Once more into the breach goes the Galaxy's Greatest Comic, as 2000 AD launches its 2003 Summer Assault with Prog 1350, which hits the streets on 23 July 2003. No dodgy dossiers are required to justify this all-out Thrillpower offensive, just 32 pages packed with stunning new stories featuring some of the most legendary characters in British comics, by some of the most talented writers and artists in the industry.
Prog 1350 kicks off with part one of strange new Judge Dredd story 'The Satanist', written by Dredd creator John Wagner, with art by Charlie Adlard. The story sees Dredd embark on one of his weirdest ever cases, as his investigations take him to Brit-Cit, searching for a figure from his past.
Another classic character returning to 2000 AD is Slaine, in 'Slaine: Golamh', the second Book of Invasions. Written by Slaine creator Pat Mills with full colour artwork by Clint Langley (who also created the much admired artwork for 'Slaine: Moloch'), the new story has Slaine's Ireland facing a new threat from an age-old race in a ten-page first episode.
The third new story in Prog 1350 features the return of mutant bounty hunters Johnny Alpha and Wulf Sternhammer, in a brand new story by classic Strontium Dog team John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra, 'Strontium Dog: The Tax Dodge'. This time around, the bounty hunters will be facing possibly their most terrifying and implacable enemy, the taxman! 'Strontium Dog: The Tax Dodge' kicks off with a 12-page double-length opening episode.
Prog 1350 will have a special premium cover featuring brand new art from Henry Flint (Dredd/Aliens: Incubus, Shakara), so will contain four extra internal pages of thrillpower. This edition will also contain a stunning fully-painted fold-out A2 poster of Judge Dredd and Judge Death by Greg Staples (Judge Dredd, Sinister Dexter).
Slaine and Strontium Dog will return to regular episode length in Prog 1351, and will be joined by two new strips, brand new story 'Leviathan' by Ian Edginton and D'Israeli, and the return of student paranormal investigators Bec & Kawl in 'Pest Control' by Si Spurrier and Steve Roberts.
2000 AD cover price rises to £1.60
Prog 1350 will also see the cover price of 2000 AD rising to £1.60. This will be the first time the magazine has risen in price since before Rebellion took over publishing the magazine with Prog 1200 in July 2000, over three years ago (the longest 2000 AD has ever gone without a price rise). However, for those readers wishing to subscribe to 2000 AD, the current subscriptions price will be held until October 31st, as will the current subscriptions incentive of an exclusive free Mean Machine mug.
Regarding the rise in cover price, Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley said, "We have tried to maintain the cover price at the same level as when we bought 2000 AD back in the Summer of 2000 for as long as possible, but ultimately rising costs in all aspects of the production of the magazine have made it necessary to increase the price. We hope our many dedicated readers will still think this a price worth paying for 32 pages of Thrillpower every Wednesday, and would like to promise them that their loyalty is very much appreciated. We will maintain, and aim to exceed, the high standards of writing and artwork that 2000 AD has become legendary for, and which will make 2000 AD the Galaxy's Greatest Comic for the foreseeable future".
2000 AD editor Matt Smith added, 'I believe this is an exceptionally strong Summer line-up, by some of the most talented writers and artists in the business. Its mix of classic characters - Strontium Dog, Slaine - and new stories - Leviathan - means there should be something for everyone. With such a varied selection, and the fact that 2000 AD is raising its price for only the first time in three years, means the Galaxy's Greatest still offers great value for money. What other comic can give you such a concentrated hit of Thrill-power week after week for the paltry sum of £1.60 (Earth money)?'