Writer: Cavan Scott Artist: Andie Tong Inker: Marcio Menyz Publisher: Titan Comics Format: 4-issue series Reviewed: Issue 1
Coinciding with the 40th birthday of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic comes this revamped, updated edition of the 30th-anniversary book. The original text by former-Tharg David Bishop has been added to by journalist Karl Stock, offering a comprehensive, well-researched and lavishly illustrated document of the life of 2000AD so far. The swirling chaos that attended the comic’s birth forms the most fascinating part of the story. During its early years 2000AD seemed to lurch from one crisis to the next, under ever-present threat of cancellation by the powers-that-be at parent company IPC. Instances of rampant ego abound, mostly related to founding father Pat Mills, who, judging by the interview quotations here, seems not to have a good word for anyone but himself. Then again, without Mills’s determination, irascibility and implacable selfconfidence, 2000AD would not have lasted much beyond its initial issues, let alone survived past the date of its title. His vision of a punktinged, European-style anthology has yielded numerous iconic characters, not least Judge Dredd, and become the launch pad for the careers of a roster of stellar creators too long to list here. This is a terrific tale, honestly told, and only in its final section – detailing the period from the turn of the century onwards, as the comic became part of the establishment it used to mock – does Thrill-Power Overload’s narrative flag. 2000AD remains vibrant and vital but, just like a comics equivalent of Ken Livingstone, never again will it seem quite as hair-raisingly seditious as it did back in its late-’70s/early-’80s heyday. James Lovegrove
Tekken’s story has always been a bit of a myopic mess – there’s a huge cast of characters in the parent game series, and when the only story you really need to tell is about people beating each other up, it’s easy to lose focus and flit around from fighter to fighter aimlessly, struggling to snap to a single, meaningful storyline.
Tekken #1 is the establishing issue of a four-part story arc that ties directly into the upcoming release of Tekken 7. The first few pages of the issue use assets and 3D renders from the game to summarise the story so far, explaining that the patricidal Mishima family have been vying for control of the Mishima Zaibatsu for years, and that the youngest member of the family – Jin – is lumbered with an unwanted evil in his blood he’s tried (and failed) to exorcise.
The story proper picks up here, switching to a gorgeous, sketchy art style reminiscent of Nineties X-Force comics thanks to Andie Tong’s penmanship and Marcio Menyz’s moody, Blade Runneresque colouring. The art seems based on how Liefeld brought his characters to life: the proportions of the cast become…unrealistic, but in a context like Tekken, it’s a strong stylistic choice and suits the angry, revenge-fuelled story perfectly.
Fans of the game series will enjoy the personality etched into each character (Paul Phoenix especially), however newcomers to the franchise may feel lost pretty early on. The story is top-heavy and cumbersome, but the kung-fu movie plotline mixed with the dystopian near-future aesthetic works a treat, and draws on all of Tekken’s strengths with obsessive enthusiasm. Dom Peppiatt
The latest crime-fighting thriller from indie talent Matt Garvey packs a seriously grizzled punch. Conjuring the rain-soaked murk of Britain’s gloomy, uninviting streets at night, this is the start of a new comic title and story arc from which kids’ eyes should most definitely be averted. A child murderer is on the loose, and there is a seedy line of enquiry to be made if the cops want to catch their killer. But there’s one masked avenger they’ll let make a few house calls if it means them getting their desired results. Tough as titanium and swathed in mystery, the sharp-dressed Ether carries more than a little Rorschach to the character, and even a little Ditko-era Question too. Wearing a London map as a mask and identityconcealing suit, there’s a twist to the character that’s as intriguing as it is heart-breaking. Featuring the watercolour glow of Dizevez’s soft strokes, the artwork lends a lightness of touch to a story that is otherwise saturated in grit. A truly arresting comic.