Tooth vs Meg 10
With 2000ad finally in the lead for the first time at 5 wins to 4 we get into the 10th bout with both at fairly even pegging content-wise. Last month’s winner goes first…
2000ad Prog 1886
Cover: Slaine by Simon Davis
Not too keen on this as it looks rushed (save for Slaine’s face) and with three covers so far in the current run of thirteen episodes you can sympathise that the Davis droid may be a little over-stretched.
Dredd: Traumatown Pt.4
I was looking forward to something exploring Dredd’s damaged state of mind post ‘Titan’ but this has revealed itself to be more of a collective hallucination based around Dredd than that. Slightly disappointed here as I felt the ‘is Dredd losing his mind?’ ads that prefaced this were misleading to fans but then so was the ‘gay Dredd’ one last year, remember that?
Nick Percival’s work is going to be a love it or hate it thing i suspect for most people, for me I’m in the latter camp although I think ‘hate’ might be a bit too strong a word. He does horror well enough but I find this kind of digital art very hit and miss. Langley can just about get away with it but Percival’s isn’t working for me I’m afraid. Story-wise I’m caring less each episode now that it’s established that Dredd isn’t going mad unfortunately.
Terror Tales: Done Deal
A fairly straight forward tale of the devil taking an eye for an eye so to speak, no great surprise at the reveal but this is more about the fact that it’s Tom Foster’s first gig for the Prog. And he does a good job, his style has shades of Bolland and Leach to it and there’s some interesting layouts going on, it’s all easy to read and shows lots of promise, I hope they commission him to do more.
Slaine: A Simple Killing pt.13
Just a joy to read and look at, classic 2000ad in the making, if they had four more of these every week the Prog would be unstoppable. Slaine gets the low down on his father whilst having one of those ‘talky’ fights, unfortunately it all ends on a corker of a splash page and we won’t be getting more of this next week… Davis’ work has revitalised Slaine and is the best of his career to date, I never thought I’d say that but I’m glad I am and will be looking forward to the next part although he has a lot to live up to.
Grey Area: Nearer My God To Thee Pt.3
Finally, FINALLY, Grey Area has found it’s feet with the appointment of Mark Harrison as artist. He is perfect for this and it just works so much better with an artist of this calibre on it. The tech, the subtle cgi, the colours, the sound effects, it’s made the strip rise above the clichés. There are still problems though, some of the dialogue is straight out of a bad Hollywood block buster and there are times when the comparisons to ‘Aliens’ are just glaring. I’m liking the God story though, the scale of the ship and the religious overtones although the tiny ETC craft against it is about as ridiculous as humans against Decepticons in the Transformers films.
Indigo Prime: Perfect Day Pt.7
Well we didn’t see that coming did we? (sarcasm) The creepy Nazi turned out to have an ulterior motive up his sleeve all along and now seeks to turn Jesus to his own needs and change the course of history as we know it. I still don’t know what the guy who’s locked out of the computer system is doing and why we saw lizard royalty at the beginning of the the saga. Smith jumps back and forth a lot in the few pages he has a week so i’d presume this would be better read in the collected trade for maximum effect.
Favourite strip: Slaine by a mile
Cover Anderson and Dredd by Cameron Stewart
That’s quite a crotch shot of Anderson there I have to say. Pretty solid cover, decent composition, colours and perspective. Nice to see Anderson as the main figure and Dredd more in the background. Looking at Stewart’s tumblr I see that he originally did a version with Dredd as the main focus of the piece and it’s better for the way it turned out. He can draw a woman, that’s for sure, some of the sexiest female forms I’ve seen in a while on his site without resorting to all the usual clichés and brokeback poses. http://cameron-stewart.tumblr.com/
Dredd – Rad To The Bone pt.3
It’s one of those opening pages where there’s a huge collision / explosion / crash and the main characters manage to hurl themselves clear – Dredd falling on his already damaged head at least blacks out rather than getting up muttering ‘everyone OK?’. For some inexplicable reason three panels later Fryer punches a mutie through the face in the ‘gaze into the fist of Dredd’ pose with the comment, “thanks, I was looking for an excuse to use this” (her robotic arm). Why this visual reference is in here is a mystery as it has none of the gravity and pithy comment of the original, I guess they were just ‘looking for an excuse to use this’, hoping this visual nod and a wink would somehow revitalise the sagging storyline.
Ridley gets shot which seems to be a convenient plot device so that Fryer can steal his helmet for Dredd who’s now recovered, assessed the situation and is growling out battle tactics when most would be in a coma with brain damage. Fryer casually shoots off Dredd’s cuffs at close range and Big H arrives back on the scene as we’re told ‘even with a new helmet, all it would take would be a direct hit to the head’ about Dredd’s physical condition. Next thing we know the three of them are taking what looks like a pretty near direct hit from some sort of rocket launcher.
Then we have the pit scene with the crocs and the ‘don’t move and you’ll be fine’ ploy… (notice how Dredd manages to climb free unharmed later on). I’m glad this is over because I’m giving up here, tired scripting and storytelling reminiscent of ‘old 2000ad’ that really doesn’t wear well next to more recent offerings. Boo Cook’s work has a ton of detail but isn’t for me I’m afraid, wasn’t a fan of this although earlier episodes had their moments.
Interrogtion: David Pugh
I always wondered what happened to him, his work on Slaine, whilst never going to measure up to Fabry’s was solid even if he did have some trouble drawing convincing anatomy. Never realised he did Dan Dare later for the Eagle but he’s a perfect fit for that. Looks like he’s had a pretty revelatory time of things with his travels and it was interesting that the bitterness he felt towards Pat and the comic was left in the article.
Tales of Mega City One – Two Tons of Trouble
An average filler tale that took up way too many pages.
The Man From the Ministry pt. 2
Things are starting to unravel and there seem to be a lot of coincidental connections between people and events joining the dots. Still not a fan of the art and it’s all a bit 70’s Doctor Who for my liking. Two things: would someone from a government organisation like the Ministry really drive around in a car with MINI5 TRY for a number plate? The episode was enlivened for me by the arrival of Jeff Lynn’s ELO spaceship at the end.
Interrogation: Nick Percival
Nice to see what he’s been up to before the recent return to the Prog although I think Percival’s art works best with covers rather than strip work.
Interrogation: Vincent Locke
A third interrogation with only a tenuous connection to the 2000ad world and filler fatigue is starting to set in. Come on guys, 15 pages of interviews, only 4 strips (one being a filler Mega City tale) 8 full page adverts and the intro page for Man From The Ministry. I know you’re trying to wrap up story lines before issue 350 but this is a lot of padding.
Anderson: Dead End part 7
A satisfying end with both Dredd and Anderson used to good collaborative effect to beat Algol. Some fantastic art by Michael Dowling, especially the scene of Anderson flying over the city with some beautiful colours. I’m still not a fan of the way he draws Dredd’s helmet but, as Orlok has already mentioned, this older, non-cheesecake Anderson is most welcome and far more believable than some recent versions. This strip seems to have taken some steps towards revitalising the character and, although flawed in places, has been a decent ride, hopefully there’ll be more.
Best strip: Anderson easily takes it in what’s been a poor issue, hopefully because of the deck-clearing for issue 350 next month.
No surprise that 2000ad takes things to 6 – 4 with ease this month but the Meg’s 350 issue looks like it’ll be a force to be reckoned with next month and the cover alone will take some beating.