We're just about halfway through the current 'season' of stories in 2000AD, and it's about now that series begin to hit their highest notes, as they finish off for fill-ins and alternatives until the next relaunch.
Judge Dredd hits episode six of The Satanist by John Wagner and Charlie Adlard, and the big D has finally found his missing niece - but she has been brainwashed by (seemingly) a demon...she's about the sacrifice a vast force for good (i.e. Dredd) to summon a vast force for evil. Mysticism doesn't work for me in the context of Dredd's world, it should be technology that rules the roost - of course, Rennie might yet pull a rabbit out of his hat, but it's getting a little late for that. At least the cliffhanger is exciting, there's a real sense of peril for Dredd. Adlard was presumably selected for this story thanks to his X-Files background - this story treads much the same territory. Cliffhanger aside, this is remarkably average.
Slaine hits the last part of the Golamh storyline, by Mills and Langley, and it's finally war between the tribes of the Earth Goddess, and the invading sea-demon controlled Atlanteans. The best part of this story is the promise implied for future installments, as Slaine realises that even winning this war won't be the end of it, there will always be another invasion, and then another, unless he - sends all his tribe to heaven? Kills everything else in the world? Relocates the tribes to an alternate dimension or something, where no-one wil be able to find them? I'm more interested in that plotline than another set of big fights.
Leviathan hits part five - think the Titanic movies crossed with the Bermuda Triangle crossed with murders. Ian Edginton provides a derivative script (a number of SF stories on the same concept spring to mind) whilst D'Israeli's art is well-toned to compensate for being black-and-white,and doesn't suffer from strange character outlines seen in previous episodes. Promising beginnings (murder on an out-of-control spaceship) have been reduced to bog-standard Alien/Event Horizon material.
Strontium Dog rounds off the issue, with part six of Wagner and Ezquerra's The Tax Dodge seeing the plot revealed - the bad guys are after a pair of soiled, ancient, holy ... and holey ... underpants. And they're using a tourette's parrot-like bird to get them. Meanwhile Johnny Alpha is handcuffed to his own personal tax inspector, and has to sort this whole mess out. Maus this ain't, but a lot of fun it is - best strip in the comic.
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