Just two Rebellion releases next week, commencing 31st October 2022 – and one is 2000AD Prog 2306, an enjoyable “Regened” edition of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic, intended as an “entry point” for younger readers.
While I enjoy these editions, I still can’t help wondering if the “Regened” gambit works in terms of driving sales and gaining you get readers.
Don’t get me wrong – without attracting younger readers, you don’t ensure the longevity of your comic, and Rebellion have gone to considerable and very welcome lengths to try to ensure that never happens.
But in a time when all the sales data I’ve seen suggests most comics these days are no longer bought directly by children, but as “parent buys”, what will they buy next week when 2000AD reverts to its normal content? While the cover of Prog 2037, on sale 9th November, isn’t particularly scary, some parents might just balk at it.
That reservation aside, we get a new series this time out, “Bladers” from James Peaty and Leigh Gallagher, well worth the entry price alone.
2000AD Prog 2306
UK and DIGITAL: 2nd November £3.25
NORTH AMERICA: 4th January 2024
COVER: ALEX RONALD
In this issue:
• Cadet Dredd: Undertow by Pauk Starkey (Writer) Silvia Califano, Gary Welsh (Artist) John Charles (Colourist) Annie Parkhouse (Letterer)
Mega-City One, 2076 AD. Home to over 800 million citizens, this urban hell is situated along the east coast of post-apocalyptic North America. On one side is the polluted Black Atlantic, and to the west is the blasted Radlands of the Cursed Earth. Overcrowding in the metropolis is rife, unemployment is at ninety per cent, boredom is universal and crime is rampant. Only the Judges — a zero-tolerance police force empowered to dispense instant justice — can stop total anarchy. CADET JOE DREDD — together with his clone-brother Rico — is a rising star in Justice Department, and will one day be its finest officer. Make no mistake, he is the Law!
• Bladers by James Peaty (Writer) Leigh Gallagher (Artist) Jim Campbell (Letterer)
It’s the twenty-fifth century, and humanity has spread out amongst the stars. One of its biggest exports is Gravity Blading, the most exciting, successful and lucrative sport in the galaxy. One person who dreamed of being a Blader was Abi Caine, but severe injury forced her out of the trials. However, an unexpected and sizable inheritance has enabled her to re-enter the world of G-Blading, though not as a competitor — she’s buying up the Gravity Bombshells, a team on its last legs after their previous manager proved corrupt. Caine’s got her work cut out if she’s going get the Bombshells ready for the play-offs…
• Ulysses Sweet: Psychobaby by Guy Adams (Writer) Paul Marshall (Artist) Dylan Teague (Colourist) Jim Campbell (Letterer)
The future. At some point the adult Ulysses Sweet will become infamous across the galaxy as a Maniac-For-Hire — if you have an incredibly dangerous mission that requires someone insane enough to face improbable odds, then Sweet is your man. Prone to acts of violence, and possessing a dubious connection to reality, you hire Ulysses at your peril. Indeed, there’s every chance you’ll make the situation even worse. But when it comes to utter madness, no one can touch him — and this all started as a baby, with a love for explosive weaponry and remembering the words his ruthless criminal mother told him…
• Future Shocks: The Planet Breakers by Karl Stock (Writer) Karl Richardson (Artist) Annie Parkhouse (Letterer)
Out in the vast reaches of the universe, there are an infinite number of stories waiting to be told. These cautionary tales pass from traveller to traveller in the spaceports and around campfires on distant planets, acquiring the status of legend, their shocking ends a salutary lesson in hubris. Anything is possible in these twisted trips into the galaxy’s dark side. Abandon your preconceptions, and expect the unexpected. Now, at some point in the future, the human race’s need for resources to solve its energy crisis will mean it will start mining other planets. But what happens when plundering a world goes drastically wrong…?
• Chopper: All For One by David Barnett (Writer) Gary Welsh (Artist) Gary Caldwell (Colourist) Simon Bowland (Letterer)
Mega-City One, 2103 AD. Marlon Shakespeare was just an ordinary juve in the vast twenty-second century metropolis, and like most of his generation had little to no prospects, expecting a future of unemployment and boredom. His parents have already embraced the meaninglessness of life in the Big Meg, and spend their days heading eggs into a bucket or washing up. But Marlon was determined to make a name for himself, and under the alias CHOPPER, became a famous scrawler, spraying his tag in the most audacious of places. He was eventually arrested and served an iso-cube sentence, but he ’s now out, and taking up skysurfing…
THE STEEL CLAW 2: REIGN OF THE BRAIN
CREATIVE TEAM: Tom Tully (Writer) Jesús Blasco (Artist)
RELEASE DATE: 10th November
PAPERBACK, 112 pages
• Buy it from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)
One of Britain’s most enduring comic book heroes returns in two stories reprinted here for the first time! The second collection of the sci-fi classic, the Steel Claw collects writer Tom Tully’s first two stories originally published in the comic Valiant between 1963 and 1964. Featuring the stunning, realistic black and white art of Spanish comics’ legend Jesus Blasco!
Available in print from: Treasury of British comics webshop, book stores, Amazon, and UK comic book stores via Diamond | Available in digital from: Treasury of British Comics webshop & apps for iPad, Android and Windows 10
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. 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 “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.