The Weekly 2000 AD Prog #2267: Getting The Stare Down From Dredd

by Richard Bruton

Time to head out to the land of 2000 AD, the UK’s greatest sci-fi weekly comic, now celebrating its 45th anniversary in 2022

David Millgate’s craggy looking Dredd gracing the cover

With just three weeks to go until the huge special 45th-anniversary Prog, we’re going to be seeing short strips and finishing strips a-plenty until then. Here, it’s a one-off and off-beat Judge Dredd by Ken Niemand and Rob Richardson, ‘The Dead Chief Judges’ Society’.

Elsewhere, there’s more from Saphir: Liaisons Dangereuses, Proteus Vex: Desire Paths, The Order: Fantastic Voyage, and Kingmaker: Falls The Shadow – although that one’s taking a short break after this Prog, coming back in Prog #2270 to give artist Leigh Gallagher a chance to catch up with the art.

Right then… 2000 AD Prog #2267 is out on Wednesday 2nd February. Time for a preview:

JUDGE DREDD: THE DEAD CHIEF JUDGES’ SOCIETY – Ken Niemand, Rob Richardson, letters by Annie Parkhouse

Every so often it’s good to have a silly Dredd – there’s been a long history of them after all, something about the utterly insane world we find ourselves in when reading Dredd just lends itself to them.

So, here’s Niemand with a very new art droid, Rob Richardson, giving us a very silly tale of a man who sees the ghosts of the old Chief Judges.

Silly but so much fun. What more do you need to know?

Well, I suppose there’s the small matter of how damn good Richardson’s art is here. Seriously, he first appeared in a Future Shock, Keyboard Warriors, in 2000 AD Prog #2257, and now he’s knocking it out of the park on Dredd. That’s one of the great things about 2000 AD, there’s always another stunning artist waiting in the wings.

So, like I said, silly but so much fun. What more do you need to know?

PROTEUS VEX: DESIRE PATHS – PART 6 – Michael Carroll, Jake Lynch (Yes, JAKE LYNCH), colours by Jim Boswell, letters by Simon Bowland

Ever so occasionally, because my memory is so damn bad, there are things I write that I get wrong. And when you get things wrong, the only thing you should do is admit the mistake, apologise profusely and make amends (if only politicians would do the same.) And so it is that I have realised… actually, had pointed out to me, that for the last so many 2000 AD previews I’ve been crediting the incredible art here on Proteus Vex to Dan Cornwell. Obviously, this is entirely wrong. The art here on Proteus Vex, for the whole second volume, is by the rather incredible Jake Lynch.

I can only do the right thing here and apologise to Jake here, publically, for the error, trust he’ll forgive me, and move on.

Okay, all that done, time for the latest episode of Proteus Vex, a stunning series here in 2000 AD that deals with all the very strangest and best sci-fi, all with some rather spectacular and so very alien artwork by JAKE LYNCH, yes… JAKE LYNCH.

Anyhow, here Vex and his companion finally meet up with the agent on their trail, Melody Pen Naday. And she’s got a damn big gun.

The whole of Proteus Vex is all about that complicated mix of the characters and the whole huge, universe-encompassing nature of the mystery of the storyline. How Carroll manipulates his readers into things is a wonderful lesson in how to write something that’s, in turns, thrilling, action-packed, character-driven, full of spectacular alienness, and completely perplexing until the final reveal, is a real tour-de-force into how to do hard sci-fi so right.

And of course, alongside Carroll’s writing, we also have JAKE LYNCH’s artwork. Yes, that’s JAKE LYNCH. Let’s say it again, JAKE LYNCH. He’s doing amazing things here, giving life to Carroll’s ideas, creating a wonderfully out-there world of strange things happening to strange beings, angular art with all those angular panels, just so good to see.

THE ORDER: FANTASTIC VOYAGE – PART 6 – Kek-W, John Burns, Simon Bowland

So, when I was last talking about The Order, I was talking about how I could just ease into the whole storyline and just accept what was going on…

So, of course, the next episode of The Order begins with ‘Elsewhere…’

And then immediately, I’m taken out of where I was, with The Order leaping on board the Nommo and travelling between worlds and dropped into somewhere different. Oh, the frustration of it all.

So, here we’re somewhere else, somewhen else, and… well, frankly, at this point, I have no idea. There’s no point pretending I have.

Thing is, it’s one of those moments where I have to soundly admit that it’s not something that’s Kek-W’s fault. His writing is fine, enjoyable, fantastic – after all, I’ve been completely enjoying it with Saphir, something I’ve been involved with from the start. But the fact that The Order has so much history, so many characters, always puts me on the back foot. So despite how wonderful John Burns’ art looks, this is one strip that I just have so much trouble keeping up with.

KINGMAKER: FALLS THE SHADOW – PART 6 – Ian Edginton, Leigh Gallagher, letters by Jim Campbell

Stunning art takes a hell of a lot of work – which is why you’re going to have to do without Kingmaker for a few Progs, as Leigh Gallagher needs a few Progs space to catch up with things.

And it really is stunning artwork. Leigh Gallagher’s work here is just so wonderfully done, fine line with the ability to show us close relationships and close-up character work but also here with all the long-shot fantasy and sci-fi spectacular stuff, and then to go deep on the action scenes, of which there are a fair few right here in this episode.

And of course, Gallagher has a perfect accomplice here in Ian Edginton, a writer who does grand fantasy so well. Here, it’s all about Crixus the Ork battling the horde, whilst we see the surprise return of Ablard (isn’t he dead?) – and that’s the whole thrill of Kingmaker, things are just unpredictable within the predictable idea of Lord of the Rings meets alien invasion!

Simply put, this is grand fantasy meet sci-fi done oh so well. Thrills, action, mystery, and damn exciting as well. A great adventure done right.

SAPHIR: LIAISONS DANGEREUSES – PART 3 – Kek-W, David Roach, colours by Peter Doherty, letters by Annie Parkhouse

So wonderfully gorgeous to see – the most luscious and exotic artwork you’ll see in either this or any other comic this month, (hell, this year,) David Roach’s art here is just everything you could want for something fantastical and turn of the 20th Century… Saphir is just so gorgeous and so well written. I’ve found Kek-W’s work perplexing on The Order but here on Saphir it’s just damn great.

It’s got mystery, excitement, weirdness, exotic locales, high fantasy, and so much more. A stunning piece of comics work.

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