Review: 2000ad Prog 1883

Nick Percival's superb cover

Cover – Nick Percival is back again with yet another superb cover. It’s the sort of cover which immediately grabs your attention, especially when you see it displayed on the magazine section. Everything else in comparison, looks rather dull (except for that Glenn Fabry Megazine cover that is!). Percival’s colour work and detail is simply outstanding giving the piece a hallucinatory feel.

Judge Dredd: Traumatown (Part 1) – I was genuinely surprised to see Nick Percival on art duty for this particular story, I had no clues prior (or probably missed them) and so it was a pleasure to see Percival’s work on the interior pages as well as the exterior. We have an intriguing opener as Dredd and Joyce (good to see him back) go on the chase for a perp, only for her to escape. But an odd thing happens when Joyce fails to recollect ever seeing a perp even though she seemed close by. Is it all in Dredd’s mind? Later on he’s inside a sleep-machine and has a very eerie dream, almost like he ‘s wandered into the minds of Cronenberg and Lynch. Is someone screwing around with Dredd’s head? Or is age and years of trauma finally getting to him? It recalls the moments in the recent Titan and The Man Comes Round storyline in the Prog and Meg respectively (both written by Rob Williams), wherein Dredd has hallucinations. It also questions how long Dredd can remain on duty with these episodes becoming more frequent in nature.
Nick Percival’s artwork is simply sublime, and it suits the almost hallucinatory nature of the story. This is an excellent opener by Mike Carroll, whose work I’ve really enjoyed in the past year or two and I can’t wait to see where we’ll be heading next episode.

Slaine: A Simple Killing (Part 10) – Another action packed episode as Slough Gododin and his hordes capture Sinead, while Slaine is side tracked after being cornered by some giants. Simon Davies’ artwork is maybe not as spectacular here as the last episode, but it’s still pretty impressive. I’m really enjoying this particular story and can’t wait to see what happens in the next episode.

Indigo Prime: Perfect Day (Part 4) – I can comfortably say that I have no idea what’s going on in this strip half of the time, other than that it involves alternate dimensions, a nazi with a bucket list, a bloke who looks like a monkey, and monster sex – and boy, does it all look gorgeous. Lee Carter’s artwork is absolutely mesmerising , epecially the two page spread (p. 4 & 5). There’s so much stuff going on in the ‘end of time party’ scene; a mish mash of psychedelic colours and oddities, sorta like a Lewis Carroll wet dream, with a hint of MK mind control perhaps! John Smith’s storytelling is both enertaining as well as interesting, with two Indigo Prime agents escorting a Nazi scientist (who looks like Jonathan Pryce) through his whims as death approaches. I feel I might have to read the first story arc to understand the whole set up better, and seeing as the collection is readily available, I just might do that.

I’d also like to say that Simon Bowland’s lettering is excellent as always. I’m so familiar with his style now that I can tell that it is his handiwork just by looking at it!

Tharg’s 3riller: In Seconds Flat (Part 1) – It’s a pleasure to have Andrew Currie back on art duty again. I really enjoyed his last outing alongside Mike Carroll on ‘Wolves’, I loved how he drew some of the characters to look like famous faces; from Jeremy Paxman to Paulie from The Sopranos! And I feel we might even have a familiar face in this very story too, namely Colin Farrell! If you look on page 4, 4th panel down, it’s basically like a timeline showing Colin ageing from a young man to an old one.

Colin Farrell through the years!

Eddie Robson’s script is fun, but it’s still too early to tell whether this will be a memorable 3riller as the last one. However, I’m looking forward to seeing how this particular story developes.

Outlier (Part 10) – We come to the final episode of the series and in a way, I’m really glad to see it come to an end (for now at least). Except for maybe a few brief moments where I did derive enjoyment, the story on the whole has failed to grab me like others have done. Karl Richardson’s artwork has not been his best, and frankly I’ve seen far better work from him in the past. It’ll be interesting to see which new story takes its place next week.

So on the whole it’s a very solid prog, with Judge Dredd and Indigo Prime the standout for me. There was a moment a few a weeks back where I wasn’t too excited about the lineup, but now that Outlier, Jaegir and Sinister Dexter are finished, things look to be on the up.



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