Rebellion Publishing has provided CBR with the exclusive first look at Carlos Ezquerra’s cover for the 40th Anniversary Edition of 2000AD -- and it returns the artist to two of his best-known characters: Judge Dredd and Johnny Alpha, otherwise known as Strontium Dog.
One of the longest-running serialized comic books in the world, the anthology debuted on Feb. 26, 1977. It was named 2000AD as a joke, as no one expected the magazine to actually manage to reach the year 2000 (or run for more than 2,000 editions). For this, its 40th anniversary, the publisher is going for a "ruby" theme, as evidenced by Ezquerra's cover.
Ezquerra is the credited co-creator of both Judge Dredd and Johnny Alpha, with writer John Wagner. Judge Dredd was their first work together, with the character debuting in the second 2000AD prog in 1977 -- making him the magazine's longest-running character. "Strontium Dog," on the other hand, has been around since 1978, with both proving to be popular characters. Interestingly enough, however, Strontium Dog was originally published in a spinoff to 2000AD called “Starlord," but proved so popular that he was among the characters to continue on once the two publications merged.
Arriving in February, the prog will feature the stories "Judge Dredd: Blood" by Wagner and Peter Doherty; "Nikolai Dante: Devil May Care" by Robbie Morrison and Simon Fraser; "Sláine: Red Branch" by Pat Mills and Simon Davis; "Ro-Busters: Seeing Red" by Mills and Clint Langley; "Zombo" by Al Ewing and Henry Flint; and "Durham Red: Judas Strain" by Lauren Beukes, Dale Halvorsen and Ezquerra.
That’s a starry line-up of some of 2000AD’s best-regarded creators and well-loved characters, but the publisher also tell us we can expect to see work from Jock, Dave Gibbons and Bryan Talbot in the issue.
The 40th anniversary of 2000AD will arrive in February 2017, with a special celebration event held in London to commemorate the milestone.