What week of comics would be complete without 2000AD? This week, in 2000AD #1903, we have Judge Dredd, Stickleback, Greysuit, Ichabod Azrael and Kingdom. Let’s take a closer look at each and see what they have to offer.
First up is Judge Dredd. At first, John Wagner’s script doesn’t seem to have a point, simply showing yet more storylines to hook into. However, by the end there is a sense of direction and, at the very least, it’s a different enough setting to give the title some perspective. While I still don’t think Carlos Ezquerra is the best artist for Dredd, I’m warming to his wider choice of color use.
Next up is more Stickleback. This issue offers more exposition, with Ian Edginton throwing in plenty of backstory between the lines of dialogue. While it is a slow issue, full of talking, it does have Edginton’s trademark charm, if not the humor. That said, D’Israeli’s art continues to be striking and vibrant, although there isn’t much to do in the better half of this week’s offering.
This is followed by the continuation of Grey Suit. This series is moving along at a strong enough pace and Pat Mills manages to keep focused on the more interesting points (even if the ’emotionally-blank’ character trait is reffered to a little too much). It teases action without delivering, while John Higgin’s offers decent enough art. For better visuals, Sally Hurst manages to keep the piece looking moody, but provide enough hints of color to keep it interesting.
After this comes more Ichabod Azrael. Rob Williams writes a tense and exciting script, but one that is very much for the fans. This story, including this issue, relates to previous adventures, so new readers might not understand the full extent and scale of the event. That said, it’s a fantastic tense issue and while the black and white artwork of Michael Dowling is a far cry of the likes in Stickleback, it has it’s own grim appeal.
Finally, we round this issue off with more Kingdom. Dan Abnett continues to offer an interesting idea but gets lost in the boring bits. We know too little about this world and the story seems to be another case of dialogue and teasing exposition before moving into a big fight. It looks brilliant, thanks to Richard Elson’s pencils and Abigail Ryder’s fantastic use of color, but it needs more substance going forward.