Sinister dexter

From 2000 AD prog 1064, by Greg Staples

In the future Euro-sprawl of Downlode, Sinister and Dexter are the best hitmen blood-money can buy. Killers with a code, they're the original gun lovin' criminals! You name it, they maim it...

Sinister Dexter is a long-running strip created by Dan Abnett and David Millgate for the sci-fi anthology title 2000 AD. Set in the fictional city of Downlode (which occupies most of what was once Central Europe) at some point in the near future, it revolves around the adventures of two 'gunsharks' (hitmen), hard-drinking Irishman Finnigan Sinister and Spanish ladies' man, pop culture junkie and fashion icon Ray Dexter. They are a surprisingly likeable — if ruthless — pair of killers who adhere to a strict moral code which prohibits them from harming innocents. Their reasoning is that anyone with a contract out on them must be part of the criminal underworld and therefore guilty of something, and the same goes for any goons, thugs or bullet monkeys protecting them. You pay, they slay. And if you don't pay, they won't.

Much of the series also centres on the continual infighting in the city's underworld between characters such as Ray and Finny's former boss, the late Demi Octavo; her equally late husband, mob boss 'Holy Moses' Tanenbaum; 'The Mover' (an other-dimensional version of Holy Moses); Senor Apellido (a clone of Holy Moses); and even the Downlode Police, many of whom appear to be corrupt, or at best morally questionable. Other prominent characters to have appeared include Demi's precocious little sister Billi Octavo; the now deceased informant Nervous Rex Monday; information broker and trader in stolen goods Floppy Dick; apprentice gunshark Kal Cutter; Ray's cop girlfriend Tracy Weld; former cop (and friend of the gunsharks) Rocky Rhodes, owner of the 'Bar None'; and Rocky's wife and business partner, Wendy Go.

The strip is frequently very violent but often extremely humorous, managing to keep a fine balance between comedy and drama. It began in the 2000 AD Winter Special in 1995, and spawned the deliberately short-lived spin-off series Malone. It is also available in trade paperbacks.

Some of the artists

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