriors territory now; Hammerstein units liberating the UK from the West and marching on London. It’s right before the Volgon War, with Bill Savage deciding he does need to be part of the battle after all, a very visible leader on the frontlines, no matter what the risk.
Mills is rather over-milking the political stuff here; the names of the various factions, the call to arms stuff. Just seems over the top at times. But strip some of that away (and get rid of the image of Cameron and Boris as Bullingdon Boys freedom fighters – urggh) and you have a bloody cracking boys-own adventure with a twist and some damn fine artwork.
Ampney Crucis Investigates by Ian Edginton and Simon Davis
Okay, Red Seas isn’t for me, but I’m thinking that this second Edginton written serial has got me interested. The time travelling toff Crucis is beginning to realise just how different this alternate Earth really is, as he gets to meet the Martian ambassador. Of course, so much time is given over to emphasising just how wonderfully good and peaceful these Martians are that you just know there’s going to be some ulterior motive. Especially after the ambassador utters the phrase “When I arrived here, Mars was an ageing, ailing world with but a few millennia of life left in it” – that pretty much starts a clock on the reveal that the Martians don’t really come in peace.
But some of the enjoyment here is seeing the strip play up too the cliches, milk the genre for all it’s worth and do it very well. Nice intro as well, with a little mystery of a secret planet where the asteroid belt is meant to be. Yes, this feels deliciously throw-away but stupidly fun.
Strontium Dog by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra
Nope. Not at all. Not a bit. Ezquerra’s art is alright but it seems a little bit lifeless, by the numbers here. And there’s nothing in the story that makes me even the slightest bit interested in what the hell is going on. Three episodes in now and there’s been nothing to convince me this isn’t just here because Wagner and Ezquerra are Wagner and Ezquerra.