2000AD Prog 340: The Siege of Ydrasill Castle

I don’t remember seeing a Kevin O’Neill wraparound cover before now – this one has Nemesis facing the massed ranks of Terminators at the… well, it’s in the title of this blog post. For some reason I didn’t buy this prog when it first came out, so it took me some time to find out how the cliffhangers for some of last prog’s stories turned out.

Tharg’s Nerve Centre as an earthlet ask why letters from aliens don’t appear in the Nerve Centre (despite prices of other planets appearing on the cover) – haven’t we had this question before? They have alien editions (though that doesn’t explain why their prices are on earth copies).

Judge Dredd: The Graveyard Shift – Part 6 by T.B. Grover and Ron Smith. Dredd is upside-down so his speech bubble is also upside-down as he reaches for a pedway rail. Half an hour later, having received robo-doc attention, Dredd is back on patrol when he gets the call to get involved with a case involving multiple bags of left hands being discovered. While he’s on his way there we get an update on other incidents throughout the city – mutant insurgences, a crash at the spaceport, an escaping alien is munching its way through mega-citizens. I’m not saying this is a crossover with Nemesis the Warlock, but the alien escaped from the Netherworlds Exhibition, and Nemesis hails from the Nether Worlds. The first half of the graveyard shift has been dominated by the block war, the rest will be dominated by the Lefty killer.

An advert and a repeat I think, but it’s not particularly notable so I can’t remember (it was for a game called Raiders of the South Seas).

Sláine: The Bride of Crom – 5 by Pat Mills and Massimo Belardinelli. The escape attempt begins once Blind Bran rouses the other prisoners to rise up before they die. As the wickerman is set alight the fight begins. While the other prisoners are busy with the skull-swords and the badb (drunesses) Sláine climbs up a tree trunk to the head of the wickerman though after reaching the dreaming Medb the trunk falls away due to the weight of other prisoners using it (Massimo makes another cameo, peeking out from the wickerman). I did buy the next prog when it came out, so I know the scene that this sets up – Sláine trapped atop the wickerman as the flames lick at him. It’s tempting to think I could guess how Sláine will get out of this situation, but the presence of the next prog tag means I don’t have to “Sláine the warped”.

Nemesis the Warlock Book III by Pat Mills and Kevin O’Neill has Nemesis arrive at Castle Ydrasill and get shown around by Musurphus, court wizard – I’m not sure if we’ll see any more of the court itself. We’re told a few things about basilisks, they petrify to stone when they die and the greatest basilisk of all time was Fangnar, whose stone remains are worshipped. Basilisks are also susceptible to the powers of Excessus, the Sword Sinister. Nemesis goes to meet the latest assault by Mek-Quake and the other ancient robots who have been converted to siege engines.

Strontium Dog: The Moses Incident – Part 6 by Alan Grant and Carlos Ezquerra. Standard shots from their blasters don’t help much against the zombies, but hand-to-hand weapons (der happy stick and Alpha’s electro-nux) have more success, as does the number 3 cartridge (similar to the lawgiver’s incendiary). Wulf hooks a burning corpse on the other end of his happy stick and uses it to ward off the remaining zombies. A number 4 cartridge (looks like high explosive) takes care of the prison gate and a mini-flashback introduces us to the zombie sentries lining the corridors of the prison.

Grandstand are pushing another game – Firefox F-7, which looks a bit like a more colourful version of Space Invaders.

More adverts – School Fun is on No 3 now (plus another advert to do with sports).

Rogue Trooper: From Hell to Eternity – Part 6 by Gerry Finley-Day and Brett Ewins. The final Nort resistance to the Souther Navy (who offered them the chance to surrender) has images looking rather similar to Colin Wilson atmocraft and Dave Gibbons missile launchers. Venus pleads with Rogue not to tell the Southers of the murders she carried out, the winning argument being that it would be the end of the G.I.s. Though as the Southers land Venus is nowhere to be seen. The Navy Admiral is happy – more than happy – to escort Rogue to the mainland, along with full rations and fresh ammunition. From there Rogue sees a flash on the horizon from a mushroom cloud as Caliban is the subject of a test of new Souther weapons. Though we don’t see what happened to Venus, so presumably she snuck aboard one of the Souther ships. Which I only say as I know there’s a sequel series for Venus – we won’t see her again in the pages of Rogue Trooper (caveats apply).

Adverts for the next prog, the Forbidden Planet / Titan Books edition of Judge Child Book Two and Battle Action Force showing a John Cooper cover.

Grailpage: Ron Smith – a page showing Dredd taking (what looks like) a judge-only lane over the Mega-City on his way to Sector 93.

Grailquote: TB Grover, Judge: “Reckon you’ve got a dislocated shoulder!” Judge Dredd: “Tell me something I don’t know!” also Robo-doc: “Go easy on it for the next couple of days, though.” Judge Dredd: “Go easy? In this city?” Over in the Drunemeton – Pat Mills, Tamun the Stump: “Scared to die are you? Hi! Hi!” Sláine: “I’m not afraid of dying, but I like living better.” Ukko: “And me!” And finally Gerry Finley-Day, Souther sailor: “Er, you do know this man is a deserter, Admiral?” Souther Admiral: “That’s army not navy business, son. Give the G.I. a lift to the mainland and anything else he needs.”

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