Monday 26 February 2024

Future Shock! The Story of 2000AD

Wyrd Britain reviews 'Future Shock! The Story of 2000AD'.
Established at the same time as the nascent punk movement in the UK, 2000AD tapped into the same anti-authoritan zeitgeist. It was big, bold, bloody, beautiful and bonkers and for the best part of five decades this weekly anthology comic (and it's various spin offs) has been providing us with work from some of the worlds top comic creators. The role call of contributors is mind blowing, Alan Moore, Kevin O'Neill, John Wagner, Pat Mills, Alan Grant, Brian Bolland, Bryan Talbot, Simon Bisley, Garth Ennis, Neil Gaiman, Dan Abnett, Grant Morrison, Mike McMahon, Dave Gibbons and so many more. All of these guys - and it was almost exclusively guys, women creators have always been horrendously under-represented in comics generally and 2000AD in particular  - would go on to define how comics looked and what they said from the late 20th century on.

Between them they gave life to hordes of classic characters, future teen Halo Jones, dystopian cop Judge Dredd, alien freedom fighter Nemesis, mutant bounty hunter Strontium Dog, Celtic warrior Slaine, genetic soldier Rogue Trooper, alien teenage delinquents DR & Quinch,  pop culture superhero Zenith, the list goes on.

It also provided us with the single greatest panel in comics...

Gaze Into the Fist of Dredd

two Dredd films of varying quality (we heartily recommend the Karl Urban one) and an upcoming Rogue Trooper one.

Over the years I've been an occasional reader of the weekly comic but am an avid reader of the graphic novels.  Many of the classic 2000AD stories have been collected together in phone book (anyone remember phone books?) sized collections and the publisher - Rebellion - continues to issue nicely produced collections of more recent stories. 

This documentary was released in 2014 and features contributions from many of those mentioned above, some of whom are sadly no longer with us, as well as fans such as Geoff Barrow, Alex Garland, Scott Ian and Karl Urban, and is a fascinating and informative watch that tells much of the creation of a great British cultural institution.

(In the interest of clarity, a version of this post has appeared here before celebrating the 40th anniversary of the comic, but I wanted to update it to include this excellent documentary.)


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