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Review – Prog 1926 (2000AD)

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Publisher: Rebellion
Writer/Artists:
JUDGE DREDD: ENCELADUS By Rob Williams & Henry Flint
ORLOK, AGENT OF EAST-MEG: THE RASPUTIN CAPER By Arthur Wyatt and Jake Lynch
SLÁINE: PRIMORDIAL By Pat Mills & Simon Davis             
GREY AREA: JUST ROUTINE QUESTIONS by Dan Abnett and Mark Harrison
STRONTIUM DOG: THE STIX FIX By John Wagner & Carlos Ezquerra
Release Date: 15th April, 2015

Okay, so we’re up to part 3 of all the current storylines (well, part of Grey Area technically, I suppose…) – as we approach mid-arc, how well are the stories being sustained? And can you still dip in if you’ve strayed from the fold? Read on…

JUDGE DREDD: ENCELADUS By Rob Williams & Henry Flint

I am flat-out loving this. This has the potential to be a truly great chapter in the Dredd canon, and knows it without being arrogant. His internal monologue – thinking on the past, troubled by doubt – cements this, and it’s a genuinely thrilling tale. That aspect, coupled with a shift in focus to the antagonist’s perspective – something that 2000AD has always revelled in – drives the narrative, keeping it accessible and fresh, and the mystery has a dark alien horror threatening that makes my little Lovecraftian heart sing. 

ORLOK, AGENT OF EAST-MEG: THE RASPUTIN CAPER By Arthur Wyatt and Jake Lynch

It’s nice to juxtapose Dredd now with a contemporary antagonist, against a story of one of his greatest foes – and the reference to Judge Fish gives a clear sense of continuity to the long-term reader without alienating the new. This is still an enjoyable spy romp alongside an 80s Dredd vibe – it’s fun, if not quite as gripping as the previous Orlok outing. As a change of pace it works well, but it doesn’t quite shine as much as the other tales in the prog.

SLÁINE: PRIMORDIAL By Pat Mills & Simon Davis              

Here, the pacing couldn’t be more different. Despite being a bridge in the tale, it feels like both a neat end to the first two parts and a clear sense of what’s to come. The art brilliantly drives this forward and Pat Mills once again shows his effortless mastery of writing episodic form. 

GREY AREA: JUST ROUTINE QUESTIONS by Dan Abnett and Mark Harrison

Having happily made me realise that Grey Area is rather better than I thought last prog, Abnett continues to show us his crew’s frustration by putting them in a box for observation. This works to an extent, as it brings out the characters’ personalities for the uninitiated, but it feels a little forced, and I find myself feeling much like our aliens – not really caring. It’s a shame as I really want to see more of this, and whilst I understand the narrative device, I’m not sure I have the patience.

STRONTIUM DOG: THE STIX FIX By John Wagner & Carlos Ezquerra

Now it’s trite to say that anything these two do is going to be unmissable. That said, I don’t care It’s unmissable. It’s so clever, so funny, and so well drawn – never mind that you could come to this having never read Strontium Dog, never read Dredd, never read 2000AD, and still get fired in. Talk about ending on a high. Sharply observed and wry, with great action and a genuine mystery, this is 2000AD at its best.

Still full of thrill-power, 2000AD is now at risk of suffering from its own reformatting: I want a new thrill to keep me interested. We’ll see what 1927 brings; either way, it’s still the best way to spend your earth money on a Wednesday.

Rating 4/5.


SAMDAVThe Writer of this piece was: Sam Graven
You can follow Sam on Twitter

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