2000AD #1900 is an odd issue this week. There’s only 3 stories, but they’re all new (well, Judge Dredd is quite old…) and provide an ideal point for new readers. These includes Judge Dredd, Stickleback and Kingdom. Let’s take a closer look!
First up is Judge Dredd – somethings never change. John Wagner pens an interesting script, one that is large in scope yet small in it’s scale. It gets to the heart of Mega City One – the block towers – and reminds regular readers that ‘Dredd is still a street judge; something that’s been lost in recent story lines. While the story is interesting, I’m not sure the art style is the right choice. Carlos Ezquerra is a talented artist, but the wibbly lines in brighter colors go against the tone of Judge Dredd… although I do appreciate the wider range of colour.
In the middle is the start of a new Stickleback chapter. Straight away, we’re reintroduced to Ian Edginton’s trademark humor and quirky settings. It’s a little slow to get going, but it’s a fun ride nonetheless and, once again, D’Israeli provides a sharp, yet refreshing visual style that is instantly recognizable. It’s good to be back.
Finally, we have a new title in the form of Kingdom. Vague name aside, this title has plenty of potential, although I notice a few drawbacks too. Dan Abnett starts off with a fantastic, moody, fantasy script, only to loose the plot in Steampunky McGuffins and a setting that eschews away from the starting tone. The art is similarly mismatched, although that’s nothing to do with Richard Elson’s brilliant pencils and Abigail Ryder’s colors (although there is a lot of orange and blue contrasts at work). The art starts off with some unique designs, only to devolve into planes and dog-people.