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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 prognote  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 a T-rex /a 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).note 
  • Now has an official tabletop RPG: "Judge Dredd and the Worlds of 2000 AD" using the WOIN system. While Judge Dredd is the main setting in the corebook and will receive the most attention, supplements for other major strips are planned, with Strontium Dog already being released.

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.
  • Advanced Tech 2000: Right in the title.
  • All Deaths Final: The 2000 AD policy has been that unless being able to come Back from the Dead is an integral part of a character (such as the character being a vampire or something similar) dead characters stay dead. It hasn't been quite universally followed, but close enough. Couple this with a complete willingness to kill off even well-loved main characters, and this has led to some of comics history's most genuinely shocking moments.
  • 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.
  • Art Imitates Art: 2000 AD artists seem to love putting Judge Death in place of The Joker in homages to old Brian Bolland artworks (who has worked on both 2000AD and DC properties).
  • 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.
  • Badass Normal: Charley's War, set entirely in the real world's historical WW1 and early WW1, is this to the comic roster. Nothing supernatural has happened in this comic though it was still spectacular within bounds of reality.
  • 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.
  • Brain Uploading: The biochips of Rogue Trooper and similar technologies in Judge Dredd allow for a person's entire personality to be recorded and uploaded to new bodies or computers. A.H.A.B. deconstructs this, as the titular character uses recording equipment not designed for human use to save his personality as his ship is being destroyed. While he wasn't a stable individual to begin with, the combination of this and being cooped up in the wreckage of the ship for decades with the corpses of his crew (several of whose deaths he is responsible for), among them his own, does no favours for his sanity, which leaves him hungry for vengeance against the white space whale that he'd been hunting.
  • Breakout Character: Judge Dredd. Dredd is considered one of 2000 AD's "Big Three" along with Rogue Trooper and Strontium Dog, and one of the book's most consistently popular features. However, Dredd is also the only feature of 2000 AD that has had any impact outside the rather narrow niche of British dystopian sci-fi, with multiple adaptations in a wide variety of media.
  • 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.
  • Celebrity Casualty: President Al Gore is killed by aliens during the Fourth World War. He is succeeded by Vice President Mario Cuomo who ends up shooting himself.
  • 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.
  • Darker and Edgier: While American comics were still primarily for kids in the 1970s, their British equivalents at the time featured bloody violence and moral ambiguity. 2000 AD was a successor to Action, an earlier comic magazine for kids that caused a stir in the media for its mature content. Most of 2000 AD's futuristic settings were grimdark dystopias, there was a very thin line between 'good and evil', and most storylines lacked happy endings. However, The Comics Code had become much less strict in the 1970s, so 2000 AD was really just taking Darker and Edgier to an extreme.
    • Fun fact: 2000 AD dodged controversy from the British press over its gruesome violence by allowing Judge Dredd to use excessive force. The logic being that a lawman can get away with using brutality against violent criminals.
  • 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.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Brink does this with Carl Brinkmann, who is nicknamed "Brink", making it seem like a Protagonist Title. He's killed off during the first story with his partner Bridget Kurtis being the actual protagonist.
  • 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.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: While today the strips are completely disconnected from one another with a few exceptions, early on there seemed to be an attempt at a Shared Universe of sorts, primarily the works of Pat Mills. Harlem Heroes, Judge Dredd, Flesh, Savage, ABC Warriors, Nemesis the Warlock and Robo Hunter all had characters who would appear in the others strips and Robo Hunter went the extra mile by name-dropping places and concepts from Judge Dredd.
  • Excuse Question: Lampshaded. ("To be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is answer this brain-bustingly easy question.")
  • Extinct Animal Park: There's a Dinosaur National Park full of cloned dinosaurs. Judge Dredd runs into "Satanus", a particularly vicious T. rex that had escaped from the park, in several adventures.
  • Fanservice Cover: 2000 AD occasionally uses this. For instance, there was one that depicted a sexual encounter between Judge Dredd and Judge Galen DeMarco. In the actual stories, it's just Unresolved Sexual Tension and goes no further than her planting a single kiss on him in his office.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ironic Name: Despite stories like Nemesis the Warlock, Sláine and even ABC Warriors satirising and/or criticising Christainity, the title of the magazine includes Anno Domini, a Christian term. Admittedly, the term Common Era was...well, uncommon in the 1970s.
  • Iwo Jima Pose: The cover of the massive 100-page "Prog 2000" which was the last issue published in The '90s.
  • Just a Machine: Many, many comics in 2000 AD feature this, with humans almost universally hating and mistreating robots (the few that didn't were usually regarded as exceptions) despite the latter possessing human-like intelligence, quirks, feelings, and so on. Sometimes got to the point that you started to wonder who built them since nobody seemed to want them around... Even a man like Judge Dredd, who will unhesitatingly champion mutant rights, considers them nothing more than sophisticated tools. Go Machine puts a twist on this by applying it to cyborgs; once a human is implanted with cybernetics to replace more than half of their bodies, they lose their status as a human being, resulting in their personal property being seized and their marriage annulled.
  • Knocking the Knockoff: Despite the page image (which is a non-commissioned joke comic), the official creative team seem to be ambivalent about The Batman Who Laughs being a copy of Judge Death, although they did name one of their own comics featuring the latter "The Judge Who Laughs" as an obvious Shout-Out.
  • 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.
  • The Multiverse: A couple of strips have shown that this is the case with Judge Dredd establishing dimension jump technology having been developed in a couple of dimensions. The implication from crossovers is that 2000 AD is a multiverse, given that Sinister Dexter are shown briefly visiting the worlds of Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog, Nikolai Dante, and Kingdom. Indigo Prime runs off this with its agents being recruited post-mortem from different dimensions for the titular agency.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Went straight for the jugular when it introduced "B.L.A.I.R. 1" in The '90s, 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.
  • 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.
  • Planetary Core Manipulation: Mega-City-One draws the immense power it needs to function by tapping molten lava underneath the Earth's crust, harnessing primal volcanic energy. This works fine — until the day it goes wrong.
  • Print Long-Runners: As of 2022, 2000AD has been running for over 40 years.
  • Recycled In Space: Many of 2000AD's stories were basically a science fiction spin on war comics or sports comics, which had been the dominant form of comics in Great Britain at the time 2000AD came to life.
  • Resurrected for a Job: The basis behind Indigo Prime is that the titular agency recruits its operatives from various realities Post mortem via cloning.
  • 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.
    • Nikolai Dante is set in a far future society where a resurgent Tsarist Russia has forged an interplanetary empire.
  • Sealed Evil in Another World: In the Zombie special crossover, this spectacularly backfires. In a What If?, the Judges of Earth's Mega-Cities decide to deal with Sabbat, the Evil Sorcerer directing the hordes of zombies, by banishing him to another dimension with the Soviet Apocalypse Warp. This causes Sabbat to spread to every other 2000 AD universe and infect all of them with his zombies.
  • 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.
    • The Rogue Trooper/Judge Dredd crossover is an interesting example. Friday ended up in Mega City One thanks to interdimensional travel and, as payment for their help, the Southers grant Justice Department teks unrestricted access to their technology for two hours. Since the Friday continuity is brushed under the carpet these days, it makes it seem like this might not have happened. On the other hand, Dredd does later encounter a Flawed Prototype GI, making it seem like a Stable Time Loop is occurring here.
    • Most works created by John Higgins actually share a multiverse, which forms the basis of Indigo Prime. Indigo operatives are recruited post-mortem and brought in to work for the organisation as interdimensional agents. The protagonists of Revere and Dead Eyes are two such examples.
  • Slouch of Villainy: One of the 2000 AD covers shows Judge Dredd villain Judge Death sitting slouched over on his bone-adorned throne on his homeworld.
  • 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 include Dice Man (1986) which tried to be a type of Gamebook 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 of realistic horror comics, 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".
  • Title by Year: This released in 1977, and continued to 2000, at least, inadvertently turning into an Annual Title.
  • 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.
  • 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!