The Weekly 2000 AD Prog #2277: Dredd Vs Dredd? The Secret Of The Crucible Revealed

by Richard Bruton

45 years and better than ever – it’s the UK’s greatest sci-fi weekly comic, 2000 AD and we’re here with The Weekly 2000 AD to give you a preview.

One Dredd, two Dredd, oh heck… that’s a cracker of a cover by Dan Cornwell right there

Another week, another five great strips… kicking off, obviously, with the very shocking latest episode of Judge Dredd: The Crucible by John Wagner and Dan Cornwell. I do believe this is what they meant when they told you this was an important one!

As for the other four, continuations of supernatural noir thriller in Hope… In The Shadows, more Intestinauts, more Fiends of the Eastern Front: 1963, and more from the quite magnificent Brink

Right then – 2000 AD Prog #2277 is out on Wednesday 13th April, so it’s time for a preview:

JUDGE DREDD: THE CITADEL – PART 8 – John Wagner, Dan Cornwell, colours by Dylan Teague, letters by Annie Parkhouse

So, the last episode ended with that little cliffhanger above… the whole two Dredds thing.

And that, no surprise, is the big, big secret Cadet Winterton has been promising as he tells his tale on the day of his execution.

Two Dredds, two clones, one a little younger – and yes, you’re going to be playing find the facial scar for the next few episodes! As you can read below, the younger clone used to be Judge Semper and was off-world with them in charge figuring the name would carry more weight. On arriving back with no time to change the badge, he was captured and sent to the Citadel… well, that’s what we’re assuming.

Oh yes, because you have to keep in mind this is all Winterton’s tale and he’s a very unreliable narrator indeed.

Two Dredds, an escape from the Citadel, and a damn fine, albeit damn confusing episode. Wagner’s obviously got something in mind here. Although whether it is just Winterton spinning a tale or something more, we’ll have to wait and see. But… could it be Wagner setting in motion a mechanism for being able to tell his death of Dredd story, only to have him replaced with a clone? Or could it be more tricky than that?

Like I say, we’ll find out in good time. Just for this Prog, go with the ride and love how this one’s going, with Wagner and Cornwell doing the business.

BRINK: MERCURY RETROGRADE – PART 8 – Dan Abnett, INJ Culbard, leters by Simon Bowland

Investigative journo, Mas, is getting more and more involved in the depths of the Unions and the big Corporations, and now he’s turned up on the doorstep of his Uncle’s old friend and retired Union boss Eugene Bardot. Bardot talks about Gentau, the riots, the unions, saying it’s basically just the same old same old, big Crops pressuring the Unions out with the Corps running the Brink since day one.

Essentially, Bardot’s old school and believes that the brink depends on the workers, depends on the Unions, and all their strange traditions should just be written off and forgiven. It’s another way to think of it all, but we know different, having seen it all play out already. But here it’s Bardot and Mas chatting, Mas getting a lesson in what goes on here on the Brink.

But by the end of this episode, once Bardot takes Mas down into the underworks of the city, and Mas is about to get an important lesson in life underground.

Again, it’s just a stunning work of artistry from Culbard, making another episode of conversations and tension building up look absolutely stunning, constantly changing the camera angles we see there on the page, glorious colours giving way to the blackness of the underworks. It’s just stunning stuff.

HOPE IN THE SHADOWS – REEL ONE – PART 2 – Guy Adams, Jimmy Broxton, letters by Jim Campbell

Well, Hope got the call from Hollywood last episode about a possibly cursed production where there’s already been one brutal murder already and a host of weird accidents. This one’s got, as the guy hiring him says… ‘bad juju.’

Well, here we get to see how it’s all going to pan out when Hope breezes up onto set, a set where the director’s a dictatorial soak, the stars are sleazy as they can be, and Hope’s caught right in the middle of it all now. Oh, he’s not happy in the damn slightest.

But the guy hiring him for the job has the one thing Hope just can’t turn down, a promise of information about where his wife is – and that’s something he’s desperate to find out.

It’s unlike anything that’s been in the Prog for a long, long time, the whole occult hard-boiled storyline that can only really work because of Broxton’s art. Hell, you can just smell the sleaze and the cigar smoke coming off the page.


It’s back down to the muck and the slime of the sewers for the third installment of those loveable Intestinauts, stranded on a fatberg and trying to get back to HQ through the Intestolabs uplink while the Bowelbot Impactors, the latest models who’re programmed to kill, kill, and kill with a special hatred for all things Intestinauts.

Well, there’s just one Bowelbot left right now, but he’s a bit of a mean lil’ bastard.

It’s a wonderfully silly thing, that sort of classic 2000 AD strip that’s always been here, something stupid and gross and wonderfully well done – Pye Parr’s artwork just has this way of oozing off the page here and his green palette really is getting worked overtime.

FIENDS OF THE EASTERN FRONT: 1963 – PART 5 – Ian Edginton, Tiernen Trevallion, letters by Annie Parkhouse

Constanta’s cold war troubles just seem to be getting worse and worse right now. Baba Yaga’s pissed and it’s time to get the hell out of there…

It’s gone so quickly from a potential Cold War thriller to something merely set in Berlin 1963. I’m still a little bit disappointed that Edginton didn’t spend that little bit more time exploring the whole Le Carre with a vampire thing. However, that’s just me, and I’m still enjoying what Edginton is giving us here, more supernatural facing off between Constanta and ancient enemies.

However, the real star here (sorry Ian) is seeing just what Trevallion does with this gorgeous tonal b&w artwork. The textures are incredible, the line work is beautiful, it’s just a stunning thing to see every single week.

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