Tea Time Thursday: 2000AD #1651

Published on September 3rd, 2009

Do excuse me, while I take a little more of a mainstream twist on this week’s Tea Time Thursday, as I intend to talk to you about something which I may well start reading weekly now. Now do not fret, to those of you who might be a bit worried when I just stated that this is ‘a little more of a mainstream twist’ , to Tea Time Thursday this week, as it is still a purely British comic that I’m talking about here. It’s British published, british created, it’s British through and through as far as I’m wholey aware. It is, the infamous and award winning, 2000AD magazine/comic strip!

Now, obviously, I say this is more of a mainstream publication in the comics industry, as it is perhaps more accesible to fans in other countries to get their hands on, and not to mention the Judge Dredd legacy that is frequently featured in at least one story in each issue of 2000AD, has certainly helped boost sales and the overallpopularity of this comiczine (as I like to call these magazine type comics).

Now, for those of you who don’t know, 2000AD is published in the UK every Wednesday and features 5 short stories that usually span over about 5 or 6 (maybe more sometimes) parts, and each story is continued in the next prog the following week. New story arcs about a wide range of various characters start all the time, so for example, this issue I got this week has 2 new stories that just started and are only on part 1, whereas the remaining 3 stories in here, are at something like part 2 or 3. This is something that made it specifically hard for me to jump in on this comiczine, the fact that I’d go to my store, and look to see if there were any new stories starting for me to sink my teeth into, but they would always all be half way through a story arc, thus deeming it a pointless time for me to have hopped onboard.

But luckily, this week’s issue (as I mentioned) marks the start of two new stories. One called Strontium Dog: The Mork Whisper, and another called Nikolai Dante: Lulu’s War (and I get the impression she is a reknowned character in 2000AD, as she features on the front cover also). So here I was blessed with the oppurtunity to dive right into this with 2 new stories at part 1 a peice!

I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed what I read from these two new stories. They were really very enjoyable! They were both very different mind, and I think that’s something that 2000AD gives you in its variety of stories, they are all grounded in Sci-fi from what I can tell, yet they are all so different in that they incorporate elements of fantasy at times, and other genres like adventure, espionage, horror, steampunk, the list goes on. Which is certainly something that appeals to me as a reader, in the sense that there is always something different to read!

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I want to focus this article on these two new stories that I read in here, as I didn’t bother to read the others as they were all pretty much halfway through their story arcs (although I noticed one was written by one of my favourite writers who is currently writing the cosmic line of books at Marvel; Dan Abnett, which also had great art!).

Firstly, Strontium Dog, now some of you reading this may know more (and probably do) about this character than I. His name is Mr. Alpha, and from what I can tell, he’s a hitman of sorts. And this story’s first chapter, shows you him being given his new assignment to find the genius child of a rich businessmen and war criminal, Mr. Galactic. At first, Alhpa refuses to accept the job, as this is not his field, in finding lost children. So he names his price for the job, and its a hefty amount. I think it’s obvious and goes without saying that Alpha eventually accepts the job and recruits a team of mutant misfits to help him search the galaxy for this man’s lost child. The dialouge of this story was what caught my eye, and I think that both writer; John Wagner, and artists; Carlos and Hector Ezquerra, did good jobs all round on this first chapter of this story. I get the impression that Mr. Alpha is a complete freakin’ badass, and I have a sneaking suspicion from his super cool attitude, that he’s a real expert in his game, and I want to keep reading to see what this guy is capable of!

The next story was a sort of Neo-Communist story (which also, will be a more familiar setting for the frequent readers of 2000AD no doubt), which I have to admit did confuse me a great deal. But regardless I enjoyed it, for it’s awesome characterization of this sexy, yet what would seem, deadly woman, named Lulu Romanov. I also really really enjoyed the idea of these cyber vampires, and their background in the history of the story. Once again, very well writen by Robbie Morrison, and as mentioned, yes it did confuse me a little, but I will keep reading, because I was hooked and want to know what will happen, also, I think that more about the plot will be explained as we move forward. The artwork from Paul Marshall, was excellent! And the colouring was awesome. No question’s asked, this was a very well put together story in terms of its art.

So for new readers to 2000AD, this seemed like an OK point to jump on, and it marks the start of two new stories which I both enjoyed and marvelled in. I think 2000AD is something that I will certainly come to love, I really like sci-fi stories as I’m a huge fan of Marvel’s cosmic comics, and the Halo franchise, to name but a portion of the sci-fi stuff I love. And this is a solid place for new readers to jump on I’d say, this is probably the best chance you’ll get anytime soon! I’m excited to read more next Wednesday when #1652 hits the shelves. Be sure to check out your comic store for this issue and try it out. I did, and I was rewarded for my adventurous behaviour! Priced at £1.90 an issue, you get real bang for your buck (er… pounds?)  here, so if you can get it, you don’t really have an excuse to not pick this up. Infact, if you don’t then I’ll summon my Iron Fist power, and hit you (if you follow the POW podcasts, you’ll get why I’m so powerful!).

To check out 2000AD online, simply go to www.2000ADonline.com!

Rob Andrews
Rob@comicimpact.com