In Review: 2000AD Prog 2280 Regened, plus details of Tharg’s Free Comic Book Day giveaway

2000AD - Prog 2280 - Cover by Chris Wildgoose

It should be no surprise to anyone that this week’s 2000AD – Prog 2280, with a cover by Chris Wildgoose – is an all-ages special Regened edition ahead of Free Comic Book Day this Saturday – a good opportunity to attract new readers, along with the release of a special, free, Best of 2000AD #0 in comic shops participating in the event.

Inside the latest Prog, Joko-Jargo, nephew of 2000AD editor Tharg brings you another special all-ages edition of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic, “precision-tooled to engage as inclusive an audience as possible”.

There seems to have been a bit of a change of tack on “Cadet Dredd”, stories set in 2076AD, because in “Bad Medicine” by James Peaty, with art by Luke Horsman, both cadets appear to have aged in considerably since the last Regened prog. Is this in response to reader feedback, we wonder? That said, Horsman delivers some great action, and Dredd proves a detective as well as action anti-hero, too, so credit all round on those fronts.

Also this issue, skysurfer Chopper has a mystery of his own to unpick when Boingers start going missing in “What Goes Up, an enjoyable story by David Barnett, with art by Nick Roche; there’s a complete Future Shock as household appliances become aware in Smart Home, form Honor Vincent with art by VV Glass, which has great art but feels a little flat and throwaway.

Plus, we get two school-based stories: the unruly Class Omega-Default IV (who first appeared in Prog 2130) return in “The Unteachables” by Karl Stock, with art by Xulia Vicente, coloured by Matt Soffe; and “Lowborn High” by David Barnett, with art by Anna Morosova, makes its debut, showing where student wizards go that don’t manage to make it into the prestigious Wychdusk Manor academy.

There’s no doubt that some will immediately compared this other “Magic School” stories of the same ilk, and indeed its creators are pitching it as “Harry Potter Meets Grange Hill“. The setting to a magical comprehensive is a nice twist, although most real grammar and boarding schools Hogwarts, in Potter, is based on, used to have lower “sets” where lower performers ended up, so it’s a bit of a leap.

2000AD - Lowborn High art by Anna Morosova
Lowborn High art by Anna Morosova

Anna Morosova is a hugely accomplished artist and you should also check out her work in Judge Dredd Megazine and “Star Nav”, coming soon in Pandora, from The77 Publications – I have a feeling she’s definitely going places.

Overall, this Regened edition has a manga styling to most of the stories, with a hint of bande dessines in the “The Unteachables” and as a ground floor taster for the worlds of 2000AD, it’s an enjoyable diversion from the regular edition – but, once again, you have to ask, where does any new reader go next week?

Surely it’s high time an occasionally-rumoured second adventure comic from Rebellion, for younger readers enjoying the Regened 2000AD editions, joined the Galaxy’s Greatest Prog on the news stand, alongside Monster Fun? Let’s hope so.

2000AD Prog 2280 – out now from all good newsagents, comic book stores, and digitally from the 2000 AD webshop and app

Credit Check – 2000AD Prog 2280
Cover – Chris Wilgoose

• Cadet Dredd: Red Medicine by James Peaty (Writer) luke Horsman (Artist) Annie Parkhouse (Letterer)
• Lowborn High by David Barnett (Writer) Anna Morozova (Artist) Jim Campbell (Letterer)
• Future Shocks: Smart Home by Honor Vincent (Writer) VV Glass (Artist) Annie Parkhouse (Letterer)
• The Unteachables by Karl Stock (Writer) Xulia Vicente (Artist) Matt Soffe (Colourist) Simon Bowland (Letterer)
• Chopper: What Goes Up by David Barnett (Writer) Nick Roche (Artist) John Charles (Colourist) Simon Bowland (Letterer)

Interview: introducing Lowborn High with David Barnett & Anna Morozova – ‘Harry Potter meets Grange Hill!’

2000 AD Covers Uncovered – Chris Wildgoose’s robo showdown with Cadet Dredd for Regened Prog 2280

ALSO OUT THIS WEEK AND NEXT FROM REBELLION…

downthetubes Guide: 2000AD, Treasury of British Collections and Specials – 2022

Best of 2000 AD #0 – Free Comic Book Day Giveaway

Best of 2000AD #0 (2022) - Free Comic Book Day Giveaway - cover by Ian McQue
Best of 2000AD #0 (2022) – a Free Comic Book Day Giveaway

The ultimate 2000AD mix-tape has finally arrived – make sure you grab a copy of Best of 2000 AD #0 on Free Comic Book Day this Saturday, 7th May 2022, available from participating comic shops

Free Comic Book Day is the annual event day where participating comic book shops around the world give away special comic books – absolutely free! It’s a celebration of comics as an art form and as popular culture, introducing whole new audiences to comics and supporting local comic book stores.

And with longer page-counts and more thrill-power, Best of 2000AD is the essential gateway to the “Galaxy’s Greatest Comic” .

This brand-new Issue Zero primer for the highly anticipated quarterly graphic novels series launching in September features A-listers Al Ewing (The Immortal HulkWe Only Find Them When They’re Dead) and VV Glass (The Last WitchAssassin’s Creed) teaming up for a brand-new and exclusive Judge Dredd adventure! Plus, Nemesis The Warlock by Pat Mills and Kevin O’Neill (Marshall Law), Superbean by John Wagner (History of Violence) and Mick McMahon (Boba Fett), and a Future Shock at the ends of the earth from Batman Inc. and Die! Die! Die artist Chris Burnham!

And if that wasn’t enough, this issue features a stunning cover by Star Wars concept artist Ian McQue!

Find out more about Free Comic Book Day and participating comic shops

downthetubes Guide: 2000AD, Treasury of British Collections and Specials – 2022

Skip Tracer: Legion (digital)
Out: 4th May 2022, Digital-only, 96 Pages
ISBN: 9781786186690

Skip Tracer: Legion (digital)

The Cube, the twenty-seventh century. This vast city floating in the depths of space was once a monitoring station, but has been refitted by the Earth-led Consociation as a solution to a universal housing problem. It’s now home to every kind of undesirable, and an easy refuge for wanted criminals and fugitives. That’s where Skip Tracer Nolan Blake comes in, a former soldier turned tracker-for-hire… 

Written by James Peaty (Doctor Who) and with art by Paul Marshall (Firekind), this action packed science fiction adventure is available in a digital exclusive graphic novel for the first time!

The Art of Carlos Ezquerra
by Carlos Ezquerra
Out: 10th May 2022, Hardcover, 240 Pages
ISBN: ISBN: 9781786185679

The Art of Carlos Ezquerra

Carlos Ezquerra’s amazing work is collected in this oversized hardcover book, showing off his impressive art that has entranced readers for over 50 years.

Spanning 50 years, this collection of Carlos Ezquerra’s comic work begins with samples from such titles as Valentine and Mirabelle, collects never before reprinted short war comics from Battle, shows off his sumptuous colour Strontium Dog art, and culminates with a section on his 2000ADwork and his greatest creation, Judge Dredd.

The Best of Carlos Ezquerra will give long-time fans and those new to the work of a giants of British comics the opportunity to enjoy and savour some of the highlights from his work with John Wagner, that helped seal 2000AD as a cultural trailblazer, with Wagner’s action-packed, terse, and often blackly comical writing paired with the gritty and dynamic art of Ezquerra, who sadly passed away in 2018.

Carlos Ezquerra receives the Gran Premio de cómic aragonés in recognition of his career at the 2014 Salón del Cómic de Zaragoza
Carlos Ezquerra receives the Gran Premio de cómic aragonés in recognition of his career at the 2014 Salón del Cómic de Zaragoza

Carlos Ezquerra was the co-creator of Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog, Rat Pack, Major Eazy and many other fan favourite characters. He designed the classic original Dredd costume, as well as visually conceptualising Mega-City One. In addition to these credits he also illustrated “A.B.C. Warriors”, “Judge Anderson”, “Tharg the Mighty”, and “Cursed Earth Koburn”, amongst many other stories.

Outside of the ‘Galaxy’s Greatest Comic’, Ezquerra illustrated the first “Third World War” episodes in Crisis magazine, and become a regular collaborator with Garth Ennis, working on Adventures in the Rifle BrigadeBloody MaryJust a PilgrimCondorsThe Magnificent Kevin and two special Preacher episodes. 

He died in 2018 but his profound influence on the world of comic art cannot be overstated.

Thistlebone Book Two – Poisoned Roots
by T C Eglington (Writer), Simon Davis (Artist)
Out: 10th May 2022, Hardcover, 80 Pages
ISBN: 9781786185655

Thistlebone Book Two - Poisoned Roots

The sequel to the break-out 2000AD horror graphic novel, in the vein of Ben Wheatley’s In the Earth.

Britain, 2020. It’s been over a year since journalist Seema Chaudry accompanied cult survivor Avril Easton back to the village of Harrowvale, the site of her terryifying experiences at the hands of Jasper Hillman’s THISTLEBONE worshippers, a crazed occult group that believed in an ancient woodland deity. Intended as a cathartic experience, both women were changed forever by what they were confronted with. In the process of researching for a book on the Thistlebone legend, Seema believes much of it centres around one man — Malcolm Kinniburgh.

Tom Eglington began writing for 2000AD in 2010, his first work being on a Steve Yeowell illustrated “Future Shock”, “Universal Masterchef”. Since then, he has gone on to create scripts for numerous “Future Shocks”, “3rillers”, “Time Twisters” and “Mega-City One Tales”. He has created original series “Outlier”, “Blunt” and “Thistlebone”. His run of scripts on “Judge Dredd” have seen him work with Boo Cook, Brendan McCarthy, Colin MacNeil, and Staz Johnson. His work beyond the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic includes two children’s novels, and he is known as an artist, with work appearing in galleries as far afield as New York, LA and Australia.

Simon Davis divides his time between comic work and portrait painting and is a member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters (RP). Davis began working in comics in the early 1990s but has also worked as a storyboard artist and magazine illustrator. Among the many characters that he has drawn for 2000AD, he is probably best known for his work on “Sinister Dexter” with Dan Abnett, “Stone Island” and “Ampney Crucis” with Ian Edginton and “Slaine: The Brutania Chronicles” with Pat Mills.

The Sarge Volume One
By Gerry Finley-Day (Writer) and Mike Western (Art)
Out: 12th May 2022, Hardback, 144 Pages, £19.99
ISBN: 978-1786186331

The Sarge Volume One - Final Cover

THEY DEPENDED ON THE SARGE. AND THE WORLD DEPENDED ON THEM.

British Sergeant Jim Masters, a veteran of WW1, has to protect and lead his inexperienced platoon during the Second World War.

From Dunkirk to North Africa, the might of the German Army face the ultimate adversaries when Masters and his boys spring into action – Nothing can substitute experience!

One of the most prolific writers in the comic’s history, Gerry Finley-Day holds a special place in many 2000AD fans’ hearts as the creator of classics like “Rogue Trooper”, “Fiends of the Eastern Front” and “The V.C.s”, as well as “Harry 20 on the High Rock” and “Ant Wars”. A keen “ideas man”, Finley-Day’s concepts of the horrors future warfare had in store were key to both “Rogue” and “The V.C.s” continuing popularity, ensuring that their recent return to the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic was well-received.

Finley-Day also scripted episodes of “Judge Dredd” and 2000AD’s take on “Dan Dare”, and co-scripted much of “Invasion!” (and entirely scripted the prequel story, “Disaster 1990!”).

Widely regarded as one of the best artists to ever grace the British comic industry, Mike Western began his career on Knockout, having already spent time working for GB Animation. During the 1950s he shared art chores with Eric Bradbury on the popular western strip “Lucky Logan”. In 1960. he moved onto TV Express, where he drew “No Hiding Place” and “Biggles”. Buster and Valiant followed, where Mike found himself drawing long-running strips such as “Wild Wonders”.

In the 1970s he was very prolific, illustrating Buster’s “Leopard from Lime Street” and several key strips for Battle, including “Darkie’s Mob”, “The Sarge” and “HMS Nightshade”. Mike also made an impact on the iconic “Roy of the Rovers”, illustrating the newspaper strip which ran in the Daily Star during the 1990s.

Hawk the Slayer #2
By Garth Ennis (Writer) Henry Flint (Artist) Rob Steen (Letterer)
Out: 11th May

Hawk the Slayer #2 - Cover by Greg Staples

Hawk’s deepest fears have been confirmed – dark forces have returned to plague the land and only he stands any chance of stopping them! Reunited with the warrior giant, Gort and the skilled Elfin Bowman Crow, as well as some new comrades, Hawk must venture into the Forest of Weir to learn the true identity of his enemy.

Available in print from: comic book stores via Diamond | Available in digital from 2000AD webshop and apps for iPadAndroid and Windows 10

Incoming…

Hawk the Slayer #3 - Cover by Greg Staples

• 45 Years of 2000AD – 26th May
• Black Beth – 7th June
• Essential Judge Dredd: Necropolis – 7th June
• Hawk the Slayer #3 – 8th June
• Lawless: Boomtown – 23rd June
• Hawk the Slayer #4 – 13th July
• Judge Dredd: The Citadal – 20th July

downthetubes Guide: 2000AD, Treasury of British Collections and Specials – 2022

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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