2000 AD 26 (20 August 1977)

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I guess I haven’t been paying attention but the lead of Invasion, Bill Savage, barely even registers a presence anymore. Finley-Day is more concerned with the setting of his stories than the content.

Harlem Heroes, with Belardinelli art and Tully apparently wrapping up, is far more pleasant. Home stretch hopefully. It’s still incomprehensible nonsense.

The Shako story is great. Wagner does a Cuckoo’s Nest homage while Lopez-Vera does a great job on the art. A little Inuit kid befriends Shako, which is adorable.

Steve Moore writes a weak Future-Shock. Horacio Lalia’s on the art. It’s not memorable either.

The M.A.C.H. 1 story introduces space aliens. Not sure if anything else matters. It’s goofy beyond belief; Jaime Marzal-Canós really doesn’t pace it well either.

Wagner writes a decent enough Dredd, with three acts in maybe five pages. McMahon does well until he overfills the final two pages.

CREDITS

Invasion, Bluebird; writer, Gerry Finley-Day; artist, Carlos Pino; letterer, John Aldrich. Harlem Heroes, Part Twenty-six; writer, Tom Tully; artist , Massimo Belardinelli; letterer, Pete Knight. Shako, Part Seven; writer, John Wagner; artist, Lopez-Vera; letterer, Tony Jacob. Tharg’s Future-Shocks, Food for Thought; writer, Steve Moore; artist, Horacio Lalia; letterer, Jack Potter. M.A.C.H. 1, The Death Trumpet; writer, Steve MacManus; artist, Jaime Marzal-Canós; letterer, Knight. Judge Dredd, Dream Palace; writer, Wagner; artist, Mike McMahon; letterer, Jacob. Editor, Kelvin Gosnell; publisher, IPC.

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2000 AD 24 (6 August 1977)

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A not bad issue.

Invasion doesn’t have the best script, but Carlos Pino’s art is really good. Finley-Day’s definitely not writing for the deep thinker–the evil Volgs have these expensive missiles for hitting one target (one human target) a piece. Dumb but fine.

Heroes is mean-spirited but at least about the Aeroball game.

Belardinelli does an awful job on M.A.C.H. 1. Real bad. Roy Preston’s script is more adventure oriented than espionage, which does work better.

Then there’s Kevin O’Neill doing a story about a kid meeting Tharg, the editor of 2000 A.D., and being a little brainwashed into buying more comics. Cool art. The story’s not the point, but the writing’s fine too.

Cruddy art from Arancio on Shako ruins it. The strange Ratched-like nurse flops, but the writers are at least trying.

And then Dredd has a decent case; Malcolm Shaw’s writing is good.

CREDITS

Invasion, Hadrian’s Wall; writer, Gerry Finley-Day; artist, Carlos Pino; letterer, Jack Potter. Harlem Heroes, Part Twenty-four; writer, Tom Tully; artist and letterer, Dave Gibbons. M.A.C.H. 1, King Karat; writer, Roy Preston; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterer, Tony Jacob. Tharg the Mighty, Tharg and the Intruder; writer and artist, Kevin O’Neill; letterer, Peter Knight. Shako, Part Five; writers, Pat Mills and John Wagner; artist, Arancio; letterer, Jack Potter. Judge Dredd, The Wreath Murders; writer, Malcolm Shaw; artist, Mike McMahon; letterer, John Aldrich. Editor, Kelvin Gosnell; publisher, IPC.

2000 AD 20 (9 July 1977)

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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 18 (25 June 1977)

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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 16 (11 June 1977)

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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 14 (29 May 1977)

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Good grief it’s a bad one.

The only good story is the Dredd one. Wagner packs way too much action into its pages; even though Ian Gibson tries hard, he’s too rushed. But it’s still a solid story.

The Invasion story isn’t terrible, but it’s got a frantic pace too. And it’s dumb–the peaceful nuclear research planet is called Doomsdale. Not sure what, if anything, Finley-Day could have been thinking.

Flesh is awful. Boix’s art isn’t bad, but Gosnell’s writing is the pits.

For Harlem Heroes, Tully concentrates on the team turning around a game. It’s a combination of inane–comics aren’t the best medium for a sporting event–and incomprehensible. I guess Gibbons does okay.

Awful Dan Dare. Moore’s writing isn’t good anymore.

And M.A.C.H. 1… wow. Between Finley-Day’s racist characterizations of Chinese people and Kato’s ugly, busy artwork, it’s an ugly time.

Very bad issue.

CREDITS

Invasion, The Doomsdale Scenario, Part Two; writer, Gerry Finley-Day; artist, Carlos Pino; letterer, Jack Potter. Flesh, Book One, Part Fourteen; writer, Kelvin Gosnell; artist, Boix; letterer, John Aldrich. Harlem Heroes, Part Fourteen; writer, Tom Tully; artist and letterer, Dave Gibbons. Dan Dare, Hollow World, Part Three; writer, Steve Moore; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterers, Peter Knight and J. Swain. M.A.C.H. 1, Chinese Formula; writer, Finley-Day; artist, Kato; letterer, Aldrich. Judge Dredd, Robot Wars, Part Five; writer, John Wagner; artist, Ian Gibson; letterer, Potter. Editor, Pat Mills; publisher, IPC.

2000 AD 12 (14 May 1977)

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Carlos Pino does the art on Invasion. He does pretty well, though Finley-Day’s script has all these analogues to the Nazis. It seems inappropriate and somewhat insensitive.

Flesh has good Sola art and a lame script, as usual, from Gosnell. They should’ve just done it without dialogue. Gosnell even manages to butcher pop culture references.

Harlem Heroes covers the origin of the sport–it’s Scottish. The script’s probably the most imaginative in many progs; it’s still not good.

Steve Moore takes over writing Dan Dare. It’s much better. Dare goes to the future London (a floating theme park) and meets a wolf man. Easily the best Dare so far.

M.A.C.H. 1–from Charles Herring and Mike Dorey–is similarly not terrible. It’s anti-American bluster and very silly, but okay.

Dredd has some goofy dialogue from Wagner, but McMahon illustrates a robot rebellion well. The giant robots are awesome.

CREDITS

Invasion, Death Line; writer, Gerry Finley-Day; artist, Carlos Pino; letterer, Jack Potter. Flesh, Book One, Part Twelve; writer, Kelvin Gosnell; artist, Ramon Sola; letterer, Potter. Harlem Heroes, Part Twelve; writer, Tom Tully; artist and letterer, Dave Gibbons. Dan Dare, Hollow World, Part One; writer, Steve Moore; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterer, Peter Knight. M.A.C.H. 1, The Laser Hound; writer, Charles Herring; artist, Mike Dorey; letterer, J. Swain. Judge Dredd, Robot Wars, Part Three; writer, John Wagner; artist, Mike McMahon; letterer, Jack Potter. Editor, Pat Mills; publisher, IPC.

2000 AD 9 (23 April 1977)

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What a stinker of an issue. I think the M.A.C.H. 1 might actually be the second best story, which is sort of unbelievable.

It opens with a tepid Invasion. Not terrible, but not very good. Carlos Pino’s art is decent. Then a poorly written Flesh about family vacations through time. Studio Giolitti’s writing (whoever it is) is atrocious. Boix’s art isn’t bad though.

Awful Harlem Heroes. Tully can’t pace it for four pages. I guess Gibbons does draw a cool evil cyborg but he wastes a page on the cyborg’s reveal.

The Dan Dare is bad and visually confusing. Belardinelli is stuck drawing epic space battles in tiny panels; writer Gosnell doesn’t seem to understand what psychic means.

The aforementioned M.A.C.H. 1 has decent Cooper art. It’s dumb, but not bad.

The Dredd is crud. John Wagner front loads it with robot-related morality and doesn’t deliver any good action.

CREDITS

Invasion, Ships; writer, Gerry Finley-Day; artist, Carlos Pino; letterer, Jack Potter. Flesh, Book One, Part Nine; writer, Studio Giolitti; artist, Boix; letterer, S. Richardson. Harlem Heroes, Part Nine; writer, Tom Tully; artist and letterer, Dave Gibbons. Dan Dare, Part Nine; writer, Kelvin Gosnell; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterers, Potter and Peter Knight. M.A.C.H. 1, Our Man in Turkostan; writer, John Wagner; artist, John Cooper; letterer, Tony Jacob. Judge Dredd, Robots; writer, Wagner; artist, Ron Turner; letterer, John Aldrich. Publisher, IPC.

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