2000 AD Prog 1913 ReviewJanuary 14, 2015
The 2000 AD Prog 1913 sci-fi anthology features some upcoming issues and titles for the publisher. Additions of Judge Dredd – Dark Justice, Ulysses Sweet – Maniac for Hire, Orlok: Agent of East-Meg One, The Order, and Savage – Grinders.
We take a look at a few of these pieces:
Judge Dredd – Dark Justice opens the anthology with its flourishing artwork done by Greg Staples. It is the third part in the series and only features its title character for seven panels. The story flips between the investigation of a murder and what that murder means and the simultaneously occurring missing person mystery aboard a ship called The Mayflower.
It may take a second read-through of John Wagner’s writing to truly understand what is occurring; Staples art here is very beautiful, but has a muted quality to it. The panel arrangement allows his illustrations to take a generous amount of space. It is the lettering by Annie Parkhouse that reminds you this is indeed a comic book and not a story told merely by lovely pictures and a few lines here and there.
Once the storyline appears clear, it is definitely worth continuing with the series, due to the cliffhanger at the end of his installment.
Part three of The Order is also highlighted in this anthology. It is a medieval fantasy crossover with a hint of Monty Python flair. The script by Kek-W opens with plenty of action as the characters Iron John, Anna Kohl, and Ritterstahl assemble to work together to take on a common enemy- The Wurms. There is animosity between Iron John and Anna Kohl that is constantly neutralized by the peculiar Ritterstahl –who fist appears as a knight with no legs and then later is carried around as just a head.
The art by John Burns lacks some consistency and it appears as if the printer ran dry during some spots on the page. Similar to Judge Dredd- Dark Justice, the art itself is more reminiscent of book illustrations with larger panels but still works nicely with the medieval motif.
The third part of Savage – Grinders is also included in this anthology. Socio-political commentary is the focus of this issue by calling out the fictional robotic-weapon wielding autocratic United States holding Britain in a very tight place. Pat Mills’ script is straightforward although redundancy runs in small doses in developing the plot. The art by Patrick Goddard is clean-cut comic styled in black and white fashion. On pages with a lot of panels the heavy detail gets a little lost but it is still something to marvel at.
The cliffhanger in this comic will be a great pick-up for the fourth part.
2000 AD Prog 1913 is out in stores and online as of today (January 14) and also contains two other issues aforementioned in this anthology.