It has been with us for a mere 30 issues, first quarterly and more recently bi-monthly, but 2000AD Extreme Edition is no more.
The final issue, X30, is now available. It is an all Ian Gibson art issue containing the ending of “Sam Slade’s Last Case”, the Robo-hunter story that finished in 2000AD Prog 334, plus the complete run of Robo-hunter’s “Farewell My Billions” from 100 Progs later, and is rounded off with a selection of Gibson illustrated shorts including Psi-Judge Anderson and Walter the Wobot.
As the latest title in a line of 2000AD reprint magazines, Extreme was never going to sell big numbers and no doubt its sales were very dependent on what was being reprinted in a given issue. It was relatively easy to tell if it was an interesting reprint in an issue if the local comics shop sold out of it fast. Extreme relived the original Volgan invasion of Britain and re-chronicled the Harlem Heroes hard won aeroball season, both original 2000AD stories from 1977. In effect, for £2.99, it was a regular graphic novel for those stories that may never have received a book publication. Some were great to reread, Belardinelli’s “Meltdown Man” springs to mind, while others were a chore, three issues of “The Mean Arena” was two too many.
It was also never the easiest title to get. Readers in Northern Ireland and Eire had no problems since Eason’s carried it, but for the rest of the British Isles it was a challenge to find as WH Smith’s did not stock it. Comics shops and Borders Books seemed to be the only regular stockists on the mainland while Rebellion, its publishers, weren’t overly helpful as they did not sell a separate subscription to it.
And now it’s gone replaced by a “free” graphic novel with about half Extreme’s page count bagged in issues of the price increased Judge Dredd Megazine beginning in Meg 275 on sale on 20 August 2008.
The final Extreme concludes with a Tharg The Mighty story entitled “The Day They Banned 2000AD”. This is a tongue-in-cheek story of Tharg’s bumbling enemies, the Dictators of Zrag, who make the villains of the printed stories come to life with the Volgans invading Russia, dinosaurs climbing the Eiffel Tower and a small bulbous headed Venusian on a flying chair invading the 2000AD Command Module. In a magazine that proclaims itself to be “Complete and Uncut!” on its front cover, the M*kon’s face is obscured in each panel he appears in with the note “Identity Concealed By Nervous Publisher” in the margin. It would seem that The Mighty One is concerned about the invasion of that new virulent strain of Thrill-Sucker – DDC Lawyerous.
R.I.P. Extreme – you were a challenge to find, but worth the effort.
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