2000AD PROG 1869 | REVIEW

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Cover: sensational work from Alex Ronald! I got a disconcerting look from the newsagent guy when I purchased my copy! Maybe not as gory as Nick Percival’s wonderful cover for Prog 1827, but still enough to terrify a few Terrans and put the fear of grud into them. I love the lighting and the detail, rendering Ulysses an unsettling, staple-faced psychopath (which he is). He’d probably give Old Pinhead a run for his money! Tharg should definitely get Alex to do more covers for us.

Judge Dredd: Titan (Part 8) – And so we come to the end of Titan, in what has been a thrilling, much talked about strip for the last eight weeks. Dredd is in a really bad shape as Gerhart attempts a rescue, but he is in even worse state than Dredd. Everything comes together in a thrilling finalĂ© as we see what Aimee Nixon’s real intentions are, it’s offset by some tense moments and heart-pounding action. There’s a cinematic feel to the proceedings which is due in large to Henry Flint’s magnificent artwork: from the opening page, to the shuttle escape by the inmates as Titan burns. I always thought that Carlos Ezquerra was the best at potraying carnage and mayhem, but it seems like Flint is not that far behind. And of course, the last page…

Snowflakes on Enceladus, Moon of Saturn. Capturing a moment of quiet harmony amidst the chaos which preceded it. Titan was a captivating read from start to finish. Rob williams and Henry Flint make an excellent partnership and I hope we see more from them together in the near future.

ABC Warriors: Return to Mars (Part 8) – In the last episode we had Tom being snatched away by his clan elders to be driven into the desert. His crime was the fact he did not look like them and was viewed as an outsider, simply because he refused to consume Biol, and chose to live off Mars’ healthier organic produce. Happy Shrapnel (now known as Tubal Caine) didn’t want to get involved, but will he leave the boy to suffer a terrifying fate at the hands of the clans-people?

This was another excellent episode from Pat Mills and Clint Langley – whose artwork here is superb. I love the layout of some of the pages with panels overlapping one another. I also find the character of Happy Shrapnel very interesting, renouncing violence and trying to live out a peaceful existence much to the chagrin of his comrades. He almost reminds me of William Munny (Clint Eastwood) from Unforgiven, but will Shrapnel manage to stay away from violence?

Grey Area: Rates of Exchange (Part 1) – Another new story as a small alien critter goes on the rampage in the Immigration Zone. It resembles Star Trek II’s ear creature, Ceti Eel – on speed! The set up of the panels on the opening two pages is superbly done as we get a P.O.V customer’s shot of the money exchange booth. The style is reminiscent of the terrific first episode in Prog 2014. The thing I love about Dan Abnett’s script is the the humour and there’s always something amusing especially when it comes to the ETC agents. Patrick Goddard’s artwork is also superb alongside Abigail Ryder’s excellent colours.

Ulysses Sweet Maniac For Hire: Centred (Part 9) – in last week’s episode we saw Ulysess in a spot of bother, with the space pirate’s arm buried deep inside his stomach! But knowing Ulysses, it probably felt more like a tickle than agonising pain. And as we see in this concluding part, he always has an answer to everything.

I’m quite saddened to see this series finish. I’m probably just one of the ten people who enjoyed the strip from beginning to end! I know it might not be tailored to everyone’s taste but I love the wacky, silly humour of the story.  And while some of Ulysses’ actions do border on bad taste, that’s just who he is!  Guy Adams’ script has been fun, with some laugh out loud moments not least the fantastic homage to Rupert Bear, but Paul Marshall’s artwork has also been top notch. I felt he captured the crazy nature of the story perfectly.

Strontium Dog: Dogs of War (Part 9)

– We come to the penultimate episode of the series, and just when you think the tide has turned in the favour of the Muties, up show the Ikan! And a scary bunch they are too. Nowhere is this demonstrated better than on Page 2, where we see the chilling regeneration of a downed Ikan. Carlos Ezquerra’s artwork has been superb throughout the series, and there have been some moments to savour especially in this instant. How can Johnny Alpha and his fellow mutants win against these deadly foes? The Norm Brotherhood were one thing, they were flesh and blood and mortal,  but the Ikans are a different kettle of fish entirely. Middenface and Alpha have no choice but to retreat.

I’m really intrigued to see how the final episode pans out next Prog, and lets hope we don’t have another casualty of war.

Next Prog we celebrate the 37th birthday of The Galaxy’s Greatest Comic, so very much looking forward to that one!

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