2000AD Prog 258: Aliens+Robots+Future War+Future Sport+Big cash prizes When the going gets tough… The tough get going!

Another Belardinelli cover for the last episode of the current Ace Trucking Co, though also another composite cover using artwork from the episode itself (I guess it’s cheaper than commissioning the artist to draw a new picture).

The Dez Skinn / Steve Dillon half-page advert for Roar the Movie pushes the Nerve Centre into the other half page. I’ve not mentioned one aspect to these film comic adaptations – the text in them has been tiny, barely readable – like they’re designed for a much larger publication area. This one actually has text you can read without a magnifying glass.

Ace Trucking Co. The Great Mush Rush Part 8 by Grant Grover and Belardinelli. Ace, full of bravado, quickly gets overtaken by Jago Kain in the Yellow Snork and changes his tune, congratulating Jago on pretty much winning the race. Leaning back restfully in his seat, Ghost is confused (as is Jago, who starts having second thoughts about the ease with which Ace capitulated. Meanwhile, G-B-H has arrived at the crew-pits on the Yellow Snork and shorty after hits the command deck (figuratively and literally). The Yellow Snork out of action for the time being, Ace is free to win in his own time. Winning the lucrative mail contract will change the whole dynamic of this series. They won’t be taking one job after the other, some dodgy and with some element of risk attached, when they have such an easy source of income. Right? Wrong! Ace snatches defeat from the jaws of victory by hiring the perpetually unlucky Fatty Arkl to pilot a second ship in the Ace Trucking Co line. For the time being, however, things look rosy… If Ace ever gets turned into a supplement for a roleplaying game (and borrowing from the generic fantasy archetypes), I’d put G-B-H as the barbarian, Ace would have high piloting skills and also the highest charisma while Feek is some kind of gnome tinkerer.

The next page has a reader-submitted Cosmic Crossword. I treated this is a straight-forward quiz rather than write on my prog (or copy out the crossword and fill that in). There’s 39 questions and I got 38 answers correct. I can’t remember which one I got wrong, but it was probably “Judge Death was ____”. Answer at the end.

Tharg’s Future-Shocks: The Lanulos Run! by David Perry and Redono. The first of three Shocks from David Perry, all of which will be published within 1982 and are drawn by Redondo (inspiring a thought in my head – is this a pen-name for Jesus?) The first panel sets up that there’s an important mission. The second panel talks about the cargo being “the most precious commodity in the known universe”. By this point I’m thinking the cargo is going to be 2000AD progs. One panel later and the freighter is being attacked by Zragian cruisers, and I know that’s what the cargo is. This is seven pages long and by the end of the first page I already know how it’s going to end. That’s the length of two three-page Shocks, after the punchline has been heavily telegraphed. The tale of the journey is fair enough (and involves black holes / space warps, which just happen to deposit the now disintegrating ship above the destination planet), but it’s difficult to be unbiased when you’re just waiting for the reveal that you already know. Having said all that, there’s another Shock coming up in a year or so that has a similar punchline which I do still like – though the punchline is a little more subtly hinted at. Once I get to that point in my blog I’ll try to remember to link to it from here. Edit – I remembered. By the way – I’ve not managed to postively identify which prog they’ve delivered, but it looks a bit like Prog 208 to me.

Judge Dredd: Apocalypse War Part 14 by T.B. Grover and Carlos Ezquerra. Last prog focused on bringing down Dan Tanna Junction, this prog focuses on the Mega-City One judges escaping the area. This takes five action-packed pages and on the last page, Dredd covers off one remaining route through which the sov forces can access the rest of the city – city bottom. Thermal charges ignite, raisin the temperature of the city’s lowest level to 100,000 degrees, turning rockrete to liquid fire. You can already imagine what next week’s centrespread is going to look like – lots of yellow and red ink! I keep thinking that Judge Perrier is going to get a water-based pun at some point. I either missed it, it’s yet to come or it won’t happen…

2000AD has made the digital edition of the Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files Vol.5 free for download, to help Squaxx get through isolation as a result of Covid-19.

Rogue Trooper by Gerry Finley-Day and Colin Wilson. Morale was mentioned in the last story – specifically how good Rogue was for Souther morale. The Norts take on a different tack this prog as we focus on the war of propaganda. Instead of making radio broadcasts, they’re using sky-writing – though using lasers projecting messages on to the chem-clouds instead of sending up aircraft with smoke trails. This works on one squad of Southers who are encountered, mid-rout, by Rogue. He leads them back for an assault on the skywriter (looks like a large gun emplacement but with non-lethal lasers). Without too much fuss, the team wipes out the silo crew, Rogue and the biochips reprogram the message and by the time the Norts arrive the installation is booby-trapped to blow in what looks like a mini-nuclear explosion.

The second issue of the New Eagle gets a half-page ad, along with a Golden Eagle Badge. It’s not the only IPC comic with a free gift as Battle also gets a half-page ad – that one is a sticker album. Can’t say I remember having seen these stickers in the newsagents (though this was all a year before I started buying this range of comics – I was still on cartoony comics at that point).

The Mean Arena by Alan Ridgeway and Mike White. Tallon and war veteran Major Charles Lambden face off. Lambden has fought in a score of zonal wars. Taken literally this sounds like twenty local conflicts. Spookily, this prog would have come off the shelves on the same day that the Falklands War began! I wonder what the other nineteen wars are? Lambden dies (by accident) but before he falls to his death he reveals that a woman supplied him with the equipment to break in to the Slayer’s communications. Non-trivial injuries and deaths of players or non-players don’t stop the game and Tallon makes one more goal, breaking a stalemate and winning the match. All of this may have demolished areas of Reading, but as long as they won, that means the town is now their new home.

Robo-Hunter is back next week, in a large ad on the inside back cover (along with ads for subscriptionS, a comic mart and stamps).

Grailpage: I’m a bit wary of continually picking the centre pages, as the artist has a bit of an advantage in having more space to play with, but Carlos Ezquerra includes so much in three large panels this week – Dan Tanna Junction crashing down, two Sov Judges (good pics for potential cos-players) and then Dredd on a Lawmaster wielding a stub gun as the remaining judges in the area come under fire from rad-sweepers.

Grailquote: TB Grover, Sov-Judge Tolstoi: “Inform War-Marshal Kazan – we have failed!” Second Sov-Judge: “And spend the rest of my life in Siberia? You inform him!”

Jude Feedback Survey.

“Judge Death was Evil”.

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3 thoughts on “2000AD Prog 258: Aliens+Robots+Future War+Future Sport+Big cash prizes When the going gets tough… The tough get going!

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