The Weekly 2000 AD: It’s ‘Regened’ Time Again Kids!

by Richard Bruton

Four times a year, the pages of the Galaxy’s Greatest get turned over to Tharg’s lil’ nephew, Jojo-Jargo, who fills the pages with five all-ages tales to appeal to the next generation of readers. It’s The Weekly 2000 AD and this week we’re going Regened again…

Cover by Alex Ronald

2000 AD Prog #2206 hits the shelves and digital on 4 November.

And inside… well, there’s all this for you…

Starscan by Vivian Truong

CADET DREDD – TOOTH AND CLAW – Mike Carroll, Nicolo Assirelli, colours by Gary Caldwell, letters by Annie Parkhouse.

More Cadet Dredd, this time with Joe & Rico part of a Cadet group stranded in the Cursed Earth. And as with Carroll’s Cadet Dredd in the last Regened Prog, this is a fair way through their training, meaning it’s an older Dredd and Rico we’re seeing here in the white helmet.

However, this one’s more Rico centred, with Carroll’s storyline heavy on his characterisation, all the way through to the judgment of the Cadet narrating this particular story, all of it pulling things together and linking these Cadet Dredd storylines with what we already know of Dredd-lore.

Here, it’s 2077 and Dredd, Rico, and Cadet Roxanne Vella – our narrator for this one – are off looking for a local farm to rescue the rest of the transport who were injured in the crash. From there, we get a group of local mutants being oppressed by the local jumped-up warlord, meaning the Cadets have to take a little time to do the right thing.

Yep, it’s all about fitting plot A into story idea B here, with Carroll forcing the reader to just go with a few things, and yep, the whole good cowboys standing up against the corrupt local boss/land-owner/sheriff is the bare-bones plot of a good few Westerns I’ve seen as well, but what of it? Carroll’s script is decently done and Assirelli’s artwork really does suit having more pages to spread itself out on and open up, something you can easily say for every artist here in this Prog, more pages really does allow things to open up and breath a little more.

All in all, a good start to the Prog here.

ABELARD SNAZZ – THE ONLY WAY IS UP – Paul Cornwell and Anna Readman, colours by Pippa Bowland, letters by Jim Campbell

Well, there’s a surprise, seeing the return of a certain man with the two-storey brain after some 30 years, as created way back by Alan Moore and Steve Dillon.

Abelard’s reputation through the galaxy means civilisations come from far and wide to get his advice, bringing plentiful cash and flattery with them… Snazz’s ego dwarfs even his brain after all.

Trouble is, he might be bright but his track record on actually improving things is just this side of disastrous. So, what for the cleverest man in the universe this time round? How will his loyal droid manservant Edwin get him out of trouble now?

This time though, the trouble is right under his nose. Well, in his carpet actually, with the United Empire of Atomica making a plea for his help. Shrunk to sub-atomic scale to a realm where everyone holds things together through belief, the ridiculous of all that not going without mention from Cornwell, plus a great bit of comedic art from Anna Readman, new to 2000 AD but doing a rather superb job of things here.

Yep, that’s a great turn of phrase and great physical artistic comedy right there.

Anyhow, plan after plan after plan goes on – because if there’s one thing that particle physics teaches us it’s that they’re seemingly always finding something smaller!

Again, a great line…

‘But sir, if the smallest possible particles stop working with the bigger universe–‘

‘You appear, sir, to have ended the physical universe.’

Yep, this one works. Clever, silly, great art, the worthy return of a classic.

VENUS BLUEGENES – THREAT LEVEL: ZERO – Liam Johnson, Aneke, colours by Barbara Nosenzo, letters by Simon Bowland

Clone soldier Venus was intended to serve her Souther creators on the orbiting command centre Milli-Com, high above the toxic wastes of Nu-Earth. But this particular ‘GI Doll’ had other plans.

In this all-ages tale, Venus makes it down to the surface of Nu-Earth as a refugee, zero threat, forced to work down in the mines – but this is Venus Bluegenes and she’s a warrior… Genetic Infantry…

Another great little tale introducing the new generation to so many things, or simply giving existing readers a new take on a familiar character. Either way, it works here. There’s plenty of characterisation in here, plenty of action, a nice turn of phrase, even a small but important socio-political message.

FUTURE SHOCKS – FOR THE MAN WHO LIVES EVERYWHEN – Karl Stock, Tom Newell, colours by John Charles, letters by Annie Parkhouse

Time travel, always imagined, never managed… until now. But the problem of creating a receiver to grab all the time travellers coming back was always going to create a log jam, but Professor Norman Collins doesn’t care about that, he’s more interested in basking in the glow of his achievements. Unfortunately, they’re not his achievements at all and there’s a whole load of Time-Truthers who want a word about this whole time travel thing.

Now, this is more like it, a Future Shock that just throws weird and wonderful concepts at readers and does it in a way that’s fun AND thought-provoking. Yes, yes, I’m sure you can pick holes in the methodology of the time-travel theories, but that’s something you could always do. Instead, just concentrate on the fact that Stock and Newell deliver something that’s fun and should have those young readers scratching their heads in the best way.

ANDERSON, PSI-DIV – EARLY WARNING – Cavan Scott, Paul Davidson, colours by Len O’Grady, letters by Simon Bowland

Have to say, those first two pages, setting up the scene of this latest Anderson, with some poor dumb Mega-Citizen getting a dose of alien infestation, is beautifully done.

In fact, the entire thing is a fine, fine Anderson tale, with Cavan Scott even beginning to develop just a little bit of a continuing tale here, referring back to Prog 2183 and giving us something of a to be continued at the end here.

In between that though, we get a great self-contained thing, Anderson tracking down the latest potential threat to MC-1, with Paul Davidson giving us a beautifully done MC-1 in the background as a determined and forceful Anderson takes charge of things.

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