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.

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 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.

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 17 (18 June 1977)

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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)

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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 15 (4 June 1977)

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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.

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 13 (21 May 1977)

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With a couple exceptions, it’s one of the better 2000 AD progs so far.

Invasion is decent; very nice art from Dorey and Finley-Day has learned how to plot out a rewarding cliffhanger.

A real surprise is Flesh. Without dinosaurs–this issue’s just future men against giant spiders–the comic is a lot better. Great art from Felix Carrion too.

Okay, Harlem Heroes is still lame. The Heroes are finally losing a game (against the Scots), but it doesn’t make the comic any more interesting.

And Steve Moore’s disappointing on his second Dan Dare outing. He spends way too much time with the villains and almost none with Dan Dare. If the villain pages were good, it’d be different, but they’re lame.

Jesus Redondo illustrates a fantastic M.A.C.H. 1. It’s all action and gorgeously done.

And Dredd is good. Wagner gets in some funny moments; Turner’s art’s passable too.

CREDITS

Invasion, The Doomsdale Scenario, Part One; writer, Gerry Finley-Day; artist, Mike Dorey; letterer, Jack Potter. Flesh, Book One, Part Thirteen; writer, Studio Giolitti; artist, Felix Carrion; letterer, J. Swain. Harlem Heroes, Part Thirteen; writer, Tom Tully; artist and letterer, Dave Gibbons. Dan Dare, Hollow World, Part Two; writer, Steve Moore; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterer, Bill Nuttall. M.A.C.H. 1, Airship; writer, Nick Allen; artist, Jesus Redondo; letterer, Potter. Judge Dredd, Robot Wars, Part Four; writer, John Wagner; artist, Ron Turner; 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 10 (30 April 1977)

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Overall, it’s not a terrible issue. Nothing really stands out as good or bad. The first half of the Dan Dare is okay even–Belardinelli really does do a lot better with space battles than anything else.

The Invasion entry has decent art from Eric Bradbury and a nice reveal at the end. Finley-Day’s dialogue’s moronic, but it’s always moronic.

Studio Giolitti does a little better on the Flesh writing. Boix continues to draw dinosaurs rampaging well. The Harlem Heroes has a great panel or two from Gibbons. Again, dumb but not terrible–the story’s plotted okay.

M.A.C.H. 1 rips off some Bond moments as the protagonist hunts a fugitive. Mills does better with the action than the quiet epilogue.

And then there’s Dredd. Good art from Ezquerra helps things a lot. Wagner writes weak dialogue and the end’s way too heavy handed. Otherwise, nearly okay.

CREDITS

Invasion, Dartmoor, Part One; writer, Gerry Finley-Day; artist, Eric Bradbury; letterer, John Aldrich. Flesh, Book One, Part Ten; writer, Studio Giolitti; artist, Boix; letterer, Aldrich. Harlem Heroes, Part Ten; writer, Tom Tully; artist and letterer, Dave Gibbons. Dan Dare, Part Ten; writer, Kelvin Gosnell; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterers, Jack Potter and Peter Knight. M.A.C.H. 1, On the Roof of the World; writer, Pat Mills; artist, Enio; letterer, Tony Jacob. Judge Dredd, Robot Wars, Part One; writer, John Wagner; artist, Carlos Ezquerra; letterer, Aldrich. 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.

2000 AD 8 (16 April 1977)

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Harlem Heroes takes place in a world with a Mega City-One. That one detail is more diverting than anything else in this issue’s entry, except maybe how Gibbons draws the Russian players. They’re giant bear furries. They’ve been so attired a while now, I just hadn’t bothered to comment.

The Invasion story isn’t bad. Finley-Day doesn’t really do any character or plot development and his last pages are always hurried.

Flesh, with new artist Boix, is dumb but not too bad. Apparently none of the characters outside Invasion or Dredd make any sense in 2000 AD.

The issue also has less loathsome Dan Dare and M.A.C.H. 1 entries. Dare because it moves too fast to leave an impression but John Cooper’s art on M.A.C.H. is decent. Rough but competent.

Belardinelli, who does so bad on Dare, does a decent job on Dredd.

CREDITS

Invasion, Concorde; writer, Gerry Finley-Day; artist, Mike Dorey; letterer, Jack Potter. Flesh, Book One, Part Eight; writer, Ken Armstrong; artist, Boix; letterer, Potter. Harlem Heroes, Part Eight; writer, Tom Tully; artist and letterer, Dave Gibbons. Dan Dare, Part Eight; writer, Kelvin Gosnell; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterer, Potter. M.A.C.H. 1, Spain Kidnap; writer, Nick Allen; artist, John Cooper; letterer, Bill Nuttall. Judge Dredd, Antique Car Heist; writer, Charles Herring; artist, Belardinelli; letterer, Tony Jacob. Publisher, IPC.

2000 AD 6 (2 April 1977)

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More hard going this issue, even though the art’s much better overall.

Invasion has decent Ian Kennedy art and a not bad idea from Finley-Day, his execution is just weak. He doesn’t plot it for his page count.

Sola does a small dinosaur versus cowboy battle in Flesh. Not a lot of opportunity for the art, but it’s competent. Story’s lame though.

Harlem Heroes is rushed and trying. I keep waiting for Gibbons to impress me on this one and he never really does.

Dan Dare is awful. Mike Dorey’s art on M.A.C.H. 1 helps the story a lot. Much like Invasion this issue, Mills just paces the M.A.C.H. story all wrong.

As usual, Dredd proves the best. Malcolm Shaw has a good finish for the story–nice little moments throughout too–and McMahon has some nice panels. He’s appropriately conveying the humor.

CREDITS

Invasion, Wembley; writer, Gerry Finley-Day; artist, Ian Kennedy; letterer, Bill Nuttall. Flesh, Book One, Part Six; writer, Kelvin Gosnell; artist, Ramon Sola; letterer, Jack Potter. Harlem Heroes, Part Six; writer, Tom Tully; artist and letterer, Dave Gibbons. Dan Six, Part Three; writer, Gosnell; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterer, Potter. M.A.C.H. 1, Himmler’s Gold; writer, Pat Mills; artist, Mike Dorey; letterer, Potter. Judge Dredd, Frankenstein II; writer, Malcolm Shaw; artist, Mike McMahon; letterer, Tony Jacob. Publisher, IPC.

2000 AD 5 (26 March 1977)

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It’s a distressingly tepid issue. Even with Judge Dredd fighting a giant robot gorilla–or maybe because of that emphasis on absurd bigness. The Dredd story does look good though–Carlos Ezquerra bakes dry humor into every panel.

The opening Invasion story is a bore. Finley-Day’s just writing dialogue for action scenes and he’s not particularly good at it. Sarompas’s art on the story is lacking.

At least the art on Flesh is good. Nothing happens in the story except dinosaur rampage (including raptors before anyone knew to call them raptors). Sola’s artwork is beautiful, which makes up for a lot. But it’s still pointless.

Harlem Heroes finishes the first game and then Tully speeds up the overall plot. The plot’s more interesting than the game coverage, but not much.

Dan Dare and M.A.C.H. 1 are both lame, but M.A.C.H. 1 is much worse. It’s exceptionally bad this programme.

CREDITS

Invasion, The Resistance, Part Five; writer, Gerry Finley-Day; artist, Sarompas; letterer, John Aldrich. Flesh, Book One, Part Five; writer, Studio Giolitti; artist, Ramon Sola; letterer, Bill Nuttall. Harlem Heroes, Part Five; writer, Tom Tully; artist and letterer, Dave Gibbons. Dan Dare, Part Five; writer, Kelvin Gosnell; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterer, Jack Potter. M.A.C.H. 1, Probesnatch; writer, Nick Allen; artist, John Cooper; letterer, Jack Potter. Judge Dredd, Krong; writer, Malcolm Shaw; artist, Carlos Ezquerra; letterer, S. Richardson. Publisher, IPC.

2000 AD 4 (19 March 1977)

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Pat Wright takes over the art on Invasion and it’s immediately less interesting. Gerry Finley-Day’s writing isn’t terrible, but without dynamic art, the cracks show a lot clearer.

Flesh still has great art from Sola. Ken Armstrong’s writing is even worse than usual, especially the dialogue. And they rip off Westworld whole sale. It’s a chore when dinosaurs aren’t on page.

Gibbons has a great opening splash page for Harlem Heroes. Tully concentrates on making the game seem real; while not exciting, the dedication to the concept is something. They could have cut a lot of corners and they don’t.

Dan Dare is lame. I guess Belardinelli does do well with gross alien creatures. Not a lot of space shots either.

Pat Mills is back writing M.A.C.H. 1. Artist Enio’s apparently scared to make the Arab villains look too Arab. It’s awful.

Dredd’s fun. McMahon compacts his visuals well.

CREDITS

Invasion, The Resistance, Part Four; writer, Gerry Finley-Day; artist, Pat Wright; letterer, Tom Frame. Flesh, Book One, Part Four; writer, Ken Armstrong; artist, Ramon Sola; letterer, Bill Nuttall. Harlem Heroes, Part Four; writer, Tom Tully; artist and letterer, Dave Gibbons. Dan Dare, Part Four; writer, Kelvin Gosnell; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterer, Jack Potter. M.A.C.H. 1, To Kill a President; writer, Pat Mills; artist, Enio; letterer, John Aldrich. Judge Dredd, The Brotherhood of Darkness; writer, Malcolm Shaw; artist, Mike McMahon; letterer, Nuttall. Publisher, IPC.

2000 AD 3 (12 March 1977)

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Ramon Sola does the art on Flesh and all of a sudden it looks great. The dinosaurs, the landscapes, even the cowboys. All the strip needed was good art to make it palatable.

Belardinelli handles the art on both Dan Dare and M.A.C.H. 1. He doesn’t do a good job on either, but Dare is better thanks to the space scenes. He can draw the space stuff, just not humanoids interacting.

Invasion is okay enough–Blasco’s still the best art. The writing’s a little wonky, but not terrible. Harlem Heroes is inoffensive sports stuff, if a little dumb. And Gibbons’s art is problematic on the athletics.

Judge Dredd, with Kelvin Gosnell writing–McMahon is still on art–is little better. It helps if one reads it as some kind of riff on a Dick Tracy comic strip, some comedically self-aware future one.

AD’s definitely improving.

CREDITS

Invasion, The Resistance, Part Three; writer, Gerry Finley-Day; artist, Jesus Blasco; letterer, Jack Potter. Flesh, Book One, Part Three; writer, Ken Armstrong; artist, Ramon Sola; letterer, Bill Nuttall. Harlem Heroes, Part Three; writer, Tom Tully; artist and letterer, Dave Gibbons. Dan Dare, Part Three; writer, Kelvin Gosnell; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterer, Potter. M.A.C.H. 1, Battleship; writer, Nick Allen; artist, Belardinelli; letterer, Tony Jacob. Judge Dredd, The New You; writer, Gosnell; artist, Mike McMahon; letterer, John Aldrich. Publisher, IPC.

2000 AD 2 (5 March 1977)

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Once again, Invasion is the best strip, M.A.C.H. 1 is the worst and Harlem Heroes is the strangest.

Starting with Harlem… Gibbons’s art is better this time, but the future setting is poorly thought out (Harlem’s a bad neighborhood even after future retrofitting?). It’s not a traditional storyline though, which is nice.

Flesh is a little better too, with Armstrong getting into some of the day to day of dinosaur hunting. Boix’s art is still iffy.

Dan Dare is crappy again. Bad writing, bad art. The art’s probably worse than the writing.

That Blasco art on Invasion makes up for the hurried pace. It’s a great looking strip. The art on M.A.C.H. is a little better too.

The first Judge Dredd finishes the programme. Peter Harris’s writing is weak, Mike McMahon’s art is indistinct. Dredd’s second seat to the villain even. From mundane beginnings….

CREDITS

Invasion, The Resistance, Part Two; writer, Gerry Finley-Day; artist, Jesus Blasco; letterer, Jack Potter. Flesh, Book One, Part Two; writer, Ken Armstrong; artist, Joan Boix; letterer, Bill Nuttall. M.A.C.H. 1, Vulcan, Part Two; writer, Robert Flynn; artist, Enio; letterer, Potter. Dan Dare, Part Two; writer, Kelvin Gosnell; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterer, Nuttall. Harlem Heroes, Part Two; writer, Tom Tully; artist and letterer, Dave Gibbons. Judge Dredd, Judge Whitey; writer, Peter Harris; artist, Mike McMahon. Publisher, IPC.

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