2000 AD Art Comp. Jul’17 – The World of Pat Mills – Various Artists
A great choice from last month’s forum art competition winner, Steve Denton, for this month’s topic: The World of Pat Mills, or the Millseverse, if you will.
As well as helping Tharg the Mighty create and found the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic, this prolific comics genius also populated 2000AD with some of its most memorable and beloved characters.
Including, of course, ABC Warriors, Defoe, Flesh, Metalzoic, Nemesis the Warlock, Ro-Busters, Slaine and many, many more 2K greats, not to mention huge success abroad, with Requiem: Vampire Knight in France and Marshal Law in the U.S, to name but two!
But, naturally we are focusing on his stellar work for Tharg’s illustrious organ, and we have some suitably fine entries to honour the great man…
- Two of Mills’ best known characters, and at opposing ends of the heroic team of war droids known as the ABC Warriors; the treacherous Blackblood, and noble leader, Hammerstein! Art by Anthony Coppin.
- A vicious ‘Thargosaurus’ rips apart a lesser script droid, but seems placated by the offerings of the talented Mr. Mills – something to get his teeth into! Art by James Newell.
- We love this spoof movie poster featuring the greatest giant robot apes in the history of comics! Armageddon, the Machiavellian psycho-gorilla leader of the Mekaka tribe, from Mills’ riveting (sorry!) robot evolution-saga, Metalzoic; versus Mytek the Mighty, the supersized, synthetic simian, created in the 1960s when Britain still held an empire, a protector for colonial whites in Africa, built to scare the ‘superstitious’ locals off their land, but revamped by Si Spencer for the 1992 2000AD Action Special (which featured a number of forgotten classic British comic characters) as a one-off story, where a real giant Mytek gorilla, defender of the African tribes-people, fights a robot Mytek controlled by white colonialists to oppress the local populace. Ok, not a Mills creation (perish the thought!) but this would be one of hell of a heavy metal scrap!
- Dino-might! Mills proves that non-talking, extinct species, in his capable hands, can become unforgettable, beloved characters. Even a dynasty of blood-thirsty, man-eating tyrannosaurs. Sired by Ol’ One Eye, the gigantic, ferocious hag T-Rex, villainous star of time-travelling cowboys & dinos hit series, Flesh, many of her progeny (those she didn’t eat!) went on to feature in other Mills’ penned-series: Satanus, in Judge Dredd & Nemesis the Warlock, Golgotha in ABC Warriors & the mysterious Gorehead, affected by time-dilation, enabling him to phase in and out of existence, is the main protagonist of the current Flesh series. Art by Alan Byrom.
- First of a terrific set of ensemble character pieces, featuring most of Mills magnificent major players, including ABC Warriors, Hammerstein, Mongrol & Joe Pineapples, Nemesis the Warlock & Torquemada, Ro-Busters’ Howard Quartz & Ro-Jaws, Slaine, Bill Savage and Defoe. Art by Grant Herbert.
- A similar line-up, but also adding: Judge Dredd’s corrupt brother, Rico, Nemesis’ human ally, Purity Brown and Slaine’s partner-in-crime, Ukko the Dwarf. Art by James London.
- Aptly titled ‘Comic Rock’, the inspiration for the first two Nemesis the Warlock episodes, based on classic rock tracks by The Jam and AC/DC, this comprehensive character montage includes Mills’ work outside 2000AD at the top of frame: Charley Bourne from Mills’ classic anti-war epic, Charley’s War, US hit superhero-hater, Marshal Law and popular French fantasy series, Requiem Vampire Knight. Nemesis the Warlock opens his cloak to usher forth more 2K characters, including The Visible Man, Shako, Black Siddha, Third World War’s Eve (Crisis), Deadlock, Dinosty & many more.. Leigh Shepherd.
- Gorgeous black and white study featuring all the major players: Slaine, Nemesis the Warlock, Finn and Satanus, fronted by their creator, the prolific, still rebellious and relevant as ever, Pat Mills. Art by Andy Lambert.
Sir, we salute you..!
Bank of MC-1 200 & 2000 credit notes – Jonathan Bluestone
Lawmaster Mk I – Jonathan Bluestone
Adapted for the Cursed Earth, the Lawmaster Mk 1b or Quasar Bike (Q-Bike) – Jonathan Bluestone
The mighty Cursed Earth crossing vehicle, the K-2001 aka the Landraider/Killdozer – Jonathan Bluestone
Lawgiver Mk IA – original design by co-creator, Carlos Ezquerra – Jonathan Bluestone
Lawgiver Mk IA 2 – original single rounded-barrel – Jonathan Bluestone
Lawgiver Mk 1B – the classic double over-under clip – the most iconic firearm ever! A thing of beauty!! – Jonathan Bluestone
The STUB Gun – The most devastating firearm of all time – almost singlehandedly winning a war! – Jonathan Bluestone
The inner workings of the Lawgiver Standard Execution round – Jonathan Bluestone
A Little Bit of Dredd History…Repeating!!
With the exceptionally exciting news of a Judge Dredd TV series on the horizon, here’s a featured look at the diagrams of Jonathan Bluestone’s Mega-City Justice Dept. tech – from big-bore ballistics to bad @$$ battle bikes!
- Mega-City One monetary denominations from 200-2000 cred notes, feat. the big man’s likeness, natch!
- The Mark I Lawmaster, the original justice delivery vehicle.
It has artificial intelligence, twin 20mm machine guns (“bike cannon”), a
high-power Cyclops front-mounted
laser, and can fire stun gas grenades. It also has a turbo-boost function which enables it to jump over long distances or to great heights. It can respond to verbal commands and drive itself.
- When Judge Dredd and his small band of hand-picked Judges, were tasked to bring a life-saving antidote to the virulent 2T (Fru) T epidemic assaulting Mega-City Two, causing murderous outbursts from the victims, with the chant “Tooty Frooty!” (hence the virus assignation), he knew some upgrades would be needed to the MK I Lawmaster. [So, new more rugged versions were created, as Jonathan explains..] three specialized Lawmaster ‘Quasar’ Bikes. Based on the existing street version of the Lawmaster, the Q-Bike as it was more commonly known was basically a two-wheeled tank with onboard A.I. and a powerful arsenal of weaponry including two forward firing, and two rear firing guns mounted onto the chassis.
The Q-Bike was a successful design; so much so that on Dredd’s return to Mega-City One Justice Department began field tests (after the ‘mad Judge Cal’ incident was over) on an updated variant of the design which would eventually be deployed to active street duty as the standard Justice Department vehicle of choice (H-Wagons being considered ‘support’ vehicles at that time).
- As well as the new Q-Bikes, more heavy-duty transportation was required. These came in the form of the two-in-one death machine, the notorious, Landraider / Killdozer combo! Again, Jonathan details his plans..
Designed as a modular fighting unit the Landraider (forward unit) was armed with a high-intensity laser cannon beneath the command area and flamethrowers and more importantly held the secured and sterile compartment that was to protect the anti-viral agent which had been prepared by Justice Department to combat the 2T (Fru) T outbreak there. The Killdozer (rear unit) completed the vehicle and carried Nemesis rockets, cannons, laser guns, two of the newly issued Justice Department Quasar bikes (Q-Bikes) and was capable of surviving a three megaton nuclear blast at close range. It was also released by Corgi as part of their toy car range. I’ll put that up against your Batmobile!
- The original MK I (version one) Lawgiver (as drawn by Dredd co-creator, Carlos Ezquerra, tended to have a more squared-off barrel) used by
Justice Department. The Mk I had just the one ammo clip housed under the barrel which carried six kinds of rounds, most of which have been in active service throughout all versions of the Lawgiver (from Mk I–III) until the present:
- Standard Execution – A standard bullet, with identical effects to normal kinetic energy projectile weapons.
- Heat Seeker or Hot Shot – A standard bullet propelled by the unstable element, ’Argon 88 b’. Heatseeker rounds lock onto the target’s heat source, enabling the Judge to target fleeing perps, accurately fire in low-light situations and so forth.
- Ricochet – A metal bullet coated with rubber. Ricochet rounds can bounce off solid surfaces while retaining enough kinetic energy to penetrate flesh. This enables the Judge to, for example, kill a perp that is using a human shield, bouncing their shot off a back wall and hitting the target from behind.
- Incendiary – Capable of setting its target on fire. Less widely used due to practicalities of incinerating targets in built-up city areas, although useful against unconventional adversaries such as Judge Death.
- Armour Piercing – Armour-piercing rounds are extremely dense and contain a more powerful charge for higher muzzle velocity. Useful against cybernetic criminals and armoured opponents. When used against humans, it can travel through multiple targets.
- High-Explosive (HI-EX) – A round containing an amount of extremely concentrated high explosive. Judges must employ caution when using this extremely dangerous round; the blast caused by the exploding bullets can just as easily harm those firing as well as the target. Generally used rarely; against crowding attackers or large/dangerous foes.
- The original MK I (version one) Lawgiver (as drawn by Dredd developers, Ron Smith, Mick McMahon & Ian Gibson, in particular) tended to have a more rounded barrel than Ezquerra’s original vision, giving it a sleeker more ‘futuristic’ appearance.
- Version MK I B, is probably the most recognisable of this incredibly iconic future firearm. Although in early Judge Dredd Case Files, Dredd and other Judges were often seen using the standard version, which had one ammunition clip, it was not unknown for artists (especially the prolific Ron Smith) assigned to the Dredd strips to add a second clip (mounted atop the barrel as shown above) became fairly commonplace too, although I can’t find an example until the Cursed Earth saga (Progs 61–85, 22Apr-7Oct’78). As designer Jonathan Bluestone points out:
As to the origins of the weapon, those are known only to Wagner and Ezquerra as it does not match anything then known to exist or seemed to be based on an existing firearm of that period (or from the history of firearms).
- Another unforgettable WMD (Weapon of MASSIVE Destruction!), the infamous Stub Gun was instrumental in the winning of decisive conflict, The Apocalypse War. An experimental firearm, similar in appearance to the Lawrod (Justice Dept.’s heavy duty shotgun), but frighteningly more powerful. The main problem with this weapon, which fired a hi-intensity laser beam, forceful enough to cut through solid rockrete (ten-times stronger than concrete), had an unnerving tendency to overheat.. When invading East-Meg One (or Sov Blok – MC-1′S Eastern arch-enemy)
overrun Mega City, Judge Dredd was chief among the resistance who became involved in a hit-and-run guerilla campaign against the overwhelming Sov army. When the Sov’s reached and took Dan Tanner Junction, a vast pillar onto which were attached numerous megaway sections. Dredd realized that if it fell into Sov hands they could hold it and bring in massive numbers of reinforcements. However, Judge tacticians knew that nothing short of a nuke could bring it down and delivery of such (if they even had one) would be near impossible given the Sov forces in the area.
However, news reached him that Judge Perrier, of the Justice Department Advanced Weapons Research laboratories had brought with him crates containing STUB Guns. The weapon, still in the experimental phase and deemed ‘hazardous to user’, which as alluded to before, had a tendency to overheat… and then explode. Perrier informed Dredd that they could cut through anything, but they would more than likely kill whoever used them. Dredd took the warning under advisement and set to work, issuing STUB Guns to several Judge units. and they set out to cut through the massive supporting pillar at Dan Tanner. With an unforgettable moment of pure, classic Thrillpower, the heroic Judge Souster leaps from the top of a mile-high megaway overpass armed with just a STUB gun to cut down the towering Dan Tanner Junction, whilst an admiring Judge exclaims: “Gotta hand it to Souster, he sure knows how to go!“
Although successful, STUB Gun overheating led to the elimination of several units but they managed to prevent the Sov’s from advancing except across City Bottom, thus essentially winning the war for MC-1! Way to go Souster, indeed!
- Finally, here is Jonathan’s cross-section and technical data for the most common piece of equipment in a Judge’s arsenal (with the exception of his brain, fists and Daystick, of course!) – the common SE or Standard Execution Lawgiver round. As a lifelong Judge Dredd fan, I’ll let the artist, Jonathan Bluestone explain:
According to the original Lawgiver technical diagram, the Standard Execution (round) was a single unit element composed of a lead slug with a rigid titanium head which was not fired in a conventional manner, but which was loaded from the magazine on demand and then had a ‘electropin’ within the casing activated by a charge. Once active, the pin would rotate 45° within the round, opening valves which would rapidly fill with oxygen (which entered via the jet aperture and which would cause the solid fuel, an unstable element known as Argon 88b to combust at a known decay rate producing thrust which would propel the round from the barrel of the gun. According to the technical diagram dialogue, the jet fan diameter coupled with the speed of the pin rotation determines the exiting velocity and range for any individual round and could be calculated prior to firing for the appropriate effectiveness.
Impressive work I’m sure you’ll agree. Keep up the great work Earthlet Jonathan, we can’t wait to see what you come up with next…