Friday, 24 February 2012

2000AD is 35: Borag Thungg, Earthlets

Do not be scared, Tharg the Mighty has not used his infinite power to take over my blog.  Today 2000AD is 35 years old and it's time I saluted it's brilliance and role in inserting so much of the awesome that fills my head. When I was young the majority of American comics seemed to be square-jawed heroes with secret identities  who fought their former friends who had become evil after getting splashed with some acid. 2000AD provided a much harsher, thoughtful and interesting universe. So here is a guide to some of my favourite thrill-power.

Firstly, there's Tharg the Mighty( see above) who is the editor. Hyper Geek has a great summary of him.

Judge Dredd
Most people who've heard of 2000AD will associate Judge Dredd with it. Ignore Stallone's mostly terrible film, the comic is much more varied and interesting. I once read Dredd as described a s a two-dimensional one joke character but he's much more than that and the comic is as well. It's less about Dredd and more about Mega-City One, one of the richest Dystopias I've ever found. One that's full of the mad and the prophetic.

Dredd for most of the time is fairly shallow as he shoots and beats his way around the city. But some of the stories reveal much more depth. A Letter to Judge Dredd and America being to favourites that look at the power and weakness of democracy and the fascist police state that the Judge system is. America is particularly good as it doesn't fall into an easy "good vs. evil conflict" but makes both sides flawed.
I am the Law!

My particular favourite Dredd story is The Pit which shows you Dredd as you've never seen him before, behind a desk! Dredd's resentment at being moved from off the streets gives the story a lot more insight into his character.

The ABC Warriors
The ABC Warriors are a team of robots who set about spreading Khaos through the Termight Empire. They're interesting due to the diversity in the group, and the conflicts between them. The hatred of Blackblood for the  leader and warbot Hammerstein and the super-cool sniper Joe Pineapples; the way Mongrol and Mek-Quake fight just for the hell of it; Deadlock's fickleness and how it annoys the rest of them.

Deadlock - probably my favourite
ABC Warrior

What particularly appeals is that for the most part humans the enemy and the Warriors are trying to return the universe to a Khaotic state. The stories are a lot of fun.

What I find interesting is how my favourite warrior shifted over time. It started off as the patriotic and noble Hammerstein, flirted slightly with the coolness of Joe Pineapples and the cruelty of Blackblood before currently settling on Deadlock (though I still have a thing for Blackblood, I'm a baddie at heart).

My favourite story has to be The Black Hole.

Nikolai Dante
Nikolai is a thief and lover in a futuristic world where imperial Russia rules earth and an interstellar empire. Nikolai's life is turned upside down when he discovers he's the bastard son of one of the great families of Russia. But he takes most of it in his stride.

Nikolai Dante is much like
my earlier life
The universe is incredibly imaginative, from the technology, to the society to the aliens. Nikolai is a great character, flawed, loveable and incredibly annoying at the same time. It really is a great read.

Anyway, I could go on but my lunch hour draws to a close.

 I stopped reading 2000AD 10 years ago or so as I couldn't afford you. Maybe it's time to renew my subscription.

Here's to 2000AD, I hope there's another 35 years of thrill-power.