Richard Elson solves the problem of showing everyone’s front view in a shoot out by giving us this unusual angle on Dredd. The anatomy is much better than on the current Megazine cover and although Dredd completely dominates one side of the cover and the title I find it pretty effective. Good job those wrist band guys are such rubbish shots though. Inside there’s news of the latest merchandise from Rebellion for those who want to sit on Dredd’s face, or slop beer on him which probably comes with some cube time.
Judge Dredd: Breaking Bud by John Wagner, Richard Elson and Annie Parkhouse
Wagner and Elson wrap up the final part of the time travelling cops story with an illustration of how instinctively good Dredd is, and how the rest of the Justice department just can’t quite cut it. Johnny Vegas makes his highly publicised appearance and it all wraps up with one wrist device still in the Mega-City. Wagner makes this all look as effortless as ever and Elson’s use of colour, particularly in the flashback sequences is fantastic. I wondered if the time travel agents and the ridiculously powerful wrist bands might create another lie detector problem for Wagner but based on this story and the Dead Zone from the Megazine it would seem that the master can do no wrong. Another solid Dredd story and next week we have the return of Judge Joyce and some Colin MacNeil artwork to look forward to.
Slaine by Pat Mills, Simon Davis and Ellie De Ville
Gort communes with Guledigs while Slaine and Sinead head into trouble but there’s the mother of all warp spasms coming. I’m a bit muddled by Mills’ story but the painted artwork by Davis is just glorious. As comic fans we love the visuals and this is a treat for the eyes. I wonder how far in advance Simon has to start work on this in time for it to appear in the Prog. Lovely stuff although I do wish Sinead had time to change into a more practical outfit.
Future Shocks by INJ Culbard and Annie Parkhouse.
I read a Neil Gaiman short story recently about a guy whose imaginary girlfriend started to contact him on Facebook and I thought Culbard might be onto something similar. Instead he goes with a Matrix style twist where our reality may be the result of the sabotage of a Retcon engine. It’s pretty interesting stuff and Culbard’s art is impressive although I’d rather see him creating the clockwork worlds of Brass Sun, or his monstrous adaptations of Lovecraft than just some guys in hoodies. However on the basis of this story I would be very happy for Tharg to give him another Future Shock soon.
Tharg’s 3Rillers: Commercial Break by Eddie Robson, Mike Collins, Gary Caldwell and Ellie De Ville
On the other hand I don’t really want to read any more stories about the Jennotech stickle bricks or whatever was going on in this one. It is a tricky task to capture our attention in a fifteen page story and this one didn’t grab me. It’s all neatly executed but the combination of story and art did nothing for me and I blinked past it. Sorry.
Strontium Dog by John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra and Simon Bowland.
Fortunately a Prog that started with two 2000AD masters finishes with a bang from the best combination in the history of the comic. Johnny Alpha completes the Stix job and there’s plenty of action as all the loose ends get wrapped up. This final installment is topped and tailed by two superlative splash pages showing that Ezquerra can still produce the goods. Reading Wagner and Ezquerra is like watching Barcelona win the European cup except that I’d rather swap shirts with John or Carlos than Messi or Neymar. Hopefully completing this job has restored Johnny’s moral compass and ended his suicidal urges. Now he just needs to get the old gang back together and we can have plenty more Strontium Dog stories before the Wagner /Ezquerra team finally reach that often talked about retirement.
Pick of the Prog by quite some way is the dynamic duo’s work on Strontium Dog. A very strong issue this week, Mr Tharg.