As a great man once said, “parting is such sweet sorrow”. I’m not sure who said it first but I’m pretty sure it was General Chang. Or Jesus. Hang on, which one had the eyepatch? No matter, it’s the end of the current Megs as we know it and here to see it to the grave is Orlok…
So, Gordon Rennie recently compared some portraits of Mongrel Mob members to the cast of a Mad Max film. That comedic genius and fearless keyboard warrior trash talk has inspired me to compare the last of the current Megs to characters from the franchise.
Like Furiosa, this is amazing to look at though I can’t help but feel there is something missing. Luckily it’s not an arm that therefore can’t be used to hold the phone while sending snapchat pics of questionable taste.
This is some nice painted work from Fabry literally blowing away the old logo in preparation for the new one next month. The image strikes a nice pose and it all stands out really well thanks to a decent background but my only criticism is the Lawgiver which looks more like a blowtorch than the weapon of a Judge.
Well, Dredd is the Max Rockatansky of the issue. Mean, moody and only speaking when something absolutely needs to be said. So too is the script from Al Ewing and if this is the last we get from him in a while then he’s gone out on a high.
We’re left with Deller in a debilitated state planning his revenge. Limbless, blinded and beaten he is another Nate Slaughterhouse and if anyone can escape this predicament, it is Deller.
We get a series of flashbacks to how DeGuerre set up his empire and it is quite something to see a lone wolf like Dredd call for help and acknowledge that it’s exactly that unexpected turn that DeGuerre was not expecting. DeGuerre of course pays the price of defiance, closing the book on that particular long standing arc. With that, this tale ended really well and leaves us wanting to see more. There’s no pretension there either. If it will happen, it will happen.
The art is Willsher gloriousness with Deller gruesomely dismembered for what he did to young Thibault. I loved the old school Dredd on the cover of Le Monde at the height of the Robot War. It’s also a thing of beauty how the cracked glass is used as a focal point for some of the panels.
I have no idea what is going on with the limbs of the Holocaust Squad, though. The arms I can just about fathom as they have big fucking shooters on but the legs…? Are they all amputees at the H-Squad? If so, do they get to park the Wagon closer to the Sector House?
It’s still a gorgeous splash page though.
This is like Pig Killer in that the whole thing would be better if it wasn’t here. Sorry, but that’s my opinion on it. My respect for Pat Mills as an ideas man is undiminished but this has been overlong and overindulgent.
I skimmed this instalment and was genuinely hearted by the words “The End” and the fact that they didn’t have a question mark after them.
The upshot was that promising to sacrifice himself saves our hero from doom. You see, like that episode of Star Trek where Q commits a selfless act or the denouement of “This Is The End”, only this act can save one from damnation. And I suppose that’s where I stand on this, comparing it to a risible comedy and John De Lancie turning the ham up to gas mark 11. Begone.
Like the Golden Youth, this is a little unusual and is gone from us all too briefly. I’m in no way suggesting that Colin MacNeil (who provided the art) is wearing assless chaps though.
A fairly decent effort from Robert Murphy. It all played out well and was nicely balanced for the few minutes we had it in our company.
TALES FROM THE BLACK MUSEUM:
The Nux of the Meg, this shows lots of promise and is a real surprise. And what art. What lovely art.
I love these little flashbacks, especially when they intersect with classic stories. The foul spiders from the Black Plague make a re-appearance with one of the eight legged shits being inhabited by the spirit of a much put upon dude. The scenes with the various steps taken by the landlord to remove him were well done and you felt for the poor guy even though he was storing up illegally obtained creatures.
In a nice turnaround of the usual tropes, the females in the story are not only deadlier than the males, they are also tougher, with Mrs Bird using her shoe to beat fuck out of the possessed arachnid.
There’s lovely evocative art and I guffawed out loud at the panel where the dude is screaming to have the thing taken off him only to see his paramour’s stocking and suspendered leg being the only thing still visible as she bails.
There’s also a truly horrible panel of Bird coughing up spiders which is one that will send all but the most resolute arachnophobe into bowel loosening hysteria.
One question…what was Henry Ford doing in the Black Museum? Have there been some filly related events to turn him from hero into villain?
We’re on to Immortan Joe now and the word “mediocre” despite how great it looks.
After a fairly ok start this one just…ends. There’s nothing ground-breaking or particularly insightful so I’m undecided if Beeby will be a decent fit for this as it was just by the numbers. And anyone who says “she of course can write Anderson because she’s a woman” will get a punch in their sexist faces. Beeby seems to get the characterisation of Anderson right (although this strip seemed to be more Judge Flowers than Judge Anderson) and there is an interesting dynamic to see the once rebellious Psi as a mentor for the upcoming crop of Judges. It would certainly be a different direction as she has been circling the drain for the last ten years. I’m hopeful that this is just a bland and non-boat rocking start and Beeby can do something with the character that will prove interesting.
So as to be completely fair here I reread both parts to see if I was missing anything extra. Nothing sprang to mind.
The art is nice if unapologetically cartoony with my only quibble being that Anderson looks as young as Flowers in some panels. He also drops in a booby panel as Cass’s zip has popped down again. It’s a disgrace!
And the Sheriff being modelled on Jack Elam…that was bugging me last time and I see it so clearly now!
If I’m brutally honest, though, Dowlings recent work is the nigh on perfect for me as he showed an older Cass with a face full of character rather than a generic dolly bird. Currie is a fantastic artist but I just don’t think he is suited for this strip.
Like The Dag, this is pretty but is largely spouting a lot of drivel.
Interceptor??? Holy shit, I cannot even remember this. It’s like it was produced in a different universe and has fallen through a gap in the space time continuum before my unbelieving eyes. Or it was just too bland to remember.
I’ll leave you to make your own mind up there.
Harlem Heroes was just dire.
There’s a nice Andrew Currie interview with a good grasp of his varied work (his Star Trek stuff is particularly good) and he’s refreshingly honest about his styles.
Dredd was great value and Ewing will be missed.