Combo review written by Strictly Kev!
2000ad Prog 1890
Cover: Aquila by Karl Richardson – Fairly standard stuff, not quite convinced by the perspective on the arm with the sword, bonus point for not obscuring the masthead logo.
Dredd: Student bodies pt.1
Boo Cook on art, Wagner on script – it’s decent but lightweight and Dredd isn’t pulling his – where was his lie detector? Cook’s art still too pastel-coloured for a gritty Dredd like this.
Sinister Dextor: Congo Pt.2
Jesus wept, this Breaking Bad meets Amazon/Congo thing is just so bad. But so far this is mildly better than their last outing but then again, that was one of the Prog’s lowest points in years so i’m damning with faint praise here. Tharg, no one is interested anymore, please whack the gun sharks, oh, and the ‘funt’ thing is just so laughably overused now it’s not even funny.
Brass Sun: Floating Worlds pt.3
I can’t help thinking that with a better, more visionary artist this would be a whole lot more enjoyable, Culbard’s art is way too simplified for my tastes and the undersea splash page only highlights his weaknesses as an artist. As a consequence I’m finding it hard to get into this.
Aquila: Carnifex Pt.1
Great art from Leigh Gallagher as ever with colours by Dylan Teague that compliment. This story seems more brutal than past ones, very graphic violence but a good set up for a saga that you know will lead to Aquila completing his tasks for Nero before getting double-crossed.
Thargs 3rillers: Voodoo Planet pt.3
Ummmm, don’t know what to say about this, I found it all a bit ‘so what?’ in the end, Holden’s art is nice but I find a lot of these ‘extended Future Shocks’ a bit ho-hum.
A fairly lacklustre prog for me with only an average Dredd to recommend it. SinDex is godawful, I can’t get into Brass Sun and Aquila isn’t the kind of strip I buy 2000ad for – Slaine is enough on the historical warrior front for me. Poor turn out.
Megazine issue 350
Cover: Dredd and friends by Brian Bolland
An instant classic, untouchable Bolland, so many great images here (Anderson’s face, Bolland’s rendition of characters like Mechismo and The Howler). Dredd, oddly, looks like he’s almost happy, which seems funny to say but he almost looks proud to be surrounded by so many ‘friends’. He should be that the Meg has reached 350 issues too, something I never thought would happen given some of the ups and downs over the years. Contender for cover of the year.
Judge Dredd: Dead Zone pt.1
The Dredd dream team – Wagner & Flint – two masters of their art. This is a glorious set up episode, full of gritty imagery and that incredible final splash page. This is how it’s done, worth the price of the issue along, can’t wait for part 2.
Interrogation: Trevor Hairstine.
I love Hairstine’s work and wish he’d do more for the Prog/Meg, his recent Dredd being a fantastic example of someone who gets Dredd’s world completely (those SJS bikes!!). Great read, tons of fantastic images and good to see he’s got plenty of other work to keep him out of the pages of Tharg at least.
Lawless: Welcome To Badrock pt.1
I’d been waiting for this for a while now, it looked intriguing and Paul Winslade’s art is pitch perfect with Metta Lawson an instantly likeable character that sidesteps usual female stereotypes. Shame about the pointless F-bomb inclusions, totally unneeded and stuck out like bad zits immediately – why do this just because you can? Oh, I get it, the guys who swear are REALLY nasty! – weak – I expected more from a writer of Abnett’s calibre. Aside from that it’s a great debut episode that would be sit in 2nd place to Dredd if it weren’t for the unnecessary language.
The Man From The Ministry Pt.3
Losing interest in this I have to say, plot and art wise it’s such a throwback to old 2000ad – I can’t not think of the M.A.C.H.1 / M.A.C.H. Zero stories when I read it for some reason. Not bad but feels sub standard after the last two stories.
Interrogation: Kev Hopgood
A good artist, probably more suited to the Marvel/DC universe than 2000ad although he can obviously draw Dredd as we can see because of the uncredited / unexplained Dr Who image. I’ve mentioned this before, crediting images seems to be a big downfall of the Interrogation features, or when they are credited it’s only some, not all.
The by now obligatory third Interrogation: Leah Moore & John Reppion
Please – three is not the magic number here, two Interrogations an issue is enough, by three you’re scraping the barrel and just filling pages. Maybe expand the other two by a couple of pages or even find space to put those pesky image credits but by the third one I’m getting bored (and I know I’m not the only one). I don’t care who her dad is but the fact is, I’ve never cared for anything Leah Moore has put her name to – and the new Black Shuck strip in 2000ad is another one to add to the list. I actually found it so dull (not helped by Steve Yeowell’s art) that I stopped reading it by part 3 – something that has never happened before in all my years of reading the Prog. Let’s move on…
Dredd: Uprise pt.1
Another follow up ‘sequel’ to the film Dredd and it’s off to a cracking start. Arthur Wyatt is finding his feet with this stuff although still taking liberally from the film, and Paul Davidson’s artwork is just excellent – dark, detailed and full of depth. Who’s that I see on colours? Chris Blythe – THE best Dredd colourist out there, talk about unfair advantage! The shot of Dredd on the law master perfectly captures the film Dredd, Davidson’s nailed the look of the suits and Wyatt has Dredd pitched perfectly with the “instant dismissal” line. Excellent opener.
No surprises that the Meg body-slams the Prog out of the stratosphere with this issue, winning cover, winning Dredd and a free poster to boot. Pisses all over it in fact but is still trailing 5 wins to Toothy’s 6. It’s hard to pick which Dredd takes it for this issue out of the two but I’ll go with the Wagner/Flint one as I’m gay for Henry’s work.