There are a number of new books on the way from 2000AD that may well drive collectors wild with delight and tempt back more lapsed readers. This is building on the back of a successful 2014 for 2000AD’s publisher Rebellion and of course the release of the Judge Dredd Mega Collection.
Highlighted as the head image for this article is Dan Dare. Despite being in Prog 1 of 2000AD in 1977 Dan Dare has never been reprinted (apart from in a replica of Prog 1). That changes this year with a hardback starting reprints from the start, note the ‘Volume 1’ on this advert, this is the first of two volumes. I very much doubt that’s the cover.
Dan Dare started life in Eagle on 14th April 1950 written and illustrated by Frank Hampson – this is his 65th year. His run in 2000AD ended in Prog 126, 18 August 1979, with an unkept promise that he would return.
This is a fully remastered edition featuring art from Dave Gibbons and Massimo Bellardinelli. Gibbons is internationally famous for Watchmen but to 2000AD fans it is possibly his Dan Dare and Rogue Trooper, which he co-created, that most remember him for. Bellardinelli co-created Ace Trucking and is fondly remembered for his work on Harlem Heroes, Inferno and Blackhawk.
This reprint will be in colour and black and white. I am not certain but I think it will be in the original size.
Dan Dare is just one highlight, there are plenty more, not least a Hardback for Dark Justice
Judge Dredd: Dark Justice is an 11-part story that started in the 100 page bumper issue, Prog 2015. With a story from co-creator John Wagner and fully painted art from Greg Staples Judge Dredd and Judge Anderson are pitted against Judge Death and his brothers, the Dark Judges. It took Greg Staples two years to paint all the parts. Judge Anderson in this story has the likeness of Integra Fairbrook who not only portayed Judge Anderson in a short advert in the fan film Judge Minty but went on to be the ‘Official Judge Anderson’ for Planet Replicas, who produce fully licensed comic accurate Judge Dredd Uniforms. Having met Integra, and others who pop up as ‘extras’ in the story, I can attest that this art is mind-blowingly accurate.
Zenith Phase Three sees the ongoing reprint of the Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell classic. That’s not the only Zenith book this year. Zenith Phase One: Apex Edition comes out in July, as doers Zenith Phase Four. The Apex Edition is the first ever ‘Artists Edition’ volume from 2000AD featuring new scans of the original art, complete with pasted on lettering and editorial notes.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Judge Dredd Case Files sees the release of Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files Volume 1 in hardback with colour pages reinstated (the standard edition is in black and white only).
The groundbreaking Judge Dredd, Dirty Frank and Jack Point story, Trifecta will be published in softcover, already printed with a prestige lenticular hardcover.
Keith Richardson, graphic novels editor, said:
“2015 will be a seminal year for the 2000 AD trade line. The word ‘epic’ seems so overused these days, but when you have such quality collections as the Dark Justice and the truly gorgeous Apex Edition of Zenith Phase One to name but two of our titles this year, no other expression will do.”
Jason Kingsley, CEO of Rebellion, said:
“We’ve been getting better and better as a publishing company over many years now, and I’m proud to see that the team has hit the afterburners with these editions. I get books given to me in the office, and I’m particularly looking forward to the day they land with a thump on my desk.”
Ben Smith, Head of Book and Comics Publishing, said:
“That there are so many firsts in our output this year is a measure of the ongoing riches to be found within the 2000 AD catalogue. It’s a privilege to be collecting such watershed moments in British comics history, and doing them justice in the sumptuous hardback editions that are bringing so many new fans to our graphic novel list.”
Here is the full line up for the rest of the year, with links to my Previews if I have already written one (I’ll bring further Previews as and when I am able):
Zenith: Phase Three
Judge Dredd: Luna-1 (digest format)
ABC Warriors: Return to Mars
Devlin Waugh: Red Tide
The VCs: Hell in the Heavens (digest format)
Judge Dredd: Dark Justice
Zenith Phase 4
Zenith: Apex Edition
Judge Dredd: Case Files 01: 10th Anniversary Edition
Judge Dredd: Day of Chaos: Fourth Faction
The Complete Ro-Busters: Nuts and Bolts Vol. I
Dan Dare: Vol. 1
Judge Dredd: Trifecta (paperback)
The Grievous Journey of Ichabod Azrael (And The Dead Left In His Wake)
ABC Warriors: Mek Files 03