2000AD Prog 2061, 2017 Christmas Special story line-up revealed, Starlord secrets exposed!

2000AD Prog 2061 - 2017 Christmas Special

Details of this year’s 100-page special Christmas issue of 2000AD, have been announced – and if you pre-order now from the 2000AD web shop, the first 200 orders will also get an exclusive Starlord Trooper print by Henry Flint.

The Special Prog 2061 rounds out its fortieth anniversary year with a beast of an issue, featuring a stunning line-up of creators and characters.

The limited edition 2000AD Prog 2061 Starlord Trooper print by Henry Flint
The limited edition 2000AD Prog 2061 Starlord Trooper print by Henry Flint

Intriguingly, the line-up includes a new story featuring Starlord, once (fictional) editor of the eponymous short-lived British comic launched in 1978 – which merged with 2000AD with Prog 86. The new story is the long-awaited tale revealing what became of Starlord, courtesy of Kenneth Niemand – a writer new to 2000AD it seems – and Henry Flint.

Whether this is a one-off story or a further development of what’s looking like the creation of an entire “Fleetway Characters” universe, evidenced in the pages of the recent Scream and Misty Special, remains to be seen. My guess is that 2000AD are more likely to play down the character – his name, at least – given potential and unwelcome scrutiny from Disney/Marvel lawyers.

While Starlord vanished (returning, he claimed, to the stars), the merger of the comic edited, in reality, by Kelvin Gosnell and 2000AD brought “R0-Busters” and “Strontium Dog” to the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic, further strengthening a line-up that included “Flesh” and “Judge Dredd“, with “Dan Dare” going on a long hiatus. Longtime 2000AD readers will recall the I Claudius-inspired “Crime and Punishment” Dredd storyline that followed hot on the heels of the recently-completed “Cursed Earth” saga, that would lead into the terrific

Starlord Issue One came with a free Starlord Trooper badge - there were six to collect and one was given away free with each copy (they were: Pilot, Laser Specialist, Time Warden, Robot Regiment Mek War Controller, Tank Commander and Skateboard Strike Force)
Starlord Issue One came with a free Starlord Trooper badge – there were six to collect and one was given away free with each copy (they were: Pilot, Laser Specialist, Time Warden, Robot Regiment Mek War Controller, Tank Commander and Skateboard Strike Force)

“The Day the Law Died” that had them gripped, but the addition of “Ro-Busters” and, for me, “Strontium Dog” drawn by Carlos Ezquerra meant the title became a definite “must read”. This despite fierce competition on the news stand from Marvel UK’s Star Wars Weekly, launched in February 1978, IPC’s own  Battle Picture Weekly and, perhaps, DC Thomson’s Bullet and Warlord.

Also in Prog 2061:

  • Bad Company are hunted men as they search for the truth behind the Ararat war in ‘Terrorists’ by Peter Milligan and Rufus Dayglo
  • The ABC Warriors are at each other’s throats as Mars descends into chaos in ‘Fallout’ by Pat Mills and Clint Langley
  • Merlin has awoken and unleashed the Motherless Men in Book 5 of Brass Sun, ‘Engine Summer,’ by Ian Edginton and INJ Culbard
  • Bill Savage discovers the reality behind the ‘Thousand Year Stare,’ courtesy of Pat Mills and Patrick Goddard
  • 2000AD flashback to a significant Justice Department character in a one-off The Fall of Deadworld story by Kek-W and Dave Kendall
  • Ace Garp celebrates the festive season in his own unique way, by Eddie Robson and Nigel Dobbyn
  • – and Lawman Judge Dredd is caught in a fix…

Plus much more!

2000AD‘s Dave Kendall, Ian Edginton, Clint Langley, Frazer Irving, Kek-W and Rufus Dayglo will be signing copies of this special issue at Forbidden Planet London on Saturday 16th December between 5.00 and 6.00pm – and you can pre-order a signed copy of the comic here.

Pre-order Prog 2061, the 2000AD 2017 Christmas Special from the 2000AD web shop here – limited edition print available for first 200 orders

• 2000AD Prog 2061 is also available from all good newsagents and comic shops (using this Forbidden Planet link helps support downthetubes) and leading digital platforms

Starlord: 40 Years On: 2000AD Thrillcast

In a round table discussion to mark the forthcoming 40th anniversary of the launch of Starlord – as well as a special tribute in this year’s Christmas Prog – 2000AD editor Matt Smith and Treasury of British Comics editor Keith Richardson join 2000 AD PR droid Molch-R (Michael Molcher) in the podcast sub-basement along with comics editor and journalist John Freeman (me!) to talk about Starlord‘s short existence, its impact at the time, and its on-going legacy for 2000 AD.

Listen to the Podcast here on the 2000AD official site

or, listen right here!

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a “freelance comics operative”, currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY.

John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor.

He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY.

Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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