Four times a year, the pages of the Galaxy’s Greatest get turned over to Tharg’s lil’ nephew, Jojo-Jargo, who fills the pages with five all-ages tales to appeal to the next generation of readers.
2000 AD Prog 2233 hits the shelves and digital on Wednesday 26th May with more all-ages action from Cadet Dredd, more practically perfect pilfering with Pandora Perfect, a new Future Shock, plus two tales continuing from previous installments, with Anderson, Psi-Division following up the recent alien incursions, and Department K facing a long journey home.
CADET DREDD: LAWBREAKER – Liam Johnson, Jake Lynch, colours by Jim Boswell, letters by Annie Parkhouse
More and more, these Cadet Dredds are feeling like they’re regular Dredd strips, just focusing on the lawman’s earliest days. And that’s just how it should be really, going back to the earliest days of 2000 AD, where it had a natural appeal to all-ages. It helps that you’re getting artists such as Jake Lynch on the strip, already established as old-man Dredd artists, but bringing his great angular artwork to the Cadet Dredd.
It’s the annual break-out of violence between Ant and Dec blocks, something so predictable that the Justice Dept have started using it as a training day for the Cadets.
But this is a big one…
Oh yes, that’s the tagline, and that’s just what happens. With Dredd and Rico on the frontline of the riot, things get out of control and Dredd finds himself in the firing line of a disciplinary hearing.
Sure, you know exactly what’s going to happen and you can see the ending coming a mile off, but that’s not an issue, as the getting there is all part of the fun.
FUTURE SHOCKS – SPACE EXPECTATIONS – Colin Harvey, Tom Newell, colours by John Charles, letters by Annie Parkhouse
The search for life in the solar system isn’t going well. Nothing on Mars, Venus, the moons of Saturn, so now they’re exploring Io, one of Jupiter’s moons. Well, actually it’s one poor robot, Expectation, doing the exploring. For the last 50 years.
Long since forgotten on Earth, Expectation just keeps on exploring, taking his message of life on Earth across Io. But what happens if he does, finally, get to meet ET?
There you go, a quick, fun little Future Shock.
ANDERSON, PSI DIVISION – DEEP BURN – Cavan Scott, Paul Davidson, colours by Matt Soffe, letters by Simon Bowland
After uncovering the alien incursion on Earth over the last couple of these Regened adventures, Cavan Scott’s back for a third part.
It’s interesting to see these connected stories in Regened. Interesting and frustrating. Yes, it’s great to see the stories go longer, allowing writers and artists to get more involved, build more into the story. But it’s also that little bit frustrating, having to wait so long between episodes.
Now, that isn’t to say that Cavan Scott doesn’t do his damnedest to make them work, each one pretty much self-contained, building up the important back-story each time.
Here, Anderson takes Cadet Hawkins up into space, taking the fight to the aliens – which seems a little harsh on poor bloody Hawkins, to be honest.
I was expecting this one to be another little episode in the ongoing storyline, but it’s obvious from about the halfway point that this is a wrap-up, Scott finishing the alien storyline here. And it just feels too rushed, wrapping everything up, the big alien threat neutralised thanks to Anderson and one Cadet… all just too easy.
PANDORA PERFECT – NIGHT OF THE GUFFWARBLER – Roger Langridge, Brett Parson, letters by Simon Bowland
When this appeared in Regened, it was the highlight of that particular Prog, alongside Department K, and it was one that you all wanted to see more of.
Sensibly, I think, they haven’t gone as far as making this a regular strip, not yet at least, unlike Dept K (more on that in a moment). The fun of something like Pandora Perfect comes from having it in short bursts of silliness, and that’s just what Langridge and Parson do here…
As “Gort and Pandora, with criminal intent, arrive at the home of an elderly gent…”
That elderly gent would be Sir Dennis Allanborough, great conservationist and wildlife lover (now who could he be based on?) who’s taken possession of the Guffwarbler.
And yes, Pandora, it is strange that he collects stuffed animals.
So cue confusion, flim-flam, befuddling a national treasure, a new massage droid, a troublesome Guffwarbler, and a big surprise for the two would-be thieves.
It’s super silly, Brett Parson’s art just works so well, and it’s a wonderful thing to see.
DEPARTMENT K – STRANDED – Rory McConville, PJ Holden, colours by Len O’Grady, letters by Jim Campbell
The first Dept K story (Regened Prog 2196) showed us a very weird part of Justice Department’s Tech-Div, Dept K, where all the weird extra-dimensional threats were analysed.
And that’s the Justice Department in the main world of Dredd and MC-1, which is why this story leads straight into a new Dept K series starting in the pages of 2000AD…
But first, there’s the small matter of getting Judge Kirby, Cadet Afua, Judge Estabon, and Judge Blackcurrant (yes, blackcurrant), back to MC-1. Because they’ve spent the last few months bouncing around the dimensions after their teleporter malfunctioned, all leading to them ending up here… in front of the Supreme Empress Crellic The Divine.
A great story, a perfect ending, where it all works so well. Just like that Judge Anderson story before, it’s one that just gets the gang out of trouble just like that – but the thing is, with Dept K, it’s perfectly feasible and doesn’t feel like a forced, rushed thing.
And the great news… there’s only a week to wait for the new Department K series… maybe there we’re going to find out just what happened with Judge Estabon in Dimension 333.