2000 AD 27 (27 August 1977)

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It’s an issue of endings and new beginnings. Well, more like one ending and a lot of multi-part stories.

Harlem Heroes whimpers out of the series, hopefully for good. Tully has this terrible moment where the Heroes mourn a lost teammate, then jump for joy at the thought of their next adventure.

Finley-Day reveals the Scots are the only ones in the UK able to keep out the Volgans but even they need Savage’s help. Okay art from Dorey and it moves well.

Something’s off with Solá’s art on Shako though. It should be fun–Wagner has Shako attacking people in the hospital, including the evil nurse.

The Future-Shock is fine. Nothing special.

MACH 1 actually has Probe fighting an evenly matched opponent; Redondo’s art is hurried though.

Gibson’s art is just great on Dredd, however. He does a great job and Wagner keeps it moving well.

CREDITS

Invasion, Dirty Jocks, Part One; writer, Gerry Finley-Day; artist, Mike Dorey; letterer, Tony Jacob. Harlem Heroes, Part Twenty-seven; writer, Tom Tully; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterer, Pete Knight. Shako, Part Eight; writer, John Wagner; artist, Ramon Sola; letterer, Knight. Tharg the Mighty, First Contact; writer, Alan Hebden; artist, Medraho; letterer, Aldrich. M.A.C.H. 1, Planet Killers!, Part One; writer, Pat Mills; artist, Jesus Redondo; letterer, Jack Potter. Judge Dredd, The Academy of Law, Part One; writer, Wagner; artist, Ian Gibson; letterer, Bill Nuttall. Editor, Kelvin Gosnell; publisher, IPC.

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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.

2000 AD 25 (13 August 1977)

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It’s another all right issue. There’s some really interesting art, which helps things along.

Invasion is fine. Dorey doesn’t get many amazing visuals, but it’s amusing enough. It takes place in an abandoned city; could be better, but when couldn’t Invasion be better.

Harlem Heroes–without Gibbons, which I didn’t even notice–is really lame. Again it seems like Tully might be wrapping things up, but probably not. It’s probably unending.

Sola does a fantastic job on the Shako art. Wagner’s got him loose in a village, eating the jerky people. It’s weird how the mean polar bear gets all the sympathy.

There’s a funny little Future-Shocks from Steve Moore and Blasquez. The ending is pleasantly surprising.

Pierre Frisano draws an awesome looking M.A.C.H. 1. Allen’s script is weak, but the art is very interesting for an action piece.

Then a funny Dredd from Wagner and Gibson.

Okay issue.

CREDITS

Invasion, Bathtub; writer, Gerry Finley-Day; artist, Mike Dorey; letterer, John Aldrich. Harlem Heroes, Part Twenty-five; writer, Tom Tully; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterer, Aldrich. Shako, Part Six; writers, John Wagner; artist, Ramon Sola; letterer, Jack Potter. Tharg the Mighty, King of the World!; writer, Steve Moore; artist, Blasquez; letterer, Tom Frame. M.A.C.H. 1, Terror Train; writer, Nick Allen; artist, Pierre Frisano; letterer, Aldrich. Judge Dredd, You Bet Your Life; writer, Wagner; artist, Ian Gibson; letterer, Bill Nutall. Editor, Kelvin Gosnell; publisher, IPC.

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 23 (30 July 1977)

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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.

2000 AD 22 (23 July 1977)

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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)

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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)

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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 19 (2 July 1977)

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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.

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