This year seminal British publisher and #1 provider of Thrill-Power, 2000 AD is celebrating its 40th anniversary and is throwing a big old bash in London on February 11th. As part of the celebrations, a number of 2000 AD's licensees have put together an amazing roster of art and merchandise to commemorate the anniversary, including new prints from Sean Phillips, Carlos Ezquerra and Mick McMahon along with statues, pins and more.
It's always a big deal when a comic hits a round number, but when that number is in the thousands --- and when it's also a number that's been a part of the comic's title since its debut in 1977 --- it feels a whole lot bigger.
On September 28, 2000 AD is finally hitting its 2000th weekly issue, and it's celebrating with an all-star cast of creators to give readers a concentrated dose of thrillpower.
Dystopian futures have been a fixture of the sci-fi genre for as long as there's been a genre to have fixtures; cautionary tales about the crushing of the individual or the dangers of unchecked technology. In the second issue of 2000 AD, a British comic anthology that promised readers a weekly dose of thrillpower from the far-off future of the 21st century, John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra asked exactly the kind of question that great sci-fi is built around: What if there was a story about a dystopian future plagued by hyperviolent crime, ruled over by a totalitarian state, where things were so bad that even existing could drive a man insane from future shock... and the fascist cops were the good guys?
The result was the stone-faced lawman who would become the UK's greatest comic book character: Judge Dredd, who made his first appearance on March 5th, 1977.
There are a lot of good reasons to be excited about Johnny Red. For one thing, Garth Ennis writing a war comic has been a pretty solid bet for about two decades now, and Keith Burns' brutal, gritty art makes a perfect fit for a story of dogfights over Stalingrad. Beyond that, though, there's also the idea of resurrecting an action-packed character from the history of British comics for a modern audience, and the hook of seeing a story about a British airman flying for Russia during World War II.
If, however, you still need more convincing, then read on! With the fist issue set to hit shelves next week, Titan has shared a preview, complete with Carlos Ezquerra's variant cover for the first issue.
The way I've always understood anthology series is that you never want every story to end at the same time, because the idea is that by chaining everything together, the reader never has a chance to jump off. That might sound mercenary, but really, it's just simple economics: If everything you're into ends all at once, then you've got a lot less incentive to come back for the next issue. Right? Right.
Well, it seems that last week's issue of 2000 AD went against that little bit of conventional wisdom by capping off every story that they had going so that they could set up this week's offering: Their 1900th issue, which celebrates the milestone by launching three new stories, and provides a perfect jumping-on point. If you haven't been reading 2000 AD and want to see what all the fuss is about, this is the issue to get -- and you should definitely get it, because all three stories are pretty awesome.
Fans who are now accustomed to reading their Judge Dredd in color, thanks to IDW's new series by writer Duane Swierczynski and artist Nelson Daniel, can breathe easy. Starting with a Free Comic Book Day issue May 4, the publisher is reprinting an array of classic Dredd stories with colors by Charlie Kirchoff, who also is the colorist of the current series...
I'm starting to get the feeling that Garth Ennis doesn't like heroes very much. I don't mean superheroes, either. His ambivalence toward the spandex set is well-established and can easily be taken as read at this point. But heroes? The men and women we've built up to be larger than life and forces for good, immaculately moral and righteous? I'm starting to notice that he's pushing away from that concept in his work more and more often. He treats heroes like we would treat stereotypes or urban legends. He wants to debunk our idea of a hero, and it shows in his work.
I've been meaning to get more into Judge Dredd for a while now. I picked up a few of the classic stories back in October with the beautifully designed collections of The Dark Judges and The Cursed Earth, and I've read bits and pieces from the issues of 2000 AD that I come across, but to be honest, it can be difficult to figure out a place to really jump in...
So, what's the deal with Darick Roberston & Garth Ennis's The Boys? Is it a gross-out superhero parody, the book that "out-Preachers Preacher?" Is it a more straightforward narrative, an examination of how power corrupts? Is...