REVIEW BY ORLOK
which I guess I’m now responsible for as I’m posting it…. balls
A nice cover by the great Glenn Fabry with Dredd and his shiny arse cheeks facing off against an incongruously dressed Scotsman.
Still at least it’s better than a racist, Australian midget rewriting history.
The game’s up for Aldrix and the magic bracelet is revealed to have even more powers.
After Joe tells the campers to fuck off, Buxter gives it the sad eyes which Flint displays really well. If there was ever an artist who could pull off a retelling of Sob Story, Flint is it.
My favourite panel is the gorgeous splash of Dredd in the mine checking out the fallen perp with his boot.
So, the art is simply world class here.
The campers pull on Dredd once the jig is up, which is a bad idea in any universe as Joe executes them in short order. Though slow to action in this story, he soon gets going with ruthless efficiency.
The bangle also makes people tell the truth and has a beam weapon of some devastation. This makes me wonder where the power is being drawn from (perhaps from the user?) and when Jobee gets to the city, with aspirations of glory and wealth, are we going to see him corrupted by it and losing everything in the process?
Unexpectedly this has turned into a tale of two parts with the horror of body mining/plunder of the dead giving way to something altogether more fantastical and possibly tragic in a Greek stylee.
Aldrix simply accepting his fate was a nice touch since even if he managed to slot Dredd he’d still have nowhere to run. It was also a classic Wagner stroke that Dredd knows how to break Aldrix and after his involvement is revealed he knows he needs only five minutes with him to learn everything.
Lawson pursues Jaroo into the new construction and strikes a deal with him.
I’m still liking this as it’s giving me plenty to think about and try to guess where Abnett is going to take it. Lawson seems remarkably anti-authoritarian and her efforts to bring order are unorthodox to say the least.
Which brings me to an observation; is Lawson actually who she says she is?
She’s acting in ways contrary to procedure. OK, we’ve seen this before with the likes of Koburn.
She’s already been fingered by her mad Psi predecessor as being an imposter.
She has not discharged her Lawgiver once. In fact the only gun she has fired and used in a threatening way has been the non-palm printed shooter she took in the bar. Can she actually fire it?
If she is an imposter, how and why is she here?
I’m hoping Jaroo doesn’t become another Travis Perkins and wind up as a sidekick to the pinkskin who saves his hairy ass.
The art is still beautiful black and white goodness lending the whole thing a rough frontier aspect which I am sure was the plan all along. There’s also a lovely rendering of a city under construction showing the future of this far flung colony.
There are some gorgeous panel layouts on page 8, too and the lovely bike work is back with a vengeance. Ha! Where is your god now, Willsher?
Best of all for me was the deceptively simple close up of Lawson’s face in the bubbles as the crash is heard. There was something comfortably old school about it.
Lawson has ridiculously long hair and is seen to get dressed but simply not have time to grab her helmet. Just before CATT arrived, though, she pleated her hair removing all health and safety danger of it getting tangled in the workings of either bike engine or droid. I guess you gotta have your priorities in life and bike safety will always give way to hair styling.
Finally, the last panel of page 4 is disgustingly sexualised as it shows the semi naked aspects of the female form with scant regard for our Victorian sensibilities. I hope there are champions of justice out there who have already torn Tharg a new one for allowing this sexist filth in the Meg.
The Man From The Ministry:
A flashback to 90s goes a way to clearing up a few things. Except the movie Cool As Ice, which is a film that defies all explanation and taste.
In a protracted punch up, Britton is revealed to have been a sacrifice of sorts, adapted as an emissary between two worlds.
Sally being bequeathed he gift of Quatermain’s homing beacon was a nice touch as was the fact that the hologram of her dead granddad could pre-empt questions, much like the one in (spits) Seaquest DSV.
There is a big reveal in that a meteor landed (not by accident) during the war near Bletchley and the analysis of the material inside set Quatermain on a course for rocketry and alien biochemistry. With the destiny of the planet forever changed , Britton was always intended to go out to the stars and Quatermain would take the rap for it. That’s clever scripting.
In order to convince Britton to take up the space pilot mantle once more, it was really amusing of Sally to convince him that there are things worth fighting for, not least England beating the Krauts thanks to a Geoff Hurst hat-trick and Russian linesman who may or may not have had relatives in the siege of Stalingrad.
The last page is just brilliant as Britton remarks on the Cup Final as “quite something and how he wishes he had been there to see it”.
The wonderful aspect of this being that he is saying this while piloting an antique experimental and secret spacecraft named after a gay code breaker towards waiting alien saucers.
Artwise this is again good stuff with some lovely mixed media work. Hopgood is able to indulge himself in the fight scenes and it’s both gory and smart that Britton is using the severed Slithok head as a weapon and he casually discards it once they are all slain.
The bad guy is revealed and Dredd gets a chewing off from the Chief Judge.
Some interesting stuff here. The guy we thought was potentially the big bad is revealed to not actually be behind the robbery of the explosives. Although he does have some Department tech in his possession (the eagle is a giveaway) which means he may be intimately involved from a different angle, perhaps as an agent of the Chief Judge herself. It is revealed that Uprise is a one person operation that has now been hijacked as a sort of zeitgeist to get the cits all riled up.
The unrest seems to be driven by Judge Darryl acting under orders direct from someone in the Department.
When Conti again tries to explain her actions were directed by Darryl she is interrupted by Dredd. I think that’s overdone slightly.
We also get the bike vs van scene again. Not every story has to feature this, you know.
The Judges are revealed to be little more than dicks here with the ones transporting Baht being particularly disrespectful to the citizenry. It’s easy to see why Darryl is not above killing his own.
Needless to say, Baht is given to the mob and they are told he is a Justice Department assassin, which only increases the anger towards the Jays.
There was some nice character stuff such as on page 3 where Anderson’s reputation is used to assure the perp that “she won’t need you to talk”.
Dredd is also visited by the Chief Judge who is disappointed in his progress to contain the riots. It’s rare to see “our” Dredd getting a telling off from the Chief.
Oeming then offers reinforcements in form of robot auxiliaries. The fact that these are rolled out so quickly smacks of conspiracy. As with “our” Dredd, this one also thinks the Law should be a matter for the human Judges to uphold.
Has this all just been a big ploy to introduce the concept of this universe’s version of Mechanismo units or is a hint of the old Chief Judge’s Man going on here?
The art’s damned good.
There’s a great reflection of Baht in Darryl’s helmet and the robots have more than a touch of IG-88 about them. That was even a T-78 on the badge.
There’s a slight artistic quibble in that Darryl looks a bit thinner as the biker than as the portly beat Judge we have seen previously. Oh, and Baht’s handcuffs vanish after he gets in the van.
Good look at some new comics, the pick of which is Brothers In Arms, by one upcoming young buck by the name of Patrick Mills. There’s also an inexplicable interrogation with John Layman (he is connected to 2000AD how?) and a pretty good one with regular Future Shock scribe Eddie Robson.
The floppy was the so-so Calhab Justice strip which is worth it for the John Ridgeway art (LOL’s style is a little out there for my tastes) but the script is more misses than hits.
Dredd. The first one. It’s going places I didn’t expect and looks great in the process.