Friday, June 14, 2013

First 10 - 2000 A.D.

I have been told by a number of people that I should never judge Judge Dredd by his poor imitations on film, but rather by his sublime appearances in the long-running British comic 2000 A.D. What I expected to find in reading this comic was something akin to Flash Comics where there would be one shimmering Flash story surrounded by less-inspired stories about less interesting heroes. What I found here was something entirely different.

2000 A.D. is a sci-fi lover's dream. It features several different stories, nearly all of which have a great deal of value and provide a high level of entertainment. The only exception is Harlem Heroes, which follows the lives of athletes who play the ridiculous game of aeroball, which is like quidditch with jet packs. Aside from that one boring and ridiculous story, everything else is awesome. I especially loved Invasion, which follows one man who dares to stand up for his freedom after the Volgans (a nondescript invading force which is equal parts Russian, German, and Chinese) take over Britain. Judge Dredd is simply the icing on the cake. I love the idea of judges who act as policeman, judge, jury, and executioner in order to simplify the process of capturing and/or killing baddies. I love everything about it. It's certainly better in comic book form than it has ever been or ever will be on film.

In addition to its sci-fi appeal (The comic tickles the part of my brain that loves MST3K, which is not to say that it's kitschy. It's simply to say that it's sci-fi from the era when the space race was still alive and the possibilities for science fiction were nearly limitless) the comic features honest-to-goodness violence. You'll see Savage shoot dudes in the face with blood spurting everywhere. You'll see dinosaurs bite guys in half. You'll see Judge Dredd causing all kinds of blood-spilling mayhem. It's great. It's not gratuitous or over-the-top, it's just the sort of thing the Comics Code Authority would never have allowed in the United States at the time. There isn't blood on every page, but there is blood where there needs to be blood, which is all you could ever want. In the first 10 issues of 2000 A.D., the only thing I didn't like was Harlem Heroes. 9 out of 10 ain't bad. As a matter of fact, it's pretty amazing. Everything else in this comic is so good, I can't wait to devour it. Here's where it falls in the First 10 standings:

  • Batman
  • Amazing Spider-Man
  • Fantastic Four
  • Silver Age Green Lantern
  • 2000 A.D.
  • Deadpool
  • The Flash
  • Booster Gold
  • Daredevil
  • The Punisher
  • Golden Age Green Lantern
  • The Avengers
  • Ghost Rider
  • The Defenders
  • Captain America
  • Excalibur
  • Golden Age Captain America
  • Golden Age Blue Beetle
  • Doctor Strange
  • Captain Marvel (Marvel Comics)
  • Aquaman
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