A bumpy ferry ride, a reading of a Bible chapter and free bottle of beer has gone into making this review. Orlok just watched…
Well, I’m going to use the word “dynamic” even though I may have overstated that recently.
Using the same moxey he applied to Savage, Goddard (and Teague) pull off a nice rendition of a flame haired Irishman fucking up a coach ride for everyone, especially the guy in the nappy.
Said hair is less offensively presented under their care and the cool background of Ritterstahl coupled with the Dutch angle of the frame makes this work.
What ruins it is the lettering. Pye Parr is a hard act to follow but this is a miscarriage and then some.
Inside there is an ad for The Mighty One which does look like an interesting read and some hints that the FCBD edition of the Prog is running late.
Yewtree Tharg also tries to offer us a “circuit shattering climax” in just seven days. Yeah, I’ll pass on that, chief.
Well that escalated quickly.
In a nice flashback we get Dredd extolling Demarco’s virtues while he completely ignoring her getting undressed right in front of him. He’s too busy eyeing up Cheyenne’s sister at this point and breathing heavily on the glass. Still I guess Gail’s tainted goods now that Point has been at her. I wouldn’t and I’ll pretty much sleep with anything. Even Flint.
We also get the revelation that this takes place after the current Demarco story in the Meg, so (SPOILERS) she survives that one.
Fittingly, Lewis has implanted some memories into Demarco, enabling her to fool Cheyenne enough to infiltrate the gang. And there the action really kicks off.
This seemed a little swift to me but maybe that’s just the point, or maybe this could be a rushed second act, I dunno. The surprise is maybe what Carroll had in mind in which case, hats off to him. Regardless, instead of scouting for info and reporting back, Demarco pulls a piece and starts blazing away, popping Cheyenne in the chest. Cheyenne then falls to her death. Or at least we assume she does.
I’m slightly less clear on the justification for Sector Zero getting active and here the reason is that the population has dropped from 800 to 50 million and that means the Judges have failed.
Er, OK, and I’ll happily swallow that because of logistical issues, stepping in during Cal’s regime, Block Mania, the aftermath of the Apocalypse War, Necropolis, the Judgement Day clean up, Doomsday, the Total War attacks, Chaos Day and Trifecta was not a possibility. Seems a stretch for all of those, but fuck it.
Our secret cadre are going to fix this mess, though. Eventually.
With 3 operatives missing since Chaos Day they are now upping their game and it transpires that Gideon Dallas was one of theirs and went all Sarah Palin choosing to go rogue and bring about the plan as a solo effort, by, erm, attempting to hand the city over to the Lawlords.
Yeah, that makes no fucking sense whatsoever. Neither does it make sense how he got from Sector One, to the Cursed Earth, to Lawlord space and then to the Undercity.
I’ve said on this very site what a poorly executed Swiss cheese story that was and I think this would have been a better run without a link to it.
Artwise this is still fucking aces and considering we are five parts in, Sexton is still knocking this out of the park.
Even the simplest things are striking here. Just check out the underside of the bridge that Cheyenne falls from. The thing is brimming with detail.
There’s a lot to be said about the penetration across panel borders here too and the use of shadow is sublime. He’s a hell of a fit for this strip.
Holy fucking shit that’s a hell of a first page and it immediately screamed “Starship Troopers” at me.
You have to marvel at the colours here and if I wasn’t convinced of Elson’s love of his work before then this has sold me.
We also get a fantastic last panel of King Mike and there’s a beautiful bit of storytelling when the war council looking at Gene in silent awe after he announces he’s going to lead the mission to wipe out the bug king.
Scriptwise it is just full on action with Gene doing what he does best at the heart of battle.
With Them falling back under orders from their bug king (again a reference to Starship Troopers) it is left to Bone Idol to discover the hive on the map.
The only logical conclusion is reached and Gene assembles a strike team to go take out the king and end the command structure. I know we have done this before and there are a few threads hanging here what with the possible appearance of other auxs and the parasite husks still swinging in the breeze.
It’s doing what it says on the tin, though, and I like it.
I was wondering earlier just who this is aimed at, since when Rojaws and Hammerstein drop from the exploding Mantis they have switched heads, but unless you know the history of why they did that it just looks confusing and it is never explained. New readers would be baffled by this.
I’m also wondering about the revisit of both this and Slaine as a retelling based on Pat’s views now. Or is it the story he always wanted to tell but couldn’t?
Will we get another version of the strips in 35 years when Pat is feeling even less generous to the establishment or the religiously impaired?
Anyway, with Quartz cleared of all wrongdoing (wink wink) the public cry out against the whitewash and so he decides to cut his losses by destroying the Mantis with the dissenting metal bastards on board.
It was nice to see that despite Hammerstein killing his brother, Ro-Jaws was still top of the shit list.
Likewise, Ro-Jaws being tipped off by Marilyn was a cool move, showing just how much loyalty extends to Quartz.
Mills still manages to pull out the zingers too with the remark “level of indestructability comparable to cockroaches”. Or Sinister Dexter.
Sir James threatening to remove Quartz’s slender human rights was also a quality bit of scripting and one which can be dragged out as a Damocles angle.
The art is again good stuff and I liked the spot colouring of the blue notes in the air as Led Belly sings at Greasy Gracie’s. And that’s a lovely red panel of Quartz remembering getting his body turned to chunky salsa.
This strip is just nuts and we have some corkers this week when Ritterstahl takes over (“Calhoun unit is go!”), going all Remo Williams and smashing fuck out of things.
Itza is revealed to be of South American descent which shows why she is so angry at being referred to as Spanish. It also adds a truly globe spanning scope to the assembled band of heroes.
At the end, the Golden Seed begins to glow and is it because of the close presence of Anna Kohl or Browne?
The art is nice and flows beautifully in the action scenes but on that last page the Golden Seed looks like a nutsack. That’s a different kind of seed to what I was expecting.
Predictably, Kid blames the Stix for the missing grey matter and Alpha put him straight. Which is a bit of irony right there.
I wasn’t aware that Middenface had a sense of smell that could rival that of the olfactory experts in Hannibal, but I either missed that previously or the red nose is not through alcohol but through blood being transferred to it at times when it is needed.
It transpires that Shaggy has been living up to his name and been playing “just the tip” with a couple of sisters and with him having blabbed about it, they have stolen the brain. Oh, did I mention they also have mutant powers too, and McNulty knows them.
What are the odds?
The Twister Sisters, palindromic in name (Agnes and Senga) then lead our heroes on a desperate chase which culminates with the sisters doing a runner and leaving behind a ransom note.
So, this is still ok. It’s certainly not wowing me, though.
Love the art and there seem to be no fuck ups this week in terms of arms and eyes. The look of the patron at the massage parlour was just brilliant and nobody does it better than Carlos.
Kingdom. Without question it is firing on all cylinders.