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.
  • ...And That Little Girl Was Me: This is the punchline of the short strip Candy and the Catchman, where an old man warns a bunch of children to watch out for a bug-like monster that drains the lifeforce of small children, and how a boy named Billy Candy stood up to the creature but failed. When the children don't believe his crazy story, he reveals that it happened only yesterday, because he's Billy Candy.
  • Anthology Comic: 2000 AD itself features many different comics, some of which are also connected through a Shared Universe. Future Shocks and Tales of Telguuth are anthology comics in their own right, featuring short 5-10 page comics that only rarely star any recurring characters.
  • 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: When it first came out, the year 2000 was twenty three years away. Initially, nobody thought the comic would last into The '80s, let alone the twenty first century. See Zeerust.
  • Ascended Extra: Several characters from Tharg's Future Shocks and its various Spin Offs, such as the Survival Geeks and Ulysses Sweet: Maniac For Hire were later given their own strips.
  • Body Horror: The premise of The Visible Man is of an ex-soldier who gains partial Invisibility from a freak accident involving nuclear waste so that all his internal organs are showing. People shriek in terror at the mere sight of him.
  • 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.)
  • 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.
  • Here We Go Again: The short strip Life Cycle begins and ends with a child waking up from hibernation, then growing up and heading out to explore the Landfill Beyond the Stars that they're living inside, before ultimately being killed by the spider-like parasites. This is because of a fault in the cloning process of the space station that causes memory loss, forcing him/her to relive the cycle indefinitely.
  • 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.
  • Landfill Beyond the Stars: In the short strip Life Cycle, a child wakes up onboard a space station with no memory of how she got there. It turns out that it's inside of a giant waste plant.
  • 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.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: 2000 AD published a bizarre story called I Was a Teenage Tax Consultant to parody I Was a Teenage Werewolf. A teenager is bitten by a rabid tax consultant and transforms into a red tape-obsessed bureaucrat at night.
  • 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.
    • This has been invoked a few times in order to disguise the fact that a seemingly unrelated story is actually part of one of the main strips. The Dead Man was credited to Keef Ripley, where it transpires that the burnt protagonist is Judge Dredd. Lobster Random and Sinister Dexter had Shout Outs to this with the same technique.
  • Persecuted Intellectuals: The short strip Danger! Genius At Work! features a society where intelligent people are persecuted because Individuality Is Illegal. Literally; all the men and women look exactly the same, are respectively named Terry or June, and anyone who tries to create progress by getting ideas for new inventions is forcibly put into the Equalizer, a machine that turns a person into a Terry or June. However, at the end one of the police officers who arrests intelligent people is shown getting struck by the spark of creativity himself.
  • 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.
  • Required Secondary Powers: The Visible Man shows at least one such problem with invisiblity. The protagonist's skin becomes invisible so that all his internal organs are showing, making him look like a monster and becoming a target for unscrupulous scientists who want to perform all sorts of nasty experiments on him against his will. After he escapes from his confinement he tries to restore his skin's appearance by developing a suntan. He quickly discovers that because the light rays go right through his skin and musculature they simply burn his organs, so he's forced to find a different way. Eventually, he discovers that makeup is the best way to make himself look anyway normal.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Action, which was banned in The '70s thanks to Mary Whitehouse's campaign. Science fiction was seen as relatively harmless compared to Action's content, so it was decided to push the envelope in that direction instead.
  • Superhero: Generally in a satirical, parodic, or deconstructed form, such as Zenith, the various Superman clones in Judge Dredd, the enlightened hippie stoner superheroes in Storming Heaven, and the megalomaniacal alien "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!