Time for another jumping on Prog .There hasn’t been a lot to love in 2000AD lately, but there is a lot of promise in 2100…..
2000AD Prog’ 2100
Review by Luke Williams
Behind a professional cover job by Perez , Tharg submits his latest jumping on prog’. It’s nice to see big name American artists doing some Dredd, but possibly its more attractive for the name behind it than the image itself.
“Judge Dredd : The Small House” kicks off from Rob Williams and Henry Flint. Ah, Williams and Flint, probably my favourite Dredd creative team that doesn’t involve John Wagner, rivaled probably only by Williams & Weston. Co starring one of the most inspired Dredd-verse characters, and of the most far fetched ( guess which one is which). I’m not sure where this is going, but it has Dirty Frank, so basically you can’t go wrong. Please Tharg can we have more from these guys after this run? . Williams is off “Suicide Squad” so there is no excuse, and we have the “Judge Pin” story line to finish off, more Williams and Weston goodness as a follow up (whenever that will be)
“Brink” is up next. Kurtis’ investigation into the mysterious cults that are spreading through the human colonies continues. I don’t think that the team can do any wrong. If you’ve read this, you’ll love” The New Deadwardians” the DC/Vertigo series the pair did a few years ago and the awesome “Wild’s End”.
Abnett and Culbard have created a vividly realised world and a compelling story as the conspiracy and cult gathers pace; intriguing and unsettling. The only downside is that there gaps between series are far too long. Please Tharg ,collect it in the Ultimate collection – the best new strip in the Prog’ for years and my second favourite Abnett thing from the house of Tharg.
“Skip Tracer” returns – quite quickly I thought. Lots of Squaxx have compared this with the output of the nineties. I can see that, to me it reads a little like the David Hine series “Mambo”. It’s not great, but has had great art, Paul Marshall on the last run – one of 2000ADs most underrated artists. Colin MacNeil is at the drawing board for this one.
It’s downfall is that it’s not edgy or original enough, and hardly original particularly as similar scenarios are dealt with far better in “Brink” but this is James Peaty’s first long form strip work, Peaty has to practice his craft somewhere and he’s a good writer. Hopefully this will lead to something great.
“Anderson” appears in a black and white one off written by Alan Grant and drawn by Jake Lynch. The Dark Judges appear (sort of) again, but with a twist that harkens back to their early days.
The trouble with Anderson sis that Grant took her on an arc, that really should have seen the end of the strip, or at least a radical reinvention. Unfortunately, Grant copped out at the end, returning her to the streets of MC1. With the odd exception (the Dowling Strips and Dave Taylor’s “Big Robots” )she has run her course, time to leave her be. On the upside, fantastic art by Jake Lynch, gritty, dynamic and idiosyncratic.
It’s an Abnett heavy Prog’, he pulls a mid eighties Wagner & Grant with 3 strips from him. no. 2 is “ZzzzzzzzzzzSinister Dexter”.
The wordplay is always amusing, the characters less so. They’ve been useful as jokey one offs, but not much else. The whole “no one remembers us apart from Bili” storyline is being dragged out, with the odd short run or one off around a jumping on prog. The creative team introduce seed the next extended run with the appearance of a new adversary. Slowly edging toward the endgame? We can only hope. It needs and extended run to finish the “why no one remembers them story line” it off and for it never to return. Steve Yeowell on art duties is as reliable as ever .
“Fiends Of The Eastern Front “- Tharg is digging into the archive to resurrect more old characters and strips, but reading this, I’m prepared to forgive him. Taking the vampires from the world war 2 Gerry Finley Day and Carlos Ezquerra strip and going backwards in tim e to the Napoleonic wars. Ian Edgington scripts and Dave Taylor provides the most sumptuous artwork. It really is beautiful. Here’s to to episode 2.
Abnett’s third and final strip is the return of “Kingdom”. I’ve never really got this strip. The art is great – though not to my taste, the script is good and I like the idea, it’s just never gelled for me.
Gene The Hackman returns to Earth with Lee Sower and the war between Them, the Auxs and the remaining humans intensifies. Unlike “Sinister Dexter” this looks like it’s going somewhere.
The Prog’ is becoming a rollercoaster with all the big strips being kept for the jumping on progs, followed by the less thrilling material allowing the Prog’ to coast until the nest relaunch. Tharg needs to pace the Prog’ more effectively. Jumping on points are useful, but occasionally there are quite significant dips after the end of the big name strips. This isn’t a bad relaunch, a couple of bumps in the road, but quite a bit to love.