Going Out With A Bang – 2000AD Prog 1887

Nick Percival's amazing cover art starts the comic as it means to go on.

Nick Percival’s amazing cover art starts the comic as it means to go on.

2000AD is riding high on a succession of waves of excellent stories. It’s good to see an immense amount of British talent on show, keeping the flag flying for excellent storytelling.

Prog 1887, which comes out on Wednesday 25 June, starts with an amazing cover by Nick Percival, who also provides the amazing artwork for this week’s Judge Dredd story. This is beautiful work and although sometimes it makes it a little difficult to follow what’s going on in the story itself, I still adored looking at this. It’s beautiful.

Michael Carroll provides another superb script with a wonderfully Dredd-ish ending. Old Stoney Face doesn’t take crap from anyone and he’s a realist first and foremost. Although it’s the kind of ending that makes you wonder what the point of the story was in the end, it’s also clearly the option Dredd would have taken if this were real, and I appreciate a storyteller who sticks to the character like that.

This week’s one-shot story is a Tharg’s Time Twisters piece by Rob Williams, with wonderful art by Simon Gurr. I’m a big fan of shadow and Gurr’s piece, which has hints of Frazer Irving’s attack-the-canvas-with-knives look, is excellent. Sadly, I can’t say the same for the story itself. It’s silly, it makes little sense and the ending feels like it is tacked on quickly to fit the page limit.

Moving on to the final part of this current Indigo Prime story. This is a series that began its run in 2000AD before I started reading the comic way back in 1999 and which was gone for so long, I didn’t think it was coming back – but here it is, back for all to enjoy. John Smith’s script had me interested from page one and Ian Carter’s art is simply wonderful. There’s a real sense of depth and solidity to it, which I love.

The mixture of sterile future and bleak past with their own separate colour palettes makes it easy to distinguish which setting is which and it helps to keep the plot easy to follow. The characters look fantastic, there is excellent detail in the backgrounds and the whole thing just looks wonderful.

Smith’s script is both hilarious and well paced. I kept chuckling despite the crazy Lovecraftian nature of the thing. There are some fantastic ideas on show here and the crazy-awesome nature of the story is very impressive. It’s just a shame that this is clearly gearing up to a finale, as I could happily keep reading this for quite some time to come.

Finally, we come to the glorious Grey Area and Dan Abnett does not leave us wanting. This is, as usual, brilliant stuff. Of all the newer stories in 2000AD’s stable, Grey Area has to be one of, if not the, most consistently excellent ones. This is a brilliant piece of storytelling – it flows well, the characters have personality, and they’re likeable to boot. I can’t get enough of it.

Mark Harrison is on fine form as well here. The God-star looks ominous and very alien. The human ship looks used, like all good military hardware should. The characters all look reasonably identifiable despite their power armour. Harrison’s even got his usual weird, shaky handwriting lyrics plastered over the art. There’s nothing here to not like. It’s excellent work and a fine way to end this week’s issue.

2000AD Prog 1887 is yet another fantastic issue in what is now becoming a year-long trend of excellent stories. Long let it continue!

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