The Weekly 2000 AD Prog #2288: Returning To Regened For The All-Ages Thrill Power

by Richard Bruton

Four times a year, the pages of the Galaxy’s Greatest get turned over to Tharg’s lil’ nephew, Jojo-Jargo, who fills the pages with five all-ages tales to appeal to the next generation of readers.

Cover by debutante Peter Yong – it’s time to kick alien bottom for Dredd!

2000 AD Prog 2288 hits the shelves and digital on 29th June, bringing you all the Regened action you’ve come to expect – it’s 2000 AD action meets all-ages fun.

Inside, there’s your usual visit to Cadet Dredd in ‘Zootrapolis’, more magic meets an inner-city comprehensive in Lowborn High‘s second episode, it’s all memes and dreams in the latest Future Shock, and there’s the return of both Scooter & Jinx and Pandora Perfect.

Five strips, all-ages, all great… shall we have a little look inside?

CADET DREDD: ZOOTRAPOLIS – Liam Johnson, Joel Carpenter, colours by John Charles, letters by Annie Parkhouse

Time to go to the Mega-City Alien Zoo, full of all the beasties from beyond the stars, all thanks to Head of Alien Procurement, David Deotherborough, who’s just managed to get hold of yet another alien thingy to pump up the zoo’s profits.

Trouble is, there’s also a small problem with people going missing around the zoo. Hmmm, you don’t think… well, yes, of course!

And that’s just what Cadet Dredd’s looking into… or falling into. Yep, fun and frolics at the local zoo, just not the way you remember it from your summertime visits.

LOWBORN HIGH: GOOD SPORT – David Barnett, Anna Morozova, letters by Jim Campbell

We were introduced to Lowborn High last Regened (Prog 2280) where the poor kids in a magical world ended up going when they weren’t posh enough or well connected enough to get into Wychdusk Academy.

Androgeus (Andy) Frost got booted down to Lowborn High because his grades were so awful that even his family name can’t get him into Wychdusk. Once at Lowborn High we got a classic fish out of water thing, posh boy discovering the uncool kids were actually all right, that sort of thing.

And we did get a hint that we’d be exploring the issue of his family, especially sister Ariadne, who had something tragic befall her in Tibet… well, have a gues where we’re starting this time round… oh yes, there’s a longer story in Lowborn High that Barnett and Morozova are playing out rather well indeed.

But there’s also the day-to-day stuff in this Regened Hogwarts and right now that means it’s Quidditch Orbitus practice time –

 

Oh, David Barnett really is playing fast and loose with the whole Hogwart’s experience isn’t he? Although then again, Harry Potter was hardly an original after all.

But there’s loads of fun in Lowborn High, especially with the reveal of who young Frost happens to be on a team with… more of the uncool friends once more with an interesting array of brooms!

Anyway, the posh kids are rotters and one of Andy’s old mates has in mind that he’ll fix it for Andy to get into Wychdusk if the ‘plebs and oiks’ of Lowborn lose the first Orbitus match against Wychdusk. So, will he through the match or will his newfound Lowborn pals be enough to convince him to do the right thing.

 

You know, this one really is a beauty. Sure, it’s riffing off very common themes, the whole Grange Hill meets Hogwarts thing I already mentioned. But it’s all in the how Barnett and Morozova are doing it that makes it such a winner.

Sadly, nothing more from Lowborn High until 2023 now. Fingers crossed that that’s a full series!

 

FUTURE SHOCKS: INTO THE VOID – Karl Stock, Tom Newell, colours by Barbara Nosenzo, letters by Annie Parkhouse

The future, sometime, and the online world’s more sophisticated than ever with users leaving reality (or solidstate) behind in search of the realm of Egospace – the Internet of pure thought, where memes and dreams are everything.

Freelance Technologian KNA-191 gets a courier job, thought-carrying info for the big bucks. According to the Gorilla (it’s Egospace remember, anyone can be anything they want) behind the desk, it’s an idea to solve the offline energy crisis. But for something this revolutionary, KNA-191 needs to go off-grid, into the Voidance…

 

But once KNA-191 gets out, well that’s where the whole twist comes in.

Another excellent little Future Shock from Karl Stock, who has a habit of writing really clever stuff for Regened, absolutely not talking down to the kids, as is exactly right and some wonderfully spiky and interesting work from Tom Newell.

 

SCOOTER & JINX: THE BIG, GRAND SOUFFLE OF NOTHING – James Peaty, Steve Roberts, letters by Simon Bowland

Jinx is a rogue and a thief, Scooter was working at Mondo’s Mektail Bar on Eco-Point. Except things changed just a bit… last we saw them, (Regened Prog 2256) Scooter and Jinx had just gotten together after Scooter saved Jinx’s life and list her self-repairing functionality as a Bone Machine, a highly lethal cybernetic organism.

 

So, part two brings us back into their world a little later and it’s all just as bright and fun as that first adventure was. It’s all weird space stuff, strange acting agencies, holo-wood, a kidnapped over-the-hill actor (from the new movie – The Big, Grand Souffle Of Nothing… the actor… Belmondo, which is a wonderfully fun and clever take on Jen-Paul Belmondo and Breathless (or A bout de souffle)) , and plenty more thrown at you here, all of it going fast, fast, fast and making it all so much fun.

 

PANDORA PERFECT: FEED THE BIRD – Roger Langridge, Brett Parson, letters by Simon Bowland

Back in Regened after her first spell in the Prog recently, Pandora Perfect returns to the one-off strip format that maybe suits her better, letting Langridge and Parson go wild on the gags and not worry so much about the longer storyline.

So, here we have burglar, safe-cracker, armed bandit, and all-round career criminal Pandora Perez and her loyal robot assistant Gort back in trouble as only they can be… looking to score a big payday by stealing pills that make your average-sized poultry turn into Big Bird…

 

All told in rhyming captions as Pandora and Gort get into a little bit of trouble after one good deed goes wrong and there’s a bag lady with a very big bird to deal with.

It’s as silly as you want it to be, there’s daftness all over, and the kids even get their very own exploding chicken – because what kid wouldn’t love that?

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