Cover:

#1 – Its been a long time since we last saw a variant cover in 2000AD, but then thirty five years is certainly something worth celebrating. The first cover is a fantastic character montage by Chris Weston. I always like character montages and this is one of the best, standing out on the shelves and featuring pretty much every major character to appear in the prog in recent years. This cover was also included as a free poster allowing us a look at the full image without any of the cover logos. This could well turn out to be the cover of the year.

#2 – Legendary art droid Mick McMahon provides the second variant (and the cover that I ended up getting). Its not a bad cover by any means, but it does seem a little dull compared to the Weston variant. On the plus side its a strong central image of Tharg, and the white background makes it look quite bold on the shelves.

Judge Dredd – Day of Chaos: Eve of Destruction – Part 7:

Not to much happens this week, though the strip remains as readable as ever. Another Sov agent tries (and apparently fails) to gain entry to the meg, while Dredd begins his interrogation of Borisenko. I can’t help feeling that the whole Day of Chaos arc will read better in one sitting, as it seems to have been running for a long time now, and we still haven’t reached the Day of Chaos yet. Still the slowburn approach is working pretty well and i’m sure there will be a few twists and turns ahead.

What If…? – Rogue Trooper:

What if Gunnar had survived the massacre at the Quartz Zone instead of Rogue? That is the question addressed in this special strip, and it was one I enjoyed immensly. Theres a fair bit of story crammed into its six pages, and the art is absolutly perfect, effectivly evoking the feel of the original Rogue Trooper strips. Needless to say the story doesn’t end well for any of the regular characters, but thats the beauty of this type of strip, allowing the writer to show how badly things could have turned out had events played out slightly differently. As a one off I though this was a 100% success, and a strip i’m sure I will come back to in the future.

Nikolai Dante – The Wedding of Jena Makarov – Part 9:

It seems fitting that the thirty fifth anniversary prog should contain one of the final installments of one of 2000AD’s most popular strips. This story continues to impress with both story and art coming together to continue what is proving to be Dante’s finest hour. Apparently there is one more story to come after this, so I’m expecting a cliffhanger ending anytime now.

Absalom – Ghosts of London – Part 7:

Sadly the current Absalom story comes to its conclusion this week, and I can only hope it returns to the prog asap. Its a bit of an abrupt ending, but one that leaves plenty of plot threads to be picked up in future stories. I’m sure the character of the Guvnor will be making another appearance at some point, hopefully along with the steampunk type figue of Spring Heeled Jack, who provides us with a suitably cheeky final panel to Ghosts of London. Don’t be a stranger Absalom.

Grey Area – Personal Space – Part 1:

Now this is much more like it from Grey Area. A story that actually looks like its going to contain something in the way of a plot, and art that has convinced me that Lee Carter is the man to draw this strip. There has always been potential for this strip but up untill now we’ve been presented with pretty lazy and uninspiring story lines. Hopefully this will be the one that proves Grey Area can be worth reading.

What If…? – The Visible Man:

I’d never even heard of The Visible Man before reading this, so obviously I didn’t get to much out of it. Even if you were familiar with the character, I can’t help but feel that very little actually happens over the six pages it is given (the polar opposite of the Rogue Trooper story from earlier in the prog). Still there’s nothing to badly wrong with this either, and the art by Henry Flint is up to his usual high standards, including a somewhat frightning full page image to conclude the story.

Strontium Dog – The Project – Part 9:

The presence of the phrase “to be continued”, at the end of this weeks installment would seem to suggest that this is the end of chapter two of the Life and Death of Johnny Alpha. If so then it really ends on a plot point, rather than a major cliffhanger like the first chapter did. Still it sets up whatevers to come very nicely and thankfully manages to avoid being a story about a virus outbreak (which would have been unfortunate given the current Dredd storyline).

Overall:

As an anniversary prog, this weeks prog succedds admirably. Every strip has something to recommend it with even Grey Area stepping up to the mark. The inclusion of the free poster was a nice touch, as was having the choice of two variant covers. The two What If…? strips were an entertaining one off idea, although on the strength of the Rogue Trooper installment I wouldn’t actually mind seeing a couple more. Age of the Wolf returns next week, much to my delight, and we get a nice two page splash of some of the thrills to come in 2012. The 35th anniversary prog succedds in looking to the past, whilst also giving us a glimpse of the future things to come. Heres to the next 35 years.

Quote of the Week: “I want bad crabs”. – Grey Area

Thrill of the Week: What If…? – Rogue Trooper.

Advertisements