2000 AD

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2000 AD is a weekly British science fiction-oriented comic. As a comics anthology it serialises a number of separate stories each "prog" and was first published by IPC Magazines in 1977, the first issue dated February 26. IPC, later Fleetway, continued to produce the title until 2000, when it was bought by Rebellion Developments. Due in part to its weekly publication schedule, it is one of only a few comics to surpass 1,500 issues.

It is most noted for its Judge Dredd stories, and has been contributed to by a number of artists and writers who became renowned in the field internationally, such as Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Bryan Talbot, Brian Bolland and Mike McMahon.


2000 AD has been a successful launchpad for getting United Kingdom talent into the larger American comics market, and has also been the source of a number of film licences. Unlike earlier weekly titles, 2000 AD was based on a 6 page strip format. This gave the writers greater opportunity to develop character and meant that the artists had greater scope in designing the layout.

A long-running joke is that the editor of 2000 AD is Tharg the Mighty, a green extraterrestrial from Betelgeuse who terms his readers "Earthlets". Tharg uses other unique alien expressions and even appears in his own comic strips. Readers sometimes play along with this: for example, in prog 200 a pair of readers wrote to Tharg claiming that they preferred to be called "Terrans"; the resulting controversy ended in Tharg's accepting a challenge for a duel at a galactic location.

Another running joke is Tharg's supposed use of robots to draw and write the strips — some of which bear a marked resemblance to actual writers and artists. A fictional reason for Tharg to use mechanical assistance was given when the robots "went on strike" (reflecting real-life industrial action that occasionally halted IPC's comics production during the 1970s and 1980s). Tharg wrote and drew a whole issue himself, but when he ran it through the quality-control "Thrill-meter", the device melted down on extreme overload. The offending issue had to be taken away, by blindfolded security guards, to a lead-lined vault where there was no danger of anyone seeing it accidentally.

Related publications

  • Starlord was a weekly title (originally intended to be monthly) launched in 1978 following much the same format as 2000 AD and included Strontium Dog and Ro-Busters which introduced characters that would later reappear in ABC Warriors. The two titles were merged later the same year and published as 2000AD and Starlord.
  • Tornado was a weekly title launched in 1979. There was less emphasis on Science Fiction series and when it was merged with 2000 AD a year later only one story Blackhawk made the transfer, though other stories Wolfie Smith and Captain Klep later made appearances in 2000 AD, largely due to IPC editorial policies against 'wasting' stories that had already been paid for. For a while the publication was 2000AD and Tornado.
  • Dice Man was an early attempt at creating a role-playing comic featuring regular 2000 AD characters such as Rogue Trooper and Slaine, as well as original characters, like Diceman. The magazine was not a success and only lasted five issues.
  • Crisis (1988-1991) was a sister publication that didn't follow the format of 2000 AD, but did share many editorial staff and creative teams. Early issues featured two SF-themed stories aimed at a slightly older age group than 2000 AD and soon became a magnet for British creators who wanted to create comics for the adult market. Some stories were continued in 2000 AD after publication ceased.
  • Revolver (1990-1991) joined Crisis though it only lasted for seven issues. Dan Dare was in the original lineup, and this transferred to Crisis when Revolver finished.
  • Toxic! was a short-lived rival publication, established by 2000 AD talent, that was published during 1991.
  • A Best of 2000 AD title was published in the mid-1980s which featured reprint material from early issues of 2000 AD.
  • A yearly hardcover annual was published from 1977 to 1990 (though the cover dates on the annuals were always the following year) as well as an annual Sci-Fi special published during the summer months.
  • A series of American comic format reprints started in 1983 by Eagle Comics with the first issue of an ongoing monthly Judge Dredd title. Eagle Comics also reprinted other 2000 AD material in other titles. The license to reprint 2000 AD material in the US was later taken over by Quality Comics. These reprints ended in 1989.
  • Current sister publications to 2000 AD include the monthly Judge Dredd Megazine, focusing on expanding the world of Judge Dredd, and the bimonthly 2000 AD Extreme Edition focusing on reprints.

See also



External links