FUTURE SHOCK! THE STORY of 2000AD gives a thorough revealing insight and full roundup of the history of popular British cult comic 2000AD, the magazine responsible for everyone’s favourite law enforcer, Judge Dredd.
Chock to the brim with interviews with writers, artists and editors for the comic, the documentary opens with 2000AD creator Pat Mills describing how 2000AD came to fruition after his previous comic ACTION got banned from sale in the 70’s. Discovering they could get away with a lot more if the genre of the content was related to sci-fi, 2000AD was born.
Writer Neil Gaiman, Dredd artist Carlos Ezquerra, script advisor & Dredd co-creator John Wagner, sub editor Alan Grant, Zenith writer Grant Morrison and a whole slew of writers, editors, publishers and even musician fanboys of the magazine share their experience of 2000AD throughout its ups and downs. A particular light is shone upon an era in which many of the 2000AD writers had the opportunity to jump ship and write for DC and Marvel in the United States, a dream which many of the writers and artists held in their hearts since starting their comic journey.
Though many different comics are mentioned in the documentary, the film goes into more details about their most popular character, Judge Dredd, as well as Halo Jones, a female character who became a role model for female readers and captivated comic book fans, both male and female, right to this very day, leaving them itching for extra stories or a conclusion from writer Alan Moore that unfortunately never came. It seems publishers didn’t exactly treat their content creators very fairly which resulted in the writers losing the rights to their work which didn’t very well with some of the writers for 2000AD. Who could blame them.
The documentary touches upon the Dredd films created, both the Sylvester Stallone version and the lauded Dredd starring Karl Urban, along with interviews with those involved including Urban himself. It even touches upon Hardware which was the direct result of one of the comics from 2000AD though no-one ever knew about it until well after the film was released. Hit film Robocop gets a mention too for being a movie no doubt being inspired by the comic’s law enforcer Dredd but beating the comic to the punch by bringing a movie to the masses with a character they’ve never seen before they could do the same with Dredd.
Whilst the majority of the documentary consists of interviews with the creators, artists and writers, it manages to captivate and hold the viewer’s attention with each interviewee explaining their love for the comic and their relationship with 2000AD and the others involved. The major highlight has to the interviews with Pat Mills though. Pat’s energy and enthusiasm for comics and his creations leaps off the screen throughout the documentary. It’s clear to see his passion for the work they produced and equally he airs his disgruntlement over certain people who eventually got involved with the comic and turned its fortunes sour. His thoughts on writers using 2000AD as a springboard for work on bigger titles in the U.S. are also worth listening to.
If, like me, you had a little knowledge of 2000AD and are looking to get a full background of the comic, or you’re longtime, die-hard reader of 2000AD, you’ll get plenty out of this expertly shot documentary, particulary with its chock-a-blok special features that include extended interviews with Mills, Gaiman, Morrison, Harlem Heroes writer Dave Gibbons and imprint Vertigo’s Karen Berger. With its reversible sleeve featuring original and new artwork from Dredd artist Jock and whole host of extra featurettes, this is definitely one purchase every comic book fan needs to make.