2000AD Prog 277: Have YOU seen the mushroom men?

Carlos Ezquerra’s skill continues to blossom (well, mushrooms) into a cover featuring a Justice Department announcement over the body horror of being turned into a living fungus…

Tharg’s Nerve Centre questions the existence of one earthlet whose mum thinks all the letters are made up while D.J.1 hands out the prizes, including one copy of the Thunderbirds soundtrack which went to Wakefield Carter (now Wakefield Morys-Carter) former webmaster of 2000AD Online and behind Termight Replicas (including the 2000AD meeples launched soon after the 40th anniversary).

Sam Slade, Robo-Hunter: The Killing of Kidd Part 3 by Alan Grant and Ian Gibson. Probably because I’d read this before (though forgotten exactly how it ends) I’m assuming that the entire cast of the soap opera that Kidd is starring in are out to get him. I think the way we’re supposed to approach it as readers is as a simple whodunnit. Which of these suspects has hired hit droids to try to kill Kidd? An incident on the set heralds another suspect, Kidd’s understudy, who looks like Kidd, if Kidd was a full-grown adult man dressed as a baby. Meeting Kidd’s mother we get another suspect. Her body crushed in an accident, Kidd was left to organise the medical arrangements. Rather than splash out on a robotic body, the self-centred millionaire opted for the cheap option – to transplant her head on to the body of a gibbon. So, when Kidd starts to expand (like a balloon) after eating a trifle prepared by his mother it’s going to look like she’s responsible. In the meantime, Kidd is continuing to expand…

Rogue Trooper: All Hell on the Dix-I Front Part 12 by Gerry Finley-Day and Colin Wilson. Further flashbacks explain how Sister Sledge has been dealing death every time she’s tended to Souther troops in previous episodes (and isn’t just a bit rubbish as a nurse). Rogue paralysed, Gunnar unloaded and Bagman is acting all “kooky again”, emphasis on ‘acting. As predicted, Bagman uses his servo-arms to trip Sister Sledge, sending her in to the scum sea. Sister Sledge is now Sister Sludge (I’m not claiming credit for that pun, it’s one of the biochips). Rogue’s paralysis wears off just in time for the atmocraft that Sludge called before her death. Almost time for the G.I.s to leave Dix-I to the Norts, but first a visit to Nu Nuremberg to join in the Nort’s celebrations of their victory… p.s. the map now extends further into Greater Nordland.

The Mean Arena by Alan Ridgeway and Mike White has Tallon about to deliver the blow which will detonate the Vampire score-keeper’s secret bomb (so secret that neither of them know about it). Brazen, listening in to control (even though she isn’t officially taking place in this match) has heard Slater’s call to stop Tallon before he unwittingly kills himself, which she does. Then it’s time for Tallon to hunt down Eartha Trent / Earth-Mother / Mother Vlad to get some information on the other members of the Hexa Gang, though there’s a problem there – the Vampires aren’t too happy about having been set up to die to assassinate Tallon.

Judge Dredd: Fungus Part 3 by T.B. Grover and Carlos Ezquerra opens with McGruder’s public announcement to find the mushroom men – those eight homeless people from the wastes of Sector 1 infected with the aggressive fungus (later to be known as Grubb’s Disease). As you’d expect when there’s a virulent disease around, Justice Department are ruthless and impartial in containing it, Dredd using an incendiary on the last of the carriers at large as he’s on the verge of dying (and thus spreading the contamination). As for all of the second wave of carriers (some of whom willingly reported in following McGruder’s announcement) – they’re taken to a specially-erected isolation dome where they’re told, contrary to Justice Department’s previous promise, there is no cure and they’ll all die. But at least their names will be added to those who died so that the city may live. The message may have gone done very slightly better if she wasn’t wearing skull earrings when she said it. p.s. the roadliner (glorified bus) where one of the homeless carriers popped could carry over three hundred people.

Ace Trucking Co. Too Many Bams Part 5 by Grant Grover and Belardinelli. The earthquake continues resulting in the destruction of the plateau on which the bams and crew of the Speedo Ghost were taking. When the dust clears, G-B-H finds Ace and Chiefy (both buried just below the surface) without difficulty and sets about finding as many of the bams as possible. Accepting that their colonists are not wanted on this planet, the bams nevertheless opt to remain as it’s still better than the incredible overpopulation of their home planet. To beat the planet, they dance…

…and then the next two pages are given over to a Ro-Jaws’ 2000AD Film Review of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, the one which most agree is the best Star Trek film. I’m not one of those people – I prefer the only one of the original films which I saw at the cinema, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (the one with the humpback whales). In my exhaustive survey I went to two pop culture websites which both ranked II as the best, with IV as either second or third best (though one of those still said it could be a favourite without being best). Ro-Jaws “won’t spoil” the ending but gives enough away that he does…

…and then it’s back to Ace Trucking Co. and the bampots have multiplied multiple times. The colonists throw bampots at any problem, working out which plants are poisonous simply by getting taste-testers to eat them and noting who dies. There’s two types of bampot, by the way – those with generic cartoonish faces and those who look like they could be portraits (such as the Professor Max Challenger who looks like Massimo himself). I suspect two of the others look like Grant and Wagner from the early eighties, and that leads me to think most of the others are caricatures as well. That night a ghastly form rises from the fie as the flames issue a warning to all to leave this world or face death. Ace points out his truck is still bound to the planet by the touch metallic plants, to which the ghostly apparition responds that it has been freed and they are to leave now – all of them!

Nerve Centre Extra: Warped Circuits! this week has three pictures each of which combines two elements (a Gronk Thrill-Sucker, Rogue Tortoise and Judge G-B-H).

Grailpage: There’s a great view of Kidd’s penthouse apartment with a few Brit-cityscapes. And we get to meet Kidd’s mother – a human head on a gibbon’s body.

Grailquote: Alan Grant, Mother Kidd: “I woke up to find my head transplanted onto a gibbon!” Kidd: “You’re lucky you got the gibbon. The clinic was doin’ a special offer on tortoises that week”.

Feedback Survey.


One thought on “2000AD Prog 277: Have YOU seen the mushroom men?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s