Review by Eamonn Clarke.
It’s big, it’s bold. it’s certainly brassy, but is it boring? The Brass Sun series by Ian Edginton and INJ Culbard has been a divisive one in the pages of 2000AD with some readers entranced by Edginton’s clockpunk world building and Culbard’s beautifully coloured art, and others finding the storyline slow and unengaging. Now here it is collected in a lovely large format hardback, one of a number of high quality recent releases from Rebellion.
I’ve written in previous reviews about how much I enjoyed this series when it was collected in a six issue US style mini series and here I am triple dipping with this collection so you can probably guess where this review is headed. I am a big fan of Ian Edginton’s weird creations for 2000AD from Scarlet Traces to Stickleback and thoroughly bought in to this strange new universe modelled on an Orrery where the central cog like mechanism that powers it is slowly winding down. The central character Wren’s journey to uncover the mysteries of this process is a great bit of science fiction built around a classic hero quest complete with special weapons and companions, and a mystical wizard like mentor.
Culbard’s artwork is even more lovely to behold in this large glossy format. He and Edginton have previously worked together on adaptations of Conan Doyle and Lovecraft stories but this is their finest collaboration. Culbard’s pen work is somewhat minimalist in places and this can lead to some confusion between the many different characters that Wren encounters, but his depiction of the different planets and the bizarre creatures that inhabit them is fantastic. The way that Culbard changes the colour palette to represent the transition from one world to another is clever and effective.
The overall package is impressive although the extras are limited to an introduction by Edginton about how the idea for the story started and the four covers that appeared during the 2000AD run. The only other problem for this hardback is that there’s quite a bit of competition for our attention at the moment with the IDW coloured version of the Apocalypse War and the must have collection of all the Daily Star Dredds which is probably going to be appearing under the Christmas trees of many 2000AD fans this year. Personally I enjoy Brass Sun and look forward to the strip returning in the future but I can see it’s not everybody’s cup of tea. Four out of five stars for me
Festive Wraparound cover by Colin MacNeil
Wagner and Flint’s Dead Zone finishes.
New American Reaper and DeMarco P.I. strips
And an Al Ewing and Ben Willsher Dredd begins
The Interrogation is Si Spencer and there is a short story by Jonathan Green
The floppy is Plagues of Necropolis by Si Spencer, Jim O’Ready, Pete Venters, Simon Davis and Stuart Mack
All over the webs today but in case you haven’t seen it here is the text from the 2000AD press release:
Attention citizens! Prepare yourselves for the definitive collection of the ultimate Lawman of the Future – Judge Dredd: The Mega Collection is launching on 21st January!
Judge Dredd: The Mega Collection is a fortnightly collection of classic stories from the UK’s biggest comic character, brought to you by Hachette Partworks and 2000 AD.
You can subscribe online now and get subscriber-only exclusive free gifts at www.judgedreddcollection.com make sure you check out the six specially commissioned artworks only available to subscribers.
Issue one will be available at all good newsagents in the UK and Ireland from on 21st January.
The series begins with Judge Dredd: America by John Wagner and Colin MacNeil, which is regularly cited as the greatest Judge Dredd story of all time.
This is the definitive collection of Judge Dredd and his world, packaged in beautifully produced hardback editions whose spines, once assembled, form a special brand new image that will bring the law to any fan’s bookshelves.
With stories that have never before been reprinted, the Mega Collection will give a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the development of classic characters, scenes and storylines with:
– specially commissioned feature content exploring Dredd’s world
– interviews with the creators
– previously unseen sketches and designs
The Mega Collection will feature the most famous Judge Dredd stories such as The Cursed Earth, The Apocalypse War, and Necropolis alongside newer series such as Origins and Day of Chaos, plus incredible stories and insane characters from the world beyond the walls of Mega-City One.
Created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra, for 38 years Judge Dredd has been the mainstay of the legendary weekly comic 2000 AD. Policing the vast megalopolis of Mega-City One that stretches down the east coast of America in the 22nd Century, Judge Dredd wields the powers of judge, jury, and executioner. The Judges rule the city with an iron fist in a satire on the excesses of state power which goes from police procedural to action strip to polemic to sprawling epics in the blink of an eye.
The series has produced some of the biggest British and Irish talent in comics– including Mark Millar, Grant Morrison, Garth Ennis, Chris Weston, Jock, Frazer Irving, and Brian Bolland. Their imaginative and groundbreaking stories are represented in this glorious new collection, some of them reprinted for the first time.
Whether you’re an old school fan looking to relive the classic stories or someone who’s looking to explore the world of Mega-City One, grab Judge Dredd: The Mega Collection from newsagents from January or subscribe online now!