Wednesday, December 28, 2016
The classic British weekly comic 2000 AD is coming up on its 2000th weekly issue as I write this (months ago, I bought the 2000th prog and it's great!) and is still going strong. But today we'll take a quick glance at a last issue--something I don't see coming for the main title anytime soon! From 1990, 2000 A.D. Showcase #54, featuring stories by A. Ridgway and Alan Hebden, and art by Mike White and Massimo Belardinelli.
This was part of Fleetway/Quality's reprint series of British titles, primarily Judge Dredd stories; and there's even a Dredd two-pager this issue. (It's a bit of a groaner, but still.) The 2000 AD Presents was used to spotlight characters who then might go on to their own reprint title, like Judge Anderson or Dan Dare; or shorter-run features like D.R. & Quinch or Harry Twenty on the High Rock. (There was also a bit of numbering-rejiggering, per the GCD, not unlike a number of American comics!) This issue features the conclusion of the serial "Meltdown Man," which had been serialized since #26, about a man thrown via nuclear explosion into a future of animal-men versus men. There was also a chapter of Mean Arena, a long-running strip about the future sport "street football." Neither is especially well-known in America, but may still be recalled fondly by longtime 2000 AD fans.
Rarely see them mentioned anywhere, but I loved Fleetway/Quality's reprints: I started with Judge Dredd #7, and they introduced me to Rogue Trooper, Strontium Dog, the ABC Warriors, the Steel Claw, and more. This book is probably best remembered for reprinting Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell's Zenith, although that was just a short portion of its run.