This issue of 2000 AD features the start of four new dark sci-fi stories from some of the genre’s greats.
The first story, Serial Serial features Judge Dredd (written by his creator and maestro of grit, John Wagner) up against old foe PJ Maybe, who pulls a grisly magic trick on stage and claims insight into three separate sets of serial murders (serial serial killings, if you will.) Whether or not Maybe is the serial serial murderer himself isn’t clear, but Judge Dredd is on the case. It’s a great start, and my only complaint is that I wish it was longer!
The next story takes us to a dark alternate England in 1671, where retired zomb—er—you-know-what hunter Defoe has settled down with his new family… until an army of London’s executed criminals crawls from the grave, and comes hunting for him. It’s a unique spin on the zombie tale, and the setting’s clearly well-thought-out. The detailed (sometimes… too detailed) black-and-white ink art fits the theme well, but made it a little harder for me to follow.
The third is set in the steampunk sci-fi world of Brass Sun, where a girl named Wren is trying desperately to protect the “ghost of a god” from mysterious figures intent on rooting him out of her head by any painful means necessary. While it’s intriguing, without having read any of the other Brass Sun stories that came before, it left me pretty confused. I can only hope that the future installments shed a little more light. In the meantime, if you (like me) want the rest of the story that came before, the past serials have been collected in Brass Sun: The Wheel of Worlds a hardcover collection which is out of print, but still available at some retailers, and in digital format.
The last story is First Casualties returning to the platoon of alien misfits known as Bad Company, written by their long-term writer Peter Milligan (who I am still trying not to hate for his run on Hellblazer, but what can I say, I’m opinionated about it, and can hold a grudge.) This story is set after the war, when the survivors of the company have come back to Earth, shell-shocked and pretty worse for the wear, but trying to get by and not live in the past. Danny Franks is doped up on psych meds and giving speeches at memorials, until he’s called in by the authorities to deal with a very old, very familiar threat. Okay, okay, I’ll give it to him. I like most of Milligan’s stuff, and this is no exception. He’s got a way of using comics to say some pretty poignant stuff, and I imagine this isn’t going to be an exception.
All and all, it’s a good bunch of stories this time, and I’m looking forward to the next prog!
You can get 2000AD online at 2000adonline.com or at your local comic shop.
Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.