Published on August 6th, 2015 | by Chavez0
The Best 2000AD Panels. Ever.
2000AD have been running some interesting Twitter campaigns no doubt designed to attract new followers to pound with marketing bumf in the future (Cynic? Moi?) but are nonetheless great fun to an old Squaxx dek Thargo such as me.
The latest one has been running under the hashtag #4fave2000AD and encourages Tweeters (Twitterers? Twits?) to show everyone their four favourite 2000AD character. For those reading 2000AD as long as I have, this is a task and a half! At this point I should state that I didn’t know this when I made my submission and that I thought it was favourite comic panels – I like to to make things difficult for myself! This also explains why Dredd is there twice… My submission is at the top of the page.
Moving swiftly onwards, I thought readers would be interested in why I chose the four panels I did. For you young ‘uns out there wondering just what 2000AD progs the stories were in then read on. And weep when you realise how much you’ve missed by being born too late!
Panel one. Halo Jones. In the 80’s when skintight lycra was de rigueur and humungous boobs were destroying panel walls in every Marvel and DC title, 2000AD provided a welcome dose of reality. Written by the scribe of scribes himself, Alan Moore, Halo Jones started off with a couple of teenage girls going shopping. I loathe giving out spoilers so I’ll say no more but Halo Jones is one of the greatest stories ever told – if you haven’t read it then do so. But why did I choose this particular panel? Because Halo Jones was the first complete 2000AD story I ever read away back when we had monthly collections of complete stories. It was the Best of 2000AD Monthly, number 40 which came out away back when I was a wide eyed young thing of 11. Until then I was an avid reader of Battle and Eagle comics and then, pow!, I bought this Best of 2000AD. The art and story were a world apart from what I was used to and opened my eyes to the world of 2000AD. The panel itself is the last from Book 3, indeed the last Halo Jones panel ever as Book 3 was the last. And wow, what a ride, what a tale we’ve had to get there. We’ve been with Halo as she’s grown from a gawky teenager to become a mature woman in control of her life. And now, the end…
Needless to say if I hadn’t read Halo Jones all those years ago, I doubt I’d have picked up 2000AD.
Panel two. Dredd as you rarely see him, shoulders slumped, carrying the weight of defeat on his shoulders. This particular panel is from Judgement Day, Garth Ennis’s tour de force spread across both 2000AD and Judge Dredd the Megazine way back in ’92. I found this panel extremely powerful back in the day and still do as Carlos Ezquerra vividly captures the (momentary) sense of defeat. Dredd has just seen his best performing cadet die against overwhelming odds. Ennis’s simple dialogue hits like two punches straight to the gut. We feel Dredd’s pain.
Panel three. Dredd again, this time in most his fascist guise, in America, one of the most famous and revered Dredd stories from volume one of the Megazine away back in 1990. Most folks are startled to find the story isn’t actually about Dredd! However, I digress. This panel is one of the most perfect match ups between art and dialogue you will find. Just look at it. The hairs rise on the back of my neck every time I read Dredd’s monologue. John Wagner has rarely written better. And Colin MacNeil has rarely painted better. Dredd looms over you out of the night, the flag of freedom underneath his boots. Justice prevailing over freedom.
Panel four. This is an odd choice perhaps as it was in the second 2000AD I ever bought. Old hands will instantly recognise the panel from Song of the Surfer, another team up from Wagner and MacNeil. The twelve odd pages I read of Song of the Surfer were everything about 2000AD that was different from the old fashioned comics I had read up till then. The dialogue, the art (actual proper artwork!) and the violence took my thrillpower levels to heights unheard of! But I’ve chosen this panel for different reasons. The story of Marlon “Chopper” Shakespeare ended with Song of the Surfer for quite some time which gave me time to catch up with the character’s history starting in Unamerican Graffiti through Oz and ending up by reading Song of the Surfer in its entirety. Chopper is the classic likeable rebel we all end up rooting for, determined to win the sky surfing championship, Supersurf 11. He’s gone through hell to get to the finish line, he’s badly wounded, his girlfriend has run towards the slowly moving board in a panic. What’s happened? Has Chopper won? Is he alive? The camera pans up and away leaving us none wiser. Beautiful.
Obviously these four panels are very personal choices. If you think you can do better then go ahead! As I said at the beginning, the hashtag is #4fave2000AD.
[The featured image was taken from Chris Weston’s amazing blog. If any sees this including Chris and wants us to take this down, please let us know – Duke]
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