Comic Book / 2000 AD
The Galaxy's Greatest Comics

Borag thungg, Earthlets! It is I, Report Siht, Hive Queen in charge of the Galaxy's Greatest Website, and I'm here to tell you about 2000 AD.

The story of 2000 AD begins in 1977, when the mighty Tharg of Quaxxan in the Betelgeuse system arrived on your planet and found it dangerously low on thrills. He collaborated with the Pat Mills and John Wagner droids to produce a scrotnig sci-fi Anthology Comic. They gave it the futuristic name of 2000 AD, because they never expected it to last until 2000. Turned out they were wrong.

The main draw of the first prog was the return of popular 1950s hero Dan Dare, though MACH 1 proved rather more popular. However, the true breakout series was to be Judge Dredd, who debuted in the second prog and has appeared in every strip since. The mag has continued to play host to a wide variety of sci-fi comics, some scrotnig, some not.

Of particular note is that a huge chunk of the most zarjaz British writer droids currently contributing to American comics got started within the pages of 2000 AD. Basically, if he's British and popular in America, he probably wrote a few strips here.

Spiritually, 2000 AD is a descendant of Action, inheriting many of its themes, practices and motifs from the older comic, and many of its writers originally wrote for Action. Flesh and Shako in particular can be easily described as "Hookjaw, but with dinosaurs/a giant polar bear instead of a great white shark".

Comics Which Have Run In This Mag Include:

Contributors Include:
  • Just about every British comic writer or artist you've ever heard of... except Warren Ellis (though he did get a letter printed once back in the mists of time).

Tropes Associated With 2000 AD

(Note to Tropers: It appears that we have a Grexnix or two among you so do take heed of this notice to only add examples here that apply to 2000 AD itself, or to a large number of strips in general. If a trope applies to one strip, consider making a separate page for it).

  • Abnormal Ammo: Several strips make use of this. For example, Judge Dredd's lawgiver fires six different kinds of bullet, Strontium Dog has a very similar variable cartridge blaster and Finnigan Sinister's Hand Cannon has an option for high explosive rounds to name but a few.
  • Action Girl: Many strips have tough female protagonists. While many have been forgettable, those such as Anderson: Psi-Division and Durham Red are among the title's most beloved characters.
  • Anthology Comic
  • Anyone Can Die: The comic was never afraid to kill off main characters, starting with M.A.C.H.1.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Apparently, the stories Tharg publishes for us create a type of energy called "Thrill Power." Reading too many epic stories at any one time can lead to something called "Thrill Power Overload," and Tharg occasionally has to protect the comic from enemies called "Thrill Suckers" who seek to steal said "Thrill Power."
  • Artifact Title
  • Blood Sport: Many early strips, such as Mean Team, Mean Arena and, most notably Harlem Heroes, had ultra-violent future sports based loosely on real sports with a futuristic twist. Button Man combines this trope with Hunting the Most Dangerous Game where rich people gambled with each other by pitting Professional Killers against each other in modern day duels.
  • Breakout Character: Judge Dredd.
  • British Comics: One of the most prominent examples.
  • Casual Time Travel: Several series involve time traveling being easily available. The Flesh series was about time-travelling cowboys making a business of hunting dinosaurs to feed the future, with no regard for paradoxes. Tharg's Future Shocks had stories about time-travelling tourists and the like.
  • Continuity Reboot: Several over the years, including Dan Dare. It is also, perhaps, the main way the magazine gets around bringing back dead characters without a typical comic book resurrection (See: Death Is Cheap, below).
  • Comics Merger: Tornado and Starlord were absorbed into the comic.
  • Clue from Ed.: Editor-In-Chief Tharg the Mighty always refers to these as "Tharg Notes."
  • Crapsack World: Plenty of the comics have deeply unpleasant settings
  • Death Is Cheap: Averted by editorial mandate. Tharg has ruled that, in order to keep deaths meaningful, once a character dies, they cannot ever be resurrected (unless that's part of the premise of the strip, like if the protagonist is a vampire or something).
    • Resurrections defying the one exception above have occured though ( Mean Machine, Junior, and Pa Angel in Judge Dredd and, most recently, Dmitri Romanov and Johnny Alpha), albeit it's still generally uncommon.
  • Doujinshi: There are three popular fanzines, which Tharg encourages the readers to buy and which sometimes have work by the comic's creators. Zarjaz is a general-focus zine, Dogsbreath centres on Strontium Dog, and Tales from the Emerald Isle focuses on Irish characters.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Quite a few strips involve dinosaurs in some way.
  • Excuse Question: Lampshaded. ("To be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is answer this brain-bustingly easy question.")
  • Fantastic Racism: Whether it be about Mutants (Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog), robots (ABC Warriors, Go Machine) or aliens (Nemesis the Warlock), very strong anti racism messages are a recurring theme in the comic.
  • Future Slang: It's mostly used in stories set in the future to create unique swear words to get past the censors (e.g. "Drokk" and "Stomm" in Judge Dredd, "Sneck" in Strontium Dog, "Funt" in Sinister Dexter, et. al.)
  • Follow the Leader: Vector 13, which started out as a strip, then took over as a Hostile Show Takeover, followed paranormal stories not too dissimilar to The X-Files.
  • Global Currency: Galactic currency is more like it. The Groat is apparently the most commonly used currency throughout the Milky Way; Tharg always gives his contest winners the choice to receive their prize money in either Galactic Groats or Pounds Sterling. The Groat also may show up in the comic strips themselves every once in a while.
  • Grandfather Clause: Pat Mills has stated that Tharg is kind of a silly concept, but any attempts to get rid of him have not gone down well with the fandom.
  • The Hero Dies: Notably, a number of strips have this occur, starting with M.A.C.H.1.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Several strips take this and run with it. Notably, D.R. and Quinch, Lobster Random, Ulysses Sweet: Maniac For Hire and Zombo take this Up to Eleven.
  • Hitler's Time Travel Exemption Act: Strontium Dog and a couple of Future Shocks play around with this one, with some of them even having Hitler travel back in time himself to do things such as prevent his own murder as a baby or start human civilisation.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: The Vector 13 guys replaced Tharg as the editor for a while in late 1996 and early 1997. Fans didn't take to it too well.
  • Humans Are Morons: As of September 2010, every single example for this trope underneath the comics tab on that page comes from something published in this magazine.
  • Humans by Any Other Name: Tharg calls them "Earthlets."
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Issues are called "progs."
    • While those of the Judge Dredd Megazine are called "megs."
    • ...And the individual stories within each prog are called Thrill 1, Thrill 2, Thrill 3, etc.
  • Iwo Jima Pose: The cover of the massive 100-page "Prog 2000" which was the last issue published in The '90s.
  • Legacy Character: It has been suggested by several grexnix that Tharg is in fact a persona adopted by a line of the mag's human editors, beginning with Pat Mills. This is of course nonsense.
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: The Judge Dredd Case Files, a series of trade paperbacks collecting the entire thirty five plus year run of the series, have covers that are half solid colour, half black with a logo, plain text title and an image of the Judge himself. In the earlier editions, the image of Dredd was black and white which enhanced the effect. This style has since been carried over to other 2000 AD complete collections, including Strontium Dog and Nemesis: The Warlock.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Went straight for the jugular when it introduced "B.L.A.I.R. 1" in the Nineties, where Prime Minister Tony Blair was implanted with "compu-puncture electro-needles" to give him superstrength, and a party-line-spewing AI advisor called Doctor Spin in his head.
    • Judge Dredd has so many examples that it needs its own page.
  • Only You Can Repopulate My Race: One of the one-shot comics in Tharg's Terror Tales features a young man who, after being too frisky with his girlfriend and driving home afterwards, is beamed up by hawt aliens who want to mate with him. He eagerly agrees, only for them to morph back into their Starfish Aliens forms to rape him to death with their tentacle suckers.
  • Overcomplicated Menu Order: In one of the D.R. & Quinch stories, D.R. wants to appear eccentric at a fancy restaurant and so orders four dozen lobsters, wearing Prussian Blue waistcoats. Then when they're delivered, he complains that the waistcoats are Turquoise Blue, "and where are the chocolate-covered ant's brains?"
  • Pardon My Klingon: Tharg drops a few Quaxxan words into his editorials.
  • Pen Name: John Wagner and Alan Grant wrote a lot of content together for the magazine in the 1980's, most of which were published under one of several pseudonyms Wagner had created (T.B. Grover perhaps being the most notable for their work in Judge Dredd) or credited to just one of them instead of both in order to avoid having entire issues with multiple strips from a single credited writer. The only strip where Wagner and Grant share a writing credit together under their real names is Ace Trucking Co.
  • Quest for Identity: In the story The Dead Man, a young boy finds the burned body of a stranger in the wilderness and takes him back to his village. He can't even remember his name, but he turns out to be damn good with a gun and is being pursued by evil spirits from beyond. After healing sufficiently, the man goes on a journey to find out who he is. He's Judge Dredd.
  • Running Gag: All the writers and artists on staff are robots ("droids") who are constantly abused by Tharg, working long hours for little reward and threatened with disintegration should Tharg become unhappy with them. Droid Life takes this and runs it Up to Eleven.
    • There was also a gag on the letters page where readers confused by the familiar design of the Rosette of Sirius emblem Tharg wears on his head would write in asking "Why do you have a telephone dial on your forehead?", a question that would always annoy Tharg ("There's always some dipstick Earthlet who thinks the phrase "telephone dial" is inherently hilarious."). Sadly, the real-life death of the rotary phone killed this joke off. Its final mention was a letter asking "Why does my telephone have a Rosette of Sirius on it?"
  • Russia Takes Over the World: The 2000 AD story Invasion! explores this idea. Written in the 1980s at the end of the cold war, it explored the idea of a Russian invasion and takeover of Western Europe and Britain. (The Russians were thinly disguised as the "Volgans".) This was expanded into the later graphic novel series Savage.
  • Series Mascot: 2000 AD is represented by Tharg the Mighty, a green-skinned alien who claims to be the editor of the Galaxy's Greatest Comic.
  • Shared Universe: At one point, Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog, ABC Warriors, Nemesis the Warlock, and various others were all linked into a single, not entirely consistent continuity. ABC Warriors has since been retconned out, taking Nemesis with it, and the new Strontium Dog also appears to be separate.
    • A more limited version appears as the Dreddverse, primarily consisting of the Judge Dredd series, but including many spin-off series such as Judge Anderson and Lowlife, and shared-universe stories such as Armitage and Insurrection.
    • In more recent years, Savage has been adding more and more content to link its timeline to that of ABC Warriors (such as the introduction of Hammerstein, Blackblood and Mek-Quake robots and the explanation as to how Howard Quartz wound up as a Brain in a Jar). Conversely, several ABC Warriors stories are set at the end of the Volgan War, where the United States invades the Volgan Republic in the 2080s.
    • One episode of Sinister Dexter shows that the comic has at least a shared multiverse, with the pair of gunsharks chasing their mark across dimensions, ending up in the worlds of Judge Dredd, Flesh, Rogue Trooper, Nikolai Dante, Strontium Dog and Kingdom.
  • Space Whale Aesop: Played for laughs in Tharg's Terror Tales stories. Smoking weed will turn you and your friends into zombies, being a horndog will make Starfish Aliens rape you to death, going to a rock concert will result in monster cops cracking down on everyone, etc.
  • Spinoff: The Judge Dredd Megazine, printed monthly.
    • There have been a few over the years, none of which lasted particularly long. Some worthy of note inlcude Dice Man (1986) which tried to be a type of Choose Your Own Adventure and Crisis (1988-1991) and Revolver (1990-91) which were aimed at more mature readers (which was a trend at the time) and the Extreme Edition (??-2008) which was mainly reprints from the early days of the main comic. Only the Meg has done well enough to last over a decade.
  • Superhero: Generally in a satirical, parodic, or deconstructed form, such as Zenith, the various Superman clones in Judge Dredd, and the "gods" from The Ten Seconders.
  • Tag Line: The magazine's had many over the years, the most notable perhaps being "In Orbit Every [X]day" (in reference to whatever day of the week the comic was published on) and "The Galaxy's Greatest Comic".
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Tharg's favorite thing to eat is polystyrene cups.
  • Transplant: Entire series were transplanted into 2000 AD in the late 1970s and early 1980s, often as the result of it's owner's other magazines folding. Strontium Dog is probably the most famous example, having gotten its start in a magazine called Starlord which didn't last a year.
    • Happens with a couple of characters within shared universes as well. For example, Galen Demarco started out as a supporting character in Judge Dredd before getting her own Spin-Off, showing up in the main strip again, then turning up as a supporting character in The Simping Detective, turning up in the Trifecta Crossover before going back to her own Spin-Off again.
  • Trope 2000: As with many works of the late 20th century, this is invoked to make it sound more futuristic. Now, the name is fitting, as the year 2000 is arguably a focal point, since there are stories which take place in the distant past and in the present as well as the future.
  • Zeerust: When it was founded, the year 2000 AD sounded wonderfully far-off futuristic.
    • Word of God claims that the name was also chosen because the original publishers doubted the comic would last that long. Apparently they're keeping the name as a badge of pride because they actually did.

Splundig vir Thrigg, Earthlets!