I really like this one as it reminds me of an old school cover with some implied threat and dramatic posing. In this case, Alpha is getting ready to fist a couple of burly robots.
Ach, Johnny, you alvays ver der dark one.
There’s some Flint-maddening lens flare on there and for once neither the logo nor title are obscured. Win.
The tag line, though only mildly amusing is cleverly rendering in the Strontium Dog font and thus stands out.
Inside Yewtree Tharg says not to toy with his organ but to consume it responsibly. This has all just gone Fifty Shades of Green.
There’s also a snapshot of the return of Savage with more Volgs about to fall to the shotgun of Bill.
Cleverly and as expected by Dredd, Grayden flushes the tracers from her sister and thus succeeds in masking her from the Judges. However since they would presumably have traced her already, would that not have been too late to have hidden her location?
Sector Zero is a bold if puzzling step in that it would be impossible to keep a portion of the city completely hidden for so many years and it worries me that we may be getting into Grey 17 Is Missing implausibility territory. Or worse still…Trifecta.
The general premise as put forward by Badger is a sound one and yet, like Smiley, it’s a concept that is there to offer some sort of protection and yet has been sadly lacking in the city’s darkest hours. Having missed Cal’s regime and the rise of Bachmann, are they waiting for a really, really special day?
The plan by Badger is to poach the best of the Academy and to put them in a place above even the SJS and act as a protection for the citizenry.
What didn’t make sense for me is the revelation that Badger proposed this in 2078, and made mention of the fact that viable clones were not a given at this juncture. Presumably, despite the fact that he was looking to poach new entrants, he had no reports from the Academy where Dredd and Rico were breaking every record there and just about to graduate.
Badger is also a nice plug for Michael Carroll’s excellent badge making application. If you haven’t already witnessed this genius, give it a stab.
Artwise, there is some excellent detail on offer here and Sexton has really made an impact with this artwork. The early Judge uniforms are well done as is the attention to Hershey’s age/tiredness here.
The expressions throughout are sublime, with the standouts being the sly look of Demarco at the end and the aged Badger eyeing his old helmet (fnarr).
After Gene gives Lord Mike the bad news, we’re on for a brief pre-battle assembly and then left with a cliffhanger as the fight commences.
Gene telling Clara (a born fighter) to get to the safe place with the women and children smacks a bit of chauvinism but he also provides her with a cunning exit strategy which he has apparently shared with nobody else. Are we seeing a Troy like survival plan with Clara and the sprogs going on to found a new Rome? That would put a whole new slant on the she-wolf story.
The artwork is fucking amazing and that last splash page is just incredible. If that’s a taste of what is to come, we’re in for some crazy shit.
We learn that Midpoint was also a staged event, which was a nice throwback for me as this was one of the Ro-Busters adventures I remember reading as a brat.
Thankfully there isn’t too much of a diversion into Batshitopolis this week and the tinfoil hattery is kept to a minimum.
The script flows well with a nice moment when Hammerstein dismisses Mek Quartz with a threat of further violence if he doesn’t fuck off. A member of the gang is killed off when Angel sprays blood over Quartz (which is a nice tribute to the oil spraying) spouts the defiance rhetoric, getting torn apart by Mek Quartz as punishment. This gives Mr Ten Percent the chance to paint them as fanatics.
I’m still liking the art and that’s a good reason for me to keep reading it right there.
It transpires that Browne’s quarry have come from the Low Countries and are possibly the filthy Dutch. That explains a lot, really.
Browne hilariously has no concept of human peculiarities and until he was out of breath I thought he could be a robot, so inhuman are his qualities. He also confesses that he has no imagination and is looked upon strangely by his fellows.
He’s either a robot or Welsh.
After he is rumbled by Anna Kohl he recounts some tales of their near misses and tantalisingly offers her the chance for him to join their merry band. That would be an interesting development as he’d be ideally placed to assist them.
Artwise, this story was probably written with John Burns in mind, so perfect is he for the job.
Kid knee is still a little bitch and almost gets everyone into trouble when he tries to shoot a gull which has stolen his sandwich. After he is knocked out his mates are 50/50 about poring cold water on him or bringing him back to consciousness with a swift kicking. Personally I’d have drowned the little prick.
The story does seem to kick up a gear and actually gallops along when, in the space of a few pages, the Galanthans kidnap Johnny, buy his story and return him, giving the gang the option of pulling the scam off. Sadly the brain (which only Stretch seems to be able to reach) is gone. My betting is that the Stix will be in the frame as they are the new guys and that Kid will be first to accuse them.
Cos he’s a cunt.
Good art, but Middenface appears to have grown back his arm on the first page.
With the memory of the Smiley shit fest still in my head I’m a little wobbly with the whole Sector Zero thing so rather than award it to Dredd I’ll put twenty quatloos on the dog man and give it to Kingdom.