The story of 2000 AD begins in 1977, when the mighty Tharg of Quaxxan in the Betelgeuse system arrived on your planet and found it dangerously low on thrills. He collaborated with the Pat Mills and John Wagner droids to produce a scrotnig sci-fi Anthology Comic. They gave it the futuristic name of 2000 AD, because they never expected it to last until 2000. Turned out they were wrong.
The main draw of the first prog was the return of popular 1950s hero Dan Dare, though MACH 1 proved rather more popular. However, the true breakout series was to be Judge Dredd, who debuted in the second prog and has appeared in every strip since. The mag has continued to play host to a wide variety of sci-fi comics, some scrotnig, some not.
Of particular note is that a huge chunk of the most zarjaz British writer droids currently contributing to American comics got started within the pages of 2000 AD. Basically, if he's British and popular in America, he probably wrote a few strips here.
Comics Which Have Run In This Mag Include:
- ABC Warriors
- The Ballad of Halo Jones
- Dan Dare
- Droid Life
- DR and Quinch
- Indigo Prime
- Judge Dredd
- Lobster Random
- MACH 1
- Nemesis the Warlock
- Nikolai Dante
- Rogue Trooper
- Sinister Dexter
- Strontium Dog
- Tharg's Future Shocks
- Just about every British comic writer or artist you've ever heard of... except Warren Ellis (though he did get a letter printed once back in the mists of time).
(Note to Tropers: It appears that we have a Grexnix or two among you so do take heed of this notice to only add examples here that apply to 2000 AD itself, or to a large number of strips in general. If a trope applies to one strip, consider making a separate page for it).
- Anthology Comic
- Applied Phlebotinum: Apparently, the stories Tharg publishes for us create a type of energy called "Thrill Power." Reading too many epic stories at any one time can lead to something called "Thrill Power Overload," and Tharg occasionally has to protect the comic from enemies called "Thrill Suckers" who seek to steal said "Thrill Power."
- Artifact Title
- Breakout Character: Judge Dredd
- British Comics
- Continuity Reboot: Several over the years, including Dan Dare. It is also, perhaps, the main way the magazine gets around bringing back dead characters without a typical comic book resurrection (See: Death Is Cheap, below).
- Comics Merger: Tornado and Starlord were absorbed into the comic.
- Clue From Ed: Editor-In-Chief Tharg the Mighty always refers to these as "Tharg Notes."
- Note From Ed: Has occurred on at least one occasion. In the Strontium Dog arc "Bitch," Tharg interrupts a scene where Johnny and Durham Red are pelting Ronald Reagan in the ass repeatedly with slingshot projectiles to warn readers that firing projectiles in such a manner is dangerous in real life and that if they ever are in the vicinity of Ronald Reagan, they shouldn't imitate the scene.
- Crapsack World: Plenty of the comics have deeply unpleasant settings
- Death Is Cheap: Averted by editorial mandate. Tharg has ruled that, in order to keep deaths meaningful, once a character dies, they cannot ever be resurrected (unless that's part of the premise of the strip, like if the protagonist is a vampire or something).
- Doujinshi: There are three popular fanzines, which Tharg encourages the readers to buy and which sometimes have work by the comic's creators. Zarjaz is a general-focus zine, Dogsbreath centres on Strontium Dog, and the just-launched Tales from the Emerald Isle focuses on Irish characters.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Quite a few strips involve dinosaurs in some way.
- Excuse Question: Lampshaded. ("To be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is answer this brain-bustingly easy question.")
- Future Slang: It's mostly used in stories set in the future to create unique swear words to get past the censors (e.g. "Drokk" and "Stomm" in Judge Dredd, "Sneck" in Strontium Dog, "Funt" in Sinister Dexter, et. al.)
- Global Currency: Galactic currency is more like it. The Groat is apparently the most commonly used currency throughout the Milky Way; Tharg always gives his contest winners the choice to receive their prize money in either Galactic Groats or Pounds Sterling. The Groat also may show up in the comic strips themselves every once in a while.
- Hostile Show Takeover: The Vector 13 guys replaced Tharg as the editor for a while in late 1996 and early 1997.
- Humans Are Morons: As of September 2010, every single example for this trope underneath the comics tab on that page comes from something published in this magazine.
- Humans by Any Other Name: Tharg calls them "Earthlets."
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Issues are called "progs."
- While those of the Judge Dredd Megazine are called "megs."
- ...And the individual stories within each prog are called Thrill 1, Thrill 2, Thrill 3, etc.
- Iwo Jima Pose: The cover of the massive 100-page "Prog 2000" (pictured above) which was the last issue published in The Nineties.
- Legacy Character: It has been suggested by several grexnix that Tharg is in fact a persona adopted by a line of the mag's human editors, beginning with Pat Mills. This is of course nonsense.
- Missing Episode: One time when the droids went on strike, Tharg purportedly wrote and drew an entire issue by himself, but when he ran it through the quality-control "Thrill-Meter," the machine melted down from Thrill Power Overload and had to be locked in a lead-lined vault by blindfolded security guards so as to prevent any danger of people accidentally reading it.
- Pardon My Klingon: Tharg drops a few Quaxxan words into his editorials.
- Pen Name: John Wagner and Alan Grant wrote a lot of content together for the magazine in the 1980's, most of which were published under one of several pseudonyms Wagner had created (T.B. Grover perhaps being the most notable for their work in Judge Dredd) or credited to just one of them instead of both in order to avoid having entire issues with multiple strips from a single credited writer. The only strip where Wagner and Grant share a writing credit together under their real names is Ace Trucking Co.
- Running Gag: All the writers and artists on staff are robots ("droids") who are constantly abused by Tharg, working long hours for little reward and threatened with disintegration should Tharg become unhappy with them.
- There was also a gag on the letters page where readers confused by the familiar design of the Rosette of Sirius emblem Tharg wears on his head would write in asking "Why do you have a telephone dial on your forehead?", a question that would always annoy Tharg ("There's always some dipstick Earthlet who thinks the phrase "telephone dial" is inherently hilarious."). Sadly, the real-life death of the rotary phone killed this joke off. Its final mention was a letter asking "Why does my telephone have a Rosette of Sirius on it?"
- Schedule Slip: The comic is distributed in America by Diamond in a monthly pack. Unfortunately for American readers, the issues in the pack tend to be out of order, and any given pack often has issues originally published before some of those in a previous pack.
- Shared Universe: At one point, Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog, ABC Warriors, Nemesis the Warlock, and various others were all linked into a single, not entirely consistent continuity. ABC Warriors has since been retconned out, taking Nemesis with it, and the new Strontium Dog also appears to be separate.
- A more limited version appears as the Dreddverse, primarily consisting of the Judge Dredd series, but including many spin-off series such as Judge Anderson and Lowlife, and shared-universe stories such as Armitage and Insurrection.
- Spin-Off: The Judge Dredd Megazine, printed monthly.
- There have been a few over the years, none of which lasted particularly long. Some worthy of note inlcude Dice Man (1986) which tried to be a type of choose-your-own adventure book and Crisis (1988-1991) and Revolver (1990–91) which were aimed at more mature readers (which was a trend at the time) and the Extreme Edition (??-2008) which was mainly reprints from the early days of the main comic. Only the Meg has done well enough to last over a decade.
- Superhero: Generally in a satirical or parodic form, such as Zenith or the various Superman clones in Judge Dredd.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Tharg's favorite thing to eat is polystyrene cups.
- Trope 2000
- Zeerust: When it was founded, the year 2000 AD sounded wonderfully futuristic.
Splundig vir Thrigg, Earthlets!