2000 AD (progs #2247 – 2249) – Various

3 out of 5

Some shorter thrills before a bumper issue.

Skip Tracer and the recent run of Sinister / Dexter conclude. My opinion on Skip Tracer remains unchanged – it is wholly generic action, one-liner stuff and all. But the art is solid and Peaty gives us a good final bad guy confrontation. My more favorable opinion on Sin / Dex also remains unchanged, but I would add that Abnett very successfully brought the arc home, with some solid final moment surprises and big explposions.

As to the new strips, Ken Niemand does a haunted house Dredd tale with ‘The House on Bleaker Street,’ and while haunted houses should be a good match for drippy and droopy artist Nick Percival… Percival’s painted art still really doesn’t cut it for me for the comic format. It’s very stiff, and doesn’t define spaces well. Also – this isn’t a hiccup limited to Percival – that baby looks like an old man. The story itself is rather average by Niemand standards, not really having enough room to properly build up the threat of the house, but I like that it’s tied to Dreddverse events and isn’t just a random supernatural thing.

A 3riller from writer Robert Murphy and Steven Austin. Austin has heavy, John Higgins-esque figures, though uses more dynamic angles than Higgins, and a slightly more open panel style – I’m digging their work. As to the story, 3rillers are usually either way too compressed or just can’t balance the pacing correctly over three installments, but Murphy nails it – each entry feels like it adds something to this occult tale of possession, and gives us doses of dialogue and action and character (and an intriguing hook for more story) in due amounts.

Jaegir – the path of Kali by our usual Jaegir crew of Rennie and Coleby. This continues to be bleak stuff, as Atalia whips up a path of havoc in revenge for her recent abduction. While Rennie can work fine in the shorter format (i.e. only three progs to close a story), Jaegir is a tale that benefits from more space. He tries to shorthand that a bit by doing a dual narrative from Atalia’s point of view and that of some Northers, tracking her “work,” but this still feels more like a preview than a fully story. Indeed, it’s very much setup – potentially for a big return. An intriguing setup, absolutely, just a little underwhelming on its own.