If theres one thing lacking in the 2000AD line up right now, its a future war story. The future war story is something which the Galaxy’s Greatest has always done extremely well, from the battle scarred lands of Nu Earth in Rogue Trooper to (in this case) the outer space conflicts of The V.C.s. Originally printed during the early days of 2000AD, The V.C.s was dusted off for a 21st century revival, this time with Dan Abnett on writing duties. If like me you’re not familiar with the strips original run then never fear, Abnett does an admirable job of reintroducing The V.C.s universe, allowing new readers to jump on board without being weighed down by continuity.

Set fifty years after the war between Humanity and the insectoid like Geeks, Back in Action begins with the war veteran Steve Smith being invited to attend the fiftieth anniversary of the outbreak of peace. As you would expect things quickly take a turn for the worse, when the Geeks launch a suprise attack on Earth, in doing so kicking off the Second Human-Geek war. The assembled veterans prove to still be more than a match for the alien Geeks, and so are appointed commanders of a new breed of soldiers. From that point on we’re very much into traditional space opera territory, which is certainly no bad thing. Throughout the rest of this trade Abnett introduces us to the various characters and personalitys of Steve Smith’s new crew, against the backdrop of some truly cinematic space battles. If your a fan of TV series such as Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda (a personal favourite of mine) or the remake of Battlestar Galactica then I can guarantee that you’ll find something to enjoy in Back in Action.

Dan Abnett was a perfect choice to bring back The V.C.s, being a writer who has a great pedigree of writing space opera strips, such as the reboot of Durham Red, as well as the popular Dredd spin off Insurrection. As revealed in his introduction to this trade Abnett had tried to bring back The V.C.s on several previous occasions, each time being knocked back by whoever happened to be Tharg at the time. His persistance eventually payed off however, and its no great suprise that when given the opportunity to write one of his all time favourite 2000AD strips, he proved to be more than up for the challenge.

I do have one greivance about The V.C.s however, although its nothing to do with the actual strip itself. The Back in Action trade ends on something of a cliffhanger with the inside back cover advertising a forthcoming trade to complete the strips run. I can only assume that the Back in Action trade didn’t sell well enough as unfortunatly the advertisted follow up has yet to materialise. So if you choose to pick up a copy of Back in Action do be aware that you’re not getting the full story, although perhaps if enough people were to buy it we could eventually see the missing trade published. Despite the lack of a conclusion The V.C.s is still an enjoyable and action packed romp through outer space, and one that comes recommended.

7/10

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