Comics: 2000AD Prog 2080 - 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, Sinister Dexter, Anderson, Psi-Division, Future Shocks, and Strontium Dog, with a cover from David Roach & Dylan Teague. 

The first story is the continuation of the Dredd thriller “Judge Dredd: Nans of Anarchy Part 2” and was written by Alec Worley, art by Karl Richardson, and lettered by Annie Parkhouse. Tenants of the Betty White retirement block are facing eviction, with Dredd warning them that they have less than a month to vacate. The surviving members of the Betty White motorcycle club The Valkyries are looking for one big score to avoid being evicted, but Dredd has other plans for the group. In the thrilling conclusion of this story, McMahon delivers three exhilarating pages of non-stop action using a mixture of detailed lines and heavily shaded areas. The old lady biker crew is a group that we need to see more of, it's king of like retired versions of Tank Girl or Grandmas of Anarchy. 

This is followed by “Sinister Dexter: The Gangbusters Part 2" and was written by Dan Abnett, illustrated by Steve Yeowell, colored by John Charles, and lettered by Annie Parkhouse. Sinister Dexter follows Finnigan Sinister and Ramone Dexter, the best hitman in the future city of Downlode. Continuing the story, Sinister and Dexter are attempting to take out a notorious ganglord while he's out sky-scrapping, a new sport that allows people to fly stunt drones in an augmented reality. Sinister and Dexter believe that this is the only way to get close to their mark, but it doesn't go as planned and now they're just trying to survive. It's a World War II battle in the skies and on the ground as the artist channels the British comic series Air Ace Picture Library from the '60s, along with augmented reality gaming. Stuck in the sky-scrapping world, Sinister and Dexter attempt to find a way out. There isn't as much humor in this chapter compared to previous ones, but I'm still enjoying reading about these crazy hitman and wild dialogue and violent tendencies.

The third story is the finale for “Anderson, Psi-Division: Undertow Part 8” 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 story ends in this part, but leaves the door open for certain characters to be further explored down the line. The art from Roach is terrific as always and is filled with a mixture of horror and intense action. There is a just an immense amount of detail on these pages, from heavily shaded areas to intricate linework and cross hatching.

This is followed by “Future Shocks: The Puppet” and was written by James Peaty, illustrated by Nick Dyer, and lettered by Ellie de Ville. These stories are kind of similar to Black Mirror episodes, unusual cautionary tales set in a strange futuristic society. This tale is no different. This story deals with the puppet shows, a place where you can slave your mind to a bio-mimetic puppet for an hour. It asks the question, who really is the puppet when you share minds? With the pages being black and white, it puts a wonderful emphasis on the actual details and style of the art. 

The final story is “Strontium Dog: The Son Part 8” 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 8 of the story sees Strontium teaching Protoz the ins and outs of being a bounty hunter, while also coming across several individuals who have bounties on them. 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. I can never get tired of spending time perusing over every page and panel of Ezquerra's. 

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