Unfortunately, it also includes the second appearances of two very turgid and dull flops from the past couple of years, Mambo by David Hine and The Grudge-Father, with art by Jim McCarthy and a new script droid who goes by the pseudonym "Kek-W." This is Nigel Long, who will be contributing several stories over the next few years, and while his first effort is at least readable, and no worse than the first series, by Mark Millar, there is an incredible sense of treading water in this issue.
John Tomlinson was editor for too short a time to make a really solid stamp on 2000 AD, which is why his era is often lumped in with Alan McKenzie's. The long lead time necessary for a story's commission means that much of this material was commissioned by McKenzie. In fact, when David Bishop takes over in 1996, he's still running junk that Alan McKenzie okayed.
Honestly, the best you can say about Mambo and The Grudge-Father is that, with her freaky body tentacles and his bizarre teeth and fingernails, the two "heroes" follow a proud tradition of 2000 AD leads who are physically unpleasant to a surprising degree. In fact, neither of them would have looked completely out of place on those old Forbidden Planet ads that Brian Bolland designed. Unfortunately, even if the characters defied the square-jawed, big-breasted stereotypes of action heroes, their stories weren't any good.
Next week: The strange case of the missing Armitage.
(Originally published 8/30/07 at LiveJournal.)