After a prolonged absence from all things ECBT2000AD Richard comes back to check out the Free Comic Book Day issue. And still feels like a tosser writing about himself in the third person for these intros.
Oh my god that is stunning! I’m a HUGE fan of Mike Allred and have been since picking up issue one of Madman way back in the 90s so this is perfect. Of course now I want him to do a Dredd/Anderson strip…maybe next year. For now I’ll make do with this and his ongoing Silver Surfer comic which you should really pick up! A quick note on the quality of the issue as well, it’s reeeeaaallly nice. I’m pretty much 100% digital for comics now and only buy trades in hard copy so dont know if the regular prog is on paper of this quality as it feels expensive! If the free comic book issue is the equivalent of a first date where you’re going all out to impress it’s doing a hell of a good job. Not saying I’d sleep with it. I’d let it come upstairs for a few drinks and see what happens though.
Dredd – Uncivil Partnership
Have I mentioned I have the hardcover Goon omnibus large enough to use as a raft and/or kill a rhino with? Well I do. So I’ve been all kinds of excited to read this since hearing Eric Powell was going to be doing a Dredd tale and, as expected it really doesn’t disappoint. Brilliant one and done story from Alec Worley, perfectly timed to reflect the idiotic Marvel vs DC movie bullshit currently filling up the internet. For the record…it’s ok to like all comic movies. Except the Green Hornet. That was shit. Anyway, takes the piss out of the nerds but in a good way and while I’m a big Zack Snyder fanboy I still laughed at the “I love how you destroyed the orphanage” line.
I really liked the premise and how it would be a beautiful story of two people reconnecting and warring factions putting aside their differences to live in harmony…if not for Dredd, as usual, being a total shit and ruining it for everyone. He seems to have a pathological hatred of seeing anyone happy! Also really liked how it was a gay couple but it just happened to be a gay couple rather than the usual “LOOK! PC BLOGGERS! DIVERSITY! TELL US WE’RE GREAT!” wank you usually get. The central characters were gay, it was no big deal. No soapboxing for the win!
And the art? It’s Eric Powell. Didn’t know if he was a Dredd fan at all so there was the slight worry he might have phoned it in (not that I’ve ever read anything of his where he was done that) but this was gorgeous to look at and again hats off to the production guys for the issue. Great action, comedy sold perfectly where needed and some crazy over the top violence. If a guest star artist is going to become a thing for these issues they’re gonna struggle to top this next year.
Reviewing an ad? Nah, but wanted to say I have this and it’s fucking great. But is it the best Dredd pinball game out there? No.
So if you’re reading this Rebellion…. in 1998 you licensed Dredd for a pc pinball game….that ran under DOS! I picked it up in a later collection called Pinball 10 which you can no longer buy. Get it back! Put it on Steam! Thank you.
I found a video link. The game plays really well, not choppy like this clip would make you think
Fiends of the Eastern Front
Didn’t recognise any of the creator names on this but the art looks really familiar. The story itself is sort of an update to the Fiends of the Eastern Front with a switch from World War 2 to Vietnam. It was decent enough but I think would have really benefited from that most hated of comic devices….the title at the end. As it was the deliberately slow build up was kinda spoiled and I think I would have liked it more if I read it THEN knew it was Fiends. As it was I was thinking “yeah, it’s vampires, get on with it” throughout the whole drawn out walkie talkie dialogue so the pacing of it felt a bit off. Was ok and I liked the ongoing theme of them promoting conflict to pick at the spoils. The red lettering for the vamps was a nice touch too. It did feel more Zarjaz than 2000AD though. Which reminds me, I have about 4 or 5 Zarjaz issues to pick up at my next comic con. Balls!
The Order – A reprint of the first part. Seems a weird choice for the issue so guessing it’s getting an american format reprint. Looks great but still not a fan of this strip so moving on….
Bad Company – Another reprint. Gotta love a bit of Rufus Dayglo even if overall this run lost me a bit due to my lack of knowledge about the characters
Strontium Dog – Another reprint and one from the vaults this time. Has it been coloured for this collection though?
Terror Tales – The Death of Death-Man
When I was a little kid I remember watching the Kenny Everett tv show, they were doing a sketch about a torturer working in a dungeon and Cleo Rocos came on in fetish gear and big goth hair. At the time I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking at or what I wanted to do about it but I do know I liked it….a lot. I got a similar thing from this strip. It’s fucking batshit crazy, full of blood, guts, cool dialogue and….I dunno. It just feels fucking rock and roll which is what 2000AD SHOULD be goddamnit! Written by Barry Island (which being the name of a south wales butlins resort is going to be a pseudonym) with art by the always excellent Henry Flint its just five pages of cool comics. Possibly felt a bit more of a Marvel/DC riff than maybe a 2000AD one but as this comic is designed to pull in American readers thats all fine and these one shots should be used for the weirder fits. Enjoyed the hell out of it, LOVED the final panel and while I’d be surprised if it happens I’d love to see more as I reckon you could have a lot of inappropriate fun with a suicidal superhero. Go pitch it to Dark Horse or someone!
Ratfink – The Big Empty
Bloody comics book nepotism. Goddamn editors commissioning their own…selves. So yeah a Matt Smith strip and while I joke, his stuff is so bloody good that I’m kinda surprised he hasn’t done a Diggle. Maybe he needs Pat Mills to be meaner to him to give him that push out of the nest. Anyway a really nice story and VERY dark which is always good. Great seeing Ratfink back and really hope this is a precursor to us getting some new Tales from the Angel Gang or whatever. But y’know…good ones, not like the Dark Judges stuff. Wasn’t quite sure if the end was psycological or if Ratfink has some power I’d just forgotten about. Probably the former which is much more messed up. Ratfink is only in 5 panels and manages to be terrifying. Thats some good comics.
And the art? It’s Joelle Jones! I LOVE her stuff! She did a Mockingbird one shot and before that the absolutely brilliant Lady Killer mini series that I’m desperately hoping gets a second run and the totally badass Helheim. Maybe not a big name like Eric Powell just yet but I guarantee she is gonna be massive so if we can get her to do a bit more 2000AD before one of the big publishers snap her up then all to the better. Was especially nice seeing her art in black and white as I’d only seen it coloured before.
So overall? That was a bit fucking epic wasn’t it? Of the four new strips three were the donkeys conkers and the fourth was still good stuff. Couldn’t ask for a better promo for 2000AD and British comics in general.