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2000 AD: Prog 1675
by John G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/28/2011 07:46:05

One word: fantastic.

The 2000AD series can be counted on for quick-paced stories. It is the skilled and varied art that slows you down. You'll really like your first time through the book, you'll love it the second time you read. Prog 1675 is a satisfying collection of stories, including the expected Judge Dredd episode to start off the book. Judge Dredd is usually worth the price of the book alone. The other stories in this book only enhance the value.

The Stickleback story was a bit hard to follow, but it improves on additional readings. This issue also features the return of Zombo, a brutal yet thoughtful zombie monster.

John Burns' art in the Nikolai Dante story was striking, a clever mix of painted panels with inked characterizations interspersed.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
2000 AD: Prog 1675
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2000 AD: Prog 1600
by Raymond M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/28/2011 16:00:19

Loved the Prog! It introduces new story arcs, sagas and series in a way that really grabbed my attention. The artwork was outstanding, as we've come to expect from Britain's premier comic. It makes me want to go online and get the rest of the issues to find out what happens next!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
2000 AD: Prog 1600
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2000 AD: Prog 1600
by Jim P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/16/2011 13:17:15

Excelent reading great artwork good storyline one of the best Judge Dredds that I've ever read and the price is just right.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Strontium Dog: Search/Destroy Agency Files 02
by Walter M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/17/2011 17:52:18

An excellent buy for any Strontium Dog - Johnny Alpha follower! I play Strontium Dog RPG and these PDFs are a valuable resource for storylines and screen captures, and with a $10 pricetag ... it's a must have!!!

When are we going to see the other two books in PDF!!!! Walts



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Strontium Dog: Search/Destroy Agency Files 02
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Strontium Dog: Search/Destroy Agency Files 01
by Walter M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/17/2011 17:49:21

An excellent buy for any Strontium Dog - Johnny Alpha follower! I play Strontium Dog RPG and these PDFs are a valuable resource for storylines and screen captures, and with a $10 pricetag ... it's a must have!!! Walts



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Strontium Dog: Search/Destroy Agency Files 01
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Judge Death: Young Death - Boyhood of a Superfiend
by Shane O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/30/2010 21:26:06

I’m always leery of reading comic books in an electronic format. While novels can make the transition because they only need to focus on their text, comics need to display pictures and narrative flow between panels that don’t always fit on a screen. Hence, I usually just buy paper copies of the comics I think I’d like.

When I saw this particular comic go on sale, however, I made an exception.

Now, I’m not too much of a fan of Judge Dredd overall. It’s not that I dislike it, but rather never really had a chance to let it grow on me – but I did pick up some things here and there. One of which was the awesome villain that is Judge Death. An undead, unkillable monster who believes that life is inherently criminal and must be eradicated (hence his kickass catch-phrase “The crime is life! The sentence is death!”). So yeah, when I saw that there was an origin-story for this badass, I was hooked.

Judge Death: Young Death – Boyhood of a Superfiend is a ninety-eight page PDF file of the comic. I usually cringe at comics as PDFs, and this was the case here. The front and back covers are placed side-by-side as the opening page, making it twice as wide as all of the other singular pages; this means that when you try to use the “fit to screen” option, it fits it so that that double-page fills the screen, and the others are still filling half of it. You can still resize them up more, but it’s a bit awkward and unwieldy. There weren’t any bookmarks either, but I’m letting that slide because they’d be an awkward fit for a comic with no narrative breakups in the story.

The comic itself is full color, and done in a muted “portrait” style – rather than cartoonish heavy borders and bright colors, the entire comic has a more shaded feel to it. It works quite well, lending a very gothic feel to an already gothic story.

In terms of continuity, this story takes place after the Necropolis story arc, and before Judge Death sets out into the Cursed Earth. The story itself is actually told in two (or, depending on how you look at it, three) separate parts. The first is Judge Death giving his life story to a reporter in hopes that the people of Mega-City One will come to understand what he’s offering them – the innocence of death – which is juxtaposed with the flashbacks of his time among the living. Across from this is a separate story of the Judges investigating a murder. The connection between these two is made early on, and creates a nice point-counterpoint to the story; the end results of both Judge Death’s narrative and the murder investigation are known to us – we’re being taken along parallel journeys to see how things got there.

Judge Death’s story is a fairly depraved one from the outset. His home dimension (before he turned it into Deadworld) is shown as a place where life was always regarded as cheap. We see the young Death is shown to be sadistic and sociopathic from a young age, and at first we’re given to believe this is because of his father (who is shown to be completely off-the-wall psychotic), and initially think that he’s a bad seed from a bad tree. All too soon, however, we quickly come to realize that he’s as much the product of his environment as he is just born evil. When he murders twenty-seven people who appear in his court on his first day as a probationary judge, and the head judge expresses only a mild exasperation at this, it’s clear that it was only a matter of time before someone like him came along.

In a way, I found this aspect of his origin to somewhat lessen the character. I can understand why the writers did it, since it’s a new spin on the old “natural-born psycho” that a lot of villains start as. But even so, showing him as being only slightly beyond the norm for his bloodstained society makes him seem less monstrous – he’s simply the natural conclusion of his cultural values.

Ultimately, like a lot of origin stories, the ending feels inconclusive, if only because it ends where the character’s “on-screen” history begins. When he reaches the point where he transitions to becoming Judge Death, the story is pretty much over. There’s the story that takes place in the present, the one dealing with the murder case, but it also lacks a real climax due to the fact that, once the origin tale is over, it exists only to showcase how the meta-plot for the book concludes. This isn’t something I can really hold against the book – it did what it promised to do, after all, which was tell us how Judge Death became who he is – but its still a weakness of the story.

Of course, one weakness doesn’t undercut the book’s overall strengths. The tale is a long and gruesome one, and whether it’s by nature or nurture it still highlights what a monstrous figure Judge Death has always been, even as a little boy. Filling in the gaps of his history gives us a more thorough understanding of his character, and makes him all the more enjoyable. This graphic novel brings Judge Death to life (crime as that may be).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Judge Death: Young Death - Boyhood of a Superfiend
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(do not activate) Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 1
by Patrick E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/15/2010 23:34:49

I was very pleased to discover this source of old and newer Dredd material. I haven't seen it since the 80's. I like the format and the price.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
(do not activate) Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 1
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The Ballad of Halo Jones
by Brent M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/28/2010 17:48:20

Nostalgic and oh-so-very 80s. I love it. Only wish I had had the pleasure of reading this when it was originally published.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Ballad of Halo Jones
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2000 AD: Prog 1600
by Nathan O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/20/2009 11:54:38

A great start from 2000 AD i need moor of this... :)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
2000 AD: Prog 1600
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The Complete Alan Moore Future Shocks
by Steven S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/25/2009 18:37:09

There can be no doubt that, love him or hate him, Alan Moore is one of the greatest creative minds to ever grace the comics medium. His story-telling is so earnest, weird, kooky, slick and downright awesome all at once that it’s no wonder he’s one of the Greats. Now, I’m a Moore admirer myself, and I’m especially influenced by his earlier works; specifically Swamp Thing, Captain Britain and his many 2000 AD accomplishments. Sure, I suppose little things V for Vendetta, Watchmen and From Hell are what people mostly know him for, but I like to think his best work was with Mighty Tharg and his humble weekly newsagent-bomb 2000 AD. And with the galaxy’s greatest comic Marvelous Moore laid upon us mind-blowing wonderment-inducing things in the form of titles such as The Ballad of Halo Jones, D.R. and Quinch, his Time Twister tales, Abelard Snazz, and, of course, Future Shocks.

Future Shocks is a long-going series (since issue #25) of non-related one-off strips written in the vein of classic shows like Twilight Zone, Night Gallery and The outer Limits. Each Future Shock is a little strange, eerie or creepy and has a twist ending… or twisted ending… usually both! And anyone who’s even remotely aware of Alan Moore’s work will fully know that many of the best Future Shocks were written by him.

This 200+ page black & white volume not only contains all of Moore’s Future Shocks, but it also has his Time Twisters (which are a bit longer than the Future Shocks) and all the Abelard Snazz strips he did. To be quite honest, it was quite difficult to contain myself reading this book the first time through. I readily admit that it’s probably one of the best comic tomes one can ever acquire. I honestly cannot see anyone with a love for cracking short stories and sequential art hating this. In fact, I am finding it really hard to review this collection as I just want to say “It's one of the top ten things in comicdom you should own. So buy it, if you haven’t already!”

Enough gushing. You already know who wrote this, so here’s a list of some of the paint-peeling, eye-stealing artists you will encounter: Alan Davis, Ian Gibson, Steve Dillon, Dave Gibbons, Paul Neary, Bryan Talbot and Brendan McCarthy. That’s just for starters. I suppose I should tell you a bit about what you can find inside this near-religious experience, but please bear in mind that since the stories are very short, usually around 3 pages, there’s too much to cover in a review such as this. I’ll go over some of my favorites…

Grawks Bearing Gifts (Future Shocks): The kick-off to the collection, and a worthy starter. I’d say it’s a classic, but let’s face it: they all are.

The English/Phlondrutian Phrasebook (Future Shocks): This is one of the funniest comics I have had the pleasure of reading. I’ve read it probably a hundred times and it still makes me cackle with glee. “Yes, we are a pain sensitive species. Why do you ask?”

The Last Rumble of the Platinum Horde (Future Shocks): A classic of classics, the story is perfect and it even kinda conveys a message. Salad Days (Future Shocks): “Well, of course we’re humanitarians! Strict humanitarians! After all… we only eat humans, don’t we?” I’m a sucker for people eating.

An American Werewolf in Space (Future Shocks): Another hilariously twisted bit of silly genius. Plus a great plan in case we ever have a problem with lycanthropes.

The Disturbed Digestions of Doctor Dibworthy (Future Shocks): This timeless, charming time-travel tale is one of my all time faves.

Bad Timing (Future Shocks): I will always love this sharp parody of the Kypton Escape of baby Superman.

Dad (Future Shocks): The horror of this short resonated with me ever since I first read it, which was a long, long time ago. Now that I have kids it hits even harder. Simple yet incredibly effective.

Ring Road (Time Twisters): Suitably creepy and a beautiful lesson in “what goes around comes around”.

The Time Machine (Time Twisters): Oh, so, so sad.

And much, much more!

Then there’s the Abelard Snazz strips, which star one Abelard Snazz, a man with a “multi-storey mind” and four eyes. He shows up in some Ro’ Jaws Robo Tales, Future Shocks and self-titled thrills. As a whole, Snazz is some good reading and should throw must people for a loop form time to time—a fun loop, mind.

With all of these Future Shocks, Time Twisters, Abelard Snazz strips and more, I can think of a better value for your dollar at this moment. This collection is a must for any fan of comics. But I’m sure I’ve already said that… right? Hmmm, I better wrap this up soon before the very review becomes a Future Shock itself!!

The only downside I can find is that a couple pages here and there are two page spreads and some words are cut off, which can be a pain with a PDF… Overall, this book is nearly all upsides, ranging from the astonishing, the spine-chilling, the harrowing, the side-splitting, the depressing and the occasional cautionary tale; not to mention the magnificent illustrative work from some of the industry’s greatest talents throughout. Shell out your hard earned ducats and enjoy, Earthlings.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Complete Alan Moore Future Shocks
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2000 AD: Prog 1650
by Steven S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/23/2009 15:27:16

Since 2000 AD is a weekly anthology, I will keep my review brief as possible and break it down into short sections based on the respective thrills (stories) and other content. Speaking of thrills, prog 1650 kicks off three brand new ones!

Cover: Chris Weston treats us to a most zarjaz and kick-ass cover featuring 2000 AD editor-in-chief, the Mighty Tharg. This may be the best Tharg cover yet! Top marks for droid Weston.

Judge Dredd, “Tour of Duty” (part one): And so Dredd and Judge Beeny start their exile working the new mutant re-location cities built in less crappy parts of the Cursed Earth. An excellent beginning, if a bit inauspicious for Beeny and Dredd! I have a feeling it’s only going to get crazy from here. Scribe-droid Wagner delivers the good, as per usual fare and Colin MacNeil’s art is drokking awesome. Major points also awarded for naming the mutie city designer “Mason Dixon”. It looks like another Dredd classic may be in order.

Shakara, “Destroyer” (part one): It’s good to see Death Incarnate return to 2000 AD. It should come as no surprise to say Robbie Morrison delivers a gripping tale of impressive carnage and vengeance that should have you wailing for more once this first chapter ends. Henry Flint shows us yet again why he’s a master of gorgeous, epic star-borne violence. Seriously, folks, his art had me drooling! It keeps getting better and better and better. Warlord Skulka, an incredible and hideous looking alien khan of the worst kind, certainly gets his. Oh, my, does he ever! But anyone who’s read Shakara before knows this… And if you’ve never read Shakara before, you’re in for a treat. As with the Dredd thrill before this one, my only disappointment is having to wait for the next issue. Well done, Morrison, Flint and de Ville (letters).

Kingdom, “Call of the Wild” (part one): Finally, we are given some of what I call “The Abnetting”. Be warned: I am a mammoth Dan Abnett fan (457 ft. tall!) and pretty much worship his writing prowess. So, needless to say, this thrill of Kingdom is a most excellent offering. Gene the Hackman, my favorite mutant man-dog, travels to dangerous Auxtralia in the Them (evolved insects) devastated Earth of the near future where he fights Them, who attack him and his human companion Leezee. They are being watched by someone… And then a public phone rings. This thrill is already as a Kingdom comic should be: hard action, weird-but-fun quips (e.g. “Get whet!”), frenetic pacing and Elson’s terrific, vibrant art. Like with the two thrills previous: can’t wait for more.

All in all, yet another fine issue of the galaxy’s greatest comic. This one is lighter on variety, having only three extra-length thrills—but what heavy, pulse-pounding thrills they are! With Kingdom, Dredd and especially Shakara in ace form, it would be a crime to rate this prog as anything less than “perfect”.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
2000 AD: Prog 1650
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