Garth Ennis Returns To Rogue Trooper With Patrick Goddard In 2023
Garth Ennis is writing a new story for British sci-fi weekly anthology comic 2000 AD featuring classic character, Rogue Trooper, for whom he has written much but not for some time. Co-creator of Preacher and The Boys writes Blighty Valley, drawn by Judge Dredd and Sniper Elite artist, Patrick Goddard. It follows Ennis' return to British comics with the one-off revival of comedy strip Bonjo From Beyond The Stars in 2000 AD's Christmas issue, which featured one of the last piece of comic book work by the late Kevin O'Neill, and his scripts for Battle Action, the hardcover anthology reviving classic comics war series from the 1970s.
The new 13-episode Rogue Trooper story begins in 2000 AD Prog 2326, which will be on sale on the 5th of April in the UK, through newsagents, comic book stores, and the 2000 AD webshop and app, and then in North America through Diamond Distributors in July.
Created by Gerry Finley-Day and Dave Gibbons, and debuting in 2000 AD in 1981, Rogue Trooper is the last of the G.I.s – Genetically-engineered Infantry designed to survive the poisoned and war-torn world of Nu Earth. Betrayed by his own side, he is a lone warrior stalking these blasted lands in search of the notorious Traitor General, accompanied by his dead comrades- their personalities encoded on 'bio chips' and inserted into his equipment.
In this new tale, Night's Horizon is the period two weeks out of every year when Nu Earth's orbit carries it closest to the black hole. The Norts call it Zvartchvintern; the first settlers knew it as Lightfall. Things have a reputation for going a little… screwy around this time. Now, Rogue Trooper is about to experience those effects first-hand…
Garth Ennis said: 'For me Rogue Trooper is as vital a part of classic 2000 AD as Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog, Robo-Hunter, Nemesis the Warlock, or Sláine, and I well remember wandering the wastes of Nu Earth with Rogue and the bio-chips on their hunt for the Traitor General. The stories that instantly come to mind are 'All Hell on the Dix-I Front', 'Fort Neuro', 'Eye of the Traitor', 'You Only Die Twice' and 'To The Ends Of Nu Earth' – I hope 'Blighty Valley' will prove a worthy successor to such unadulterated gems.'
Matt Smith, editor of 2000 AD said:'Garth Ennis has written classic 2000 AD characters before, but this is the first time he's scripted Rogue Trooper. As you'd expect from someone steeped in war comics, his take on the G.I. is powerful, thrilling and explosive. With Patrick Goddard providing the stunning visuals, this a dramatic, unmissable addition to the Nu Earth saga.'
Rogue Trooper is the subject of the long-awaited movie by Duncan Jones in a joint venture between Liberty Films and Rebellion, the Oxford-based games publishers and owners of 2000 AD. Maybe we'll get some more news of that in 2023 as well.