In 2000AD #2236, a wide variety of stories are yours for the taking. Dredd tracks a killer, while demons overrun the Earth as a team of Judges fight transdimensional threats, even as the chimps of Apetown go into low orbit. How fun is it? Find out in your next mighty Major Spoilers review!
Writers: John Wagner, Gordon Rennie, Lawrence Rennie, Rory McConville, Ken Niemand & Dan Abnett
Artists: Colin MacNeil, Boo Cook, Dan Cornwell, PJ Holden & Richard Elson
Letterers: Annie Parkhouse, Simon Bowland & Jim Campbell
Colorists: Chris Blythe & Len O’Grady
Editor: Tharg the Mighty!
Release Date: June 17th, 2021
PREVIOUSLY in 2000AD: Tales of warped science fiction, horror, comedy and high camp drama – 2000AD has had it all in over 40 years of continuous publishing. Come for Judge Dredd dishing out the law, and stay for the effervescently creative stylings of some of Britain’s best comic creators!
IT IS LEGION!
One of the joys of reading 2000AD is the wide variety held within each issue, not only of story, but also of art. Aside from Ye Olde Faithful in the shape of Judge Dredd, you get the best of British comic talent pumping out a hugely diverse range of stories week after week after week.
Sometimes it goes down a treat, but sometimes, as in this issue, it sort of misses the mark.
The Judge Dredd story is a new one, opening with a tale of a hitman who’s job goes badly awry. Dredd is barely in it, which makes for a refreshing change, so the chance to see Mega-City One through the eyes of a relatively normal (albeit, paid killer) citizen is great. There’s elements of Day of the Jackal throughout, which gives it a slightly more realistic edge than the usual Dredd fare. Colin MacNeil’s artwork is expressive, and add Chris Blythe’s coloring and you have a strong opener. I good opening to 2000AD #2236.
Things begin to go downhill with the next story, Mechastopheles (don’t say that after a few drinks, you’ll do your tongue an injury) – human civilization has collapsed following a demonic invasion. Only a few pockets of humanity survive, including our cast, who have sought refuge in a demonic robot. Extra points there for a wacky idea, and some great artwork, but overall, it is a bit of a confusing mess.
Things perk up in the next story, a bright and breezy tale of members of Department K, who handle interdimensional incursions into Mega-City One. Dan Cornwell’s cheerful artwork, with some light and breezy coloring from Len O’Grady, make this feel a little like a children’s story (aside from the violence and killing). It’s great to see other law divisions in this setting, but the story overall has little impact.
COMING HOME STRONG
Things look up in Chimpsky’s Law, which sees us reunited with the talented Mr Noam Chimpsky. Back in the day, chimpanzees were given human intelligence, and a place of their own within Mega-City One. That doesn’t mean that they are loved, or not chosen frequently as scapegoats should anything go wrong for the humans. For mine, this is the strongest story in 2000AD #2236, featuring the one percent of the City getting slaughtered in all sorts of righteous ways aboard the Jepperson Orbital Mansion. There’s some pointed commentary about race relations in this era that isn’t a world away from what we’ve been seeing over the last year or two. Inventive deaths, some snarky humor and an appealing lead give this story top billing.
As for the last story…humor is damned hard to do, and in Feral and Foe II, writer Dan Abnett does his best to make your reviewer laugh…and fails. The artwork is great in this tale of monsters fighting other monsters to ensure they survive, but the effort to shoehorn comedy stylings into the story doesn’t work for me. Some great artwork by Richard Elson is, for me, the only highlight of an otherwise forgettable chapter.
BOTTOM LINE: SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
2000AD #2236 is a definite mixed bag of storytelling styles and artwork. Similarly, not all the stories will work for every reader, and while I’ve griped a bit, overall, it’s great to see 2000AD continuing on with its trademark British wit and commentary.
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The full range of stories are on display in 2000AD #2236, from thriller, to comedy, social commentary and the plain weird.