REVIEW: 2000 AD PROG 1959

Publisher: 2000 AD Rebellion
Writers: John Wagner, Pat Mills, Ian Edginton,
Artists: Leigh Gallagher (Cover), Patrick Goodard, Leigh Gallagher, INJ Culbard, Rufus Dayglo & McCarthy
Colourists: Adam Brown
Letters: Annie Parkhouse, Ellie De Ville, Simon Bowland
Release date: UK & Digital 2 December 2015 /North America 2 January 2016

Price: £2.55/$2.99

2000 AD PROG 1959 2000 AD

2000 AD PROG 1959
2000 AD

By any measure, a Leigh Gallagher cover on 2000 AD PROG 1959 is an excellent indication of the shape of things to come, which means it is all about talent, talent and talent.

Gallagher’s cover highlights the Judge Dredd story The Beating, kicking off – literally – in the opening pages of PROG 1959, by writer John Wagner and artist Patrick Goddard. Dredd is being comprehensively set up to take a big fall and whilst many have tried, in The Beating Dredd’s beginning to look, well, beaten.

Zombie fatigue? I would like it; the undead are everywhere these days, even Jane Austin, albeit unwittingly, is getting in on the act. But then along comes writer Pat Mills and extraordinary artist Leigh Gallagher with Defoe: The London Hanged and unload London in the year 1676 as a city overrun with the undead. The only person standing between civilisation and a flesh fest is one Titus Defoe, a zombie finder general of shorts.

The biggest problem facing Defoe: The London Hanged is it is better than Judge Dredd, by a long, long way but very few people are going to say that out loud, on the grounds of sacrilege. Which is a pity. Defoe: The London Hanged deserves more than just the silent treatment.

Ian Edginton and Inj Culbard’s Brass Sun: Motorhead wins the prize for concept and daring to tell a story so well paced, so evenly unfolded that it is easy to mistake poise and considered delivery on the printed page for slowness and inertia, when Brass Sun is neither of these things. What it is though is a remarkable tale, told well and illustrated to perfection.

I have a fondness for Bad Company and writer Peter Milligan along with artists Rufus Dayglo and McCarthy are clearly having a ball but….it’s up against the Holy Trio here, of Dredd, Defoe and Brass Sun. And if this were still 1980 Bad Company would be good company. It just looks a little clunky, a little rushed, retro but not, I suspect, by design. If 2000 AD PROG 1959 were kids, Bad Company would be the runt of the litter. Trouble is runts can be attractive too.

I suppose a lot of UK comic book readers, knee deep in Batman this or Secret Wars that must, I hope, sometimes wonder what happened to the British comic book industry, well, if I might make so bold: IT”S BLOODY WELL HERE AND VERY ALIVE AND VERY KICKING.

Just start with 2000 AD PROG 1959. You will not be disappointed.


Review: Steve Hooker


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