What If… 2000AD had merged with Battle Action?

It’s a clash of the ages – what if two of Britain’s most famous comics – 2000AD and Battle Action – had merged at the height of their popularity in the 1980s?

2000AD wraparound cover by Henry Flint
2000AD wraparound cover by Henry Flint

In a brand new “what if?” crossover featuring some of Britain’s biggest comic book talents this September, 2000AD and the Judge Dredd Megazine find the answer to the question: what would 2000AD have looked like if it had combined forces with the legendary Battle Action?

Out in the UK on 20th September and in North America on 1st November, 2000AD Prog 2350 and Judge Dredd Megazine #460 features stories by Ken Neimand, Alex de Campi, Gordon Rennie, Arthur Wyatt, Chris Weston, Staz Johnson and more.

The special 48-page bumper issue of 2000AD and the 132-page Judge Dredd Megazine will see Judge Dredd take on the anarchic, riotous teens of “Kids Rule OK“, the controversial comic strip that helped lead to Action being pulled from shelves in 1976.

2000AD Prog 2350 2000AD and Battle Action crossover art by Cliff Robinson
2000AD and Battle Action crossover art by Cliff Robinson

The line-up includes Alan Hebden and Carlos Ezquerra’s former enslaved gunslinger El Mestizo and laconic World War Two officer Major Eazy, as well as deadly future sport “Death Game 2049“, and daring Panzer officer “Hellman of Hell Force“, as well as Dreddworld reinventions of strips such as John Wagner and Mike Western’s tale of the ‘Forgotten Army’, “Darkie’s Mob“, and Tom Tully and Joe Colquhoun’s World War Two air ace Johnny Red.

Matt Smith, editor of 2000AD, said: “The history of comics on the UK’s newsstand is marked by the practice of merging titles, where two great anthologies combine. In the case of Starlord joining 2000AD, it meant the Prog gained Strontium Dog and Ro-Busters. When Tornado’s Black Hawk joined the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic, it led to a radical reinvention of the strip.

2000AD 2350 -  'Death Game 2049' art by Nick Dyer
‘Death Game 2049’ art by Nick Dyer
'El Mestizo' art by Chris Weston
‘El Mestizo’ art by Chris Weston
2000AD 2530 - 'Judge Dredd: Juves Rule OK!' art by Simon Coleby
‘Judge Dredd: Juves Rule OK!’ art by Simon Coleby

“Writer Ken Niemand suggested to me a special asking what would’ve happened if Battle Action merged with 2000AD in the early 1980s, with its war stories getting something of a science-fiction/fantasy makeover, and I couldn’t resist!

“Major Eazy, Hellman of Hammer Force, El Mestizo, Dredger – all these great characters get the 2000AD treatment in Prog 2350, courtesy of the likes of Niemand, Simon Coleby, Chris Weston, Dan Cornwell, Jake Lynch and more.

“And over in Judge Dredd Megazine #460, we’ve got Dreddworld reinventions of ‘Rat Pack’, ‘Darkie’s Mob’ and ‘Johnny Red’ – it’s a ‘What if…’ that fans of both Battle and 2000AD won’t want to miss.”

'Judge Dredd: Return to Billy Carter' art by Nick Percival
‘Judge Dredd: Return to Billy Carter’ art by Nick Percival

Battle Picture Weekly and Action were two of Britain’s most groundbreaking comics, both tearing up the rulebook on how comics should be in an age of conformity and falling sales. Their action-packed pages delighted young readers as much as they horrified parents and moralists. Following national controversy over the violence in Action, it was effectively banned by its own publisher, neutered and eventually merged with Battle, to create Battle Action.

For this was the age of “hatch, match and dispatch” – when new comics would be launched, then merged into more successful titles. 2000AD itself absorbed its stablemates Starlord and Tornado, with strips such as “Strontium Dog” and “Ro-Busters‘ becoming some of its most popular ever series.

This mega-crossover will then be followed by a brand new ‘jumping on’ issue of 2000AD – the perfect point for new readers to jump on board with the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic, featuring an all-new line-up including “Poison”, a new “Judge Dredd” story by Rob Williams and PJ Holden, more “Feral & Foe” by Dan Abnett and Richard Elson, the return of “Helium” by Ian Edginton and D’Israeli, plus a special one-off clash between two classic characters by Garth Ennis & Henry Flint!

It’s all in the spirit of fun, and is a special “What If” one-off issue for 2000AD‘s 2350th edition.

• Grab 2000AD and more of Rebellion’s comic book titles from your local comics shop or newsagent – find your nearest stockist with the 2000AD storefinder at 2000AD.com/store-finder or locate your local comic book shop at ComicShopLocator.com. | Diamond codes: JUL231919 & JUL231920)

Comic shop customers: Follow this link for more info on Previews World

Digital Reader? To read 2000AD, 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 gorging on a host of free comics, you can read your purchases in the app or download them as DRM-free files from the 2000AD webshop.

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