This wraparound cover by Massimo Bellardinelli has, I think, a first for 2000AD – we’ve had nudity from the very first prog, but this one puts it on the cover, but for body paint. This was one of the posters / cover posters which adorned my wall as a child.
Tharg plugs both next prog’s free gift and the climax of Project Thrill-Power Unlimited in Prog 335 in this week’s Nerve Centre. An earthlet write in asking why droids Burt and Moore didn’t get paid for their contributions to the Nerve Centre in an earlier prog which gets short shrift from Tharg. Another asks where East-Meg One is. Tharg replies that it’s somewhere East of Mega-City One – or at least was.
Sláine: The Beast in the Broch Part 2. Being from the era when I was taking some of the posters and sticking them on my wall, I’ve scrawled the number of the prog on the first page of this story. While Ukko does the accounts (in ogham, I noticed) Sláine moans about how much he hates the idea of trapping people away from the sun and earth. Doing the rounds of prison he finds an old friend. Two years previously when Sláine was seventeen they were mercenaries together. Releasing the prisoner, the reminisce about the event on the cover – the battle of Dun Barc, which they fought naked (I’m sure it won’t be long before the term skyclad gets used). That night the friend goes back to his cell to walk free in the morning, but something gets to him first. Hi scream rouses Sláine and Ukko (well, Ukko gets roused by Sláine – the dwarf would have been quite content to stay put, using a pig for a pillow by the looks of it). They find the other prisoners, dying, drained of life and Sláine’s friend curses him with his dying breath. Following evil cackling laughter they descend to the depths – did I mention that chained cell before? I’m mentioning it now! Nudd, the huge trollish servant who came with the broch tries to dissuade them from opening the cell, and looks to take a swipe at Sláine while his back is turned.
We’re in the age of Return of the Jedi so the next page is an advert for a Chewbacca Bandolier (you put your Star Wars figures in the compartments, plus there’s two secret compartments).
Robo-Hunter: Sam Slade’s Last Case! Part 2 by Grant/Grover and Ian Gibson. I didn’t notice last week, but this series is not called Sam Slade Robo-Hunter now – it’s plain old Robo-Hunter. Once they’ve hijacked (kidnapped) Slade and got him on to his yacht, the real problem begins – they don’t know where the mysterious island of the evil Doctor Droid actually is. The tour the whole South Pacific Ocean, crossing off all the islands from North of New Zealand to the coast of South America. Incidentally the map of South America has some interesting features on it. The Cities of South America at the end of the 22nd century include Inca Cit (around Lima) and from what I can tell – the writing isn’t very clear – Salva Cit (Salvador), Qidcit (around Rio), Buena Cit (Buenos Aires) and Sancit (Santiago). While this is all going on Stogie is repeatedly keeping Slade sedated. As Stogie and Hoagy are about to give up the sea in front of them bubbles and an artificial island rises from the depths. Stogie shouts out a question – “ees thees the mysterious island of the evil Doctor Droid?” and gets a positive answer. Now it’s time to wake up Slade to fight the evil Doctor Droid but – cliffhanger – he cannot be roused!
2000AD Special Offer – somebody at IPC must have been busy arranging all these offers – this one is for binoculars.
Judge Dredd: Requiem for a Heavy-Weight Part 2 by T.B. Grover and Carlos Ezquerra. As I didn’t own the previous prog at the time this was my introduction to this story. A fake announcement leads to the residents of Frank Cannon Block storming the gates, killing two judges but allowing Charley Bruno to smuggle Arnold Stodgman out of the block. In a nice touch the narration says that thirty thousand residents were tricked by the announcement. Usually we’re told that blocks have sixty thousand residents, but the fat segregation blocks would appear to have half that amount – because they take up twice the space!
Tharg’s Future-Shocks: Look Before You Leap! by Alan Moore and Mike White. Pretty much wordless, this starts with an alien duck-equivalent being tricked by a duck-hunter wearing a fake bird on his head to lure them in. Going home through the woods he sees a female (not quite of his species). Rushing to her rescue it turns out she’s actually a disguised glove puppet on the arm of a large alien. Two pages, simple concept. A little bit like Brain Food from way back when.
Along with some competition winners the next page also has the latest ad for ‘2000AD Albums’ (what we know as Titan collections, but was sold by Forbidden Planet). There’s quite a collection now.
Rogue Trooper: Eye of the Traitor Part 6 by Gerry Finley-Day and Cam Kennedy. Last part and the TG manoeuvres Rogue next to the flesh disintegrator though forgets one thing… Setting it off, as the dust clears he sees a G.I. skeleton. Brass comes to check and for no discernible reason, Brass revealed to the Traitor General that they had hoped he would lose, only to find (along with the TG) that the G.I. is still alive. Flesh disintegrators were designed not to affect G.I.s – that’s why they used them! Taking Brass hostage, he eventually takes B&B’s craft though rips apart Brass’ air-pipe and Bland calls him by his first name, Morrie.
The inside back cover has a full page advert for the next prog, along with the free gift (which I’ll mention tomorrow – because I still have it).
Grailpage: Belardinelli’s detailed wraparound cover, showing the battle wins this week.
Grailquote: Pat Mills, Ukko: “How can we run a prison if you let the prisoners out?”