The Weekly 2000 AD Prog 2232: Farewell Thistlebone

by Richard Bruton

The Weekly 2000 AD, Comicon’s weekly preview of all the thrill-power the UK’s finest sci-fi comic has to offer…

Cover by Simon Davis

Another week, another five strips, with the wrap-ups to the two-part Judge Dredd: Easy Money, the third and final part of the latest Intestinauts 3Riller in ‘Symbiotic Love Triangle, as well as the brilliant slow-burning folktale horror, Thistlebone: Poisoned Roots. There’s a one-off Tharg’s Terror Tales and more from Feral & Foe.

Next week, it’s back to the all-ages Regened 2000 AD, where you’re in for a treat with Cadet Dredd, Anderson Psi Division, Pandora Perfect, and Department K.

2000 AD Prog 2232 is out on Wednesday 19th May. Remember, your local comic shop needs you to stay in business… keep your social distance, keep wearing the masks.

Okay then, Prog 2232 awaits. Shall we?

JUDGE DREDD: EASY MONEY – PART 2 – FINAL PART – Mike Carroll, Simon Fraser, colours by Gary Caldwell, letters by Annie Parkhouse

A quick two-parter wraps up here, with Aldalisa Brown sorting out her little problem of inheriting the family business, which just happens to be the fourth-largest manufacturer and distributor of high-grade narcotics in the northern sector of MC-1.

We’re very Dredd light here, but that’s no problem, as it’s a fun little tale, although one that could have been, should have been longer. And let’s have a round of applause for Simon Fraser, who’s artwork looks so damn good here, particularly when playing with the layouts.

So it’s farewell for a while to Mike Carroll and his storyline of The Kindred, The Parliament, and the whole of organised crime in MC-1 – it’s bound to be one he comes back to.

Finally, religion in MC-1, a great little opening scene…

‘”We ask the Almight Grud –
– If he and/or she exists –
To commit their souls –
– If there is such a thing –
To the nice bit of the afterlife.
– If there even is one.”


The rogue symbiote suit and I-R-404 are on the run, hunted, betrayed, and being eaten by those bloody bowelbots.

Difficult to turn a tale about nano-bots whose job it is to sort out a nasty case of bodily bother into something about empathy, friendship, and collaboration… but they managed it here. It’s still daft fun, but it’s daft fun that’s got meaning as well.

There’s a lot to enjoy in these Intestinauts, from Pye Parr’s funky artwork to the sheer idiocy of the ideas from Wyatt, and I do hope we’ll be seeing these little guys of the gastro-intestinal tract return.

FERAL & FOE II – PART 9 – Dan Abnett, Richard Elson, letters by Jim Campbell

Feral & Foe need their bodies swapped back, Krodgun’s looking to get his soul back. And to do this, they’ve made a deal with Golgone the Necromancer to go and get the Chalice of Malice.

So, they’re off on their little side quest… “Are we there yet?”

Yes, they’ve been walking a long time… “Are we there yet?”

And Bode has been annoying everyone… “Are we there yet?”

Yep, you can only imagine, can’t you?

Until now, where they’re here…

“Hey Bode? You know how you’ve been saying that thing every five minutes since we set out, and every time you say it, we tell you to shut the feck up?”
“Well, say it now.”
“Um… Are we there yet?”
“Yes, we are.'”

See, that’s everything that’s good about Feral & Foe right there. Increasingly, what makes it so much fun is that it’s actually a damn good sit-com masquerading as a fantasy series. The enjoyment all comes from Abnett’s dialogue. Well, not all the enjoyment, obviously, Elson’s artwork really makes it all come alive, but you know what I mean.

Anyway, they’ve arrived. But they might not be pleased about it, not even Bode.

See, that’s the punchline to the first two pages… enjoy the setup below, but damn, it’s a great thing, and that second page from Elson, a perfectly done splash page… very special.

Like I say, it’s a glorious sit-com just set in a fabulous fantasy land. Case in point, as the Balerock guarding the long-abandoned place holding the Chalice has a bad case of the blues… cue conversation rather than conflict, and more of the funnies.

TERROR TALES: DRY SPELL – John Tomlinson, Steven Austin, letters by Simon Bowland

Inferior building materials and gross corporate and government negligence, this is a Terror Tale ripped out of the headlines, albeit spinning it into old folklore.

A property developer is found dead, his rival goes into isolation in her custom-built little fortress. But she’s not alone, as the paramedic she calls in is going to find out.

Six pages short and this is one that lays out so much plot, clever and well-done, with a fair old twist in its tail as well.

THISTLEBONE: POISONED ROOTS – PART 12 – FINAL PART – TC Eglington, Simon Davis, letters by Simon Bowland

I’m not going to spoiler anything here at all, just to say it’s a perfectly done finale to this fabulous slow-build tale.

The whole of Thistlebone, across these two series, has been a magnificent thing. I’m sure many had their doubts whether the sheer intensity of the creeping horrors we saw in the first storyline could be maintained or not. Well, despite already knowing so much of Harrowvale and Thistlebone, the horrors found deep in the woods and deep in the mind, this second series has been every bit the success of the first.

Both Eglington and Davis are doing magnificent work in here and it’s something that, should they come up with a suitable third series, I’ll be looking forward to greatly.

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