2000AD is a weekly anthology comic published in the UK by Rebellion. In almost constant print since February 1977, there was a brief break during a printer’s strike in 1984. Prog 1821 was the official 36th birthday issue.
I plan to start regular weekly reviews of 2000AD from Prog 1824 when there will be a slew of new stories – 2000AD regularly do a ‘jump on’ Prog with a fresh line up. I will do the review after general release of each Prog, to reduce the need to worry about spoilers. Subscribers usually receive their printed copy on a Saturday and general release on printed copy & digital copy is on the following Wednesday.
For now I am starting with a review of the latest Judge Dredd story arc, Wolves, that runs from Prog 1820 to 1822. Prog 1822 was on general release from Wednesday 6th March 2013 as such though I am discussing the plot I am terming this as spoiler light. If you live outside the UK and have not read Prog 1822 I suggest you stop reading and come back later as this review does spoil the end of the story.
Judge Dredd: Wolves (Prog 1820 to 1822)
Script – Michael Carroll
Art – Andrew Currie
Colours – Chris Blythe
Letters – Annie Parkhouse
Part 1 starts in the year 2114 (the current year is 2135) and to strengthen ties between Mega City One and the Sov Blocks following the Apocalypse War (Progs 245-270) Mega City One accept . Two men of different backgrounds enter the city on the same day and we see a two page montage of their early years in the big Meg. Then we reach post Chaos Day, there is a backlash against citizens with Sov names or Sov accents, damage to property & beatings. The Chief Judge decides action must be taken. judges and Marines burst in to appartments late at night and whisk people away.
Part 2 shows that the backlash has escalated to lynch mobs. The citiens of Sov origin snatched from their homes are in an internment camp, for their own protection. While Dredd concentrates on getting citizens with Sov ancestry to safety the Chief Judge makes a deal to repatriate them to the Sov Blok in return for much needed food supplies.
Part 3 sees Dredd expresses his view that this action is a mistake, Hershey insists it is the only way forward, In the end Dredd manages to find a half-way measure and we see the interned citizens entering the ruins of Mega City Two, with Judges in Sov uniforms guarding the entrance.
We last saw Mega City Two in the Michael Carroll scripted 4 parter California Babylon in Progs 1730 to 1734, published in April/May of 2011. While there is no obvious connection in plot it is interesting that the same writer dealing with this area of geography.
There was a brief Hondo Cit version of Mega City Two but that has been expunged from continuity. Such complete removal is rare in the long continuity of 2000AD. I may be jumping to conclusions but this story makes me think that Tharg has allowed Michael Carroll to build a new Mega City Two and I hope we get to see more of this new turn of events.
The art by Andrew Currie is distinctive and to a degree there are visual clues to which characters may have some Sov background. Regular colourist to the Dredd strip, Chris Blythe uses his pallette to give the over all look a now familiar feel.
An interesting strip about some of the fallout from Chaos Day, I enjoyed the story and the distinct hint that whether we see it or not the plot will continue and some of our friends from this story may have problems ahead in their new home.