2000AD presents The Best Comic Ever!!
2000AD (Free Comic Book Day, 2023)
Today’s comic returns for Free Comic Book Day but it’s more an acknowledgement that these are new comics rather than really old comics. This one is a three story anthology but the reason I picked up was curiosity. 2000AD isn’t exactly known for kid-friendly entertainment. This is the home of Judge Dredd after all. And yet this is an all-ages comic, meaning it’s meant for both kids and adults and thus something you might let your kids read. At least, that’s the goal. Let’s see how well that worked out.
Harlem Heroes (Writer: Ramzee | Artist: Korinna Mei Veropoulou | Letterer: James Taylor)
Speaking of Judge Dredd, our first story takes place in Mega City One. Here we see an “Aeroball” sports team being challenged by a series of
death traps training obstacles that challenge the skills of each member of the team. And they get to max out their coach’s credit card because he offered to buy breakfast and they’re happy to pay him back for this “training”. You don’t learn a lot about the characters to the point where I can barely remember their names but I do like that each shows off a special talent or interest and use their brains as much as their aeroball skills. Not a bad story.
Pandora Perfect by Roger Langridge & Brett Parson
At least that was the names on the ad for the Pandora Perfect graphic novel at the end of the story. No credits given in the story itself. Pandora Perez is a thief with a sci-fi version of a bag of holding…which she also stole. Her robot companion Gort (yeah, yeah, Klaatu to you, too–which Google oddly has in spellcheck) broke her out of prison but her ankle bracelet is about to explode. Good thing the kids of the designer are mad at their parents for not taking them to their parties. (In this continuity it might be best NOT to take the kids…not because they’d be bored but because they may not survive the evening.) So they help our…protagonists find the key at their dad’s workplace…and have her poop in their toaster? I could have done without that part, and the addition of the mazes for the kids to play in (one super eazy and one absolutely not for the older readers) was actually pretty neat. But it’s the characters and adventure that make the tale work, and I’m not usually the one rooting for the baddies.
Full Tilt Boogie (Writer: Alex De Campi | Artist: Eduardo Ocaña | Letterer: Ellie De Ville)
This is the last story of the book. Meet Tee, her grandmother, and their cat named…cat. He has a portal to another dimension in his stomach…they think. Their latest mercenary gig is to rescue Prince Ifan, who somehow rung up a huge enough debt to be sent to a Borrower Bear debtor’s prison planet and an online fan (of the crazed variety apparently) has hired Teen to free him and allow her to finally meet the prince in person. Too bad the Bears have spaceships as well and follow them to a moon base run by old enemies of Ifan’s people but luckily the AI and the assassin it works with I guess don’t have a very good memory. This was a good story and my favorite art style of the comic, though I like the colors of the second story better.
I actually enjoyed the stories. While they’re previews for other books each was a good stand alone story and introduction to the series in the all-aged “Regened” line. It is a bit odd to see 2000AD of all companies remember younger readers. Of the three I think Full Tilt Boogie is the one I’m most interested in, and I’m not usually the audience for anything this company produces.