Published for FCBD, and not actually free, Luke takes Rebellion up on their offer of the specials delivered straight to his door, there by defeating the object of FCBD day. All because he is Rebellion’s bitch and has a pathological desire to give them his money.
2000AD Villains Takeover Special
Review by Luke Williams
Whoa, for once I’m (reasonably) quick off the mark. This dropped through my letter box a week ago, a few days before Free Comic (Book) Day (when did they become comic books in the UK?).
For some reason that I can’t be bothered to research, 2000AD has been having problems qualifying for the FC(B)D promotion with the Prog’. Anyway, this is special highlights some of the baddies of 2000AD, riding on the back of FC(B)Day without actually participating. 99p / 99c for 32 pages (with adverts) of all new material with classy Greg Staples cover is pretty much a bargain, anyway you cut it.
So, 2000AD villains, there are quite a few to choose from and there are some interesting choices. Inevitably, this does means Judge Death – who is not over used at all.
It’s hard to find some new twist with Death. I may be the only one who was underwhelmed by “Dark Justice”, “Dominion” was better, but the jury is out on the “Torture Garden”. Death works better the less you see him and if I’m being honest, perhaps its time he had a rest. Approaching this with an open mind and all that….
Set in 2118, 23 years prior to the current MC1 calendar a troubled Death sees a shrink. Written by Rob Williams and drawn by Henrik Sahlstrom, its redolent of the classic “Young Death” and explores his relationship with his two antagonists, Anderson and Dredd. A nice little introduction to the character, and a great debut from Sahlstrom – more from him please.
Bodylooters Bland and Brass represent the Rogue Trooper universe, written by Karl Stock moving from article writing (there is hope for me yet) to comic scripting and art by newcomer (to edge losing me anyway) Kael Ngu. Set before the death of Brass, B&B set up a deal with a bunch of Nort & Souther deserters at a remote and relatively unpolluted Nu Earth location, but all is not what it seems. Good effort from Ngu, there is a touch of Xuasus / Siku / 90s Meg’ artist about him. Stock has a good handle on the bodylooters, and whilst not shocking, the twist is satisfying. I’d argue that Bland & Brass aren’t actually villains, morally questionable yes, but out and out villains, no. Still, good effort all round.
Uncle Pat’s contribution is a Slough Feg one off, drawn by American artist Wrightson / Kelley Jones-esque Kyle Hotz. It’s ritual sacrfice time as the local population’s kids are sent on a one way trip to Feg. But Feg’s plans for elevenses are interrupted by a familiar face. Hotz has drawn bits and bobs for Rebellion before, but this is his first strip work for them. Exaggerated expressions, lots of black, beautiful inks and suitably grotesque characters, he’s a good match. With Chris Weston’s strip in the Christmas Prog’ and Leonardo Manco on the regular strip, there seems to be a return to detailed, kinetic line art on Slaine.
The seemingly endless Stix clan show up for the Strontium Dog contribution. Told as a family fable to Stix kids of a clan members encounter with one J. Alpha. It gives a different perspective on the seemingly never ending (and multi generational) vendetta.
Matt Smith (AKA Tharg) is a great writer, but the punchline to this is a bit flat. No question about the art though, Weston knocks it out of the park and contributes a lovely tribute to Carlos Ezquerra on the back page.
The final strip, by the Freak (Keith Richardson?) and god of comic art Henry Flint, is a Terror Tale entitled “The Last Of The Hellphibians”, female swamp monsters seeking to mate and reproduce.
Script wise it plays for laughs, but sadly misses, but only just. Lovely art, but filler as a story.
A good package, worth picking up for the art even if the stories don’t appeal. What can you buy for a £1 with art like this these days?