The Weekly 2000 AD Prog #2278: Going Down Down Down Into The Darkness In ‘Brink’

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.

Brink cover by INJ Culbard

Another week, another five great strips, all beginning with the penultimate episode of Judge Dredd: The Citadel by John Wagner and Dan Cornwell. Two Dredds and one very big end to the episode!

After that, we have continuations for the ever-wonderful, perfectly paced Brink, another dive into Hollywood noir with a magical twist in Hope… In The Shadows, and the vampire Constanta’s Berlin trip finds him making more enemies in Fiends of the Eastern Front: 1963. Finally, after a quick four and out, we said a farewell to the ablution adventures of the Intestinauts.

Right then – 2000 AD Prog 2278 is out on 20 April, so it’s time for a preview…

JUDGE DREDD: THE CITADEL – PART 9 – John Wagner, Dan Cornwell, colours by Dylan Teague, letters by Annie Parkhouse

So, two Dredds… well, you weren’t expecting that from The Citadel. And you might not have been expecting what happens in the penultimate part either.

Increasingly, there’s less and less to tell you about the plot as we get close to the end of it all. But that doesn’t mean that there’s not loads to be said about the incredible things that both Wagner and Cornwell are doing today. It’s all so tight, unfolding so slowly and carefully, all against the backdrop of former Cadet Winterton’s very unreliable narration. Or at least that’s what we’re all assuming.

All through, seeing Cornwell absolutely come into his own has been magnificent. His Dredd’s a classic Dredd already, his art style perfect to join that select group of Dredd artists who we’ve got taking the character on for the next decade. Yep, he’s that good. But should we be that surprised? After all, John Wagner anointed him, first with Rok of the Reds and then on Dredd – and as we should all know by now, Wagner knows a thing or two about Dredd.

HOPE IN THE SHADOWS – REEL ONE – PART 3 – Guy Adams, Jimmy Broxton, letters by Jim Campbell

More deeply atmospheric moments in the alternative Hollywood of Mallory Hope’s world here, as Hope learns why he’s been pulled into the mire of a deeply disturbing series of events on a Hollywood movie.

It’s a meet and greet on the set, with Mallory doesn’t exactly go about making himself many friends.

Again, it’s all about Jimmy Broxton’s artwork here, as he creates such a different look for a Prog already full of fabulous artists. The black and white tonal work is just so perfect for Guy Adams’ tale, all sleaze and sinister goings-on in a mystical Hollywood.

INTESTINAUTS: THE BOWEL IMPACTORS – PART 4 – FINAL PART – Arthur Wyatt, Pye Parr

Four and out here for the wonders of the Intestinauts, full of pus and bile and all the things you don’t want to be walking around in. But hey, that’s the Intestinaut’s job and they’re proud to do it!

As the threat of the Bowelbot Impactors gets worse and worse, the remaining Intestinauts and their pals get into some microwarfare, all done in vibrant and so great technicolour from Pye Parr.

It’s a lightweight, fun, disgusting idea done damn well by Wyatt and Parr, just the sort of thing that’s always welcome here in the Prog. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing more of the little nanobots that make your bowels all better in the future.

FIENDS OF THE EASTERN FRONT: 1963 – PART 6 – Ian Edginton, Tiernen Trevallion, letters by Annie Parkhouse

Constanta and his US spook comrade in arms – quite literally a spook now after the intervention of Baba Yaga – are on the run from the Russian witch, with Constanta not exactly pleased…

If I could, I would tear off your head and void my bowels into your neck!

No, not exactly in the best mood. But they do manage to figure out a few things concerning the whole mystery of why the spy plane was taken down in the first episode that led to Constanta being brought into this cold war Berlin. What they don’t know and we discover on the final page, is just who’s working Baba Yaga, who’s running the show… but I’m not going to reveal that particular great reveal quite yet!

BRINK: MERCURY RETROGRADE – PART 9 – Dan Abnett, INJ Culbard, leters by Simon Bowland

Investigative journo Mas and his uncle’s pal, ex-Union boss Eugene Bardot are venturing down, down, down into the underground of the Brink, where Mas is about to experience ‘the Unreach,’ and get a lesson in what goes on down there.

It’s developing so well is this latest Brink, the idea of flipping things around so that we’re experiencing the whole exploration of the sects from a different perspective was a radical idea but it’s one that’s fleshed out the whole of the series, expanded the concepts, made me really wonder just where it’s all going to go. But then again, every series of Brink has done that to me, such is the greatness of the series.

And so much of that comes from Culbard’s visuals, the dark of the underneath here is just a masterclass of style, the way he lights the scene, the colours he uses, all of them working to craft this fascinating look, this gorgeous look.

And then there’s a stunning contrast on the last page, as Mas gets back up to the surface and a familiar face… but that’s one I’m not going to spoiler, I want you to have the wow moment that I did.

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