'2000AD' Celebrates 1900 Issues With Free Online Sampler

97-page sampler features first episodes of 'Judge Dredd,' 'Kingdom' and 'Stickleback'
Greg Staples/Rebellion
97-page sampler features first episodes of 'Judge Dredd,' 'Kingdom' and 'Stickleback'

It’s long called itself the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic, and now British anthology 2000AD can potentially add “most published” to that accolade. Wednesday sees the release of 2000AD No. 1900 — or Prog 1900, in the terminology of the series — as well as a free digital sampler to entice new readers to jump onboard the long-running weekly series.

Unusually, 2000AD Prog 1900 features only three stories, instead of its usual five, with the first installments of fantasy series Kingdom and Victorian supernatural series Stickleback both receiving double-length episodes alongside the traditional installment of Judge Dredd, with the latter written and drawn by the character’s creators John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra.

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2000AD Prog 1900 is the ideal place for new readers to starting picking up the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic,” said editor Matt Smith. “It’s got three bumper episodes of stories from Dan Abnett, Ian Edginton, and John Wagner – all of which are unlike anything else you can pick up today. It’s the perfect issue to discover this powerhouse of comics talent, with its heady cocktail of sci-fi and fantasy action with a mean streak of black humor and dry wit. Plus, we’ve never been more widely available in the US thanks to our iPad app and DRM-free comics through our webshop.”

Recognizing that newcomers to the series might be put off by beginning with the 1900th issue of the series, 2000AD publishers Rebellion released a free sampler of the series online to coincide with the anniversary issue. 2000AD: The Prog 1900 Mega-Preview, as the sampler is called, features the very first Judge Dredd story, as well as excerpts of later storylines “The Pit” and “Day of Chaos,” in addition to the first chapters of the original series of both Stickleback and Kingdom. Announced via the series’ subscriber-only “Thrill-Mail” email list, the preview is available for download here.

2000AD launched in 1977, with Judge Dredd debuting in its second issue. Throughout its long run, the series has featured early career-making work from the likes of Watchmen’s Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Grant Morrison and artists including Brian Bolland, Simon Bisley and Jock. In addition to the Dredd movies, the series has also spun off videogames and radio plays from additional series including Rogue Trooper, Strontium Dog (with Simon Pegg in the lead role) and Sláine.

2000AD Prog 1900 is available digitally now.

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