Oli Davis reviews 2000AD Prog 1941…
Borag Thungg, Earthlets.
Absalom gets the front cover treatment this week. Tiernen Trevallion’s work on it is terrific; few draw creases as well as him. Look at the left arm of the nearest police officer in the strip’s second panel. The air stinks of decay.
There’s something definitive about the way Harry offers Daniel (a teenage demon slayer) a chip on that front cover. It summarises this week’s episode rather neatly: Absalom convinces Daniel to help him rescue his grandchildren over a lakeside chat. It’s a remarkably subtle scene, even with the eventual S.W.A.T. team ambush. Absalom has easily become one of Gordon Rennie’s best strips. 8.5/10.
Helium, however, has shifted into Ian Edginton’s steam/clockworkpunk autopilot gear. The initial story had unique promise – a world driven into the mountains by poisonous fog, pirates taking down airships, a bullheaded local sheriff. Now, in Part 8, there’s an aerial dog fight scene that could’ve been lifted directly from Edginton’s Brass Sun. D’Israeli’s art is, as always, sublime, but the story now lacks originality. 6/10.
Outlier’s Dark Symmetry story continues with a slight uplift from the previous weeks, with Caul and Carcer planning the heist of a Hurde ship – though that ‘uplift’ might just be from knowing the strip is coming to an end. The character beats feel throwaway, even if the story is picking up steam. 5/10.
Character beats are Jaegir’s speciality. Rennie manages to drum at least one in each line. Kaitlen’s father is the most prominent. Her inner monologue always wonders what he’d think of her. It’s rarely anything good. This week, the games are finished and the Kashans finally reveal their horrid experiments. Kaitlen and her team are captured for the cliffhanger. A superb continuing series. 7/10.
2000AD Prog 1941’s Scrotnig Story of the Week
Creative dream team Rob Williams and Henry Flint enter Part 2 of their Judge Dredd story Enceladus: Old Lift. Flint’s Mega City One is claustraphobic and simply coloured. Warning rooms are bathed in red. Outside is frozen in white ice. Walls are crammed with lines and wires, or crumples of sleet. Armoured limbs and helmets pack inside spaces. What’s most striking, oddly, is Special Judge Gerhart’s gloves on the final page – a green dazzingly bright. The shade seems taken from 80s Transformers. Williams’ tale of ice-powered revenge matches Flint’s work with both character and intrigue. But Dredd is on the case. “Dark Judges. Sisters of Death…” he lists to the control room. “Impossible’s just anouther way of saying ‘lack of available evidence.'” Fantastic. 9/10.
OVERALL RATING – 7.1/10