In Review: 2000AD presents… Mega-City Max (a 2000AD SciFi Special)

Available now, Mega-City Max is a brand new one-shot comic anthology, priced at £4.99, set in the dystopian world of Mega-City One, the home of legendary comic character Judge Dredd.

2000AD Presents Mega City Max (2023)

We’re told Mega-City Max is aimed at teenagers, offering “fast-paced, action-packed and hilarious stories”. The talent involved is indisputably that, including stories by Hannah Templer (Cosmoknights), Ramzee (Edge of Spider-Verse), Oliver Gerlach (Young Men in Love), VV Glass (Boom’s The Last Witch), Lucie Ebrey (Amazing World of Gumball), Korinna Mei Veropoulou (Escape From Bitch Mountain) alongside Roger Langridge (The Muppets, Bill & Ted Are Doomed) – and a cover from Priscilla Bampoh.

Inside, this new stand-alone comic, available in comic shops and newsagents, presents fresh versions of classic 2000AD characters – with no continuity knowledge required – like Harlem Heroes, De Marco P.I., Devlin Waugh and Walter the Wobot – as well as the brand new “Cranium Chaos” from Lucie Ebrey.

Which rather begs the question, given the creator lineup, given the stated aim of the title, and intended target audience – why is it such a disappointment, and why am I not convinced it’s going to reach the intended readership?

After over 45 years of creating adventures in Mega-City One involving crazed citizens, mad robots, giant robots, werewolves, a deadly undercity, zombies, stories holding up a mirror to our own society, what prompted a choice of not badly told stories, brought to life by talented artists, but tales that, for me, don’t really give us much of the excitement of the punk-inspired future, sprawling conurbation?

I have to confess wondering, for the most part, just why these stories, which, I’d argue, would make ideal content as part of Judge Dredd Megazine, or, in the case of “Don’t be Cwuel”, starring Dredd’s former robot valet, Walter the Wobot, 2000AD Regened, have been collected in this Special (Noting, of course, that “Harlem Heroeshas jumped from Regened into Mega-City Max).

I’m afraid that as a whole, this anthology left me bemused by the lineup, despite the fine talent involved, the overall package, for me, disappointingly underwhelming.

If Mega-City Max is a road test for an ongoing title, I fear there will be a rather unenthusiastic reaction. I rather doubt the combination of strips will satisfy 2000AD and Megazine readers, and its content is too scattergun to attract the declared new teenage audience, unless Rebellion have promoted it in some way I’m unaware of – and, if so, who are they?

Let me emphasise that I do fully appreciate this Special is not aimed at me, an older comics reader, and neither should it be, if Rebellion wants to grow its comics line out still further from 2000AD, 2000AD Regened, Judge Dredd Megazine and Monster Fun. But, and I would genuinely like to know the answer, who is it for? Will it truly appeal to anyone who might become a much younger torch bearers for 2000AD and associated titles in years to come? I need a lot of convincing.

Priscilla Bampoh's cropped cover art for 2000AD Presents: Mega City Max
Priscilla Bampoh’s cropped cover art for 2000AD Presents: Mega City Max

All right, I’m sure you’ll be asking by now, if you’ve read this far, what would you have done differently? Price point wise, it isn’t too stretching of the budget, giving us an all-new material throughout compared, say, with Panini’s reprint superhero titles such as Miles Morales: Spider-Man, launching today. That’s a tick in its favour.

But to reach a teenage audience, I’d have gone more digitally hybrid, and certainly even more manga in style, in terms of cover and content. (It wouldn’t be the first time Dredd went manga – as Shonen Jump fans may recall, from back in 1995).

Judge Dredd went full on manga back in 1995, when the Shonen Jump Autumn Special featured a 45-page promotional comic tie-in to the release of the 1995 Judge Dredd film by by Hitoshi Matsumoto and Mitsuyoshi Takasu
Judge Dredd went full on manga back in 1995, when the Shonen Jump Autumn Special featured a 45-page promotional comic tie-in to the release of the 1995 Judge Dredd film by by Hitoshi Matsumoto and Mitsuyoshi Takasu – check out this thread on the 2000AD Forum for more information

I’d really play up the craziness of Mega-City One aplenty. I’d pepper the pages with QR codes to take you to exclusive content, quick fire chats with the strip creators, just like the one now live on the 2000AD web site with Oliver Pickles and Ollie Hicks, say. Or, if there was the budget – Rebellion runs a games company, after all! – maybe mini games emulating the story or offering a platform challenge for DeMarco P.I. to crack a case, say.

I’d plug in TikTok promotion from the get go, where Alex Bray Brooke and Bella Pritchard are already promoting 2000AD (posts that seems to be some kind of co-ordinated ad campaign last year). I’d certainly have more craziness, more but shorter stories, trying out more concepts, just like the original, punk-inspired 2000AD. Oh, and yes, be more punk, too!

Oh, and finally – why not simply bring us another 2000AD Regened Special and use it to launch a regular Regened title, so those buying the four, younger-skewed 2000AD progs every year aren’t confused when the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic reverts to its usual more adult fare the following week? (The reasoning behind this escapes me).

I’m aware this review is a bit unusual for me. I’m conscious just how hard it is to try anything new in difficult times, and let’s be absolutely clear, Rebellion could never be said to be a company not doing its best to broaden the comics audience, and it fully deserves the accolades it has got for doing just that.

Perhaps I’m now way out of touch, and it’s time to retire and take up my offered apartment in the Victor Meldrew Block (look him up on Wikipedia, kids). But my gut instinct is that Mega-City Max is, sadly, a bit of an uncharacteristic misstep from Team 2000AD. But, hey, you be the Judge…

John Freeman

Mega City Max is in comic shops and newsagents now (on sale in newsagents until 13th September 2023) – and available from Rebellion direct, here

Mega-City Max Interviews: Our Future… their reality – Maxing out with editors Oliver Pickles & Ollie Hicks

The editorial team talk about their approach to the comic

Grab this title and more from your local comics shop – find your nearest stockist at – or in the UK and Ireland, check out the downthetubes comic shop map

The stories inside include: 

Story, Art and Letters by Hannah Templer

2000AD Presents: Mega City Max (2023) - Di Marco PI

Galen DeMarco entered the Academy of Law to give her life a purpose, however she was unfairly expelled from the Academy. The incident didn’t stop her from wanting to help people, so she set herself up as a private investigator. DeMarco tackles cases that Justice Department can’t or won’t touch, helping out the unfortunate and needy, and she still keeps in touch with her friends from the Academy – straight-edge Barbara Hershey and psychic Cassandra Anderson.

Story, Art and Letters by Roger Langridge / Colours by Pippa Bowland

2000AD Presents: Mega City Max (2023) - Walter the Wobot

Built by the Interglobal Hardware Company, Walter the Wobot first served Mega-City One’s Justice Department, but through a series of misadventures he worked his way into becoming a free citizen! Or at least the Judges didn’t want him around anymore… Now, the meek drinks dispenser droid works to serve the citizens of Mega-City One, but he yearns forother experiences…

Story by Oliver Gerlach / Art by V.V. Glass / Letters by Simon Bowland 

2000AD Presents: Mega City Max (2023) - Devlin Waugh

Devlin Waugh is a Brit-Cit born Olympian who has fallen on tough times. A parttime occultist, and full-time dashing rogue, Devlin is determined to be back in the spotlight, and will seize on any opportunity to become part of the in-crowd once again – even if that means having to roll his sleeves up and deal with demonic interlopers.

Story by RAMZEE / Art by Korinna Mei Veropoulou / Letters by Simon Bowland 

2000AD Presents: Mega City Max (2023) - Harlem Heroes

The most popular sport of the future is aeroball – a mixture of football, jetpacks, basketball and fighting all rolled into one. While the name Harlem Heroes evokes a long history of trophy-winning success, the current roster of players (led by ex-Judge Cadet Gem Giant) are a team of rough-around-the-edges rookies and have a lot to live up to.

2000AD Presents: Mega City Max (2023) - Cranium Chaos by Lucie Ebrey

By Lucie Ebrey

Lucie Ebrey’s Cranium Chaos looks at the perils of following the latest MC-1 fads.

“I wanted Lucie Ebrey in the comic from the beginning because she’s a star,” says Mega-City Max co-editor Olivia Hicks. “She’s an absolutely brilliant cartoonist and a jewel of the British comics scene. I’ve been a fan of hers for years. Her chaotic humour seemed like a perfect fit for a teen 2000AD project.”

Mega City Max is in comic shops and newsagents now (on sale in newsagents until 13th September 2023) – and available from Rebellion direct, here

To read 2000AD, the Judge Dredd Megazine, Monster Fun, fiction ebooks, and hundreds of graphic novel collections, download the 2000AD app for iOS and Android devices. As well as reading a host of free comics, can read your purchases in the app or download them as DRM-free files from the 2000AD webshop

Categories: 2000AD, British Comics, Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Features, Reviews

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

1 reply

  1. Artwork kind of reminds me of early 90s Judge Dredd Magazine.

    I think the problem with this title, plus the regened title, is that it seems to be someone’s idea of what an all-age/teenage targeted title should be, rather then stories those audiences want to read.

    I found Judge Dredd Lawman Of The Future issues recently while sorting stuff, and it has sharper and better storytelling for these audiences then either Regened or Mega City Max!

Discover more from

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading