This prog marks a year exactly to the time I jumped on board to 2000ad as a newbie, and the past year has been an absolute blast for me. Prog 1800 was a great jumping on point with a great set of strips, but what do I make of these new stories?
Well it seems my fear of this ‘jumping on prog’ being poor were unfounded, as I really enjoyed it! The cover while not one of the best I’ve seen is still nice to behold; this is the first time I’ve heard of Ben Oliver and he does a good job. It was great to see some of the main strips featured on it, from Judge Dredd to Flesh…..hold on! Now I get it! (I’ve been examining the cover beside me as I type this out) It’s the mug with the 2000ad logo on it which has unlocked the puzzle! I was wondering who that bloke was, it’s supposed to be a reader right, with all strips running amok from within the pages of the prog! Thrill power overload – Great stuff! I should pay more attention in the future!
Well Judge Dredd: New Tricks was really fun. Mike Carroll is one of my favourite writers alongside Rob Williams right now, and he sets up a nice story. I especially loved the text beside the panels, revealing Judge Pax’s thoughts. It did take a little while to get into the flow of things but by the end, I wanted more! I mean the ‘Goblin King’? Who is he? What does he look like? Is he really a goblin? All these thoughts started running around in my mind. The artwork by Paul Davidson was also outstanding. I love the way he draws the surroundings, the cars, buildings etc and the colour palette is gorgeous to behold aswell. I’m very looking forward to reading the second instalment next week.
Damnation Station; I’m new to this strip, and to be honest didn’t fully grasp as to what was going on plot wise, but I’m not bothered as I know I’ll start to pick it up as it goes along. But I tell you what, Mark Harrison’s artwork was really superb. It was visually striking and had a very futuristic vibe to it. The street scenes with the hustle and bustle and vibrant colours was very Blade Runner-esque.
Flesh was also new to me but I gobbled it all up with devilish glee. The black and white artwork by James McKay was excellent. I loved the shot of Vegas Carver and her reptoid posse lined up on the bottom panel.It reminded me of the Meknificent Seven/ Dirty Dozenne. You can tell Pat Mills loves a big lineup of characters. Again like Damnation Station I’m in the dark a little regarding plot, but Tharg does give a recap and I’m certain I’ll get to grips with it in the coming few weeks.
But the final strip, Brass Sun, I was familiar with having read it from the start. And it was a joy beholding I.N.J Culbard’s artwork again, and exciting having Ian Edginton back in the prog again. Say what you will but the Edginton droid is a genius in my books, having conjured up some magnificent creations over the years from The Red Seas to Stickleback, and Leviathan of course which I simply adore. I remember picking up prog 1800 in W.H Smith’s exactly a year ago, as I flicked through the pages two things caught my eyes which prompted me to buy it. One was Chris Weston’s mesmerising artwork on Judge Dredd, and the second was the two page spread of Brass Sun’s Clockwork solar system. As soon as I saw that I was sold! So you can understand my love for this strip. I feel there are some exciting times ahead for our heroine Wren and her companion Septimus. There was even a hint of romance brewing between them before being interrupted by some gruddamn ‘fireworks’! Culbard’s artwork potrays those moments beautifully in subtle manner. His opening panels were also magnificent, using pupperty to give us more insight into the creation of the Orrery .Fabulous stuff indeed.
There’s also two pages of letters which I enjoyed reading , and Droid Life was fun too.
So an excellent prog overall. I’m looking forward to the start of Aquilla next week, and of course more of the same from Judge Dredd and the rest of the strips.