Welcome to the Mirror Universe. The English have just voted to gain independence from the brutal Scots, Kanye West is God King of the Colonies and Orlok’s giving his take on Prog 1900…
Well, call off the competition because that’s cover of the year so far and I cannot see anything beating it. Immediately iconic from the skin tone where you can see every muscle to the raindrops dripping off the helmet (oooer) it oozes pure thrillpower. Coupled with the new logo (which looks no less large than the last) it delivers the kind of brilliance that makes you want to buy two of it.
If you haven’t already, check out the phenomenal Pete Wells covers blog for the development of this cover. I promise there are very few nude pics of Wells on there, but blindness and mental scarring are secondary to the quality work he puts in to bring you the inside skinny on the covers.
The interior of the Prog is graced with a new look Nerve Centre with an old look Raging Tharg.
The light and fluffy three page retrospective on landmark Progs gone by left me cold. I already knew the info it divulged and new readers wouldn’t care so it seemed utterly self-indulgent.
Dredd and his team attempt to clean up Gramercy Heights.
The art is exactly what we come to expect from King Carlos with particular attention paid to creating a squalid interior and delivering some gorgeous layouts into the bargain. The layouts on pages 5&6 giving snapshots of the action are just awesome.
Maybe it was just me but did this seem to have a touch of the movie about it? Even the armoured Judge Post has a hint of the grit and grime of the 2012 film. There’s a great juxtaposition here between the littered, vandalised interior and the shiny, futuristic exterior it presents to the rest of the Big Meg.
Carlos does a lovely stumm gas effect too. I would say that I love his gaseous emissions but that’s getting into weird territory, even for me.
Beeny’s ethnicity seems to have settled into Hispanic.
It was a nice little touch having the block divided into upper and lower classes with the poorer population expected to get a good grounding for a lifetime on welfare. The “separate El serving the upper levels” says it all really as the low born are left to root around in squalor while the haves can educate and enrich themselves free of having to see such distress.
Loved the Sisters of Gramercy line.
There are typical Dreddisms here too such as “Can do” and “You make it sound like Shangri-La” which is right out of the Wagner playbook.
We also get a look at the team members including the redoubtable Beeny (who deals superbly with a cheeky juve who waggles his tongue at her), the untested Corrigan and the possibly corrupted Mendis who needs to prove his loyalty to Dredd.
Joe pulling up the administrator about the financial excesses of the Hondo trip was also spot on.
I think we may get more on the demise of the previous Block Judge, Buller, as his venerable state may have led to corruption in ways other than slackness.
The role reversal in the domestic violence incident was a cool thing too and after nearly four decades of Dredd we’re still being surprised.
This is damned good
Stickleback encounters the son of a former enemy while a new power grows in London.
It looks as if the lizard like Ophidian is going to be contracted to do for our titular hero/villain, after he kills Mother London and Father Thames, small gods of the city, for the umpteenth time.
As usual there are some fab cultural references in here such as J. Bugner’s piledriver, Grouty, Mr Punch and the Adventures of PC49, so Edginton’s indulging himself.
It was great to see Stickle getting himself into character now that he’s been reborn differently and it makes you wonder how much he’s changed mentally since (by the look of the photo) he has a new motivation these days. Some things don’t change though and the banter with young Grouty was fun as was Stickle using the hand grenade as a negotiation incentive.
The gruesome discovery at the end and the fleeing women could point to Edginton’s take on Jack the Ripper.
The art is once again stunning with D’israeli neatly adapting his style from his recent run on Ordinary to convey a convoluted and dense atmosphere of Victorian London. At first glance is hard to follow but dip below the surface and the rewards, especially in the details, are rich.
Just check out the lizard creature near the crooked chimney stack on page 4 and the robot in the street below.
And that was an excellent use of the reflection in the blood.
Gene comes across another aux and his human counterpart.
Elson’s art here is superb and that last page as the wild bunch arrive made me feel like I was a kid reading this again and wishing I had the next instalment RIGHT NOW!
He works with a fairly limited colour palette given the setting but he makes the most of it with some gorgeous angles and intelligent framing. Just look at the close up of Snoop blazing away on page 6.
I’ve always thought that this is the most 2000AD strip of the modern era. It’s probably the best thing Abnett has done for the Prog and is consistently well written and above all great FUN.
The cultural refs are always a laugh and who isn’t going to love a biplane flying pooch called Snoop(y)?
Tough one, but considering the superb quality of all three strips I’m going to pussy out and award it to the cover.