Another 2000AD Regened Prog hits the streets with a Steve Roberts cover. Ned Hartley, Toby Willsmer and Annie Parkhouse bring us dependable Dredd. I do enjoy the dynamic relationship Rico and Dredd bring to these stories, which makes it different from the Prog stories.
It’s followed by a bumper 20 page Lowborn High. This story must be popular and you can see why. This episode is a mix of Grange Hill/Waterloo Road meets His Dark Materials/Twilight/Harry Potter but with a distinctly British flavour and more diverse cast by writer David Barnett.
Art duties are by Anna Morozova and colour Phillip Vaughan. Anna has her own distinct style with shades of the fluidity of Ian Gibson and a touch of Marguerite Sauvage making her a 2000AD favourite. It’s a stand out strip with well defined characters and the mish mash of popular fantasy stories will make the YGN fly out the door when it arrives!
Truth is you better like this strip because it does take up much of this anthology. I’d have preferred an extra Robo Hunter story (with, funnily enough, Anna on art duties!) rather than a text story thrown in. If the stats on our website say anything the forthcoming Robo Hunter collection is likely to sell well and a story with the right humour could introduce it and sell it to the kids too!
After a Future Shock we have Mayflies The Scarab by Michael Carroll, Simon Coleby, Lea O’Grady and Simon Bowland. I’m really taken with Simon’s ongoing work. It’s becoming less muddy than it was and is reminiscent of Cam Kennedy, which is no bad thing. Fitting then the whole package is rounded up with Rogues Return poster in 2000AD Next Prog.
This issue felt a little more grown up than before, showing you can have an all ages issues without being too kid lite. A little like the Progs were like when we were nippers. All both titles need now is a little more dark, cynical, slightly naughty, underlying laugh out loud humour which made all the great issues of 2000AD. Is it enough to keep the core 2000AD readers and collectors interested alongside the legions of young Squaxx? Time will tell but good work all the same!