Comics: 2000AD Prog 2078 - Reviewed

2000AD is a British anthology series featuring several different stories from different writers and artists in each issue. The company 2000AD has been around for over 40 years and is probably best known for introducing us to the character Judge Dredd and his violent futuristic world. This issue contains five stories that feature Judge Dredd, Jaegir, Sinister Dexter, Anderson, Psi-Division, and Strontium Dog, with a cover from Carlos Ezquerra

The first story is the start of the new Dredd thriller “Judge Dredd: Flaws Part 3” and was written by T.C. Ellington, illustrated by Staz Johnson, colored by Abigail Bulmer, and lettered by Annie Parkhouse. Violence has erupted between two neighboring blocks in Mega-City One with opposing viewpoints on the current justice system, one side is pro-Judges and the other side feels let down by the Judges. Is the system flawed and where is Judge Dredd in all of the chaos? In the finale of this story, Dredd takes on escaped convicts and discovers the terrorist who has been pulling all of the strings behind the scenes. It ends in a manner in which the story could continue on at a later time. Johnson's art features a fair amount of action and violence, something we have come to expect in Dredd's world. I particularly liked his environments and panels with large groups of people and the way that he drew the action scenes. 

This is followed by “Jaegir: In the Realm of Pyrrhus Part 6” and was written by Gordon Rennie, art by Simon Coleby, colored by Len O'Grady, and lettered by Ellie De Ville. Jaeger is part of the Nordland State Security Police, sent on a mission with her team to Nu Earth where there is a war going on against Southern forces. While escorting the captive Madam-Facilitator of the Southern Cross Confederacy to the designated rendezvous point, Jaeger learns more about her past and the possible reason behind the war. Coleby's art continues to impress and is filled with heavy black shading and intricate details, with large scale action sequences. The colors from O'Grady are terrific and shift when the narrative shifts in time. On Nu Earth, the colors are filled with subdued purples, yellows, blues, and greens, while the scenes from the past are slightly faded.

The third story is “Sinister Dexter: The Devil Don't Care Part 4” and was written by Dan Abnett, illustrated by Steve Yeowell, colored by John Charles, and lettered by Ellie de Ville. Sinister Dexter follows Finnigan Sinister and Ramone Dexter, the best hitman in the future city of Downlode. In this episode, Sinister and Dexter look to save the woman that put a contract out on them before the hitman gets to her first. In a major fire fight with the new hitman enemy, Sinister and Dexter place a rush delivery order for some additional weaponry. Despite not being a huge fan of the cartoonish art style, these are fun characters that I have grown to enjoy reading about. I'm looking forward to seeing what new trouble they get into in the next story.

This is followed by “Anderson, Psi-Division: Undertow Part 6” and was written by Emma Beeby, illustrated by David Roach, colored by Jose Villarrubia, and lettered by Simon Bowland. Anderson is the top telepath (seen in the film Dredd) of the Psi-Division and is currently investigating the murder of another psi-Judge with her partner Judge Flowers. The danger has been revealed and one of the psi-Judges is in serious danger. The art from Roach in this part is full blown classic horror with some great looking panels and a highly detailed splash page. With everyone in danger, I'm looking to see what the ultimate conclusion ends up being.

The final story is “Strontium Dog: The Son Part 6” and was written by John Wagner, illustrated by Carlos Ezquerra, and lettered by Ellie de Ville. Set in the future after the Strontium 90 fallout, Strontium Dog is a mutant bounty hunter that works for the Search/Destroy agency. He is currently on the Planet Protoz with a new hitman named Kenton, where the leaders of Protoz have presented them with a nearly impossible mission. Part 6 of the story sees Kenton venture out on his own to hunt down the Glazers, with Strontium hoping to find him before Kenton gets himself killed. This part ends in a conclusion that has me highly anticipating the next issue. Strontium Dog is masterfully crafted by the legendary Ezquerra (co-creator of Judge Dredd and Strontium Dog) and the art is just so rich in his unique look and style.

2000AD is a must read anthology series for fans of sci-fi and futuristic stories. With multiple tales in each issue, there's always a little bit of something to appeal to everyone.