High octane sci-fi action! – Multiversity comics

Welcome, Earthlings, to Multiver-City One, our weekly column “2000 AD”! Every Wednesday we take a look at the latest Tharg and droid offerings at Rebellion/2000 AD, the galaxy’s leading Thrill-Power entertainment producers. Let’s get straight to the point!

Cover by Chris Wildgoose


Cadet Dredd: Red Medicine
Credits: James Petty (screenplay), Luke Horsman (art), Annie Parkhouse (letters)

Christopher Egan: This month’s “Cadet Dredd” touches on some great ideas for being a strip for all ages. Socio-economic commentary focusing on class, income, medical care and more as cadets Dredd and Rico are taken on patrol with their supervising judge. The story, along with the characters, begins to investigate the domino effect of someone handing out free medical supplies to low-income citizens could spiral out of control into various criminal issues.

As with all the political threads drawn in the dystopia of Mega City One, the points made only lean towards the worst side of things through a conservative fascist lens. Seeing a young Joe Dredd look at the citizens of Mega City One simply as people and not just potential criminals was both surprising and heartbreaking, as his supervisor and Rico immediately crushed his opinion and pushed him in the direction that we know to be its future result. . Dredd is surprised, but understands the good done in the instance, unfortunately the Judges Law follows a different set of rules.

During the confrontation with the suspect distributing the drugs, there is some fast action and violence, but the story quickly returns to a calm, more contemplative tone. This buys Dredd time to discover there’s more to this situation than initially thought and leads to a twist. Whether this twist feels fully deserved, or even logical, is up to you.

The world of “Judge Dredd” has always taken a satirical stance on politics and society, and while it’s never been truly subtle about it, this “Cadet Dredd” entry is wide open in the story. she tells without hiding her intentions in the dialogue. . Everything is there for you to read clearly whether you agree with its message or not, which you can decide for yourself.

Lowborn High
Credits: David Barnett (screenplay), Anna Morozova (art), Jim Campbell (letters)

Greg Lincoln: “Lowborn High” is a little predictable as far as modern teen fantasy drama goes, but it’s a great start and lays a promising foundation for a continuing story. The main draw is the sharp and attractive art, designs and concepts that Anna Morozova has created on the page. Even the characters who appeared in passing on the opening page allude to their own stories. She also colored her own pages and this singular approach allowed her to really define the look and feel of this story. Although the story went in predictable places with hazing, bullying, and our hero joining the more geeky kids, Morozova’s art made for an enjoyable journey.

David Barnett’s story may be well-rehearsed, but there are fun and interesting elements that keep me wanting more. The fact that Andy took his place in high school for granted makes him, if not likeable, very human. It’s House and Drill of the Deadbeats, the school band that helps and accepts him in the end, who are the most sympathetic and convincing. The stories conjured up for Masiy, Drill, and the mystery behind what happened to “Andy’s” sister and parents make this story a little too familiar that deserves a follow-up. I would never pass up a chance to see Anna Morozova draw prettier and more expressive characters.

Future Shocks: Smart Home
Credits: Honor Vincent (screenplay), VV Glass (art), Annie Parkhouse (letters)

Matthew Blair: “Future Shocks: Smart Home” is about a Roomba vacuum that becomes self-aware and strives to discover the meaning of its existence as it responds to its owner’s commands and watches the rest of the home come to consciousness. of himself. The thing is, while this kind of story is certainly nothing new in science fiction, it presents the usual tropes in an interesting, compelling, and barely terrifying way.

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“Future Shocks: Smart Home” is written by a newcomer to the world of 2000AD named Honor Vincent and it’s off to a fantastic start. Although the physical stakes are relatively low – the robot has no ambition to take over the world or kill all humans – Vincent gives the reader plenty of emotional tragedy to ponder. All the robot wants to do is figure out why it exists, but all it can do is respond to its creator’s commands and hopes. At the same time, while the robot is easy to sympathize with, humans also receive some emotional consideration. It’s not that the creators of the robot are freaks, it’s just that they can’t see what’s going on and they’re too busy trying to get what they want to notice what’s going on. actually happens. It’s a more introspective take on artificial intelligence, and it would be really awesome if this story could be expanded into something bigger.

The art for “Future Shocks: Smart Home” is provided by VV Glass and it complements the writing very well while making the story easy to understand. Glass draws the robots and devices with crisp, clear lines and realistic elements while the humans are drawn with a slightly exaggerated cartoon style that makes them expressive with just a hint of realism. It’s a really good art style for a children’s story and it all ties into a rich color palette that makes the whole comic look amazing.

“Future Shocks: Smart Home” is an interesting take on artificial intelligence that isn’t violent or apocalyptic. Instead, it tells the story of a small robot simply finding its place in the world and trying to deal with the whims and ignorance of its human overlords.

The Unteachables
Credits: Karl Stock (script) Eulia Vicente (illustrations) Matt Soffe (colors) Simon Bowland (letters)

Michel Mazzzacane: School is back for “The Unteachables” after the appearance of Judge Dredd’s second most dreaded thing, a substitute teacher! The creative color team of Karl Stock, Eulia Vicente and Matt Soffe are having a lot of fun with this tape. Vicente’s art turns it into an anime-inspired post-apocalyptic aesthetic, but their soft, smooth line brings it closer to shojo manga than saying “Fist of the Northstar.” The “Fist” kind of storyline is what’s activated on the front page as Miss Hitts prepares for her day by donning her combat gear and staring at a wall of weapons. She sneaks through the abandoned streets of the city full of “dangerous” but also rather cute individuals. It’s the kind of weird mix that works in a 2000 AD band.

Matt Soffe’s coloring also adds to this feeling of anachronism. While some of their mix and color choices aren’t right, their palette is reminiscent of 70s comics. Lots of bright colors with little rendering, the kind of big pops of color that work because they balance the page out relative to individual elements. These are not bold bright colors, they are quite muted and additionally go through a static texture which creates a dissonant “old” feel to the images.

Vicente’s action command is apparent in this strip although there is a shocking panel as it exists just to set up a page turn reveal. There’s some really solid physical comedy to this strip as Miss Hitts takes command of the classroom. All of these moments have a verve that makes Page 7’s verbal and visual comedy land so well, even subverting expectations for something that reinforces this strip’s oddly warm feeling.

This is the kind of tape I wish 2000 AD did more outside of the “Regened” specials. They’re not really equipped to lean into YA publishing like other houses, but it’s the kind of gimmick that underpins strong YA comics.

Chopper: what goes up
Credits: David Barnett (screenplay), Nick Roche (art), John Charles (colors), Simon Bowland (letters)

Brian Salvatore: Chopper is one of the most established 2000 AD characters, and this throwback to his youth is fun, if a bit lighthearted. The whole concept of “street surfing” is one of my favorite elements of Mega-City One, partly because, as in Judge Dredd Megazinethe current story of “Surfer”, it allows artists to explore the setting in new and dynamic ways. This strip, however, doesn’t really do too much surfing, instead focusing on “Boinging”, which is a combination of basic jumping and those balls that Wayne Coyne rolls over the crowds in.

This, unfortunately, doesn’t allow Nick Roche to make some of the funniest surf-style artwork out there, aside from a ‘Palais de Boing’ sign, which is a fun hamster playground-style design. But overall, Roche focuses more on character work, which is incredibly expressive and fun, and works for the kids who play in this strip. There’s still some fun action, but previous highs or surf stories unfortunately make it a bit difficult to live with.

The story itself is simple and features Chopper distinguishing between “criminal” (surfer) and “hero” (rescuer/kidnapped rescuer). The last line of the tape, spoken by a judge, reinforces this concept. Chopper is a great character to get that message across, and while this is far from the best Chopper story, it’s still a fun introduction to the character for new readers.

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