First Issue: 26th February 1977
Last Issue: N/A
Copyright: Eagle Comics/Fleetway /IPC Magazines/Rebellion
In the week that 2000AD first appeared, the number one pop song was When I Need You by Leo Sayer, there was a Labour government and this day also saw the very first flight of the 'Space Shuttle', albeit on the top of a Boeing 747.
Science fiction had become very popular both in Hollywood and on domestic British television in the mid to late 1970's. The public's appetite for science fiction combined with the lessons learned from the exploits of Action comic helped lay the foundations for a new type of comic. 1977 saw the appearance of 2000AD comic, a comic which has seemingly outlived its predetermined deadline. Many of the artists and writers at Action, including Pat Mills, helped create the new 2000AD comic. Their experiences helped create and outline the boundaries for the new comic which has become one of the most successful ever.
For the purpose of publicity, 2000AD brought back an old favourite in the form of a revamped Dan Dare who had fortuitously returned from suspended animation in time for the comic’s launch. With such stories as Flesh, MACH 1, Harlem Heroes and Invasion, 2000AD became an instant success. However, the real star of the show wouldn’t appear until issue two. Judge Dredd, drawn by McMahon, made his debut in 2000AD and has never looked back. Judge Dredd trail blazed a new era of Sci-Fi in British comics and even went onto become a Hollywood movie starring Sylvester Stallone. It was this Trans Atlantic crossover that perhaps highlights the enduring appeal of 2000AD and its characters. Not only was an American version of 2000AD printed but Judge Dredd went onto appear alongside the likes of Batman. Such was the success of 2000AD and its creative team that British comics went on to influence and make a large impact on the American comic scene.
The 2000AD canon has many favourites including ‘Nemesis the Warlock’and ‘Slaine’. With a repertoire perhaps too numerous to mention, it is significant that some of the most loved strips such as Strontium Dog and ABC Warriors didn’t start life in 2000AD at all but began in its sister papers. Starlord (13th May 1978) lasted only 22 issues before joining 2000AD in prog. 86 (14th October 1978). Starlord was printed on high quality paper and cost much more than its contemporaries. On amalgamation, the 2000AD reader was introduced to Strontium Dog by Ezquerra, Timequake by Ian Kennedy and Ro-Busters by Pino. Such stories have become synonymous with the 2000AD canon.
Tornado (24th March 1979) also only lasted 22 issues before joining 2000AD prog. 127 (25th August 1979). Tornado began with stories such as Victor Drago (Sexton Blake) by Mike Dory, Wolfie Smith by Vano and Angry Planet by Bardinelli. Like their Starlord counterparts Tornado characters such as Wolfie Smith and Black Hawk also joined the 2000AD library.