2000AD Prog 1800 > A total new reader’s opinion

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As most of you know, prog 1800 was designed as a jumping on prog suitable for new readers and also one that would hopefully hook in some fans of the new movie. So we got the opinion of just such a person, Dani Abram, who enjoyed the film enough to want to check out more of Dredd and the rest of 2000AD.

As it’s more of an overview than the usual prog reviews I’ll dispense with the usual spoiler tags and just hand over to Dani –

My name is Dani Abram and I am a CG Animator working in the games industry. I also like to make comics now and again! I like food and films and games and comics. I am a geek.

What I am not is a writer. However, after witnessing the cinema perfection that was Dredd 3D (twice on opening weekend!) and having delved into the 2000AD universe for the first time with Prog 1800, I wanted to commit my thoughts to a digital word processing format.

‘Where do I start?’ ‘What does Drokk mean?’ and ‘Why does everybody thank Tharg?’ are just a few of the questions I unashamedly bombarded my friends with in the aftermath of watching the film at the cinema. I vaguely knew of the character of Judge Dredd and his connections with some comic called 2000AD and I’m pretty sure I saw the Sly Stallone film at some point, ages ago… I think. I knew next to nothing when I entered that cinema screen.

When I left, one of the thoughts racing through my highly stimulated mind was ‘How in the HELL have I let this universe escape me!? In all my years reading comics? And complaining about comics? And wanting more violent comics? And more bad-ass characters?! How, just how, have I managed to avoid 2000AD for this length of time!?’ I was momentarily mad at myself. Until I realised ‘Holy SHIT I have all this stuff I can now read!’

As luck would have it, since the films release, Twitter and blogs and podcasts and the like have been awash with suggestions on what to read next if you’re new, where to start etc. Notably, Stacy Whittle compiled a blog for SFX Magazine ( http://www.sfx.co.uk/2012/09/13/blog-dredd-central-the-best-stories-to-get-into-the-judge/  ) listing recommendations from herself and a bunch of 2000AD writers. I promptly ordered The Pit and I can’t wait to read it!

And that same week – 2000AD’s #1800 was hailed as the perfect jumping on point for noobs! What great timing!

So what’s it like?!

Well, bluntly, it’s not what I was expecting!

The front cover is iconic. Colourful and awesome and bad-ass. Dredd’s mug is ugly and scarred. I have no idea if the bird with the awesome blue arse is Anderson or not, as I have only the film version to go from. She sports a short blonde bob and what I assume is the Judges uniform so I think it’s her! I love the colouring and the guns and it’s not too busy. As an artist, I can completely appreciate it. As a girl, I think shame about Anderson’s (?) pose  ^-^

The inside cover lists a table of contents! I feel so stupid admitting this but I had no idea that 2000AD included different stories! I also learn who Tharg is. Phew.

Judge Dredd: The Death of Dan-E Cannon is a surprisingly short story, which I assume is a one shot, as it wraps up nicely towards the end. Having been introduced to Mega City One in the film, I know where I am without prompt. The art is detailed and gorgeous. I wonder, as I’m reading, how it’s sustained? All this detail and colouring and effects… in a weekly! The story wraps up with a humorous twist – something that, according to various opinions on Twitter, was missing from the film. It reads well, set around just one event and, just like they say, feels like a great starting point! I am only concerned with Dredd, I haven’t met or read anything that made me think ‘Huh? Who!?’ and I am left feeling resolved and satisfied at the end. I am promised that the next issue will be titled ‘Payback!’ Unless I missed something – I can only assume this, too, will be a new story arc.

I am treated to a one page advert for the Megazine next. Mmm Karl Urban, the cover is a still from the film. Not that I needed it but it reminds me why I am reading this Prog,

OK, 2000AD, so far, so AWESOME!

There are 3 more comics included in this issue: Brass Sun, The ABC Warriors and Grey Area. Of the three my favourite was Grey Area. It sucked me straight in, intrigued me and left me wanting! The ABC Warriors is GORGEOUS. Just, wow. WOW ART. Wow. I have no idea who they are or what the hell is going on.. but it’s beautiful. I can’t wait to see more of it. Again, through Twitter, I am aware that this story is not new. I don’t know if it’s a continuation, but there are slight character introductions. I’m given names and not much else, but it’s so exquisite and epic that I would definitely spend the time finding out for myself. Something for the ‘must Google’ pile. Brass Sun is so… different! I love the art. It’s so characterful. And the palette is defined and beautiful. I found the story long and heavy, however. Of all 4 comics, this was the one I battled through. As it’s listed as a ‘part one’ I am aware that set ups are hard to get through, and establishing characters and settings and themes is always a bit full on at the beginning. I am eager to see where it leads – but in terms of this whole collected issue, I felt it was my least favourite.

The back cover is an amazing collection of characters who I don’t know! Some robot dude asks me to join them every Wednesday – I can only offer a ‘You can count on it!’

After having my appetite for this universe thoroughly whetted, I can honestly say I can not wait! Consider this my subscription bought and paid for! How exciting!

Dani Abram

Always Late to the Party.