It is said you should never judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes. After that, you can safely call him an idiot. I mean you have his shoes and he is a mile away and barefoot. Anyway, Orlok has been busy so let’s not judge him. Besides we already know he’s a cun-
I’m starting to hate Alex Ronald as I feel he’s taking the piss now. He’s producing work of such phenomenal impact that it’s difficult to be anything other than awed with each and every piece. This is no exception and is utterly beautiful from the blur of movement and the slight sparks flying to the use of light and shadow on the huge fucking tires. And just look at the guns on the Willsher style bike that seems to dwarf Joe in his seat.
Right well we’re doing a sequel to the prologue we got last Meg.
A dirty Frenchman comes to the Big Meg smelling of garlic cigarettes and onion flavoured bicycles.
He’s there to kill a man who Dredd has already crossed paths with and this will bring him to Joe’s attention.
Meanwhile Joe is distraught at the failure of the Department to adapt to the post DOC pressures and greases the wheels where he can.
The art here is standard Willsher fare and features some of his trademark graffiti including one that pokes fun at scribe Al Ewing. And “Drokk me til I split” is just disgraceful. The cartoon Judge on the warning sign at the start (giving an offender a good clubbing) is very nicely done and there is top work also in the form of panel layouts which flow intelligently throughout. The top panel of page three is particularly good with the overhead of Dredd marshaling the work line. Coupled with the sight of malnourished kids, this lays out the scene for readers familiar and new- the city is still royally fucked.
I loved the panel where Dredd makes his presence felt to the ringleader, towering over the obviously big guy and putting the fear into him.
Some three years after the Day of Chaos and the city has still not adapted to the change in policy. Red tape and pre-DOC attitudes are hampering reconstruction and rebuilding efforts with Dredd still fighting depression about this situation. Blocks are still being systematically cleared and the process is expected to take until 2139. Needless to say strong stomachs are required and the workforce is motivated by rationing which makes much practical sense. Human nature being what it is there are tensions here and Ewing is keen to put this drama out there. We’re also getting into Dredd’s mood on the whole thing too and that’s good to see. Frustrated at the red tape he arranges for the disadvantaged citizen to receive Judicial help in a small effort to re balance the injustice.
When it all kicks off the bikes are revealed to have rubber bullets as a pacification option, which is a radical change in policy.
With a big future in the USA beckoning, Ewing appears to be tying up a few loose ends here as we revisit some of his post DOC stories and Dredd begins to close in on the Organisation. DeGuerre is revealed to be Guillory Snr who Joe had a brush with back at the end of the last century. His stolen data probably setting him up to build a criminal empire that could survive the madness of DOC.
As for the narrative itself, there is one nameless writer who has thrown a teddy in the corner over writing Dredd in the aftermath of Chaos Day complaining of narrowness of scope. It’s testament to their lack of imagination that they cannot find new stories to tell in the changed city and here Al Ewing has shown them their limitations. The city is still ripe with tales to be told if you have the writing skill to pull it off.
Skipped unfortunately. I’m not a fan and I didn’t feel I should read it just to be negative.
There is certainly skill here but it’s not me and I just can’t seem to get into it. Sadly this also means I had to skim over the lovely Fay Dalton artwork too and that is the biggest shame here.
Demarco gets a little closer to the source of her amnesia and some Judges get bricked by ne’er do wells.
Wow. I don’t know if it is the art that is making this difficult or the script. There is a good story here but it just seems to be a little disjointed at present and the flashbacks are not defined enough to make this flow well.
Firstly we have the Judges apparently standing in thin air. Or on a freshly snowed area. That’s unfair as these officers (in short supply after DOC remeber) are standing in an alleyway like beat cops just shooting the shit. Really? Judges?
Secondly the juveniles who Demarco encountered lob a brick at the Judges, weighing Judicial Assault against an antique jacket and decide that several years in the cubes is worth some cloth. Be that as it may, wouldn’t the Judges blow their kneecaps off rather than give chase Beano style? What’s next? A clip round the ear?
The scenes with Doc Pox seem a bit overlong since Demarco comes and goes twice. This could have been tighter and served only to have the two heavies now respectful to Galen. The fact that he is a disgraced physician who Demarco once busted smacks a little of the scene from Minority Report but Carroll puts a good spin on it with Galen providing a regular donation to the clinic as a form of balance.
The key to the whole story being a former financially cleaned out client and her douchecanoe partner as well as the Dream Parlour (great throwback there) seems like a smart move towards the wrap up.
Bottom line this has good themes but is let down by the art and some of the connecting set pieces.
An early flashback to the origin of the Angel Gang.
The art here is lovely. Carter does a lot of good work with the mixed media and the panel layouts. He’s definitely come a long way since Necrophim.
That first panel is excellent and the sight of young Linc now taken from his Judge toy and given an ammo belt and potato masher is both smart and saddening. The kid’s eyes lighting up red with the carnage is nice too.
The sight of the township is well done with a recovery vehicle (complete with machine gun) repair being overseen by a fat dude with a Judge helmet under his arm.
Storywise this works pretty well. Rennie steers clear of the comedic aspects of Elmer “Pa” Angel and co, laying out the criminal psychopathy of the Cursed Earth dickbag.
Elmer is not alone either as the Judges we see are also less than honourable here. It’s true they are avenging the death of a comrade but the treatment of the mutant and the attempted murder/torture of a prisoner are examples of conduct unbecoming. Hess seems to be an out and out sadist who regards mutants and criminals as subhuman. There’s even a joyful snarl from Hess as he starts to torture Angel.
Pa abducting children is a pretty sickening turn of events though it is perhaps logical and it beggars belief what kind of “marriage” he has to Ma Angel when the time comes.
There’s a clever use of continuity too with Filmore Faro (who will one day become the garbage god whackadoo) being the one who initially saves the life of Angel. Both will eventually fall foul of the Judge Child’s powers.
There are three issues here for me and hopefully one will be a non-issue by the end.
First, it is 2075 and Texas City is mentioned. I’m sure that a Civil War to get that name (rather than Mega City Three) took place after this story is set. I seem to remember a centre spread showing a scene from this. So, if that is the case this should be MC3 at this time.
Second, the child that Elmer abducts is referred to as Linc and it is perhaps hinted that he could be Link Angel. However the mention of the hole does indicate this could be Fink (who canonically is the eldest of the Angel offspring). If so, why the red herring of “Linc”?
Third, bullets are shot into flesh with gay abandon in this story and not only do people walk away with gutshots, they also recover from them amazingly quickly.
The Gordon Rennie advert/interview for Robbie Burns: Witchunter is ok. It’s not a bad read and the artwork is quite exceptional.
The Johnny Nemo stuff was likewise okay but I have to admit I am not a fan of the strip. It always left me cold, just like Tank Girl and Love & Rockets.
The floppy was unfortunately a story I didn’t enjoy first time but it’s interesting to see a different and more complex style from Steve Yeowell.
Angelic had an interesting start but the Dredd tale was very nice indeed.