2000 AD 23 (30 July 1977)

144913

It’s an inoffensively weak issue. Finley-Day handles both Invasion and Dredd and doesn’t do well with either of them. Invasion has some really complex layouts from Dorey, which are cool, but the story’s pretty lame. Dredd is oddly not particularly busy–McMahon spends more time on little details than city designs–and Finley-Day doesn’t have a good punchline.

Harlem Heroes actually talks about the game again and has a very strange ending with the Brain player being viciously cruel. Rather racist installment too. Guess no one worried about offending Japanese readers.

Shako’s idiotic. It should be a lot more fun too, but Arancio doesn’t go for realism so instead it comes off silly.

The Dan Dare wraps up; Moore sets Dare against the Mekon for a very boring finish. Belardinelli does both Dare and M.A.C.H. 1. His art on the latter’s better.

Though inoffensive, it does plod.

CREDITS

Invasion, Tyne Tunnel; writer, Gerry Finley-Day; artist, Mike Dorey; letterer, John Aldrich. Harlem Heroes, Part Twenty-three; writer, Tom Tully; artist and letterer, Dave Gibbons. Shako, Part Four; writers, Pat Mills and John Wagner; artist, Arancio; letterer, Jack Potter. Dan Dare, Hollow World, Part Twelve; writer, Steve Moore; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterer, Aldrich. M.A.C.H. 1, Spy Plane; writer, Robert Flynn; artist, Belardinelli; letterer, Aldrich. Judge Dredd, Smoker’s Crime; writer, Finley-Day; artist, Mike McMahon; letterers, Tom Frame and Peter Knight. Editor, Kelvin Gosnell; publisher, IPC.

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2000 AD 22 (23 July 1977)

144912

Odd, odd issue. Lots of too long stories and too short ones.

Invasion and Shako are both way too short. Invasion is dumb and–inexplicably–for laughs. Shako is dumb and serious; at least it has good art from Arancio, who’d have been better served just doing wildlife studies.

Bad Harlem Heroes. Bad Dan Dare. Dare reads really, really long. For that matter, so does M.A.C.H. 1. Dare is just more nonsense with Dare versus the Mekon, who isn’t actually very smart, but M.A.C.H. is this really complicated story about the machine man proving himself in the Middle East. Writer Nick Allen relies a whole lot on the computer talking to the protagonist, which flops.

But not even Dredd works out until the end. Writer John Wagner takes a while to get going. Ian Gibson’s art is good throughout and the story ends well, but the beginning’s weak.

Weird issue.

CREDITS

Invasion, Cheddar Gorge; writer, Nick Allen; artist, John Cooper; letterer, Jack Potter. Shako, Part Three; writers, Pat Mills and John Wagner; artist, Arancio; letterer, Potter. Harlem Heroes, Part Twenty-two; writer, Tom Tully; artist and letterer, Dave Gibbons. Dan Dare, Hollow World, Part Eleven; writer, Steve Moore; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterer, John Aldrich. M.A.C.H. 1, Arab Story; writer, Allen; artist, Cooper; letterer, Potter. Judge Dredd, Mr Buzzz; writer, Wagner; artist, Ian Gibson; letterer, Peter Knight. Editor, Kelvin Gosnell; publisher, IPC.

2000 AD 21 (16 July 1977)

144911

It’s not the worst issue but there’s sure nothing to recommend it. Not even Dredd. Gerry Finley-Day writes both it and Invasion. Neither stand out except by not being as bad as the rest of the entries. Good twist at the end of Dredd though.

Oh, wait, Shako. It has some really nice art from Arancio. It’s beyond dumb–it’s the adventures of a mean-spirited, fugitive from the CIA polar bear–but it’s well drawn dumb.

Harlem Heroes and Dan Dare both stink in uninteresting ways. It almost seemed like Heroes was going to end, but then Tully finds a way to keep it going. Presumably forever. The main characters barely appear this story. I can’t even remember Dare.

M.A.C.H. 1 is a strange one; it’s not good, but the idea of the Probe character doing private investigation work isn’t a bad one. Carlos’s art isn’t terrible either.

CREDITS

Invasion, Sandringham; writer, Gerry Finley-Day; artist, Mike Dorey; letterer, Peter Knight. Shako, Part Two; writers, Pat Mills and John Wagner; artist, Arancio; letterer, Jack Potter. Harlem Heroes, Part Twenty-one; writer, Tom Tully; artist and letterer, Dave Gibbons. Dan Dare, Hollow World, Part Ten; writer, Steve Moore; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterers, Knight and Bill Nuttall. M.A.C.H. 1, Recluse; writer, Nick Allen; artist, Carlos; letterer, John Aldrich. Judge Dredd, The Solar Sniper; writer, Finley-Day; artist, Ron Turner; letterer, Potter. Editor, Kelvin Gosnell; publisher, IPC.

2000 AD 20 (9 July 1977)

20020

There’s some exceptional stupidity this issue, starting with the new thrill, Shako. While Ramon Sola does draw a fantastic giant killer polar bear who can dodge bullets and do acrobatics, John Wagner and Pat Mills’ script is about the dumbest thing ever. Apparently the strip is going to be about the C.I.A. hunting this polar bear. And I thought Harlem Heroes was dumb.

Speaking of Heroes, two amazing panels from Gibbons don’t make it worthwhile.

Invasion isn’t terrible. Decent Pino art until the end when he runs out of time.

Moore does a particularly lousy job on Dan Dare this issue. I thought it had to be a different writer, as it doesn’t even have his general competence.

The M.A.C.H. 1 is the other stupid thing–writer Steve MacManus doesn’t know the difference between Japanese and Chinese. Lopez’s art is nonspecifically incompetent.

Dredd’s funny. Some great composition from McMahon.

CREDITS

Shako, Part One; writers, Pat Mills and John Wagner; artist, Ramon Sola; letterer, Jack Potter. Invasion, Hell’s Angels; writer, Gerry Finley-Day; artist, Carlos Pino; letterer, Tom Frame. Harlem Heroes, Part Twenty; writer, Tom Tully; artist and letterer, Dave Gibbons. Dan Dare, Hollow World, Part Nine; writer, Steve Moore; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterer, Potter. M.A.C.H. 1, Tokyo; writer, Steve MacManus; artist, Lopez; letterer, John Aldrich. Judge Dredd, The Comic Pusher; writer, John Wagner; artist, Mike McMahon; letterer, Bill Nuttall. Editor, Kelvin Gosnell; publisher, IPC.

2000 AD 19 (2 July 1977)

144909

This issue has about fifty percent good stuff. Maybe even a little more. It feels like more.

Invasion is fine. Finley-Day comes up with a gruesome way for the lead to kill the bad guys. Dorey draws it well. There’s a little humor at the expense of the military “resistance” too.

Flesh is, for the first time, entirely awesome. Mills comes up with a great finish for the series and he’s got Ramon Sola back doing the art. So it’s gorgeous and hilariously fun. Wish Sola’d just done a dinosaur series.

Harlem Heroes and Dan Dare are both in the crap pile; at least Heroes is shorter than usual this time.

Robert Flynn writes a strange M.A.C.H. 1 with a Japanese soldier left over from World War II. Even though there’s not much action, it’s all right stuff.

John Cooper starts ambitious with Dredd, ends not, but it’s fine.

CREDITS

Invasion, The Road to Hell; writer, Gerry Finley-Day; artist, Mike Dorey; letterer, Tom Frame. Flesh, Book One, Part Nineteen; writer, Pat Mills; artist, Ramon Sola; letterer, Jack Potter. Harlem Heroes, Part Nineteen; writer, Tom Tully; artist and letterer, Dave Gibbons. Dan Dare, Hollow World, Part Eight; writer, Steve Moore; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterer, Potter. M.A.C.H. 1, Corporal Tanaka; writer, Robert Flynn; artist, Luis Collado; letterer, John Aldrich. Judge Dredd, Mugger’s Moon; writer, Finley-Day; artist, John Cooper; letterer, Potter. Editor, Kelvin Gosnell; publisher, IPC.

2000 AD 18 (25 June 1977)

144908

2000 A.D. is averaging about a thirty-three percent success rate, but the lame stuff is proving extra lame this time around.

Invasion is barely comprehensible. Finley-Day fills it with these little scenes, but about the only major event is the resistance’s base being discovered. He can’t even properly introduce a new villain.

And Flesh is off too. The first story fully in the future and it’s mostly just one of the protagonists getting in trouble for letting things go wrong. Very boring stuff.

As for Harlem Heroes, Tully’s the Energizer Bunny. The series keeps going and going and Tully doesn’t even try coming up with details anymore. It’s just the evil cyborg ranting and raving. The Heroes don’t even get a scene to themselves.

Crappy all-action Dan Dare.

M.A.C.H. 1 is far from perfect, but Allen comes up with some good scenarios.

Dredd is hilarious and awesome.

CREDITS

Invasion, Breakout; writer, Gerry Finley-Day; artist, Carlos Pino; letterer, Tom Frame. Flesh, Book One, Part Eighteen; writer, Pat Mills; artist, Felix Carrion; letterer, Tony Jacob. Harlem Heroes, Part Eighteen; writer, Tom Tully; artist and letterer, Dave Gibbons. Dan Dare, Hollow World, Part Seven; writer, Steve Moore; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterer, Peter Knight. M.A.C.H. 1, Skyscraper Terrorists; writer, Nick Allen; artist, Marzal Canos; letterer, Knight. Judge Dredd, Brainblooms; writer, John Wagner; artist, Mike McMahon; letterer, Jack Potter. Editor, Kelvin Gosnell; publisher, IPC.

2000 AD 17 (18 June 1977)

144907

This issue has some strange turns. Mostly when Flesh all of a sudden become about dinosaurs teleporting to the future and having Fly-like effects with the guys’ heads ending on a dinosaur. It’s the cliffhanger and it’s dumb, but Gosnell writes a decent enough story before it.

Invasion is a little weird too. Finley-Day plots the opening somewhat backwards, leading to a confusing story.

Gibbons has some good panels and some really bad ones on Harlem Heroes. The bad ones outweigh the good, unfortunately.

And Moore doesn’t have much going on with Dan Dare. It’s basically a bridging story–but all action. It’s not good. And Belardinelli can’t decide on Dare’s hair.

Allen and Redondo do an almost incomprehensible skiing M.A.C.H. 1. The art’s good, but confusing.

Wager and Gibson play Dredd mostly for laughs. There’s a big fight, where Gibson fails; luckily, he does the comedy well.

CREDITS

Invasion, Slaves; writer, Gerry Finley-Day; artist, Mike Dorey; letterer, John Aldrich. Flesh, Book One, Part Seventeen; writer, Kelvin Gosnell; artist, Felix Carrion; letterer, Tony Jacob. Harlem Heroes, Part Seventeen; writer, Tom Tully; artist and letterer, Dave Gibbons. Dan Dare, Hollow World, Part Six; writer, Steve Moore; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterer, Peter Knight. M.A.C.H. 1, Spotbox; writer, Nick Allen; artist, Jesus Redondo; letterer, Knight. Judge Dredd, Robot Wars, Part Eight; writer, John Wagner; artist, Ian Gibson; letterer, Knight. Editor, Gosnell; publisher, IPC.

2000 AD 16 (11 June 1977)

144906

All in all, not a bad issue.

There’s actually danger in Dan Dare, for example, and a couple good pages in M.A.C.H. 1. A little makes a big difference with 2000 AD, apparently.

Invasion isn’t terrible. It’s mostly action, with Pino doing decent work on a shootout between the protagonist and a bounty hunter. Very busy pages, but competently done.

Flesh comes to what seems to be a shocking conclusion. Absolutely phenomenal art from Sola on a rampaging dinosaur, more than making up for the lame, big-headed human villain.

Even Harlem Heroes is okay (for it). There’s a team of ugly cyborgs the Heroes have to play. Not terrible.

Like I said, Dare has something new–Moore gives it an actually suspenseful cliffhanger. Plus recaps Dare’s origin.

Wagner writes both Dredd and M.A.C.H. 1, which probably explains why the latter’s so much better than usual. Dredd’s okay enough too.

CREDITS

Invasion, Bounty; writer, Gerry Finley-Day; artist, Carlos Pino; letterers, Peter Knight and J. Swain. Flesh, Book One, Part Sixteen; writer, Kelvin Gosnell; artist, Ramon Sola; letterer, Bill Nuttall. Harlem Heroes, Part Sixteen; writer, Tom Tully; artist and letterer, Dave Gibbons. Dan Dare, Hollow World, Part Five; writer, Steve Moore; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterers, Knight and John Aldrich. M.A.C.H. 1, Capitol; writer, John Wagner; artist, P. Martinez Henares; letterer, Aldrich. Judge Dredd, Robot Wars, Part Seven; writer, Wagner; artist, Ron Turner; letterer, Tony Jacob. Editor, Pat Mills; publisher, IPC.

2000 AD 15 (4 June 1977)

144905

It’s another weak issue.

Mike Dorey’s art is real lame on Invasion, but the writing’s worse. Finley-Day actually relies on a huge truck of acid to solve the problem.

Flesh is weak too; Sola’s art is distressingly underwhelming. It might just be too rushed–all the art this issue is rushed in some way or another–dinosaurs driving cars should be funny.

More Harlem Heroes. Tully explores the way ties are resolved in the game. It’s getter even harder to care about the fake sport.

Moore’s Dan Dare is really contrived. He does indicate, however, there might be an origin recap, which would be nice.

M.A.C.H. 1 has awful art from Marzal Canos. Peter Harris’s goofy story involves bloodthirsty yeti and a dope-dealing Dalai Lama.

Dredd, as usual, is the winner. Wagner’s got some funny stuff amid the robot rebellion. Sadly, McMahon is light on the robots’ details.

CREDITS

Invasion, The Doomsdale Scenario, Part Three; writer, Gerry Finley-Day; artist, Mike Dorey; letterer, Jack Aldrich. Flesh, Book One, Part Fifteen; writer, Kelvin Gosnell; artist, Ramon Sola; letterer, Bennsberg. Harlem Heroes, Part Fifteen; writer, Tom Tully; artist and letterer, Dave Gibbons. Dan Dare, Hollow World, Part Four; writer, Steve Moore; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterer, Peter Knight. M.A.C.H. 1, Yeti; writer, Peter Harris; artist, Marzal Canos; letterer, Tony Jacob. Judge Dredd, Robot Wars, Part Six; writer, John Wagner; artist, Mike McMahon; letterer, Jack Potter. Editor, Pat Mills; publisher, IPC.

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