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Great British Comic Book Characters Presents: 2000AD Prog #2000

2000

Borag Thungg fellow Squaxx Dek Thargo, and welcome back to another instalment of ‘Great British Comic Book Characters’  Precinct1313’s episodic delve into the UK’s biggest selling and highly influential weekly anthology comic: 2000AD. And today’s episode marks a massive milestone for the ‘Galaxy’s Greatest Comic’ with the release of it’s 2000th issue!

The iconic British comic book has been administering thrill power to the masses since it was first introduced in 1977. It has been responsible for unleashing such seminal characters as Nemesis the Warlock, Zenith, Rogue Trooper, Slaine, Strontium Dog, and of course, it’s most important and popular persona, the grim lawman of the future, Judge Dredd.

dredd-edited-1The weekly anthology not only became the biggest selling British comic in the UK’s history (and still is today) but also helped thrust into the limelight some of the greatest British writers and artists in comic book lore, such luminary delights as Pat Mills, Alan Moore, Simon Bisley, Alan Grant, Brian Bolland and Grant Morrison. These outstanding talents have gone on to be responsible for some of the most legendary works in comics with titles including, Batman: The Killing Joke, Watchmen, V for Vendetta, Swamp Thing and many, many more.

Celebrating a monumental 2000 issues, today is the most important day in British comic-book history as the illustrious issue hits the UK newsstands. Prog #2000 begins with an illustrated introduction from some of 2000AD’s most famed creators, and Quaxxan native – Tharg the Mighty, 2000AD’s alien editor, acts as our virtual tour guide across the stunning stripsAs we dive into the grandiose comic, we are delighted to see the return of some of the original Scrotnig stalwarts, especially two of Dredd’s creators John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra who present us with an extra special anniversary story depicting Mega City’s most feared Judge, who teams up up with renowned Strontium Dog himself Johnny Alpha.

2000-13

Other delights include, the return of Pat Mills and Kevin O’ Neill to Nemesis the Warlock, and an especially Zarjaz tale featuring PSI Judge Anderson (my personal favourite 2000AD character) brought to you by legendary scribe Alan Grant, with exceptional visuals by the extremely talented David Roach. The Prog (2000AD and British’ism for issue, fact fans) ships with three different covers, and is a complete and utter steal at a mere £3.99.

2000ad

Three Monumental Covers To Help Celebrate A Majestic Milestone

The irreverent satirical humour, anti-establishment rhetoric, and dystopian outlook are all present and correct, as they always have been since this momentous comic’s first appearance. Mixed in with stunning art and classic creators, this is a fitting tribute to one of the world’s most iconic and groundbreaking works of fiction, ‘Florix Grabundae’  to Tharg the Mighty, founder Pat Mills, and the cadre of creators that have given us, humble British comic book fans, such delightfully satirical entertainment over the years. Splundig Vur Thrigg’ fellow Squaxx Dek Thargo’

tharg

Tharg’s Catchphrase Dictionary…

Tharg the Mighty has not only brought fantastic characters and thrill-power to the comic-book masses over the years, but also his own dialect. So to induct those Terrans who have never spoken Quaxxiann, we proffer a list of his most widely utilised phrases and their Terran translations.

Borag Thungg Earthlet” – Greetings Human.

“Zarjaz” – Excellent.

“Krill Tro Thargo” – Honoured By Tharg.

“Florix Grabundae” – Many Thanks.

“Nonscrot” – Someone Who Doesn’t Read 2000AD.

“Scrotnig” – Exciting/Amazing.

“Squaxx Dek Thargo” – Friend Of Tharg.

“Splundig Vur Thrigg” – Goodbye.

 

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Classic Wonder Woman: Wonder Woman (Vol 2) #150

Copyright: DC Comics

Copyright: DC Comics

The antediluvian Amazon archives opens its ancient gateway once again for another instalment of “Classic Wonder Woman” Precinct1313’s weekly comic cover countdown to the 75th anniversary of Diana of Themyscira. This week we present to you; Wonder Woman (volume 2) #150. Written by: Eric Luke. Cover art by: Adam Hughes. Interior art by: Matthew Clark. Released in November 1999.

This weeks episode heralds yet another stunning illustration from the astonishing Adam Hughes, this is actually my second favourite WW cover of all time (due to this classic Bolland cover being my overall fave.) And like the Bolland cover, Adam Hughes artwork was so popular amongst the fans that it was turned into a rather marvellous statue, part of DC’s extremely popular Covergirls series of sculpts.

CG WW

This oversized anniversary issue is titled “Godwar: Conquest” and finds our titular heroine and her council of war, Zeus, Rama and Hanuman preparing battle plans to confront the nefarious forces of Kronos (Cronus) as he and his chosen pantheon assault the gates of heaven. As Kronos puts angels to the sword, it is up to Wonder Woman and her team of Greek and Hindu gods to stop the slaughter, and put to an end Kronos‘ plan of deadly ascension.

Join us again next week for another classic WW cover, my admirable Amazonian associates! 

Classic Wonder Woman: Wonder Woman (Vol 2) #100

(Copyright: DC Comics)

(Copyright: DC Comics)

Welcome once more my Themysciran sisters and brothers to another instalment of Classic Wonder Woman, Precinct1313’s weekly comic cover countdown to the 75th anniversary of the awesome Amazon. This week we delve into the Amazon archives to bring you; Wonder Woman (vol-2) #100, written by William Messner-Loebs, with cover art by Brian Bolland and interior art by Mike Deodato Jr. Released in August 1995.

And we celebrate yet another centennial issue as Volume 2 of the Themysciran Princess’ adventures in Man’s world reaches issue #100. Available in both a standard version and a deluxe Holo-Foil variant edition, and fronted once more by an outstanding Brian Bolland illustration, the titanic tale secreted behind this stunning cover is titled ‘Blank Madness.’

ww #100

Diana regains her role as Wonder Woman after losing her right to be the Amazon herald through an ancient Themysciran competition of strength and wits, which her estranged Amazon sister Artemis won, and briefly becomes Themyscira’s chosen advocate to Man’s world. Artemis’ last stand as Wonder Woman depicts her in a colossal struggle against a horde of hell-spawned demons and Diana’s arch-enemy, the malevolent Cheetah. Artemis ultimately succumbs to the overwhelming odds and falls valiantly in battle, dying a heroes death, which is a noble distinction amongst the Amazons.

Join us again next week for another classic WW cover, my adventurous Amazonian associates!

Classic Wonder Woman: Wonder Woman (Vol 2) #91

(Copyright: DC Comics)

(Copyright: DC Comics)

Greetings fellow fans of the amazing Amazon, and welcome back once more to “Classic Wonder Woman” Precinct1313’s weekly comic cover countdown to the 75th anniversary of Diana Prince. Fresh from our dive into the Amazon archives, we surface this week with “Wonder Woman (volume 2) #91.” Written by: William Messner-Loebs. Interior art by: Mike Deodato Jr. Cover art by: Brian Bolland. Released in November 1994.

The tantalising tale hidden behind the remarkable Bolland cover is called “Immortal Combat” and is the third part of a five part mini-series entitled “The Contest.” 

ww the contest dp

After discovering that malevolent Witch-Goddess Circe was responsible for the disappearance of her paradise home of Themyscira, Diana forces her to to return the island and her Amazon sisters. Upon returning to the island, she discovers the buildings therein have been demolished and is promptly shot at with an arrow from a mysterious assailant. When Diana finally locates her sister Amazons, she is regaled with the story of what happened during Themyscira’s disappearance.

The island was assaulted by the Amazons of Bana-Mighdall, and a massive tribal war broke out between the two Amazonian factions, during the altercation Circe appeared before the Amazons to reveal that she was responsible for the contention and she brought the dissenting Amazons tribes together so she could destroy them. Circe transports Themyscira to a demonic dimension, and the warring Amazon tribes put aside their differences to fight against this new threat. Though Themyscira had seemed to be gone for only a few short months, time differentiation in the demonic realm meant that the Amazons fought their war against Circe for close to a decade.

WW the contest 3

Diana embraces her Mother, Queen Hippolyta jubilant to see her unharmed from the conflict, but Hippolyta’s manner seems remote and distant, asking her daughter how her mission to man’s world is progressing, she becomes hostile when Diana tells her that progress has been slow. Angry at her daughters inability as Amazon herald, she orders a new contest be held to determine whether another Amazon is more capable of the appointment. Artemis of the Bana-Mighdall Amazons steps forth to announce her intention of becoming the new herald, though Hippolyta initially refuses any member of the splinter group of Amazons take part in the ancient tradition.

Join us again next week for another classic WW cover, my achaean Amazonian associates!

Classic Wonder Woman: Wonder Woman (Vol 2) #72

(Copyright-DC Comics)

(Copyright-DC Comics)

Welcome back my Amazon loving affiliates to Classic Wonder Woman, Precinct1313’s weekly comic cover countdown to the 75th anniversary of Themyscira’s favourite daughter. The Amazon archives this week present you with: Wonder Woman (vol 2) #72, Written by; William Messner-Loebs, Cover by; Brian Bolland, with Interior art by; Lee Moder and Ande Parks. Released in March 1993.

The titanic tale secreted behind this weeks astounding cover is titled “The Song Of Creation.”  The issue begins with Diana recounting the origin of the Amazon race to her human friends after a mysterious year long absence. Diana is concerned that whilst she has been away nothing has been heard of her home of Themyscira or her sister Amazons. Upon discovering that the Amazon Embassy has been mysteriously abandoned, Diana travels to Themyscira to find Steve Trevor’s plane resting on the ocean surface just outside the cloud barrier that hides her paradise home from the outside world, but when Diana flies through the barrier she finds… nothing, the island and her Amazon sisters have disappeared!

Brian Bolland's iconic run on WW covers in the 90's is still revered by fans today.

Brian Bolland’s iconic run on WW covers in the 90’s is still revered by fans today.

This is actually my favourite WW cover of all time, I am a massive fan of the cover artist Brian Bolland and actually have two copies of every WW cover he has ever produced (one for the collection, one for framing.) This cover is lauded by fans, and was so popular that DC produced a statue based upon Bolland’s iconic illustration.

WW statue

Join us again next week for another classic WW cover, my adroit Amazonian associates!

Classic Wonder Woman: Wonder Woman (Volume 2) #50

(Copyright-DC Comics)

(Copyright-DC Comics)

Welcome back to another instalment of Classic Wonder Woman, Precinct1313’s weekly comic-cover countdown to the 75th anniversary of the world’s foremost female Superhero. This week we delve into the Amazon archive to bring you; Wonder Woman (vol-2) #50. Written by George Perez, with cover art by George Perez, and interior art by various artists including Brian Bolland and Adam Hughes. Released in January 1991.

This weeks titanic tale is titled “Embrace The Dawn”  and follows Queen Hippolyta and the Amazons as they make preparations to journey to Man’s world for the first time. Queen Hippolyta prays to the Gods as Menalippe performs a ceremony to bless the Amazons who are about to reveal themselves to the world outside of Themyscira. In New York, Hermes opens a portal for the Amazons to traverse, led by Hippolyta the Amazons step unto Man’s world for the first time and stop in their tracks to remove their bracelets of submission, no longer feeling the need to be chained to the memories of their past subjugation by Heracles.

This oversized anniversary issue brings together some of the greatest comic artists of all time, with each providing their own unique variation on the amazing Amazon. Artists include the likes of, George Perez, Brian Bolland, Adam Hughes, Matt Wagner and Sergio Aragones.

Join us again next week for another classic WW cover, my admirable Amazonian associates!

Batman: The Killing Joke – Animated Movie Announced

(Copyright-DC Comics)

(Copyright-DC Comics)

Alan Moore’s 1988 one-shot masterpiece “The Killing Joke” is to become an animated movie, it was announced at the San Diego Comic-con by animator and producer Bruce Timm during the “Justice League: Gods and Monsters” panel, with the movies release date set for 2016.

The Killing Joke was penned by British writer Alan Moore to provide an origin story and psychological motivation for the creation of the Joker. Defined as the greatest Joker story ever told by many critics, the graphic novel won many awards for its deep conceptual story-line and spectacular artwork by Brian Bolland and John Higgins.

KJ 2

The plot centres on the Joker’s attempt to drive Gotham City’s Police Commissioner James Gordon insane, and is frequently interposed by flashbacks to the titular villain’s past life before his disfigurement and insane criminal exploits. The book explores the Jokers assertion that deep down in everyone there is a lunatic waiting to break forth, and that a tragic past can create both a hero or a villain, with the ‘one bad day’ scenario that turned Bruce Wayne into a protector of the innocent forging meaning from tragedy, but the Joker into a maniacal villain who reflects on the absurdity of being.

New Comics Spotlight: Wonder Woman #41

(DC Comics-2015)

(DC Comics-2015)

This week’s spotlight falls upon Wonder Woman #41, and of course the debut of Diana’s new costume. Gone is her original ‘bathing suit’ style threads, which even though it has changed slightly design wise over the years, still retained much of the original look from the 1940’s. In its place is a more traditional Superhero style outfit, thigh length boots and some armour adornment makes for a more practical costume than her previous one.

Designed by Meredith and David Finch, the current creative team on Wonder Woman’s monthly adventures, Meredith Finch mentioned in an interview with Newsarama recently, that she was “approached by DC to design a new costume for Diana, and absolutely jumped on the idea”, going on to say “I wanted a costume that was new and fresh, that’s appropriate to who she is in the 21st century.”

ww#41

Plot Synopsis: As a new villain arrives to challenge Wonder Woman, she must also deal with Donna Troy who moves up a gear in her bitter quest to destroy Diana, whilst the games of the Gods bring dark portents for the ultimate Amazon!

There is an amazing variant cover also available by classic British artist Brian Bolland (Killing Joke, Judge Dredd.) Brian was the cover artist for Wonder Woman throughout much of the 90’s, working alongside writer/artist William Messner-Loeb. His covers to this day (for me) are unsurpassed, Brian is a huge fan of the character, and actively campaigned DC to allow him to draw her, so seeing him back once more is a joy!

WW #41, Bolland variant

“Ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?”

Wonder Woman #41 is available at your local comic book emporium right now. Written by: Meredith Finch. Cover and interior art by: David Finch and Jonathan Glapion.Variant cover by: Brian Bolland.

Super-Villain Sunday: Judge Death

Death vs Dredd

Super-Villain Sunday returns with 2000 AD’s famous defiler of the living and Judge Dredd’s most dangerous adversary – Judge Death. Judge Death was created by 2000 AD stalwarts, John Wagner and Brian Bolland in 1980, making his first appearance in 2000 AD #149. Death hails from the alternate dimension known as Deadworld, where life was declared illegal by Judge Death, since only the living can commit crime.

J. Death 1

Death was originally a psychopathic boy who enjoyed inflicting pain on innocents, joining his dimension’s version of the Judges, so he could murder more easily, he gained his moniker of ‘Judge Death’ from his fellow Judges for his propensity to execute all lawbreakers. Upon meeting the witch sisters, Nausia and Phobia he had himself transformed into a virtually invincible undead corpse and proceeded to exterminate all life on the planet alongside his three brothers of ruination, Judge Fear, Judge Fire and Judge Mortis, collectively known as The Dark Judges.

Anderson and J.Death

Once all life had been snuffed out in their their parallel dimension, the Dark Judges crossed over into Earth’s plane and continued in their calamitous campaign on this new world, only to be stopped short by Judges Dredd and Anderson. Death and his ghastly cohorts would return to Mega City One on several occasions to bring their brand of evil justice to it’s citizens, with their most successful foray in the 1990 multi part story Necropolis, where aided by his mentors, the witch sisters, they would annihilate over 60 million innocents, only to be thwarted once more by Dredd, who had been in exile at the time of their invasion.

Super-Villain Rating: Grim Reaper. 

Judge Death reading recommendations: Batman/Judge Dredd: Judgement on Gotham, Judge Dredd: Necropolis, Young Death: Boyhood of a Superfiend.