The Weekly 2000AD – Prog 2117 Previewed: Light Your Torch And Wave It For The Nu-Earth On Wednesday…

by Richard Bruton

Welcome, once more, to The Weekly 2000AD,’s regular look at 2000AD, still Britain’s greatest sci-fi comic!

This week, Prog 2117, with another cracking Wagner & MacNeil Dredd in Machine Law, the aftermath of last Prog’s spectacular Brink from Abnett and Culbard, plus more Skip Tracer, the final part of the latest Tharg;s 3Riller, and the return of Rennie and Coleby’s Jaegir, with a cover from Raid71.

2000AD Prog 2117 is out in the UK and digitally on 6 February and out in the North Americas later in the month.

JUDGE DREDD: MACHINE LAW – PART 3 – John Wagner, Colin MacNeil, letters Annie Parkhouse.

This is proving to be one of those very low-key Dredds that Wagner writes so beautifully. Two storylines intertwining, Hershey’s decision to step down as Chief Judge and the trial of the latest phase of Mech-Judges, with Dredd involved in both. Hershey’s choice for the next Chief Judge is Judge Logan, the sector chief running the Mech trials, with huge success. But, so far, everything about Logan just doesn’t say Chief Judge… and I can’t help but wonder whether Wagner’s setting things up for a fall, somewhere down the line.

As I say, it’s a wonderfully low key bit of writing, with so little going on, but everything going on at the same time, all accompanied by MacNeil’s stunning artwork.

SKIP TRACER – LOUDER THAN BOMBS – PART 7 – James Peaty, Paul Marshal, colours Dylan Teague, letters Ellie De Ville

Skip Tracer keeps on its path of delivering a good, old-fashioned private investigator procedural, think Magnum in space. And I have, absolutely no issue with that at all, it’s a nicely written, well-drawn strip, the action comes in bursts, but the bulk of it, as in this episode, comes from the slow build of seeing Nolan Blake, the Skip Tracer, putting all the pieces together.

BRINK – HIGH SOCIETY – PART 18 – Dan Abnett, INJ Culbard, letters Simon Bowland.

Coming down from the explosive events of last Prog’s double-sized episode, this is something of a coda to the stoy, albeit one that promises more next Prog. After her hallucinatory revelations at the hands of the Master Cult, she’s being debriefed by Hab Secs Director, another wonderfully realised female character in a series full of them, with a great look from Culbard and a smart line of dialogue to boot…

But, the debrief turns into something more, all coming off the back of the words of a spectral Brinkman, her original partner… “Weird Life“.

And from that moment, we’re really off down the rabbit hole, with Abnett throwing a fabulous curve into things, sometthing that, no doubt, with infuse everything that’s going to come in Brink Books 4 and more.

Brink Book 3 might be coming to an end, but it’s been a wonderful ride, one of the best things to come from 2000AD in many, many years.

THARG’S 3RILLERS – KEEPER OF SECRETS – PART 3 – FINAL PART – Robert Murphy, Steven Austin, colours Pippa Mather, letters Ellie De Ville

Jon Tanner’s learnt a valuable life lesson across these three parts of the latest Tharg’s 3Riller; if you do hook up at a club, try not to get involved with a girl with an Ancient Roman curse tablet. And definitely don’t use it to conjure up some demonic porcine entity on a revenge killing spree. But, he did, it has, and now he’s having to put things right and, as he’s about to find out, those things will have consequences.

It’s been a fun 3Riller, more horror than sci-fi, that’s just a little weak in its ending, but such is the nature, sometimes, for these short pieces. Still, there’s great promise in both Murphy’s writing and Austin’s art.

JAEGIR – BONEGRINDER – PART 1 – Gordon Rennie, Simon Coleby, colours Len O’Grady, letters Annie Parkhouse

The war continues, the forces of the Great Nordland Republic and the Souther Confederacy locked in endless, pointless battle. And in the middle of all this, it’s Kapitan-Inspector Atalia Jaegir’s job to investigate and pursue Nord war criminals.

Now, she’s back on the hell-hole that is Nu-Earth and, unfortunately for Jaegir, both the family name and the rep of the Office of Public Truth don’t hold the weight the once did, especially down in Bonegrinder, one of the most forward of the forward positions.

It’s the return of another cracking 2000AD strip, Rennie’s writing on top form, but what really marks it out has to be Coleby’s artwork, with some intense colour work from O’Grady. There’s a real dark feel to the art, a muted palette of browns, blues, greens, exploding occasionally into technicolour when needed. It’s a great looking read.

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