Orlok is only doing this to infuriate both Iz and The Whittle…
A nautical bent from Percival with Dredd (presumably) standing firm in the face of the storm.
Huge waves- very good
Debris in the water- good
Flaming torch- ridiculous
Letters in the water- piss poor.
Torch and letters aside I still like it because it is striking but it won’t be cover of the year.
Well, this was OK and is just setting the scene at present.
Dredd and Joyce are fishes out of water, sent in to discover who sent them a message.
At the moment I’ve more questions than answers, as is to be expected but the story is making me think of them, which I suppose is good.
Dredd and Joyce appear to be wearing ragged fur cloaks for some reason which isn’t really explained if this is standard Justice Department kit or artistic licence. Nor is it explained why they are not given some low tech equipment to take in since the area is known to fuck with electronics. Can’t the department stump for a shotgun or something?
And this is the North Pacific? Did a message pod travel all that way? Does the Department even have any jurisdiction to go clumping around the Gyre (such as telling the kid to watch his language)?
What I found confusing is that Joe and Joyce crawl through the bowels of the ship and after giving chase they are suddenly above the waves with everything looking like it is just about to be engulfed.
Joyce loses his helmet again which seems a fairly lazy way to tell him and Dredd apart.
I’m not taking to the art and to be brutally honest I’m not a massive fan of Percival’s work and it just doesn’t click for me and never really has. It’s just personal taste, I think because I wasn’t a David Bowie fan either. I can recognise the skill in both men but it is something that just doesn’t appeal to me on anything other than a superficial level.
That said, the last panel is a beauty and reminds me a lot of the concept art for videogame levels. Percival also draws the inside of the Gyre a lot like Cardiff on a Friday night with mutants aplenty, a bartering system in lieu of actual money and the distinct lack of electrickery on offer.
I’m still a bit undecided on this since I’m having trouble with the themes. Nic’s clearly a flawed anti-hero but are we supposed to root for him or just think he’s a cunt? The self-sacrificing is clearly meant to point us in one direction but his general treatment of others pulls it the other way.
The only thing I really figured was interesting was Mercy copping it in the faith department plus the homily that we’re all where God wants us to be. So remember that all suffering is by divine design whether you are a three year old child starving to death in a famine or a grown man who has been dragged along to a Jason Derulo concert on the promise of some non-birthday anal.
Artwise, I like the lack of panel borders and there seemed to a visual nod to Hellboy in the flashback to how Nic gets his (not very good) soul.
The summoned Old One has a few height issues and resembles a small squid dropped on top of an action man’s head. Still, his soul drinking seems adequate and it takes a sword to the noggin later in the old Conan fashion.
This was OK and I think it suffers because of the art.
I’m not exactly ragging on Yeowell again because this is more detail than we usually see from him, but it is just that the expressions, scene setting and kinetic action doesn’t work for me. An example is the Damocles which sprints off so fast that gunfire won’t slow it down. Then everyone runs outside to find it gone. Oh no, hang on…it is still there but appears to have waited for them to catch up. Is this sporting cyborg behaviour or just bad panel structure? I’ll let you decide.
Ditto for the Lawmaster on page 4. What’s happening there? I can guess, but I shouldn’t have to is my point.
On the plus side that looked like Judge Burdis getting murdered by a rampaging cyborg. It’s how he would have wanted to go out…sniff.
The Whisper escapes and Damocles does likewise only to be slammed by Demarco. Because she’s awesome and doesn’t obey orders.
I find it odd that Judge Pax (and Control) can be overruled by Rybakov when there are citizens in danger but by the end of the story that’s the least of her worries since her eyes are going to be stripped of the recording crystal. Presumably Rybakov wants to see what she has seen and that will include Mega City secrets, Dredd’s face and Joyce’s naked ass.
Why he is explaining all of this in Bond villain style is beyond me.
In a direct contrast to the last story, this is an example of how the art can make a difference for the better.
This is a little grittier than we are used to and when I heard it was going to be called dust I immediately assumed it was about a drug. Again. Luckily that assumption proved wrong and this is a better story for it.
Conti’s case intersects with Dredd’s and so they team up and come up against some form of dust devil, out for revenge. So, there’s elements of Radlander here mixed in with a procedural and a trip to the Cursed Earth beckons.
So, this is better work from Wyatt and I hope it doesn’t go into bland territory once more. Regardless it is lifted by the art which augments the storytelling with subtlety and grace.
Loved the close up of the visor on page one with the details of the late scrote Lopez.
Page 4 has a really smart storytelling device in the overview of the city streets which tracks Gertraud’s movements. That’s a really simplistic and effective way to convey the tracking. There’s even an appearance by the spy in the sky from the movie.
Page 5 even has one of the ubiquitous Chopper smileys in the corridor.
Some good points are made by Dominic Phillips of Poole about the content of the Meg and he seems like a man who knows what the Meg should contain to be great again.
Elsewhere John Morrison of my own fair shores shows some impressive design work for Megazine binders and this is met with dismissal by the editor who immediately goes into the hard sell of “buy these really shitty official ones instead”.
Nice work, Gordon Gekko.
The interrogation of Mark Sexton was good, but the four pages of space devoted to a promo for a different comic (Cry Havoc) seemed excessive. Oh what’s this…another interrogation? Really?
Synammon? I had to jog my memory for that one and then wonder, with a cover and a premise like that why has this not been reprinted before? Well, five pages in I got my answer.
Honestly this was very, very weak and they seem to be scraping the barrel for the floppy stories so it can only be a matter of time before Junker and Dry Run show up.
Get your Quietus pills ready, folks.
I have to say that the second Dredd story was the best of the bunch, though the Meg is pretty poor at present and seems to have suffered from the same lack of risk taking as the Prog.