I am often asked about good 2000 AD stories from the past that will help a curious consumer to get a good feel for the magazine. In the past, I would come up with various episodes that typically included Judge Dredd and Rogue Trooper, two of my favorites of all time. These were the stories that I cut my comic reading teeth on back in the 1980s and they carry a special place with me in my heart. I highly recommend them all. But now, here in the 2010s (well past the old 2000 AD date), when asked about good stories, I enthusiastically refer people to the awesome people at IDW who have been releasing “Classic” issues of both Judge Dredd and Rogue Trooper. All the stories are as they originally appeared with just a splash of new color added that makes these super future tales of yesteryear pop with fluid action, sound story, and magnificent artwork. Plus, you don’t have to go digging down the ancient bin at the comic store or find some electronic copy that will pale in comparison to the new reissues. They are great.
Rogue Trooper Classics have been going strong for five issues now and they have taken these episodes in order which has allowed the reader to follow the continuum from the beginning allowing old readers (like myself) opportunity to have a pleasant vintage moment. And at the same time, allowing new readers to get the full treatment of the experience from the beginning. It is win/win and well worth the minimal investment of money which is way lower than original prints from back in the day would cost.
With Issue 5, we follow Rogue and his adventures with disk/buddy malfunctions (that could be costly), marauding desert raiders on stammels, opportunistic body looters, infiltrated ambushes, and dare I say, a slight love interest for our boy who is blue. At least Rogue’s three fallen comrades are pleased that a female is present in this issue.
Creator and writer Gerry Finley-Day in these episodes begins to evolve Rogue as we are beginning to break away from his primary search for the traitor who sold he and his fellow GIs (Genetic Infantry) out during the Quartz Zone Massacre. Within these episodes, Rogue is beginning to deal with other issues and obstacles on Nu Earth. It makes for some quality reading and Finley-Day still delivers.
Art wise, these issues have a slew of talent featuring the likes of Brett Ewing, Cam Kennedy, and Colin Wilson who is my personal favorite after original Rogue artist Dave Gibbons. Gibbons isn’t featured on these episodes, but Ewing, Wilson, and Kennedy more than deliver in their renderings. The stammels are great.
Not a whole lot of bad I can say about Rogue Trooper Classics. Nu Earth may house a toxic and deadly environment, but the stories here are nothing but excellent and smooth, some of the best writing both back then and even through today. It is super reading for a life long fan or a Nu earth novice.
Writer: Gerry Finley-Day Artists: Brett Ewing, Cam Kennedy and Colin Wilson Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 10/1/14 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital