Another slice of misanthropy from our resident New Zealander…
Ryan Brown is honestly something special having produced some top quality covers this past year and judging by this beauty, that slacker Alex Ronald is going to have to up his game if he is to keep his cover art title belt.
So, here we have a Mad Max style affair with much witnessing in evidence and a possible shiny and chrome trip to Valhalla awaiting our homo-woof woof. Gene is somewhat buff here as expected but the larger image of Gene is perhaps a bit too human looking for his heritage. Ok we have the mutt ears, but the teeth and the facial features don’t really appear that canine.
That said the whole thing does have a great sense of movement and is definitely cover of the year so far.
Inside, On The Register Tharg gives us an insight into the next Anderson series “Dragon Blood” which looks nice but I hope is actually going to do something with the character. There’s also a well-deserved dig at the latest Star Trek trailer (which made me madder than reading Sinister Dexter).
The art is lovely and reminds me of a cross between Patrick Goddard (for the detail) and Chris Weston (for the colours). I loved it and the angles and perspective shots (check out the bottom of page 1) were excellent.
I was somewhat less keen about the vibrant colours for what is essentially a thriller and the brighter, cleaner tones may have better suited a lighter tale.
Maybe it is a mistake and maybe not, but Dredd has no face on page 5, panel 3. It just looks…odd.
Citizen Shankar (not Adi) is kicking off because his daughter has died in Judicial training. With Dredd involved and echoes of the Bonnie Crickle case ringing in our ears, there is an investigation afoot with the death (real or not) of a child thrown in for emotional force. There’s some nice leniency from Dredd too as he feels bad for the Shankars and gibes the prick of a dad a lesser penalty.
Oddly the citizens of Merchant Ivory block seem somewhat spirited for cits of the Big Meg. When the Judges come they are out in the corridor and trying to appeal to their neighbour, which is a rarity as we have usually seen cits not willing to engage their neighbours or the Law unless they absolutely have to. Maybe Ivory is a really friendly and progressive block…
There’s also a nice shot of the Academy finally being rebuilt which is a great hark back to the Day of Chaos.
The disappearance of Cadets could be down to either recruitment into a secret part of the Department (which you’d imagine would have been all sewn up with Bachmann) or something more medical. My guess is the former, with kids fitting a certain psychological profile being selected and trained to hide in walls drinking tea for many years.
I have only one real quibble…if a Judge was sent to collect Haley and it was acknowledged that this never happens, wouldn’t Dredd simply pull up the block cams for the day in question and find out who that Judge was? Maybe he will next issue because the people behind it have made the stupid move of electing to kill him as he knows too much. That’s practically signing your own death warrant and is akin to one German sentry saying to another “Quiet tonight, eh, Hans?”
We have action all the way with Gene and the gang coming under siege and finding what appears to be a convenient old vault made by the Masters. Having just bought a copy of Fallout 4 I can only imagine if Gene will be getting a Pip Boy and letting loose with a Fat Man. No, that’s not a weird sex act.
Gene has a vested interest now in ensuring the Kingdom survives and perhaps he will find the tools to accomplish this.
The script fires along just fine though it is littered more with “ballbags” and “shitsticks” than narrative progression. We also have some of the supporting cast apparently killed off including the brutal demise of Tommy Hawk (no, I can’t remember either) and his mercy kill by our hero is swift and brutal.
The art is very cool with my only quibble being the Rob Liefield-esque Gene on page 4. Maybe it’s a tribute.
That’s a hell of a first page and Langley dishes out the good here except for one page that has some photoshop that made me grind my teeth. Still the spot colouring at the end made up for it and the severed limbs in the panel border and the robotic eye sent flying were very nice too.
Scriptwise it doesn’t progress too much and there’s a nice bit about Quartz being an unfeeling sociopath and a good four pages having Ro-Jaws beaten up which seems a bit dragged out.
Pat lays on the conspiranoia really thick with it being determined that only Quartz has the tech to carry out the attack and is therefore a qui bono not to be ignored.
There’s some waffling about conspiracy theories and how people tend not to accept them because this requires too much thinking. This is true in part as it requires thinking that supports confirmation bias to fit the conclusion and the ignorance of so called facts that don’t support an evil organisation at the heart of everything. And if anyone says “Building 7” to you, feel free to punch them in the throat.
Hilariously, Mek Quake has now rebranded himself as Mek Quartz.
Finally, it was surprising to see two robots hugging each other in a comic that children can pick up. I guess its all part of the agenda these days in pushing robosexuality down our throats.
God created Adam and Eve not Add-On and EIDE.
Lovely art. Just lovely. Apart from the shitty red hair.
The exact opposite of Kingdom is the treacle like pace of this strip. Red headed abomination Calhoun has a few choice moments of lucidity here and can (thanks to the brain wyrms) read the Bible and understand it. I’ve just finished the hateful piece of shit that is the Old Testament so he’s one up on me.
The religious opinion on the whole matter of an Irishman being able to read is summed up by the member of the clergy who calls him a “filthy Irish thief”.
Anyway, Calhoun goes from place to place asking questions about Anna Kohl and eventually runs into Starkey who gets stabbed for being a cunt.
At the end of this, with Calhoun up to his ginger pubes in shit, a mysterious stranger arrives on an Elizabethan motorbike, pistol in hand. I wonder who it could possibly be? If you ask me it looks like Shredder rescuing Ronald McDonald.
You know, if this goes all Steampunk we’ll lose McAuliffe.
This is building slowly but surely (though nothing about this is screaming “classic” at me) and an empty casket and game plan to be revealed are being pulled together in the spaces. There’s some brilliant Wagner fare here with the fantastic excerpts from the Lonely Cosmos guide including how the locals regard other tongues as contemptible and refuse to speak any language but their own. Hang on, uppity natives, scorn for other languages, neophobia…this sound a lot like Swansea.
The section about children being gagged or rendered chemically mute was just fantastic and needs to be rolled out immediately.
At the end of the strip there’s a touching moment that we haven’t seen since the Wulf days when Johnny lets an uncomfortable Middenface know that he can “always pull out”. Fnarr.
Carlos does a great job here apart from two things. Johnny looks a little odd on page 2 and on page 3 Kid’s eyepatch is gone making me think it is either a mistake or the mardy prick has been putting on the eyepatch to look cool.
I’m going with Dredd this time as the art was great and the story intrigued me.