Preview: ‘Proteus Vex: Another Dawn’ – Magnificently Strange Sci-Fi

by Richard Bruton

One of the most fascinating, bewildering, magnificently bizarre strips to come out of 2000 AD for many, many years, Proteus Vex is just superbly strange sci-fi – and now it’s time to get your hands on the first collection…

Created by Michael Carroll and Henry Flint, Proteus Vex tells a tale of far-flung galaxies, way into the future, where the war between the Alliance and the Obdurate people is finally over, after 14 centuries of warfare and bloodshed. But the end of the war came with a terrible cost, as the Alliance ended the war by teleporting a dying white dwarf star into their system – genocide on the scale of billions of the Obdurate people killed.

But it’s now decades later, with the races of the galaxy settling into something of a new status quo, an uneasy peace following so many years of war, and the forces of the Imperium act as the galaxy’s policemen of sorts.

And one of those Imperium agents is Proteus Vex – and Vex has a mission to undertake…

Carrying his prisoner, Midnight Indicating Shame, one of the Citheronian race, Vex receives word that Chancellor Rho 7 Baryon, one of the senior members of the Imperium Ascendant, is missing.

But the case of the missing Chancellor is nowhere near as simple as it seems, and this is a mission that will set Vex up against the greatest powers in this universe, one that will involve terrible secrets and a decision for Vex that will put the fragile peace in jeopardy.

In this first collection, we get the first two storylines, ‘Another Dawn by Carroll and co-creator and artist Henry Flint and then ‘The Shadow Chancellor, with art by Jake Lynch, taking over when Flint had to bow out from the series.

It’s a truly different series, one that’s distinctly alien in nature – the work that Carroll and Flint and latterly Carroll and Lynch have put into the worldbuilding here is so good, there’s very little here that’s anywhere near human, each and every race is so different, so ‘other’, that it gives the whole series a sense of otherworldly. But even then, Carroll still grounds it in that recognisable plot structure – damn Comics The Gathering for that perfect quote of Proteus Vex being an “Alien space-opera James Bond,” as that absolutely nails all that’s great about the series.

All the art you’ve seen thus far is from ‘Another Dawn, where co-creator Henry Flint goes absolutely over the top in his depictions, creating worlds, creating all of these fabulously different characters. But although it was a shame to see Flint bow out after the first storyline, Jake Lynch was (and is) the perfect replacement, bringing his own look to the series, still true to the simple idea of making it look unlike pretty much anything else.

Proteus Vex – a wonderfully different sort of sci-fi, where the aliens are truly, magnificently alien, where there’s action aplenty but also a huge galaxy-spanning mystery slowly unfolding. It’s a great example of how 2000 AD can be so forward-thinking, so different, so amazing.

Proteus Vex: Another Dawn – written by Michael Carroll, art by Henry Flint and Jake Lynch, letters by Simon Bowland.

Contains the stories Proteus Vex: Another Dawn – art by Henry Flint (2000 AD Progs 2162-2169, 2171) and Proteus Vex: The Shadow Chancellor – art by Jake Jynch (2000 AD Progs 2212-2219, 2221-2223)

Published by 2000 AD on 14 April 2022

Now, preview time…

First Henry Flint‘s art for the first storyline, ‘Another Dawn


And now, Jake Lynch taking over on art duties for the second storyline, ‘The Shadow Chancellor

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