The Weekly 2000 AD – Prog 2242 – Just To Keep You From Danger – I Am The Law

by Richard Bruton

Time to head out to the land of 2000 AD, the UK’s greatest sci-fi weekly comic for four decades and counting… it’s the Weekly 2000 AD

Cover by Clint Langley

Oh, that’s a mighty fine Clint Langley Dredd adorning this week’s cover.

Inside… well, it’s just as good. You’ll find the latest bit of John Wagner and John Higgins’ Judge Dredd is delivering everything you could want it to, and there’s more inside from Department K, Aquila, Skip Tracer, and Sinister, plenty to keep you going in this very late preview of the Prog that’s out right now, 28th July.

So, run, don’t walk, to your local comic shop for all the good things inside here. And whilst you’re there, do them a favour and check out the other great examples of sequential delights you’ll find on their shelves – the pandemic’s hit them hard and they need your cash!

Okay then, fancy a look inside Prog 2242?

JUDGE DREDD: NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL JUSTICE – PART 3 – John Wagner, John Higgins, colours by Sally Hurst, letters by Annie Parkhouse

The justice warriors of Justice Watch are busying themselves with killing Judges they’ve deemed have killed cats. That’s bad enough for Dredd, but now it seems there’s a copycat killer jumping on the Justice Watch bandwagon as well.

It’s a classic bit of Wagner, Dredd the bystander, the thinker, the cop, procedural greatness. No action, just Dredd, and a great chin from Higgins, running the case, getting closer and closer.

Meanwhile, ‘View From The Chai’r keeps counting down in ‘Now That’s What I Call Justice’, this time featuring everyone’s fave Judge, Dan Francisco…

Ouch.

Beautifully done there by John Higgins, whose work’s really looking so great these days, a welcome return to Dredd, ably assisted by Sally Hurst.

It’s one of those stories that could be quickly wrapped up in a couple more episodes or one that Wagner could be working his magic on for many more weeks. Either way, so good to see him back on Dredd.

SKIP TRACER – EDEN – PART 6 – James Peaty, Paul Marshall, colours by Dylan Teague, letters by Jim Campbell

So, the settling down to a quit and unexpected family life managed to last a whole one episode for Skip Tracer – after discovering he had a child with Hastings, then discovering that this child, darling little Eden, has his abilities and more, the Consociation are knocking on the door in the shape of Nimrod…

Happy families… not a chance in hell. Peaty makes damn sure of that, mercilessly dispatching characters just as we were getting to know them. The only problem with that, sometimes it feels like everything being set up in a very formulaic way. But still, Skip Tracer’s never really been about massive experimentation, it’s always been a nuts and bolts kind of thing.

Good, enjoyable, old-fashioned in many ways, action all the way, exposition and characters always paying the price for the focus on pushing the story along.

DEPARTMENT K: COSMIC CHAOS – PART 9 – Rory McConville, Dan Cornwell, Colours by Len O’Grady, letters by Simon Bowland

More cosmic stuff in Department K, as their search to uncover the Locust killers has turned up the Valox, a cult determined to end the multiverse,  and the good Judges of Dept K are all that’s standing in their way.

Here, of course, you’ve got the moment to suspend that disbelief, as something like both the Locusts and the Valox are too big a threat, have been around too long, to not have come up on the radar before, right?

But hey, that’s not the point of Dept K really – we can save the continuity stuff for other strips. Dept K started as a fun, all-ages thing and it’s developing well in this first longer form adventure.

SINISTER: BULLETOPIA CHAPTER 5: ITS OWN DEVICES – PART 2 – Dan Abnett, Steve Yeowell, colours by John Charles, letters by Simon Bowland.

So, last week we had the non too surprising revelation that Finn Sinister wasn’t dead after all. Well, sort of. Consciousness zapped into an AI-built body, nanotech rebuild… well, just another day in Downlode really.

Of course, it did mean Dan Abnett, always the master of the dumb gag, managed to end last week with this… as the AI is revealed to have evolved from the funtin’ Sat-Nav.

Anyway, it’s Finn being tasked to go up against Carrie, Billi, and Dexter, because, you know, story stuff.

Sinister Dexter just keeps on keeping on, Abnett and Yeowell surely the best team on the strip, each episode, each adventure managing to wring more enjoyment out of the concept.

 

AQUILA: THE RIVER OF HADES – BOOK 1 – PART 5 – Gordon Rennie, Patrick Goddard, colours by Dylan Teague, letters by Annie Parkhouse

And we’ll end the Prog this week with Aquila facing off against Cronos the Titan, the greatest of his race, one of the oldest beings in the Universe, all powerful. And yes, it takes Aquila just three pages to kill him. What, spoilers you say? Nope, this is Aquila, the pattern was set a few series back – give the slave turned gladiator turned immortal champion of the Gods a target to kill or an obstacle to get past (and kill) and he’ll do the job for you.

Not to say this isn’t fun, it really is, but there’s no denying it’s long gone the way of the classic quest saga, a long walk with stuff getting in the way. Just with the ultra-violence ramped up.