Comic Review: MEAN TEAM (2000AD)

PrintE-mail Written by Ed Fortune

Review: Mean Team (2000AD) / Author: John Wagner, Alan Grant, Alan Hebden, Hilary Robinson / Artist: Massimo Belardinelli, Ron Smith / Publisher: 2000AD Graphic Novels / Release Date: March 14th

This 2000AD reprint is a bit of a strange collection. Mean Team starts off as a futuristic murder-sports and slavery parable, and then becomes a ridiculous fantasy adventure. Finally it transforms into a rather silly piece on the nature of freedom and identity. In many ways, it’s the sort of thing 2000AD is famous for – utterly bonkers stories told in a very beautiful way.

As you can probably tell, the storytelling is rudderless. There doesn’t seem to be any arc at work here, just mad ideas piled on top of each other. The adventure begins with Bad Jack Keller and his Mean Team, a band of Death Bowl players only days away from making history by achieving the highest ever score. Thanks to a series of extremely unlikely events punctuated by moments of violence, the crew find themselves battling nightmarish monsters as the tale descends into a sort of fairy tale fantasy. The last story is more of an end-cap to the entire work, and showcases a single member of the cast, the telepathic panther. This is the highlight of the book, even though it doesn’t really go anywhere. As we say, it’s an odd comic book. There is no coherent logic to this world, but if you put your brain in neutral it can be entertaining.

The art is the most engaging thing about the work, most of it drawn by Massimo Belardinelli. This artist, though an acquired taste for many, was at his best when he could explore crazy concepts and ideas, and Mean Team is certainly full of those. Ron Smith drew the last story in the book, and he manages quite well, capturing the beauty of the big cat extremely efficiently.

If you like utterly crazy, very pretty, dream-like and shambling tales of adventure and oddness, this is for you. It isn’t 2000AD at its best, but it certainly showcases the diversity and strangeness of that long-running and rather wonderful anthology magazine.


Suggested Articles:
Melanie is a shy, insecure and put-upon teenager who would most likely have remained that way were i
Since its inception, the superhero genre has explored the role of the outsider, the complex social s
First poor Chris gets laid off work then he comes home to discover his dad, David, borrowed money fr
Since its main series came to an end, Batman 66, the comic book tribute to the much-loved Adam West
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in Comic Book Reviews

WRAITHBORN VOLUME 1 27 February 2017

MY SO-CALLED SECRET IDENTITY VOL. 2 26 February 2017

THE BIG COMIC CON 24 February 2017

ROYAL DESCENT #4 14 February 2017

BATMAN 66 MEETS WONDER WOMAN 77 08 February 2017

ROBYN (ISSUE ONE) 07 February 2017

BRETHREN BORN ISSUES 1 & 2 06 February 2017

HILO BOOK 2: SAVING THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD 03 February 2017

JUDGE DREDD – EVERY EMPIRE FALLS 27 January 2017

LITTLE GIRL BLACK #3 27 January 2017

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner

      
      
 
 
 
...