Review: 2000 AD - Prog 1946

Writer Kek-W (author of my sweet baby The Order) returns with the help of artist Dave Kendall to bring us the world of the Dark Judges and the result is a little too muddy. I'm obligated by the quality of "Enceladus: Old Life" to remind you that it is my favorite Dredd story to date and Flint's art is incredible.  I will talk about the series one final time at length after its conclusion, but for now let's talk about other stuff going on in the Progs.

Overall, I thought this issue was sort of uneven.  Dredd is as solid as it will ever be, but The Alienist is just too damn talky, the 3riller "Apocalypse Anonymous" lacks depth, and Grey Area continues to suffer (but is hopefully done suffering) from a nagging case of "get the hell on with it."

2000-AD-Prog-1946And then, there's the newest title on the scene: Dreams of Deadworld, an exploration of the alternate universe from which the popular (and super cool) Dark Judges hail.  Written by personal favorite Kek-W and drawn by very-rarely-in-the-Progs Dave Kendall, the premier of this series focuses on Judge Fire and his ascent, of sorts, to becoming a Dark Judge of note.

But Dave Kendall doesn't come off as much of a sequential artist here.  It sort of pains me to say that: the cover of this Prog, as well as the lead page of the story itself and some of its set pieces are gorgeous.  When put together to form a story, however, the whole thing feels too stiff for a comic.

The thing is, I want to get to know Deadworld.  The readers haven't been here at length.  Though each panel, especially the spreads, gives a sense of the horrors that weave the fabric of the world itself, I want details.  The aesthetic for each individual panel is certainly indicative of how writer and artist want to represent Deadword, but this seems far too compartmentalized.

To be fair, all of this is in line with recent incarnations of the Dark Judges and how they are presented in comic form; but, Deadworld strikes me as an opportunity to get away from the rigid narrative styling of an artist like Staples and explore the Dark Judges with some more kinetic cartooning.  I'd call this a quibble owing to personal taste, but I get the sense that the reader will really feel hand-cuffed by the narrative rigidity of this art style.

Score: 3/5

2000 AD – Prog 1946 Writers: Various Artists: Various Publisher: 2000 AD Price: £1.99 (Digital) £2.49 Release Date: 9/2/2015 Format: Weekly; Print/Digital