5 out of 5
If it ain’t broke…
Y’know, I couldn’t really figure out from whence the sudden inspiration for a kid-geared 2000 AD sprang, but I’m now looking at a release schedule full of similarly aimed books, and realizing that it was just a smart and sound business decision, requiring a bit of lateral thinking to apply a typically “adult” series in a way that would be appropriate. And having done that very successfully once, why not do it again? And why not make it quarterly?
And I am incredibly happy that (presumably) sales numbers have made that a reality.
The infrequency of publication also means you can repeat the same tricks – Cadet Dredd; Leah Moore’s / John Reppion’s Ghostbusters-lite Finder and Keeper; Cavan Scott’s take on Rogue Trooper – and not have it feel cheap. (Which isn’t to say it’d be cheap if this was a weekly book, as these are fresh tales for each character.)
I even think the stories here are better than their previous outing, as the writers are more familiar with the tone. Scott’s Trooper doesn’t feel like as much of an odd juxtaposition of war grit and moralism – it’s a pretty spot on adventure, with Rogue teaming up with some mutated outcasts – and Finder and Keeper doesn’t have to chug through an origin, spending all of its pages on a fun graveyard haunting. Rory McConville, my current love in 2000 AD, has already shown his ability to switch from comedy to drama; one-shots to full-length tales; and his Cadet story here has bright characters, fun characterizations, and awesome weapons, creepos, and explosions. David Baillie, though not my current love, tells a distractingly chuckle-worthy Gronk story, and Karl Stock rounds things off with a solid Future Shock.
It’s always telling when an extra length book (52 pages) flies by faster than the usual version, and I’m certainly looking forward to our next installment of regened, three months from now.