In the complete absence of any US comics being worth the time or effort this week – apart from Daytripper #2(Vertigo), which I need to get hold of, but also need to read issue #1 – I might as well review a title I get on a regular basis, but don’t really discuss – 2000AD.
At any given time since last spring (when Cradlegrave got me interested in the title again) there has at least been 3 strips at any one time that have been worth the admission price – and sometimes all of the strips have been great-to-brilliant. The current line-up, including Dredd in a mega-epic that could be his best in a long time, is pretty damn good.
Stickleback, with murky steampunk visuals from the excellent D’Israeli & saucy, sleazy, savage plotting from Ian Edginton, is a highlight. Ampney Crucis, also written by Edginton and with brilliant character visuals from Simon Davis, has a louche charm, with the mundane, cheap n’ cheerful seaside setting juxtaposed with a sinister turn of events, caused by heartbreaking motives. Crucis is a fine protaganist, with a great turn of phrase and a devil may care swagger seemingly only imbued in those of good British stock. In these 2 strips alone (Stickleback, Crucis) we get a celebration of the variety and thorough Britishness of 2000AD.
The ABC Warriors have returned, with Ro-Jaws making an appearance, but I don’t know if the hyper-realistic Clint Langley art, which I love on Slaine, is really doing it for me with the Warriors. Maybe I just remember the McMahon & O’Neill era with too mcuh affection. The art seems to overpower the (frankly very thin) plot. Or maybe the art is just too good for the plotting…. There is enough to make you want to read, but it is instantly forgotten. Not a great start for this new Warriors tale.
Nikolai Dante is simply rip-roaring and lovely and with art that reminds me of previous British comic eras, and its just a great way to round off an issue of 2000AD. A cheeky Boys-Own adventure for sure.
Dredd, by the way, is magnificent. Catch up with previous issues on clickwheel if you must, but ‘Tour Of Duty’ is absolutley gripping. Dredd & Rico, the Cursed Earth and a Chief Judge who has positioned himself into power through devious, criminal means (who hates Dredd..). Brilliant.
2000AD is still vital, an absolute pleasure to read and a well spent couple of quid.