The Weekly 2000 AD Prog #2307: Nature Bites Back In Enemy Earth

by Richard Bruton

It’s 45 years old and it just gets better & better; 2000 AD is the UK’s greatest sci-fi weekly comic and we’re here with The Weekly 2000 AD to give you a preview.

Again, all the same five strips here, deep into their respective runs. Which means there’s more from Judge Dredd trying to repel a Sov Psi invasion of Mega-City One in ‘Buratino Must Die’, Chimpsky’s got his own bit of psi-trouble in his ‘Terrifically Disturbing Adventure’, there’s magical darkness all around in’ Hope… In The Shadows’, the post-apocalyptic nightmares for Zoe continue in ‘Enemy Earth’, and we’re back down to Antarctic City with Hershey where ‘The Cold In The Bones’ is taking hold.

Enemy Earth’s Luke Horsman with an action-packed cover there

I’m writing this as the news is coming through that we’ve lost another great of the comics medium, another great from 2000 AD, Kevin O’Neill. It was unexpected, it was brutal, it was far too soon. Kevin O’Neill was a wonder, creating unique and beautiful grotesqueries for so many years. Rest in Peace Brother Kevin.


Prog 2307 is out on Wednesday 9th November. Shall we take a look inside?

JUDGE DREDD: BURATINO MUST DIE – PART 4 – by Rob Williams and Henry Flint, letters by Annie Parkhouse

Three episodes down, three to go, and ‘Buratino Must Die’ is pushing all the right buttons – there’s that important sense of dread running through it, the Sov Zersetzung sweeping into Dredd’s patch so easily, that question of whether they were wrong to let Buratino and Isaaks find a home in MC-1 – all of it’s building and building to a crescendo.

Here we go back to just after ‘End of Days’ to discover just what Zersetzung is, how different they are to MC-1’s Psi-Div, and the chilling possibility that they’ve been subtly influencing decision-making here for years.


Meanwhile, Dredd and Anderson are on the ground – and it looks like they’re already fighting a losing battle, with Psi-Div overwhelmed, Anderson engulfed.

Although as you’d expect… Dredd, with that unshakable will and determination, he’s having none of it – all of which takes us back to the first couple of pages of Buratino, with Dredd holding his Lawgiver on Buratino and deciding just what to do.

You have to love these little moments that Williams throws into his Dredds, the nods to what a force of nature the character’s become.

And then there’s Henry Flint’s artwork on this, just stunning stuff on every page, every panel. His slightly altered style already looks perfect, every image of Dredd looks iconic, the colours spectacular, the ideas he throws at the page are just wonderful.


ENEMY EARTH: BOOK 1 – PART 6 – by Cavan Scott, Luke Horsman, letters by Annie Parkhouse

Back with Zoe, Jules, and Nanni, headed off up North tracking the source of the government signal they found, maybe even connected to wherever Jules’s dad, the former Prime Minister, could be.

This episode, a pit-stop for supplies and Zoe gets a little too close to yet another example of the nasties that nature has to offer here, with a nasty bite to the hand that’s probably going to cause her a little trouble…

Scott’s writing this very neatly, letting us into Zoe’s thoughts in the quiet moments, playing on the idea of the poor kid who’s lost everyone and is scared to death to let anyone else in again. We see it through the flashbacks to Zoe and her poor, doomed Gran…


And Horsman’s art is really lovely, still that loose style, angular, look that we first saw in the Regened intro to Enemy Earth but there’s so much more expression and mood in this version, all because of the change in tone through the somber colours.

All in all, Enemy Earth has managed to bridge that gap from Regened to Enemy Earth, a simple story no doubt, but a good story well told.


HOPE… IN THE SHADOWS REEL TWO – PART 5 – by Guy Adams and Jimmy Broxton, letters by Jim Campbell

Back with Mallory Hope again, or at least looking in on what’s happened to Mallory and the magicians/film people he’s trapped with.

Effectively, an episode of long shots, establishing just how much trouble, how serious Mallory’s predicament is. When last we saw him, back in Prog 2305, he was prepping the group to go with ‘the running stitch,’ a way to bond them all together, all the magic users, upping the power but upping the risks as well.

Now, we’re on the outside looking in, observing just what’s happening to the world outside, the warping of the house, the soldiers going in…


And it’s just another opportunity to see Broxton’s artwork in all its glory, the dark details all there, the quiet double page spread that shows us the power involved, Broxton focusing down onto characters and the detailing.


CHIMPSKY’S LAW: A TERRIFICALLY DISTURBING ADVENTURE – PART 6 – by Ken Niemand, PJ Holden, colours by Chris Blythe, letters by Simon Bowland

Again, when we last left Chimpsky in Prog 2305, it wasn’t looking too good, with Timmy and Thruppence managing to get inside everyone’s heads at Wittengenstein Block and turn them loose after our simian hero.

Or as Chimpsky puts it on page one here – ‘Me (trying not to get killed) – Everyone Else (trying to kill me.) And it’s all this pair’s fault…


So, as the terrible twins look on, Chimpsky’s having to fight his way out of trouble while also trying his hardest not to actually hurt anyone – because he’s just the loveliest chimp, ain’t he?

Anyway, it’s going to be Chimpsky and Mr Gtofaz against the Block next Prog, thanks to Grofaz’ block war injury and the synthi-plastic plate in his head that means he’s immune to psi-trickery (‘and also the Luna-City mind-control rays.) It’s all on them, of course – that’s Chimpsky’s Law all right.

So much fun to be had, Niemand and Holden having a blast it seems, giving us a different look at MC-1 life, a narrower view, just concentrating on Chimpsky’s Block and the life within.


HERSHEY: THE COLD IN THE BONES: BOOK 1 – PART 5 – by Rob Williams, Simon Fraser, letters by Simon Bowland

Last episode, Hershey was closing in on whoever it was pushing the Joy pills, whilst Frank was busy undercover chomping down on those same Joy pills.

Everything comes in on the huge roadsters, and Hershey, Frank, Juninho, and Joe the Dog ended up the last episode inside a shack under a terrifying hail of gunfire – plus the small matter of Joe attacking Frank, what was that all about, eh?


This episode, the fallout from that and a great chance for Fraser to let loose with some action layouts, as Hershey and the Antarctic Judges do their best to put over the rig. It’s all in sharp contrast to what Fraser’s done before, the subdued hues swapped for bright whites and blues befitting the cold Antarctic outside, or the intense reds of the explosions peppering the episode.

We’re getting closer and closer here to the end of this first part of ‘Cold In The Bones’, with Hershey’s quest to stop the legacy of Smiley coming to an end in time – but we’re yet to really see the connection down here in the cold wastes. We haven’t, not yet, figured out just where Smiley’s villainy fits in to it all. But we will, we will just in time for the first part finale I reckon.

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