On this day, 2 May 1987: 2000AD (Prog 520)
On this day, 2 May 1987 … Happy Tenth Birthday, 2000AD! You’re over a quarter of the way here to 2016. ‘Phase One of my mission is at an end,’ announced The Mighty One. ‘But fear not, Earthlets, this does not mean I will be leaving you, it means that I am now activating Phase Two of my mission. It starts here and now with a mega-scrotnig new-look to my powerful progs, better printing and better colour.’ In fact, in little over a year things would improve further as glossy covers arrived with Prog 589.
A long time ago it may seem, but this 520nd prog of The Galaxy’s Greatest Comic (the birthday celebration was based on issue numbers rather than the actual date of Prog 1) seems a lot closer in style and tone to the publication we know and love today than the incarnation of his cosmic organ that Tharg first bestowed upon the world in 1977. Of the now familiar five-story line-up – Anderson PSI Division (Cassandra receives psionic foreshadowing of a giant wolf attack on the city, as a prelude to a return of Orlok story), Rogue Trooper (opening of the ‘Hit One’ serial in Rogue’s hardboiled Hitman arc), Judge Dredd (Joe is rematched with perp Whitey from Prog One), Torquemada the God (the Inquistor Supreme gets his own series) and Strontium Dog (tenth episode of the ongoing Durham Red/Ronald Reagan story ‘Bitch’) – with very little modification I can imagine all of them appearing in the prog today.