Despite being best known for co-writing and contributing design work to Mad Max: Fury Road, Brendan McCarthy’s love of psychedelic stylings and the work of Spider-Man and Doctor Strange co-creator Steve Ditko has been a constant throughout his career. That passion for Ditko resurfaces once again in his latest contribution to the British anthology 2000 AD, The Zaucer of Zilk.
The series, which begins in 2000 AD’s annual holiday issue, is a return for McCarthy to the fantasy world(s) he co-created with writer Al Ewing (The Immortal Hulk) in 2012. For this second series, the veteran artist is joined by Peter Hogan (Resident Alien, Tom Strong), making his own return to 2000 AD after more than two decades.
Together, the two — along with colorist Len O’Grady and letterer Jim Campbell — create something gloriously at odds with the more hard sci-fi leanings of strips like Judge Dredd or Brink; an intentionally giddy, nonsensical experience that reads like The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine transformed itself into a superhero comic that’s part kitchen sink drama and part satire on consumerist society.
It’s a heady mix, delivered with a self-awareness of its own archness that’s a million miles away from Fury Road, but still infused with the same DNA. Imagine the kind of comic the Doof Warrior would read in his downtime, and you’re halfway there.
A Zaucerful of Zecrets, the second series of The Zaucer of Zilk, begins in 2000 AD Prog 2162, which is set to be released Dec. 18.