The Weekly 2000 AD Prog #2217: It’s Not The Size Of The Night Stick, It’s How You Use It

by Richard Bruton

The Weekly 2000 AD, giving you a weekly glimpse inside the thrill-powered pages of the UK’s finest sci-fi comic. No matter how bad it might be out in the real world, 2000 AD keeps delivering the thrills…

Can you believe that’s Dan Cornwell’s very first 2000 AD cover? What a beauty!

This Prog gives you perhaps a little more of Dredd than you really want to get in the one and done Naked City – unless you’ve always wondered what a naked Dredd might look like, in which case… perhaps therapy? Elsewhere, there’s more in the continuing adventures of Durham Red, Proteus Vex, Slaine, and Hershey.

2000 AD Prog 2215 is out on Wednesday 3rd February – yes, it’s already the second month of 2021 – terrifying, isn’t it? You’ll find the Prog in all good newsagents, comic shops and digital stores. Here in the UK, comic shops are closed to customers, but they will still be offering mail order, so please use them and help them get over this terrible time.

JUDGE DREDD: NAKED CITY – Ken Niemand, Dan Cornwell, colours by Jim Boswell, letters by Annie Parkhouse

A silly done in one Dredd from Niemand and Cornwell, with the disturbing views of Moe Hallam, Mall Security Chief. Poor Moe has a bizarre psychic power – she sees people naked.

It’s great for spotting shoplifters in the Mall but when Dredd turns up looking for perps, poor Moe really doesn’t know where to look…

Cue Cornwell pulling out all the stops for the old comedy objects getting in the way of complete full-frontal nudity gags, along with Niemand giving us a finale that you could take two ways, either in Dredd’s favour or not… but Moe isn’t dishing the dirt on the things she’s seen.

Sure, it’s a daft thing, but Dredd shouldn’t always be doom and gloom.

DURHAM RED: SERVED COLD – PART 6 – Alec Worley, Ben Willsher, letters by Jim Campbell

Effectively, this Durham Red doing the whole Assault on Precinct 13 thing, keeping the scale of the story kept tight and small, with Red on the inside and a way too large group of the bad guys on the outside. It’s tight and insular, doesn’t need to speak to anything on the outside, or at least not yet – remember, there’s still the whole issue of why the suave bad guy wants Red in the first place.

And doing it this way means we get Worley and Willsher delivering a short and sweet tale of Durham Red that works, although to be honest, it’s the sort of tale that doesn’t particularly need Red here at all. At the moment though, it’s enjoyable just for what it is.

PROTEUS VEX: THE SHADOW CHANCELLOR – PART 6 – Michael Carroll, Jake Lynch, colours by Jim Boswell, letters by Simon Bowland

The captured Silent agent is on the loose again for a moment – and yes, they really should have held him a little better the first time. Instead, Vex is injured and there’s a fleet of Citheronian ships coming to take Midnight Indicating Shame back home – something she’s not too keen on at all. And unfortunately for Vex, she knows about Vex…

Turns out that being a flesh-pilot is something the Imperium doesn’t like, not at all. We also get a little more insight into those strange flashbacks Vex has been having. All in all, it’s building on everything we learned in series one and showing us a little more of the complicated history of both Vex and the world he lives in.

SLÁINE: DRAGONTAMER – PART 6 – Pat Mills, Leonardo Manco, letters by Annie Parkhouse

The first dragon-free episode sees Sláine going against the people and freeing a group of Shoggey prisoners on the gallows – something that’s just playing into Brutus’ hands.

With the talk of the people freeing themselves of the Shoggey beasts, then turning on ‘the blue men and the other root races’, blaming them for the reason that the country is in the state it’s in, it’s not too hard to see the political point Mills is making. Then again, Mills has never been one to shy away from hitting his readership over the head with a political allegory.

However, it wouldn’t be a Sláine episode without a little violence, and we’re treated to Sláine’s arrow skills and ultra-violence as he gets the Shoggeys free and makes himself an enemy of the people he’s determined to free.

Yes, it’s heavy-handed, but Slaine always was, but it’s still looking gorgeous with Manco’s artwork never less than wonderful to look at.

HERSHEY: THE BRUTAL – PART 6 – Rob Williams, Simon Fraser, letters by Simon Bowland

Hershey’s mission to get to Edu continues, with Dirty Frank into the semi-finals of the Ciudad Barranquilla City Tournament.

Except here’s where it might all be falling apart for Hershey. After all, no matter how flawed, how broken he ever was, Frank was always a Mega-City One Judge and Hershey’s asking him to take part in a non-sanctioned assassination.

But before all that, we see a moment of Hershey’s continued anger at everything that’s happened to her. The disease ravaging her is the very least of it.

That moment, that address to Dredd, that could simply be Hershey’s rage talking or perhaps it’s something more, a greater plan Hershey has in mind? I’m going with the former, but it’s a fascinating little moment, encapsulating all that ‘The Brutal’, and ‘Disease’ before it, is doing so very well. It’s Williams’ simple, taut, concise writing and tone combining with the tonal brilliance of Fraser’s artwork that really is elevating this one.

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