This quote taken from the comic's Betelgeusian alien editor, Tharg the Mighty One, in the editorial of issue #2000 sums up why the comic has endured. "How has my illustrious organ managed to keep going for so long, in an industry marked by multiple reboots and retcons? Because we all - I, my meks, and you, my Squaxx dek Thargo - believe in it. We invest in it. And we know that 2000AD and its spirit of independence and rebellion, and all that it represents, is too important to lose."
Issue #2000 comes with a bigger page count than normal and contains six new stories featuring many old favourites and one brand new series. Each story is preceded by a one page introduction from Tharg, printed in black and white and illustrated by different artists. First up is the comic's greatest hero, and longest lasting character - Judge Dredd. This one-off story gets the comic off to a great start with artwork by the brilliant Carlos Ezquerra, an introduction from the legendary artist, Brian Bolland and script by John Wagner. The story sees Judge Dredd once again teaming up with Johnny Alpha in a time-travelling adventure that is a load of fun. (If you're reading this, Simon, Johnny Alpha is back from the dead!)
Nemesis the Warlock was always another favourite of mine but in this one-off story I found both the artwork by Kevin O'Neill and story by Pat Mills to be rather lacklustre. This was my least favourite story of the comic.
Next up, comes another return of an old favourite - Rogue Trooper. Scripted by Gordon Rennie with artwork by Richard Elson, this was a nice reminder of why Rogue was so popular, although the story goes over far too quickly and we don't see enough of Rogue himself.
The next story, Psi Judge Anderson, features stunning artwork by David Roach and an excellent script by Alan Grant. Anderson's long time nemesis, Judge Death, returns to haunt her once more. This was my favourite story in the comic although, Judge Dredd comes a close second.
Next up is the return of Downlode's lovable hit-men duo, Finnigan Sinister and Ramone Dexter. The story, scripted by Dan Abnett and drawn by Mark Sexton, sets up the next arc of their ongoing adventures and made me wishing for more. I have always been a fan of the Sinister Dexter stories.
Finally, is the comic's one totally new series - Counterfeit Girl. This cyberpunk yarn was written by Peter Milligan and artwork was assigned to Rufus Dayglo. The basic premise of the story is to do with identity theft and it certainly gets off to a promising start.
All this, plus a free poster, drawn by Cliff Robinson, showing many of the comic's favourite characters, makes this a must have edition. 2000AD goes from strength to strength and shows no sign of ever stopping. Long may it continue, I say. It is certainly far superior to anything produced by the big name American publishers like Dark Horse, DC, Image or Marvel. It is such a shame it isn't more popular in the U.S.A.
Anyway, to help celebrate this landmark event I want to offer a prize giveaway. To be in with a chance of winning, simply leave a comment stating what you like the most about the comic. Make your answer as long or as short as you want - amusing or serious. I'll announce the name of the winner in my next Monthly Musings post on Halloween (Monday 31st of October). So what's the prize? It's a bundle of 28mm scale 2000AD figures.
Finally, I'll add a selection of 8 Indy Heroclix 2000AD characters (Judge Dredd, Judge Hershey, Judge Fear, Judge Fire, Judge Mortis, a Brit-City Judge, Johnny Alpha and Torquemada). Please note that the metal figures are all unpainted and the Heroclix figures have their basic paint jobs. I may well add a few other figures to the mix before announcing the winner. Best of luck!