I've had this all worked out for a while now- and have been very interested to see if any of the later progs would come in late and change things. They didn't, so here are the results from the Small Blue Jury:
3rd place (1 point): 1729. James McKay's Gorehead cover. BIG MOODY MONSTER ALERT! Loved the strip, and loved the covers. All praise to Liam Sharp's cinematic opener, but this one really impressed me.
2nd place (2 points): 1760. Chris Weston's Indigo Prime. Insects eating people- if that's not what the prog should be about, then I'm cancelling my order and buying CLiNT.
1st place (3 points): 1738. Cliff Robinson's veg heads. A classic 2000AD image, rendered in the inimitable Robinson style- as bursting with thrillpower as it's possible to get.
BUT: With Greg's post below, are the "1, 2, 3" the places or the points? Only 1760 comes out untouched, if it's the one, not the other.