Another week – another Rebellion special. 100 pages of the 2000AD Sci Fi Special to be exact. Last years Carlos Ezquerra tribute was a ratings hit. This time we celebrate 20 years of Rebellion running the Galaxy’s Greatest Prog.
Out of the 100 pages there is a new cover by Jock with Dredd towering over Oxford (home of Rebellion) and inside 36 pages of new strips. This year Rebellion – era characters meet pre Millennium characters. Dredd v Zombo is tongue firmly in cheek. Kingdom takes on Shako – they really like that Polar Bear after his stint in Action 2020 this year. Lillian Storm meets Blackhawk with Red Storm meeting Ant Wars topping off four brand new stories in total. All have merit with an interesting premise of 2000AD worlds colliding.
Features include Karl Stock’s Top Twenty Thrills for Twenty Years (a nice resume for someone who doesn’t read the Prog weekly) and an interview with Jason Kingsley addressing why Rebellion bought the Prog and Rebellions thinking behind game and film productions as well as the comics themselves.
The rest of the special are chosen classics with a brief introduction of each. I did learn that Al Ewing has a ‘recognisable ability and a unique voice as a writer’ – Scene of the Crime is a great story. Sinister Dexter does read like 96 seconds of description in a Tarantino script. Nikolai Dante is something I will get around to reading eventually (the Hatchette reprints sitting on my bookshelf and I do enjoy the one or two instalments I have read). It’s nice to know how the Dark Judges became scary again and ‘Leaving Rowdy’, probably one of the last Dredd stories I read before leaving 2000AD, still resonates as one chapter ends and another begins.
There is enough in the special to appeal to the retro crowd, those who stuck with Tharg for 40 odd years and the newbies on the block who’ve grown up with Rebellions 2000AD. Except the ‘newbies’ have now owned 2000AD far longer than Egmont or IPC. Quite an achievement and this special feels like a statement they are hoping for another twenty years of quality comics. Here’s hoping. Get it in shops from 24th June.