Judge Dredd Megazine #354
Review by Seth
First off, a gripe (part 1)
I love the Meg’. I bought it from its first issue. There was a time there where I couldn’t justify buying it (aka the reprint years), but I returned, and have been with it ever since. However, is it only me who finds that it sticks to my hands after around 15 minutes, lifting colour and print and my sausage shaped fingerprints all over the cover? Is it because I get too excited reading it? Is it not meant to be read “in the hand”, but only on a table top or specially constructed reading / book frame? Answers on a postcard, puhleaze.
Anyhoo, nice, eye catching, and very snazzy cover by Boo Cook of “movie” Dredd with double entendre laden strap line. Exactly the kind of thing to get it to stand out in the comics shop, or in WH Smith (which will no doubt relegate it to the top shelf). Lovely stuff.
Judge Dredd “Dead Zone” has taken a bit of a left turn. Turns out the bracelet Yodie has was owned by a now deceased sleeper agent from the future. Its use has alerted his (dead sleeper) colleagues, who are now hunting him, along with the Judges and elements of MC1 criminal fraternity. One thing didn’t really sit right with me, an undercover agent’s long time better half took the news of who she really was, and that she was leaving, rather well, seems a bit unlikely. Anyway, not sure where Wagner is going with this one, the payoff is next month, I’m sure he’ll be able to turn it around. Henry Flint is the quintessential 2000ad artist, and can do no wrong. Art god.
Lawless “Welcome to Badrock” ends, setting up lots of plot threads for future series; which hopefully won’t be too long in coming. Lawson’s identity is called into doubt, Hetch’s fall from grace is revealed and the source of some of the problems in Badrock are uncovered. Though Lawson still hasn’t tripped over her hair. Really, I mean would justice department regs allow that ? Health & safety yadda yadda? 😀 Phil Winslade’s art is simply beautiful. The story reads like an off world Missionary man, but without the irritating old testament tirades. Abnett is a on a roll lately – just don’t spoil it by bringing Sinister Dexter back.
Tales Of Mega City One “Wendell Says”, by T.C Eglington and Darren Douglas. Quirky little tale set in a psych’ block during the Day of Chaos, following the some of the residents trying to make their way to safety. Eglington has a good handle on the daily craziness of MC1 (and its inhabitants on the far end of spectrum of lunacy). This has the potential for a complete series, the end of the tale leaving it open for a sequel. Darren Douglas is a great find, kind of reminds me of Xuasas from the late nineties 2000ad and Meg’(I think?), and tells a story well. Good stuff.
Dredd “Uprise” kind of left me cold. I’ve a bit of a problem with a “movie” Dredd running in a comic alongside our JD. I can’t be doing with the multiple versions of Joe that are appearing, though I can see the commercial sense behind it. Nicely scripted by Arthur Wyatt and nice art from Paul Davison, but it lacks the humour of the original and turns it into just another action strip.
Rounding off, David Bailiie contributes a clever text story and the Interrogations are as usual entertaining and enlightening. Wyatt puts forward a strong argument for expanding the movie Dredd-verse and though I think Orlok should be left alone – I am in intrigued with the new series. It also contains my favourite single piece of art in the issue – Trevor Hairsine’s explosive black and white alternate cover for “Underbelly” – genius (even if it is Movie Dredd).
Time for gripe (part 2) – do we really need reprints of stuff like “Rose O’Rion” in the free floppie? Please spare us “Synnamon”, “Bison”, “Trash”, “Wireheads”, “Timehouse”, “Babe Race 2000” and others of that ilk.