2000 AD (progs #2047 – 2049) – Various

3 out of 5

An okay end to several okay thrills.

The Dredd Apocalypse War followup War Buds is solid, and does some good character work on both sides of our chase: Dredd shows some interesting emotional depth (without undermining his lawful dedication) and our war vets are a fascinating mix of ne’er say die-types and those with a death wish…  There’s a somewhat clumsy flashback that mars the pacing, but it’s otherwise good stuff.

Rennie’s / Beeby’s Alienist becomes rather disappointingly clumsy in its last chapters, with a parallel dimension concept not explored to its possible potential.  This wouldn’t be so distracting except that Eoin Covenay’s art suddenly becomes a lot looser in these progs, which influences the reading; it no longer comes across as rich as before, but rather hurriedly executed.  Definitely still lots to do with the character, though, so I’m eager for another go.

Flipping the expectation script are the final final chapters of Grey Suit, which crystallize in some very Mills-y pokes at Fake News and finally allow Blake’s revenge to come to a satisfying and smart payoff.  There’s enough jumping between characters that Higgins’ talking heads panels seem suited to the strip, as opposed to the mundanity of earlier action sequences.

Hope also concludes, roundabout in the ‘meh’ range in which it began.  The concept of a magic-tinged old Hollywood noir is great, and the eventual resolution is straight up pulp stuff, but writer Guy Adams never really dialed in either side of his genre mash-up, and artist Jimmy Broxton’s base style is too plain to mix with all the after effects they added to noir it up.  An interesting effort, but it needs work and / or time to find its rhythm.

Gordon and Lawrence Rennie’s weird demonolgy kaiju 3riller concludes.  This was just way too much for a three parter, which isn’t to say it wasn’t well handled, I just can’t see this as a standalone, and it didn’t feel like one.  It’s ending gives us room for two awesome future shocks from superhero writer Rory McConville.

A bumper prog comes next…