Getting released on 28th of May both in print and digitally, this special edition “provides new and upcoming creators with the chance to work on some of 2000 AD’s finest characters – including Rogue Trooper, Robo-Hunter and Durham Red.”
I’ve read through it twice now so here’s a quick run through of the contents and what I thought of them. It’s not gonna start well I’m afraid
Cover – Art is subjective so some may like this but to me it looks like the cover to the first issue of a third rate fanzine. Genuinely amazed this is what they’ve gone for. The fan forum gets better than this in it’s monthly art comps. Grab someone from there FFS.
Dredd : Jinxed – Emma Beeby is a good writer, I don’t think she’s a good Dredd writer. Really enjoyed her 3Rillers and Dr Who stuff, hated her Dredd, both solo and co-written and this hasn’t changed my opinion. Art by Eoin Coveny is pretty cool with some nice comedic touches and a great sense of movement but still couldn’t save it for me.
Robo Hunter : The Bodj Job – A welcome return for a fun character, the type of which 2000AD seems to have been missing lately. One full comedy strip per issue would be appreciated please Mr Tharg, it can all get a bit heavy sometimes. Very rare a comic can make me laugh out loud but one panel in this totally did that. I won’t spoil it… you’ll know it when you see it. Read like old Robo and really nice art selling the jokes. Only whinge would be one of the robots being described in the dialogue as being a lot less shiny and metallic than it appeared which kinda threw me a bit. Art by Mark Simmons and story by Alec Worley. As Alec’s not exactly a 2000AD newbie I’m hoping his inclusion in this issue is less about giving him a shot and more about gauging reaction to a Robo Hunter return. If so, count me in.
Future Shocks : The Expose. Nice, tight future shock from Jody Leheup and Jefte Palo. Hope to see more from both. And if Mr Mills is looking for a new Accident Man artist……
Judge Anderson star scan from Fay Dalton. You have to see this to believe it. Absolutely beautiful. I want a poster and I want an ongoing series with her on art. If you dont think of floppy issues as disposable you’ll want to buy two copies so you can cut one of these out and frame it.
Durham Red by Robert Murphy and Duane Redhead. Not read too much Durham Red so the only story I can really compare it to is the one in the Free Comic Book Day issue. For me, this was a lot better than that so job done. Couple of story telling confusions though where it’s not totally clear what’s happening but not enough to spoil the story at all. How is the transport taken down again? And from which side? Sorry, I’ve caught art nit-picking from Flint… I’ll move on. It was fun and I enjoyed it.
Orlok : Agent of East Meg 1 – Not been the biggest fan of Arthur Wyatt in the past but I really liked this one. Prequel to the Orlok stuff we’ve seen before and more of a straight espionage thriller than a sci-fi one. Nice tie in to Dredd continuity too. Art is by Jake Lynch and while it may be a bit indie for some people’s tastes I enjoyed it. Good stuff.
Rogue Trooper : Dreggs of War – Absolutely loved this. Probably my pick of the issue, unless the earlier mentioned pin up counts. As with the Robo Hunter I’m hoping this is a precursor to the character’s return and again as with Robo Hunter I’d be more than happy if the same team got the gig. This one expecially ends with too cool a setup to let go to waste so yeah… more please. Brilliant.
EDIT : Even tho you can see it in the pic below I forgot to credit the creators. Guy Adams script and Darren Douglas on art
All ends with a Slaine star scan by Ben Willsher which I’m sure the ladies of the megacast will appreciate. The boy’s been working out.
So worth getting? Definitely. While it did feel a bit like a high budget issue of Zarjaz at times that’s not a bad thing. Great showcase for some new talent and as I mentioned, hopefully signals the return of two much missed characters. And did I mention the Anderson star scan?