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2000 AD prog 1902 cover

By Richard Elson

2000 AD prog 1963 cover

By Ryan Brown

2000 AD prog 2021 cover

By Patrick Goddard and Gary Caldwell

"Earth, the far future. Mankind has been all but destroyed, those still surviving forced into hiding by Them — insectile creatures that have taken over the world. Charged with protecting humanity are genetically-engineered dog-soldiers like Gene the Hackman — savage warriors that patrol the wilderness, directed by Urgings from their Masters."

Kingdom is a pun-rich comic strip by Dan Abnett and Richard Elson (occasionally coloured by Abigail Bulmer or Steve Roberts). It relates the adventures of Gene the Hackman, a dog/human hybrid named after American author and actor Gene Hackman. Other dog-soldiers or 'aux' have names like Michelle Barkmann, J. S. Bark or Dorothy Barker... oh, and later on there's a cat-soldier called Pause.

As the series progresses, Gene's loyalty to the humans who created him is pushed to the limit as the Masters (humanity's elite, most of whom are being kept in suspended animation in cryo-capsules until Them have been destroyed) are proven to be deceitful and manipulative, with a flair for making catastrophic blunders. The question that Gene doesn't have the linguistic skill to articulate is this: does being a 'good dog' mean being loyal to his Masters, or loyal to his pack?

Series

  • Series one, 'Kingdom': 2000 AD progs 1518 to 1525
  • Series two, 'The Promised Land': progs 1567 to 1576
  • Series three, 'Call of the Wild': progs 1650 to 1661
  • Series four, 'His Master's Voice': progs 1715 to 1725
  • Series five, 'Aux Drift': progs 1900 to 1909
  • Series six, 'Beast of Eden': progs 1961 to 1972
  • Series seven, 'As it is in Heaven': progs 2011 (published December 2016) to 2022

There were also episodes in Christmas progs 2007, 2008 and 2011, and a novel by Dan Abnett and Nik Vincent called Fiefdom.

Abnett says: "Alongside Sinister Dexter, I think Kingdom is my best work for 2000 AD... I feel very engaged with the world we've created there. It's action-packed yet poignant and Richard Elson has done some amazing work."

Praise

Alan Holloway (reader): "I have to say how pleased I am to see the return of Kingdom. Over its run it's told a wonderfully evolving story, complemented perfectly by Richard Elson's clear, beautiful art. For my money it's the best new story to appear in the last decade." 2000 AD prog 1968.

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