The Weekly 2000 AD Prog #2243 : Will The Spiderman Be Having Dexter For Dinner Tonight?

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 Luke Preece

Okay then, after that great Dexter cover from Luke Preece, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the other half of the Sinister Dexter team takes centre stage here, as Dexter attempts to bring down the AI ruling Downlode, unaware that his partner is out for blood.

As well as that, there’s plenty of great stuff in here with more Judge Dredd:Now That’s What I Call Justice, and more from Skip Tracer and Aquila. Sadly, it’s time to say farewell to the cosmic chaos of Department K this week – although with a spectacular cliffhanger you can be sure we’re going to be getting a second series!

All right then, 2000 AD Prog 2243 is out from all those great purveyors of comic goodness on Wednesday 4th August – go, go, go…

Ready for a look inside?

JUDGE DREDD: NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL JUSTICE – PART 4 – John Wagner, John Higgins, colours by Sally Hurst, letters by Annie Parkhouse

Wagner and Higgins are just knocking this one out of the park. It’s turning into that perfect procedural thing, with Dredd having another episode of just doing the job, running the investigation, now more like two investigations, tracking down Justice Watch and the copycat, all the while trying to figure out what the motivations driving these Judge killings really are. Cleverly, the idea of using the TV countdown idea gives Wagner the chance to throw a little moment of action to contrast with Dredd’s slow investigation – and Higgins is doing some gorgeous kinetic moments in there.

Yes, John Higgins and Sally Hurst are doing great things. So many moments of greatness, but here’s one that just screams classic Dredd…

And Wagner’s writing is every bit as good as we all wanted it to be, that delicious mix of procedural goodness and the growing threat of the Judge killer turning his sights to Dredd really are bringing this one to a wonderful slow boil.

And of course, there’s plenty of chance for a Wagnerian bit of comedy…

“Frank Zorro. Democratic tendency. Thought we put him away for the Academy shooting.”
“Released on a technicality.”
“Technicality?”
“He was innocent.”
“That’ll qualify. Shame.”

SKIP TRACER – EDEN – PART 7 – James Peaty, Paul Marshall, colours by Dylan Teague, letters by Jim Campbell

Oh, it’s all turning into a bit of a nightmare for poor old Skip… the unexpected dream of his brand-new family lies in tatters, as Nimrod and the Consociation have systematically destroyed his life.

We’re in the break it all apart bit of the story here, waiting for Skip to break out, grab his newfound kid, and get the hell out of there. That’s going to be happening over the next few episodes, no doubt, but it’s one of those strips that just keeps on keeping on, doing things in methodical, yet still enjoyable, fashion.

DEPARTMENT K: COSMIC CHAOS – PART 10 – FINAL PART – Rory McConville, Dan Cornwell, Colours by Len O’Grady, letters by Simon Bowland

Showdown time… Department K against the Valox, that powerful cult dedicated to bring down the multiverse in a beautifully cosmic finale that does a grand job of ending one adventure and, with a stunning cliffhanger, setting up the next Department K series.

After Department K, this was one I flagged up as being so full of potential, and it’s potential that’s been fulfilled here in this first proper series. And this is a proper finale, complete with that great cliffhanger, with a completely different, and very familiar looking new adversary… all very cosmic and multiversal indeed!

So, congratulations to Rory McConville and Dan Cornwell, who stepped into the big shoes of PJ Holden or this first long-form series, and has been doing such great things… never better than the first page of this finale…

DEXTER: BULLETOPIA CHAPTER 6: SOMEWHERE BEYOND THE SEA – PART 1 – Dan Abnett, Tazio Bettin, colours by John Charles, letters by Simon Bowland.

Okay then, so we had two Prog’s worth of catching up with Finn Sinister, so it’s only right to spend a while in the company of his partner, Ramone Dexter.

Of course, Dexter has no idea Finn’s been resurrected, no idea of the threat of the Downlode AI, and definitely no idea that Finn’s coming for him, with murder in mind.

No, right now, he’s got enough on his plate trying to get out of Downlode through the Understreet, trying to get a warning to Mangapore about the AI’s plans for global domination.

Abnett’s playing the long game with Sinister Dexter, this Bulletopia saga, pulling all these threads together, each part adding something to the whole, and a most satisfying whole it’s turning out to be.

As for Tazio Bettin, he’s not Steve Yeowell (but hey, who is?) but there’s a really great look to the art here, reminiscent of Simon Fraser’s Nikolai Dante.

AQUILA: THE RIVER OF HADES – BOOK 1 – PART 6 – Gordon Rennie, Patrick Goddard, colours by Dylan Teague, letters by Annie Parkhouse

Last week, Aquila did away with Cronos the Titan, using the whole hacking them away from the inside thing. This week, into the frozen River Cocytus, deep into the road to Hades, Aquila and his companions discover the punishment for the betrayers… cue a chance to have a betrayal in the ranks, one you could see coming from a long time back.

Hacking and slashing, killing and killing and killing, all enjoyably done, another strip that’s not going to be breaking any boundaries, but is still a nice bit of fun for all.