Jesus Redondo, Johnny Johnson (episode 12 & 13)
Jesus Redondo & Dylan Teague
Created by Malcolm Shaw & Jesus Redondo
Originally Published in 2000AD Progs 185-218
A classic from 1980/81 in 34 parts varying in four to five pages per episode.
I was enthralled by this when I first read it and I don’t think I’ve re-read it before today for over twenty years. It has aged a little, mostly the slight repetition at the start of each episode, like the last two minutes of a Dr Who episode from the same era starting the next.
Reprinted in full for the first time and presented in the original ratio and mostly in black and white. Two pages are in colour, indicating an outing on the centre pages. There are nine preview pages at the end of this review.
The story follows the crew of The Prairie Drifter who encounter a frozen planet and recover a corpse that resembles the devil. What they unwittingly unleash on the universe is a force of nature that may be unstoppable.
A cast that includes fanatical religious settlers, space pirates, demons, three giant mystical beings and the last survivors of the planet Earth. The plot doesn’t stand still, presenting scene shifts and changes in direction that keeps the reader guessing.
Malcolm Shaw was first printed in 2000AD in Prog 4 with Judge Dredd: Brotherhood of Darkness, this story was his last appearance. He also wrote for the IPC titles Eagle, Misty and Scream.
The artwork is brilliant, though the coloured pages do actually date the story more than the black and white. Jesus Redondo worked on several classics for 2000AD including Book 2 of Nemesis The Warlock and as recently as November 2013 on Tharg’s 3rillers: Rewind.
This is one of the reprints I’ve been waiting for and I’m thrilled to see it back in print after so long.
In the words of Rebellion’s PR Michael Molcher:
“With space battles, zombies, demonic children, and the ultimate embodiment of evil – this is Return to Armageddon!
This epic, cross-genre tale from the early days of 2000 AD helped build the reputation of the legendary weekly anthology has long been sought after by fans of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic. Never reprinted before, this black and white edition collects all three Return to Armageddon stories.
A true undiscovered gem from 2000 AD’s archives, Return to Armageddon features incredible artwork from Spanish artist Jesus Redondo and mind-blowing scripts from Malcolm Shaw.
When the crew of a deep space transport ship extracts a devilish-looking alien corpse from a frozen world, they unwittingly unleash a destructive force upon the galaxy.
Only one man – the twin brother of the ‘Destroyer,’ has the power to stop the total annihilation of existence!”