The Weekly 2000 AD Prog 2219: Surfin’ Mega City 1

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…

Cover by Patrick Goddard, colours by Dylan Teague

Prog 2220 next week will be the first of four 2000 AD Regened Progs for the year, which means it’s time for a done-in-one Judge Dredd featuring a rather different kind of sky surfer than we’re used to with the likes of Chopper – as featured on this week’s cover. It’s also time to bid farewell to Hershey (and Dirty Frank) in ‘The Brutal’, whilst Sláine, Proteus Vex, and Durham Red all continue after Regened.

2000 AD Prog 2219 is out on 17 February. And please, please support your local comic shops, some are only able to operate mail order right now but they still need your cash to keep operating. If you have a standing order with your shop, get in touch and eat the postage cost to keep them afloat.

JUDGE DREDD: AGAINST THE CLOCK – Ken Niemand, Patrick Goddard, colours by Dylan Teague, letters by Annie Parkhouse

After last week’s naked Dredd, we get Niemand returning with the wonderfully solid art of Patrick Goddard for another done-in-one Dredd, this time following the familiar route of having Dredd play just a bit part in his own strip. Instead, the star of the show is a sky-surfer making her way as a delivery flyer in the city – just another crappy gig job to look after her kid. But what can you do, daycare in the city is a nightmare and the rent needs paying, right?

Cue Dredd.

And then cue some absolutely great action shots of the sky-surfer zipping through the city to make her delivery – Goddard really nailing the action and the mad angles to get the blood pumping.

All in all, a lovely little interlude, just another day in the big city.

SLÁINE: DRAGONTAMER – PART 7 – Pat Mills, Leonardo Manco, letters by Annie Parkhouse

Okay, seven parts into this and you pretty much know what I’m going to say here – Leonardo Manco’s artwork is just superb here, a worthy addition to list of great artists whose work has appeared on the title. And if this is the very last Sláine, as we all fully expect it to be, then the artwork here is a perfect end to the series.

As for the actual tale, well it’s very much a Pat Mills’ Sláine. Lots of mayhem, lots of Sláine warping, lots of blood and gore, and Sláine’s continual voiceover hitting all the greatest hits.

Sláine’s breaking into the Trojan palace with a plan to free Brutus’ monstrous son, presumably to show the people just what monsters their overlords are.

Or something like that.

To be honest, I’m just enjoying this one for Manco’s artwork.

PROTEUS VEX: THE SHADOW CHANCELLOR – PART 7 – Michael Carroll, Jake Lynch, colours by Jim Boswell, letters by Simon Bowland

It’s all kicking off here, with Vex’s flesh-pilot on the loose and being hunted down, which gives Jake Lynch a chance to really throw in some wonderful angles as the pursuit goes on. It really has been something seeing just how good Lynch’s work on Vex has been, fabulously alien, absolutely different, especially when you consider that he’s following in the footsteps of Henry Flint from the first series.

Meanwhile, as Vex’s flesh pilot makes its escape, the fleet of Citheronian ships are coming to take Midnight Indicating Shame back home – unless Vex can do something about that.

By the end, we’re into something different, with Vex, Midnight, and the remaining Silent seemingly out on their own… as it says, wars have been started for less.

It’s really developing into a fabulous series, slow to build yet really worth all of that build-up, a great addition to the sci-fi of 2000 AD.

DURHAM RED: SERVED COLD – PART 7 – Alec Worley, Ben Willsher, letters by Jim Campbell

After six episodes of the whole Assault on Precinct 13 thing, Durham Red and space cop Danny Glover trying to hold off the bad guy mercs all funded by the rich guy who desperately wants Red for himself, it’s time to switch things around a bit. The siege is over, the bad guys have Red, space cop Danny Glover is locked inside, and the mercs have done that oh-so predictable thing of turning on the money.

This means Served Cold has changed a little, with more questions than answers – the whole idea of Durham Red wanting forgiveness thrown into the mix, the question of who the money guy really is and what he wants Red for… but all of that will come later. Right now, it’s looking like Danny Glover will be the one to make a rescue.

Like I’ve said all through, this is a really decent thing, Worley and Willsher playing with the tight confines of the setting really nicely, Willsher’s art every bit what you expect.

HERSHEY: THE BRUTAL – PART 8 – FINAL PART – Rob Williams, Simon Fraser, letters by Simon Bowland

Hershey’s got a gun to her head, Frank’s getting the shit beaten out of him, and it looks like the mission may well be over, two very broken former Judges getting the deaths they perhaps long for way too much.

Well, maybe not.

It all plays out pretty much as you might have expected, especially given that this story appears to have a hell of a lot more to tell before it’s finally over for both Hershey and Frank.

There is, of course, that fascinating opening three panels to consider – exactly who is talking to Barbara there? One for another series to resolve.

Eight episodes of the second series and it’s really only just getting going. It might have its detractors, those who think Hershey should have stayed dead, but Williams and Fraser have created something that really is getting better and better as the episodes roll by.

Fraser deserves particular praise for the glorious work he’s putting in on the art here, those fabulous colour tones that add so much to what we’re seeing in this mean and moody work from Williams.

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