Combo review written by Eamonn Clarke
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Cover. Karl Richardson’s Aquila Vs Brian Bolland’s poster image.
Bolland produced many of the iconic covers for 2000AD but for some reason I find this image is rather flat and dull. While it’s nice to see him including some classic bad guys from Dredd’s history I can’t quite put my finger on it but this just doesn’t do it for me. Over on the Prog Karl Richardson produces a memorable image which is only spoiled by the foreshortening of the left hand that ends up looking weird. I suspect Brian Bolland’s cover will have the best impact on the shelves so it gets the win, but only just. Strange.
Result: 1-0 to the Meg
Judge Dredd: Student Bodies by John Wagner, Boo Cook and Annie Parkhouse Vs Dead Zone by John Wagner, Henry Flint and Annie Parkhouse.
Mr Tharg is spoiling us with two Wagner stories running at the same time, and with two great artists. My only problem is that we have just had a Boo Cook story in the Megazine and I’m trying to decide if he is suited to Judge Dredd or whether his best stuff is on other strips. Meanwhile Henry Flint can do no wrong for me. Both artists do some neat stuff with panel lay outs and end with a full page splash but Flint wins easily and I think this is the more interesting of the two stories as well.
Result 2-0 to the Meg
Sinister Dexter: Congo by Dan Abnett, Jake Lynch and Ellie De Ville Vs Lawless by Dan Abnett, Phil Winslade and Ellie De Ville
I still can’t summon any interest in Sinister Dexter and although Lynch’s artwork suits something like the Tales from the Black Museum it leaves me cold here. Over in the Meg Abnett introduces a new character and setting and gets me interested straight away. The bar room scene is fun and Winslade includes lots of detail and interesting looking background characters including a belligerent Uplift. Marshal Lawson is clearly very capable but I’m not sure that pony tail would be approved of by Justice department. Far too likely to be grabbed in a fight. Does look very sexy though.
Result 3-0 to the Meg and it’s getting embarrassing. Just like the Germany-Brazil semi-final.
Brass Sun: Floating Worlds by Ian Edginton, INJ Culbard and Ellie De Ville Vs The Man from the Ministry by Gordon Rennie, Kev Hopgood and Simon Bowland.
Reading the original Brass Sun run in its new US format comic is really helping me appreciate this strip more. I’m enjoying these flying ships and Culbard’s full colour spreads are gorgeous. The Man from the Ministry continues to charm me with its British science fiction nods and who doesn’t love an RAF Lightning? But as this episode is mostly exposition I’m going to give my vote to the colourful flying beasties in Brass Sun.
Result 3-1 to the Meg
Aquila: Carnifex by Gordon Rennie, Leigh Gallagher, Dylan Teague and Annie Parkhouse Vs Dredd: Uprise by Arthur Wyatt, Paul Davidson, Chris Blythe and Simon Bowland.
I’m not adverse to comic sequels for the Dredd film and I like Paul Davidson’s art but I can’t see the point of this story. It just reruns the bike against the van scene from the movie and then has some auto destruction that seems to nod to the Stallone version. Maybe episode two will be better.
Aquila has the advantage of Gallagher’s gritty and action filled art teamed with Teague’s muted colours. Again it may be too early to tell how this story is going to progress but it easily beats out the Dredd story.
Result 3-2 to the Meg and there’s a comeback on the cards.
Tharg’s 3rillers: Voodoo Planet by Guy Adams, PJ Holden, Steven Denton and Simon Bowland Vs All the Megazine’s extras.
I like Holden’s comic book art but this three parter has left me neither shaken or stirred. I haven’t read the Megazine interrogations and have no plans to read the floppy, but a free Bolland Poster? Maybe I wasn’t convinced by it as a cover but as a poster it’s a winner and seals the win for the Megazine.
Result 4-2. They think it’s all over, it is now.