There is nothing like 2000 AD. When American comic companies try their hand at weekly installments they lack the punch and diversity that our British counterparts have been accomplishing for decades. While there have been attempts to go weekly, DC’s 52 for example, these titles often lack artistic scope, and the closest American offering that covers a wide array of storytelling and artistic style is that of Heavy Metal, but that book can only maintain a monthly schedule. There is no comic like 2000 AD.
While I have flirted with the idea of jumping headlong into the madness that is 2000 AD as a fan it has been the publication’s epic history and issue count that has made me keep my distance. I’m a little too set in my ways as an older fan to start a new collection that consist of 2000+ issues. But thanks to my editor Al, he turned me onto a great documentary about this comic company called “Future Shock: The Story of 2000 AD” and then there is the great podcast interview that the crew here at Comic Crusaders did with the legendary creator Pat Mills, that pushed me closer to taking the plunge. So here I am.
This is my first issue of 2000 AD. I’m only lagging behind by 2000 issues but I’m sure that I’ll catch up as I go along, but for my first outing I have to say that I was impressed. This title harkens back to those tawdry titles of Heavy Metal that I had to hide under my bed when I was a kid because God forbid my parents find out that I had peeked at an illustrated boob! Not that there was nudity in this issue, but the style and format took me back to my younger days when titles like this were edgy, and you shared them with your friends, knowing that they had never seen anything like it before.
The art is just as diverse as I had hoped; each installment carried its own brand and style, even without the text on the page you knew visually when a new segment had begun. This is not always the case with Marvel or DC offerings, which have begun to cultivate their own “house styles”. There was more than enough within these pages to satisfy. Art nerds take note. This will scratch that Pro and Indy itch you have.
The story telling ran the spectrum. Each installment had its own flavor, and the issue as a whole was a buffet of narrative. There were sparsely worded war stories, political thrillers, groovy hallucinations, and more action that you can shake an Abrams tank at.
Final Thoughts: The lads across the pond have been doing comics up right for years now. It is a wonder that this kind of quality finds its way to market every week! It left me happy, smiling, and wondering if America will ever be able to catch up in the great comic’s race.
Final Grade: 4 Stars
2000 AD #2003
Publisher: 2000 AD