REVIEW: 2000 AD PROG 1958

Publisher: 2000 AD
Writers: John Wagner, Pat Mills, Ian Edginton, David Baillie, Peter Milligan
Artists: Leigh Gallagher (Cover), Patrick Goodard, Leigh Gallagher, Inj Culbard, Joshua George, Dayglo & McCarthy

Colourists: Adam Brown 
Letters: Annie Parkhouse, Ellie De Ville, Simon Bowland
Release date: UK & Digital 25 November 2015 /North America 25 December 2015

Price: £2.55/$2.99

2000 AD PROG 1958 2000 AD

2000 AD PROG 1958
2000 AD

Something old, something new, something borrowed and something Dredd. And that, I am told is the perfect marriage ceremony. Which is much like 2000 AD PROG 1958, the familiar names and writing prowess of John Wagner and Pat Mills leap off the page from the get-go.

Wagner delivers the opening salvo with the first part of Judge Dredd: The Beating. A timely story, about the gradual creep of privatisation into some services once run by the Justice Department. But the hub of The Beating is Judge Dredd’s reputation. Solid artwork from Patrick Goodard moves everything along at a brisk pace and keeps the narrative tight and focused on unfolding the story. Making the visuals here accomplished and appealing.

Pat Mills and Leigh Gallagher rare clearly having a ball with Defoe: The London Hanged. Set five years after the Great Fire of London, the undead walk the streets and the only man able to protect London is one Titus Defoe. So, just when you think it is time to become jaded about all things zombie this piece of brilliance turns up. Leigh Gallagher gives black and white artwork the balls it needs to impact on the page and the reader.

Two writers who are far far from has-beens, coupled with two distinctive artists and in 2000 AD PROG 1958 that is just two stories in and there is still excellence to come.

Brass Sun: Motor Head by Ian Edginton and INJ Culbard, is a wonderfully thought out story about a brass sun which is dying and the mission to locate the scattered pieces of a key that may be able to restart the sun. If that is Ian Edginton’s imagination on overdrive, what are his dreams like? INJ Culbard is another artist in 2000 AD PROG 1958 clearly on form and able to deliver artwork complementary to the story.

Terror Tales The Crow Gifts from David Baille and Joshua George is a well-told, self-contained, story that would not have been out of place in the late and much missed (by me anyway) Warren Publishing’s black and white anthology magazines, Creepy and Eerie. Baille sidesteps the need for purple-prose or the usual horror clichés. George’s artwork suggests an artist who cares about the story rather than one telephoning in something average and just another job. And that is often the difference between the mediocre and virtuoso.

Bad Company is like a cosy blanket, may be from childhood, a little worn in places, over loved and easily twisted into a rope and used to strangle your enemies. The battle is still on and the carnage continues without much let up. Thankfully. Peter Milligan is not gun-shy in the story department and Dayglo & McCarthy get the artwork down on the page with a gusto and drive. There is every little hanging around in Bad Company to contemplate life, the universe and ‘with great power comes great responsibility’. It is just kill or be killed. Realism not teenage whining.

If, for some unknown reason, 2000 AD is not on your shopping list, do yourself a favour and add it…..NOW!


Review: Steve Hooker




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