Well this looks a lot of fun! Rebellion have another special event this September when they ask the question “What if 2000 AD and Battle Action had merged in the 1980s?”. While that may not mean much to readers outside of the UK it will have a nostalgic feel for a homegrown audience. Back in the heady days of British weekly comics on the newsagents shelves one peculiarly UK publishing practice was to merge comics when the sales of one title were flagging. This would see a small number of strips moving over to the more popular comic with both titles featuring on the cover for a few months until the lesser title’s logo was quietly dropped. This “What If?” premise is echoing that point in Brit comics history. Full details, as ever, in the press release below.
What if two of Britain’s biggest comics had merged – find out this September!
Wraparound cover by Henry Flint
It’s a clash of the ages – what if two of Britain’s most famous comic books had merged at the height of their popularity in the 1980s?
In a brand new “what if?” crossover featuring some of Britain’s biggest comic book talents this September, 2000 AD and the Judge Dredd Megazine find the answer to the question: what would 2000 AD have looked like if it had combined forces with the legendary Battle Action?
Out in the UK on 20 September and in North America on 1 November, 2000 AD Prog 2350 and Judge Dredd Megazine #460 features stories by Ken Neimand, Alex de Campi, Gordon Rennie, Arthur Wyatt, Chris Weston, Staz Johnson and more. (Diamond codes: JUL231919 & JUL231920)
‘Death Game 2049’ by Nick Dyer
The special 48-page bumper issue of 2000 AD and the 132-page Judge Dredd Megazine will see Judge Dredd take on the anarchic, riotous teens of ‘Kids Rule OK’, the controversial comic strip that helped lead to Action being pulled from shelves in 1976.
The line-up includes Alan Hebden and Carlos Ezquerra’s former enslaved gunslinger El Mestizo and laconic WWII officer Major Eazy, as well as deadly future sport ‘Death Game 2049’, and daring Panzer officer ‘Hellman of Hell Force’, as well as Dreddworld reinventions of strips such as John Wagner and Mike Western’s tale of the ‘Forgotten Army’, ’Darkie’s Mob’, and Tom Tully and Joe Colquhoun’s WW2 air ace ‘Johnny Red’.
‘El Mestizo’ by Chris Weston
Matt Smith, editor of 2000 AD, said: “The history of comics on the UK’s newsstand is marked by the practice of merging titles, where two great anthologies combine. In the case of Starlord joining 2000 AD, it meant the Prog gained Strontium Dog and Ro-Busters. When Tornado’s Black Hawk joined the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic, it led to a radical reinvention of the strip.
“Writer Ken Niemand suggested to me a special asking what would’ve happened if Battle Action merged with 2000 AD in the early eighties, with its war stories getting something of a science-fiction/fantasy makeover, and I couldn’t resist!
“Major Eazy, Hellman of Hammer Force, El Mestizo, Dredger – all these great characters get the 2000 AD treatment in Prog 2350, courtesy of the likes of Niemand, Simon Coleby, Chris Weston, Dan Cornwell, Jake Lynch and more. And over in Judge Dredd Megazine #460, we’ve got Dreddworld reinventions of ‘Rat Pack’, ‘Darkie’s Mob’ and ‘Johnny Red’ – it’s a ‘What if…’ that fans of both Battle and 2000 AD won’t want to miss.”
‘Judge Dredd: Return to Billy Carter’ by Nick Percival
Battle Picture Weekly and Action were two of Britain’s most groundbreaking comics, both tearing up the rulebook on how comics should be in an age of conformity and falling sales. Their action-packed pages delighted young readers as much as they horrified parents and moralists. Following national controversy over the violence in Action, it was effectively banned by its own publisher, neutered and eventually merged with Battle, to create Battle Action.
For this was the age of “hatch, match and dispatch” – when new comics would be launched, then merged into more successful titles. 2000 AD itself absorbed its stablemates Starlord and Tornado, with strips such as ‘Strontium Dog’ and ‘Ro-Busters’ becoming some of its most popular ever series.
This mega-crossover will then be followed by a brand new ‘jumping on’ issue of 2000 AD – the perfect point for new readers to jump on board with the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic, featuring an all-new line-up including ‘Poison’, a new ‘Judge Dredd’ story by Rob Williams and PJ Holden, more ‘Feral & Foe’ by Dan Abnett and Richard Elson, the return of ‘Helium’ by Ian Edginton and D’Israeli, plus a special one-off clash between two classic characters by Garth Ennis & Henry Flint!
‘Judge Dredd: Juves Rule OK!’ by Simon Coleby
Grab 2000 AD and more of Rebellion’s comic book titles from your local comics shop or newsagent – find your nearest stockist with the 2000 AD storefinder at 2000AD.com/store-finder or locate your local comic book shop at ComicShopLocator.com.
To read 2000 AD, the Judge Dredd Megazine, Monster Fun, fiction ebooks, and hundreds of graphic novel collections, download the 2000 AD app for iOS and Android devices. As well as gorging on a host of free comics, you can read your purchases in the app or download them as DRM-free files from the 2000 AD webshop.