'2000 AD' Publisher Unveils Its 2020 Special Issue Slate
Rebellion Publishing, the owner of iconic comic book anthology series 2000 AD, has announced ambitious plans for 2020, including the revival of a number of historical British titles and new material from Preacher and The Boys co-creator Garth Ennis.
Rebellion acquired the back catalog of publisher TI Media in 2018 and the Fleetway/IPC Youth Group archive in 2016 — giving it ownership over a catalog of comic book properties stretching back to the 19th century. Rebellion then tested the waters with revivals for humor anthologies Cor!! and Buster, as well as “girls comic” titles Tammy and Jinty in special issues throughout 2019.
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Next year, Rebellion is planning a larger slate of releases that combine revivals of classic titles with all-new material from a number of creators including Ennis, Suicide Squad and Judge Dredd writer Rob Williams and Archie vs. Predator’s Alex de Campi. In total, 12 specials are planned for release from March through December, in addition to the ongoing 2000 AD and Judge Dredd Magazine series and collected edition slate for the year.
“Rebellion owns the world’s biggest archive of English language comics and to say we’re spoilt for choice is an understatement – but we’ve picked out iconic titles to reinvigorate for the 21st Century, alongside some of the best new products Rebellion has to offer,” Rebellion senior editor Keith Richardson said Wednesday in a statement. “We’re putting these comics back where they belong — back on the newsstand and back in front of new audiences.”
The announced titles, accompanied by descriptions and release dates from the publisher, are below.
Action Special: It horrified prudes and censors alike — but the ground-breaking Action is back! The 1970s comic they tried to ban returns with the same blend of unbeatable characters and no-holds-barred action — all brought to you by the best talents of today! Featuring the killer shark Hookjaw by Dan Lish, juvenile delinquency in Kids Rule OK by Ram V and Henrick Stahlstrom, frontline German Panzer with Hellman of Hammer Force by Garth Ennis and Mike Dorey, merciless secret agent action with Dredger by Zina Hutton and the brand-new Hell Machine by Henry Flint. Plus, the exclusive edition available from the 2000 AD website will come with a bagged reproduction of the ‘banned’ issue of Action from October 1976! (March 2020)
Cor!! Buster Easter Special: The biggest and brightest humor comic in Britain is back for another 48-page special! A smash hit with kids, the Cor!! Buster Easter Special brings together two of Britain’s most beloved humor comics for 48 pages of belly laughs and silly japes from some of the best creators around, including Lew Stringer and John Freeman on Buster and Delbert, Sweeny Toddler and Gah! by Tom Paterson, Grimly Feendish by Ned Hartley and Tom Paterson, Frankie Stein by Cavan Scott and Steve Mannion, Daisy Jones' Locket by Olivia Hicks and Shelli Paroline, Birdman and Chicken by Edward Whatley, Swines of Anarchy by Lee Langford and Pye Parr, Faceache by Matt Smith and John Lucas, Gums by Lizzie Boyle and Abigail Ryder, Deadly Hedley by Paul Goodenough and Rositsa Vangelova, Kid Kong by Alec Worley and Tiernen Travallion and Duck Turpin by Robin Etherington and David Follett. (April 2020)
Smash! Special: They’re the home-grown superheroes who gave Superman and Spider-Man a run for their money — and now they’re back in the Smash! Special! Featuring some of the most original and unusual caped crusaders you’ll ever encounter, this 64-page special features supervillain-turned-hero The Spider by Rob Williams and John McCrea, supercharged secret agent The Steel Claw by Danijel Žeželj, the ‘missing link’ who became the man of the future Johnny Future by Tom Raney, the giant robot ape Mytek the Mighty by Suyi Davies Okungbowa and Anand Radhakrishnan, and many more! (May 2020)
Roy of the Rovers Euro 2020 Special: It’s going to be an incredible summer of football with the European Championships, and the Roy of the Rovers Euro 2020 Special will bring you excitement on and off the pitch. Featuring the talents of the Roy of the Rovers creative team — Rob Williams, Lisa Henke and Tom Palmer — this 48-page special kicks off next summer! (June 2020)
2000 AD Sci-Fi Special: Twenty Years of Rebellion: The year 2020 marks two decades since Rebellion stepped in to save the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic. The 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special celebrates 20 years of Rebellion with a specially curated look at 2000 AD during the tenure of its longest-serving owners and longest-serving editor. Featuring some of the best talents of the past 20 years, this 48-page special celebrates the evolution of 2000 AD since its namesake year with comics and features about Britain’s biggest and best comic! (June 2020)
Tammy & Jinty Special: Tammy & Jinty return for two feature-length stories from modern creators in a new 48-page comic, continuing the work of last year’s hit special! Tammy and Jinty were ground-breaking female-led comics that covered everything from science-fiction and fantasy to romance and domestic drama. Now retooled for the 21st century, the Tammy & Jinty Special pays tribute to this legacy of trail-blazing comics while introducing a new audience to the medium! (July 2020)
Battle Special: It was the comic than inspired a generation and introduced readers to some of the realities of war — and now Battle is back, and it’s bigger than ever! This 96-page special features the returns of Rat Pack, Destroyer, El Mestizo and more of your favorite characters — direct from the comic book front lines! Inspired by the classic comic and ground-breaking characters, creators such as Garth Ennis, Alex De Campi, Alan Hebden, Brent McKee, Keith Burns, Rob Williams and more bring you stories of war inspired by real events but with the flair and excitement that made Battle the innovative comic it was! (September 2020)
Misty & Scream! Special: Following the success of last year’s fright-filled outing, the Misty & Scream! Special returns this Halloween! Two of Britain’s best loved comics reunite for an anthology of brand-new tales that are guaranteed to terrify and entertain you — courtesy of a coven of creators, including Kek-W, Simon Coleby, Vincenzo Riccardi, Cavan Scott, Alec Worley, DaNi and many more! (September 2020)
Thriller Picture Library Special: Thriller Picture Library was the pocket book series packed with thrilling tales of danger and adventure, which delighted audiences for more than a decade in the mid-20th century, establishing the careers of D.C. Eyles, Mike Hubbard, Eric Parker and Septimus E. Scott. With a brand-new cover by VV Glass, this 128-page special includes two classic John Steel adventures from the 1960s, drawn by Luis Bermejo (Eerie, Vampirella) and colored for modern audiences! (November 2020)
The Return of Sexton Blake: The world’s greatest detective and one of the most popular fictional characters of all time, Sexton Blake, is back! Part Sherlock Holmes, part action hero, Blake was created by Harry Blyth in 1893 and his instant success saw him become the subject of countless novels, comics, radio, and TV, making him one of the last century’s most popular characters. Featuring a guide to his adventures alongside just some of his timeless comic book adventures, The Return of Sexton Blake is a 96-page collection that will reintroduce the master of mystery and suspense! (November 2020)
Misty Presents... Special: Christmas is the perfect time for a ghost story and this year’s Misty Presents… special will bring a few seasonal scares with a 48-page special that will shock your Xmas stocking off the wall and have you cowering under the tree with your presents! Prepare yourselves for a Yuletide shocker as M.R. James meets Black Mirror in a brand-new title to round out a very special year! (December 2020)
Evil Genius 2 Special: Evil Genius 2: World Domination is coming to Steam in 2020 in a full-fledged sequel to the 2004 classic PC game — and, like all the best villains, now that we have you captive, we’re going to reveal the inner workings of our fiendish plans in a 64-page special! In this spy-fi lair builder, you take control of an Evil Genius, with your aim nothing less than taking over the world, and the Evil Genius 2 Special will take you behind-the-scenes on this long-awaited sequel! (Date TBC)
by Mike Barnes