The June Blogs – 2000AD Prog 2336

2000AD‘s Regened issues are always a good time, opening the series up to All Ages. This issue is no exception and its four stories are all great fun, regardless of age.

Animal Instincts’ kicks things off from Liam Johnson, with Neill Cameron on art and Annie Parkhouse on letters. Parkhouse has the toughest job here, differentiating Joe and Rico Dredd and she does so brilliantly. Cameron’s friendly tyle is a great fit too and gives the story a deceptively rounded edge. Johnson’s script has real teeth that are sharpened further by the art, following Joe and Rico through a case that throws adolescent rivalry into the weird science mix. It’s fun and smart, and lets Dredd be clever in a way he sometimes isn’t allowed to be. There’s a killer sting too that ties the story into the tragedy of what we know is coming.

‘Lowborn High: Buried Secrets’ is up next and David Barnett, Mike Walters, Pippa Bowland and Jim Campbell draw their line in the sand from page one. Ali, in a bathroom of muted colours that anyone who grew up in the North will recognise, puts on makeup and instantly feels right. His dad comes in to confront him and…the story throws you over its shoulder with grace and a wink. Lowborn High is a series about the magical teenagers who don’t make it to the top school. It’s Dark Season by way of Luke Kirby and it’s great fun. This story is no exception, and Walters’ art is great all the way through, grounded and expressive with subtle pops of colour from Bowland. Campbell handles the big cast well and Barnett’s script does three things at once and all of them well. This is my first visit to Lowborn. I’m not planning on it being my last.

Old friend Geoffrey D. Wessel makes his 2000AD debut next with ‘Tempus Fugitives’, a Future Shock illustrated by Zander Cannon, it’s the story of the Alvarado family. The Alvarados are refugees from the future and as the story unfolds we find out what they’re running from and why. It’s lovely, simple and precise and elegant storytelling that has a heart a mile wide and a very clear gaze. It’s not a usual Future Shock in formt but in tone its the platonic ideal of the series; surprising the reader, telling a complete story, showing us a different future. And in this case, hope.

Another old friend, John Reppion, closes the issue out with ‘Finder & Keeper: The Substitute’. Davide Tinto’s art has a similar feel to Cannon’s, friendly and rounded and Gary Caldwell’s colours give the story a neat mix of cheerful and sinister. Simon Bowland on letters excels, as the story follows Meera and Elliot, reluctant ghost hunters. Much like ‘Tempus Fugitives’ this turns expectations on their heads and manages to tell a very different story in a familiar space. It’s a great close out and a series that clearly has places to go.

This is another great Regened special and every story here is worth your time and open to everyone. It’s available now.

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