With another of his unique insights, here’s Orlok with his take on 1893…
I can see the logo so that is good.
The image is nice but is it cover material? Does it stand out on the shelf?
That’s a resounding “no” from me.
It’s a glorified and blown up panel really so could have done with a bit more detail and “oomph” to make you think “Holy shit…that’s a big fish! I’m buying this right now!”
The hand holding actually reminded me of the end of Fight Club where Norton and Bonham- Carter hold hands as the buildings drop.
Inside, Mesmer Tharg tries to wipe the memory of Sinister Dexter from our brains and gives us a preview of the upcoming IDW Anderson series. It looks excellent and seems to be following up on the IDW Year One plot threads.
The letters page also tells us that the Winter Special will be horror themed.
Dredd comes face to face with the Judge Death robber and deals with Walter’s issues.
This is a comedic tour de force and it is great to see Wagner can do these at the drop of a hat. Walter toasting a slipper was a laugh out loud moment as was the “I didn’t know you were religious” line. I’d also forgotten that it was Dredd who suggested the Holiday Macabre people to Mrs Gunderson.
Dredd coming face to face with his arch enemy and not batting an eyelid was just superb, and the “Very convincing” line was vintage Joe. This led to a brilliant “Hold on…” moment and a smack in the chops as the Death robber opens the door to escape.
Best line? “We’ll start you off on 20 years.”
It is interesting that though a free robot, Dredd can order Walter’s destruction if he sees him as a liability to the citizenry. Does that also apply to humans?
I love the art. MacNeil’s lighter inks are gorgeous and the otherworldly sky on page 1 is exactly what I would expect to see in the Big Meg. In a world where the nukes have dropped again and again and the ozone layer is virtually none existent you’d expect that skies over the city would be odd looking to us but de rigeur to the citizens.
Macneil’s layouts and Dutch angles are intelligently deployed and his dense storytelling style is superb.
There’s also a cat in a bowtie on page 1. That’s a win.
Aquila produces a head too soon (Side Quest fail) and is sent after Peter to make things right.
The art is still amazing and Teague/Gallagher continue to be a team up worthy of a WWE summer bout. Not that I’d like to see them in leotards piledriving dudes in gimp masks or anything.
Anyway, Gallagher deftly portrays the madness in Nero’s eyes to the extent that we didn’t need him to be talking about cutting up children. Was it me or did Nero’s witch seem shocked when he mentioned this? Perhaps there is something else happening with her and this is all a powerplay by her using Nero’s resources to achieve her aims. We do seem to be getting a lot of shots of him drinking the potions, so maybe it is a steady build-up of poisons.
The panel of Aquila tearing through the priests is a winner too, with limbs flying off and blood being splashed around like ice water on social media.
Aquila actually shows some smarts here and has figured out that Nero intends to betray him, although this didn’t take a genius to work out. How he’s going to kill this unkillable man mountain though is a mystery.
When he hooks up with Peter and the Diviner he asks them what the omen of the black hawk means. It means you’re ripping off homaging a better story, dickhead.
Rennie sadly overplays the “evil” card here with Nero. We know he’s an utter cunt, that’s completely evident from the crucifixions, cruelty and general beheadings. His talking about cutting up Christian children was just over egging it. Less is sometimes more.
The main problem here is Aquila himself. He’s just not an interesting character and only has vicarious appeal when he interacts with others. He either needs a support character to bounce off or a better setting than this monster of the week shit. Most of the time though he just demonstrates a broad range of facial expressions not seen since Harrison Ford played Han Solo. During the time he was frozen in carbonite.
I’m still reading it though.
Our heroes make it to the wrecked ship narrowly avoiding a small (giant) sabrefin.
Well the art is lovely to look at and the splash page of the passing sabrefin was a thing of rare beauty. The layouts are good and the speech free panels (for the hand holding) tell the story well.
We get a lovely character moment here when the big fish passes by, with Wren and Septimus declaring they care about each other. We figured it was coming but the delivery at this moment was perfectly timed.
The pace though is glacial now and though I have been an apologist for this in the past I feel even I am losing the will to carry on reading in instalments.
Shucky goes mental after learning he is also affected by the curse of the Jotnar gold.
Fucking hell, speaking of glacial…this is taking an eternity to get going. It seems the flashbacks are here to stay and probably have some relevance to the present. They are well done, but it’s excessive.
The structure of this (a page or two, flashbacks, back to the present) is a repetition the slow moving tale doesn’t need every week. It seems to be holding us back and dragging this out even longer. They just seem a bit hesitant to actually get to the meat, which is weird.
The “Black Prince” and “Brave Warrior” style dialogue seems really forced and is beginning to annoy now.
The art is still good with Blythe and Yeowell delivering a well-crafted picture of Viking life. Imagine if they’d have worked together like this on Red Seas? It could have all been so very different.
Atalia makes contact with a gangster as a means to getting a witness for a case she is working on.
Oh dear, we’re off to a shaky start here.
The drawn out pun telling continues with Klaur telling Atalia a joke she has heard in the midst of combat. Because that happens.
It’s the second time Rennie has done this. Once was enough, two is just an insult.
Atalia is lost in thought on the way to see the gangster and is daydreaming of her squad getting exxed by Rogue back on Nu-Earth. When she finally meets the renegade Kolonel, he is apparently wearing a body of stitched together GI parts. This is done to shock her so how could he know what she was daydreaming about? Had she been daydreaming of a time she got a root vegetable jammed up her mimsy one bored afternoon, would he have dressed up as a turnip?
Also, if this guy is a criminal, then once inside, why isn’t she threatening to blow up his new body so he will play ball? Is it just so we can drag this story out in another direction and send her from quest A to quest B?
I’m not beating on this for the sake of beating on it. It just seems to be a lazy crowbar into the world of Rogue Trooper with a story that seems very laboured. Rennie is much better than this, he really is.
The art is fucking amazing.
The great intro of the horrors of Nu Earth in all its dirty brown and greys is a stark contrast to the vibrant blue of Rogue and the red and orange death he is dealing. Coleby draws Rogue as a force of nature, tearing through his enemies like a whirlwind, ripping off air hoses and blowing holes in their chem suits.
The angles and layoyts here are sublime and ther also seems to be a touch of Dredd’s chin in Klaur.
Dredd wins it hands down.