2000ad Sci Fi Special
Has it been a year already? Geez.
Last year’s revival of the seasonal specials were a hit. Rebellion retain the formula and revive another old favourite for this year’s summer bumper package.
Greg Staples provides an excellent ensemble old school image, taking me back to the early eighties and my childhood. Striking and eye catching, everything a cover should be, and a much better effort than last year’s half hearted attempt. Staples seems to be Rebellion’s go to guy for their launch covers, and on the basis of this, you can see why.
Dredd’ kicks off proceedings , written by Michael Carroll and drawn by Jake Lynch. Joe deals with a film production company filming a heist movie. Nothing is that straight forward in Dredd’s world, a member of the crew with an axe to grind, and revenge in mind. Lynch’s art is nicely scratchy, unkempt (in a good way) and harks back to mid eighties Mike McMahon’s big footed characters and linework. Storywise, it’s not brilliant, it feels like an old annual story (which I guess is the point) and the punchline is anti climactic.
Alex Worley and Mark Simmons’s Robo Hunter revival continues. Sam takes on the virus infected tech of Brit Cit’s tech baron – a cross between Tony Stark and Richard Branson. The trouble with revivals is that you always compare with the original, and previous attempts and re booting the strip haven’t succeeded. This makes a good attempt at replicating the lunacy and chaos of the early days, though it doesn’t reach those heights. It is certainly far better than either Hogan’s (or dear god) Millar’s runs from the nineties and early noughties. Are these one offs or a try out for a new series?
A three page Future Shock : “Dust” follows, written by the (new to me) Gary Blatchford with astonishing art from John Higgins. We’re read this plot before, but the art is gorgeous.
Did I mention I liked the art?
“Ace Trucking Company” is the latest revival from 2000ad’s distant past. Ace Garp – really? You want to revive ACE GARP? Sam Slade, Rogue Trooper, Harry Twenty for Cliff’s sake and now Ace? ACE?
I had just started reading the Galaxy’s Greatest on a weekly basis as Ace was carrying out his last lug haul. Nice script, the trucker slang is toned down (but wasn’t that half the fun?) and it has a good choice of artist in Nick Dyer, different enough from Massimo Belardinelli but retaining the spirit of the original strip.
“Survival Geeks” is up next. Hmmm, you know what? This makes me miss “Bec & Cawl”. Not many of 2000ad’s recent humour strips have hit the mark. This is no different, shrug and move on, not much that is compelling here. Nice art from Googe, but both Rennie and Beeby have written better.
Guy Adams and Darren Douglas return to “Rogue Trooper”. This has echoes of a 25+ year old classic one off by Peter Milligan and Jose Ortiz called the “Fanatics”. The Norts deploy one of the most powerful weapons, and which even Rogue isn’t immune to – propaganda, war is hell eh? Lovely art from Darren Douglas, and a great script and plot from Guy Adams. This team would be great on a regular “Rogue” strip, but you know what? Rogue is in such a mess that perhaps it just best to leave well alone.
Capped off with a teaser of the next “Defoe”, this year’s special is definitely more hit than miss. Any chance of a wordsearch next time?