2000 AD - issue 100

Here comes another post where I read a comic book of yesteryear. At the moment I’m reading a comic book from way back in February 1979, on the seventeenth. I read it for the first time back then, and I’m reading it again today. I write a lot about 2000 AD, it was a very formative experience for me, and I still read it today. I have a 2000 AD page where I link to all the issues I have talked about on this site. By the way, I found the scans of issue 100 of 2000 AD at Britishcomics.wordpress.com. Now let’s see if it holds up.

A Message from the Author

I write sci-fi novels that belong to a series called Dark Galaxy, which starts with Galaxy Dog:

What starts as an ordinary invasion of an alien planet brings to light an ancient archeological site of huge importance. A young man called Knave makes a life-changing discovery there and rises from a lowly position as an infantry trooper to become a player among the powers of the galaxy.

The entire series is available to buy from Amazon.

The cover of issue 100 is a bit of a dog’s dinner, with a series of adverts for what is to be found inside. This includes the classic four-part poster of Dredd crossing the Cursed Earth on his motorbike. Along with this cool poster there are two new additions to the lineup of stories in the comic. These are Sam Slade Robo-Hunter and Dan Dare, which are beloved stories, so this cover probably did its job of shifting copies off the racks.

Usually Judge Dredd is the first strip to be seen in any issue. Dredd is 2000 AD’s most popular character and it takes a lot to unseat him, but this week they know there is something special going on in one of the other stories, and so Dredd has been bumped. The honor of going first inside the comic book this week goes to Ro-Busters, and you only have to see the first full-page image of the story to understand why. It is a glorious drawing of two giant robots trying to bash each other’s brains out. The giant robot with the search light for a belly and Squirrel Girl teeth is Charlie, defending his run-down community from a gang of giant robots, the Terra-Meks who have been hired to smash the place to the ground and make way for new development.

That’s one of the Terra-Meks on the left, a particularly cool one called Tyranno-Mek, that is engaging Charlie in giant-robot, hand-to-hand combat. After two weeks of build up, this first battle is over in just one page. I can’t help but feel a little disappointed, I mean Marvel would have drawn that fight out to a few pages at least. The finishing move is great though, along with Charlie completely going out of character in his kill frenzy.

Next he must fight Fantas-Tek, and we get a hugely accomplished panel showing their combat, with Charlie wrangling him like a cowboy wrangles a steer. The tiny humans in the foreground are running for their lives, completely unable to influence the elemental confrontation happening at the heart of their town.

He soon wins the combat with Fantas-Tek, and the businessmen behind the destruction of the town are up to their stereotypical business shenanigans. Their plans to redevelop the town are going to hell, and they need to cover their asses. The whole mess has been their fault, but they want to put the blame on Charlie.

In silhouette behind Charlie, in the background of the businessmen’s conversation we can see Charlie’s next opponent looming. This is King Konka, and Charlie grabs a motorway support to use as a weapon. In just two panels, King Konka is destroyed and the giant robot fight is over. It was sweet, and I just wish it could have lasted longer. The story will continue next week, as the poor giant robot defender of Northpool is framed for the destruction of the town.

Judge Dredd has only been demoted to second spot, which means it comes right after Ro-Busters, and it is again drawn by Mike McMahon. His art is gorgeous, like drawings of sculptures of black glass. His crowd scenes are lush and detailed and chaotic. This scene of a futuristic vehicle floating through the darkness is also beautiful, especially the reflections on the water.

Then comes one of those new stories, Robo-Hunter, which was a popular strip in 2000AD. I must admit I never really got into it. It very often resorts to sexism and racism in forlorn attempts at humor, but this one is innocuous. I know that is feint praise for a comic strip, but that’s where we are with Robo-Hunter.

Dan Dare is much more interesting. It is drawn by Dave Gibbons, the same artists as did this week’s classic Ro-Busters, with its giant battling robots. The start of the story is very intriguing as we are introduced to Dan Dare floating around in outer space. It is an absolutely iconic image that I remember gazing at, and which has stuck with me through the years, just as much as the giant robot battle in the first story.

I also clipped out the four parts of the poster, with part one coming in this issue, and put them together with wallpaper paste that my dad gave me. It was absolutely not the right glue for the cheap newsprint 2000 AD is printed on, and I ended up with a very wrinkly poster. I didn’t care though, I loved it anyway. This is an absolute classic issue of 2000 AD, and very worthy as issue 100.

To end, just a reminder that the best way to support this blog is to buy one of my books. Simply go over to Amazon, or Kobo and get one.