Its great to see what were once disperate story lines start to fold together to give a world view.
Its something that could only be achieved in a comic like 2000ad, which has over 30 years of story telling behind it. The Volgan War is such a story line. It links the contemporary world of Savage and the beginning of the Volgan invasion with the ABC Warriors as we know them from tales set far in the future "The Black Hole" and "Hellbringer" as well as icons such as Torqemada and Nemesis. For me, The Volgan War links our present day with 2000ad's vision of the future like no other story line can. It also shows how war transforms society, both technologically and culturally. In the same way that the cauldron of the 1st and 2nd World Wars transformed our history into the present we know today. The Volgan War is the fictional avenue from where we move from today into the bizarre and sometimes horrifying view of the future 2000ad presents us with.
So thats why im so interested in the storyline.. :)
At the beginning of the novel, the ABC Warriors are on Mars and have committed MekQuake to an insane asylum where he befriends the Volgan leader Volkahn and driven over the edge by Blackbloods taunting, helps him to escape. On hearing this, the ABC Warriors tell their tale of encounters with Volkahns forces in The Volgan War and so the story is revealed as a sequence of flashbacks from each characters point of view.
The artwork simply has to be seen to be believed. In the same way that 2000ad's art was revolutionised in the late 80's and 90's with the work on both ABC Warriors and Slaine, so it is again here. It is a mixture of real life images melded with imaginative art. It sounds like it should be rubbish, but in fact its done incredibly well and adds an anchor of realism to the fantastic scenes illustrated. Not that the art relies upon the real-life images, in fact the scene which for me was most chilling was Blackblood collecting the blood from the head of a still concious Hammerstien war droid. The expression of abject horror is very real indeed.
As for the story, having the origins of the warriors revealed, especially the mysterious Deadlock meant that I consumed the graphic novel in one unbroken read. Then I read it again. And finally I poured over the artwork of each page.