Judge Dredd Megazine 355
Review by Seth
It’s Christmas again – time for a Meg’ relaunch (well, almost). All new stories, with only JDs latest adventure a hang over from last issue.
The meg’ celebrates by swathing this issue with a suitably seasonal cover. Colin MacNeil’s bold linework illustrates a Judge Santa and elfin Judges (the Dark Judges are particularly chorltesome).
Inside, Judge Dredd “Dead Zone” wraps up, with a remarkably up beat ending and leaving it open for a sequel – or at least for some of the characters to return. Henry Flint can do no wrong, but storywise, this didn’t grab me, I felt that there was going to be more to this than there was. It doesn’t help that there was the 4 week gap between instalments. Hey ho, at least we have Dark Justice to look forward.
American Reaper returns – just what is going on? I’m completely lost now. Not helped by the fact that though it looks spectacular Clint Langley’s art doesn’t lend itself to easy to follow story telling – at least for dumbos like me. It still reminds me of a photo strip, like the early issues of the 80s incarnation of the Eagle – or Jackie with extreme violence, foul language and occasional nudity. I’d have been happier with Fay Dalton drawing it all (come on – where is her first regular series!) Pat Mills has some fab ideas, but occasionally he tries to cram too much in and forgets that he needs to tell a story too. Still, perhaps the collected edition will make sense. After all my moaning, I’d buy a collection, purely because it’s Pat Mills – and I am “Mr.” Hypocrite to you.
“DeMarco PI” returns, with both her memory and fortune disappearing. Mike Carroll scripts an intriguing first episode and has more potential for the last strip. Steve Yeowell has discovered an El Dorado of ink reserves – or at least he’s not using it as sparingly as before. His previously wispy line work has a new solidity – though he still skimps on the backgrounds. Still a great artist.
Al Ewing and Ben Oliver ‘s Dredd strip the “The Cop” begins with a prologue detailing a previously unseen visit by a young Joe to Paris, prior to the establishment to Euro Cit. Ewing is a great Dredd writer and it’ll be interesting to see where this goes. Despite Oliver getting work in the states for DC, he keeps coming back to the Mighty One’s organ, much to my relief.
Wrapping up the issue is a twist in the tale text story featuring exorcist judges and an “Interrogation” of the undervalued Si Spencer. The “floppie” collects Spencer’s “Tales of Necropolis”, set against the backdrop of one the Big Meg’s many cataclysmic events. Some ropey (and some good) art illustrates the fate of the citizens during the Big Nec’. Of more interest is the two part Dredd at the back by Wagner and a young Alex Ronald, featuring Mrs. Gunderson – old jokes told well.
Not as good as the prog’ at the moment, but still a good read.