Love it or hate it, 2000AD’s “Regened” all ages issue are here to stay, though why Rebellion don’t take the best selling idea and turn it into it’s own thing is a bit of a mystery. In all honesty, I’ve generally found them to be consistently decent with a handful of outstanding ideas, so am definitely not one of the haters wailing and gnashing their teeth on third rate fan pages.
As ever, ‘Young Dredd’ kicks things off, and Joe Jr is sent undercover to infiltrate some wall scrawlers who may delay the demolition of an old block, and you can’t stand in the way of progress, creeps! Worthy of note is the outfit given to him that is very reminiscent of Johnny Alpha, and he also calls himself John. It’s a nice touch, with Duane Redhead doing justice to Liam Johnson’s fun script. ‘The Block With No Name’ is a fine, solid opener that will leave readers wanting more.
‘Mayflies’ grabs the reader immediately with Simon Coleby’s always gritty, action packed art. The strip returns six months after it’s Regened debut, and is a continuation of the popular ‘Rogue Trooper’ strip, only this time with young (weeks old, literally but fully mind programmed) Genetic Infantrymen who have unique skills. The skills themselves don’t really come into this episode, but after a sluggish start author Michael Carroll manages to flesh out the characters and finally end up moving the story on a significant beat, making me want to see it as a regular weekly series.
There has been plenty of condemnation of ‘Splorers’, a ‘Survival Geeks’ younger character spin off from that strip’s team of Gordon Rennie, Emma Beeby and artist Neil Goodge. Cards on the table here, ‘Survival Geeks’ is one of my favourite recent era 2000ad stories, so I was looking forward to this one. Simon and Sam from that strip have sort of settled down and have two kids, Jaina and two year old Jacen. They all live in a time traveling, dimension hopping house (as you do), and obviously the kids get into scrapes, and that’s sort of it. As a set up it works okay, and Neil Goodge’s art is incredibly lively and hilarious, whilst the script does it’s job with a light tone. SO basically it’s a sequel to SG, and I want more, please.
Writer Karl Stock delivers another Future shock with ‘Trash Culture’, concerning scavengers on The Great Debris Plain (massive rubbish dump). Young Cordy finds an iPad type thing which appears to have a treasure map on it, and races to get to the “X” before the evil Lord Wasteman. Whilst Steve Roberts does a nice art job, the story is very poor, and yet another example of editorial chucking far too many crappy twist in the tale type stories at us from writers who ran out of ideas years ago.
A classic 2000ad character returns to finish off the line up, as David Barnett attempts to breathe new life into skysurfing legend Chopper, aided by artist Nick Roche. The story is set after Chopper the scrawler was released from the juve cubes and took up skysurfing, neatly finding a gap in the characters narrative that is worthy of expansion. It’s a very good strip, with plenty of in jokes and references for older readers, and the narrative device of Chopper talking to the readers works well. Roche’s art is very energetic, mid way between the Beano and 2000AD at times, and the script almost crackles with ideas, managing to fit in the character’s backstory and an exciting new one without missing a beat.
Overall, another really solid Regened from Rebellion, bar the usual shite Future Shock. With the weekly suffering currently from a poor line up, the all ages special is a breath of fresh air.