Until February 2012, I’d never read 2000AD weekly for anything more than a few weeks.
Then I made the pledge. I will read the comic for a year, and tell you what I reckoned each and every week. Nearly a year later, I’m a convert. And the weekly 2000AD is where I still tell you all about it….
Cover by Boo Cook – a rather nice homage to Carlos Ezquerra’s original from Prog 220. And no, of course I didn’t know that – I found out from the excellent 2000AD Covers Uncovered blog.
Judge Dredd by Rob Williams and Mike Dowling
Okay, by now you’ll all have seen the promo stuff from 2000AD, splashed all over with the predictable ‘Judge Dredd -GAY!‘ headlines. Well done to 2000AD and Michael Molcher for the marketing involved of course, and yes the media did their normal thing with it, and yes it would be great if they did more stories on Dredd and 2000AD without this sort of hook to prod them, but bloody hell, it’s been nice to see even a few stores these past few weeks that concentrate on the reasons why Dredd is the most asexual and repressed soul in Mega-City.
And as for the lower end media’s prurient interest in the prospect of Dredd being gay. It doesn’t matter does it? And that’s the big point here. Dredd loves the law first and only. Anything after that is so suppressed that there’s a whole maze of closets to come out of before we even find out whether he’s gay, straight, bi- or anything else. Dredd is asexual, and that’s the whole point of Dredd.
Okay, media thing over with…. but is it any good as a story?.
Yes. It is. Initially I had another reaction, thinking it was too forced, a reactionary thing with Rebellion suddenly realising they haven’t really bothered with gay characters before. But a little digging around in the history shows me they have, never perhaps this overtly, but then again, that’s the best way – why make a huge song and dance about it when it’s far better to simply put it out there as an ongoing part of life in the mega-city.
So now that I don’t have to be pissed off that this is the first gay mention in Dredd, and skipping over the bloody clunky line “It’s the 22nd Century and homosexuality isn’t illegal….” that is rather dragged kicking and screaming into the narrative flow, it’s actually a very well constructed tale of Mega-City life, a sweet, well told tale, focusing not on the Dredd fetish club (great visual gag by the way and such an obvious thing to happen in MC-1) but on the strength of the character, and the horror of a family slowly being destroyed. So yes, very nicely done.
Savage by Pat Mills and Patrick Goddard
Now granted, last week we had the slightly daft image of Savage and company pinned behind a very small wall, and Savage standing up, almost to taunt the Volgon soldiers, who obviously didn’t feel like shooting at that moment. But that was okay, I could ignore that. But this week it gets sillier and needs mentioning.
Middle of the day, no air support, heavily armoured block on the high high ground full of snipers. So Savage fires a grenade ineffectually into the ground in front of the block and sends all the foot soldiers into the killing zone. It doesn’t go well. It simply couldn’t. But it’s the obvious stupidity of it that rankles so much.
Aside from that, Savage is still a dman good adventure, and Goddard’s art is delightfully old-school.
Ampney Crucis Investigates by Ian Edginton and Simon Davis
After the thrills of the car chase last time we get a Crucis bat-mobile here. And the interrogation of the captured (and somewhat dead) Babbagist begins, with a special surprise alternate world guest star.
Enjoyed it more last week for sure, but I’m enjoying Ampney’s adventures overall as a jolly japery sort of thing in my head, and has that Agatha Christie comfort food sort of feel – I say that as a good thing by the way. Edginton’s writing and Davis’ art both good, not really pitching into great that often, and there’s a wonder in the back of my mind where they’re actually taking the suspiciously slight story here.
The Red Seas by Ian Edginton and Steve Yeowell
I feel worse and worse about this. I knew Ian Edginton back in Birmingham and he’s a lovely bloke, and a great writer at times (seriously – look at Brass Sun, Leviathan, Scarlet Traces etc etc) and I’ve enjoyed Steve Yeowell’s stuff since Zenith.
But no. Not in Red Seas. Sorry gents. It’s one that never got me at all. Too much to question and scratch my head over and not enough to paper over the cracks – that panel above for example – Jack’s just been hit by the bloody huge collection of dead bodies. Incredible forces involved… I know applying physics to a story where a bunch of pirates venture into hell to face off against the Devil is a bit dumb. But still.
Strontium Dog by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra
Okay, I didn’t like it when it started, and to be honest I’m still not exactly enamored by SD, but it’s slowly growing on me, or at least I’ve accepted it as a well crafted piece of nothing. I know loads of you are liking it far more. I know. But to me it’s simply a 5-pages at the end of the comic to read and forget as soon as it’s finished. Enjoyable-ish at the time, but nothing more.
Oh, and as a little treat, here’s that Carlos Ezquerra original cover, again courtesy of 2000AD Covers Uncovered….