And here’s Orlok with his latest opinion on the TPPA situation…
Well I like the colours and the look of terror as the robot is gunned down (check out those eyestalks!) while Rojaws and Hammerstein just sit there drinking. I’ve been in bars like that.
It’s certainly eye catching stuff but doesn’t really do anything for me apart from that peeper entrapment.
The lettering is fucking awful though and they may as well have arranged it with cat turds.
Inside, we get a look at the upcoming Deadworld story which I’m hoping and praying to Xenu will be better than the recent backstories we got about the Dark Judges which made them out to be fucking pussies. The art by Dave Kendall looks frigging amazing.
On the letters page an astute reader points out that there has not been a misfire or poor story for years. Are we reading the same comic or are those particularly excellent revisionist spectacles you are wearing?
Hmmm. I’m undecided whether I like this or not, which isn’t a good sign. It started really strong and had some good ideas but it’s like a jigsaw puzzle with only the edge pieces completed in that it seems to be missing something really, really important.
Demarco is still on the rampage and despite being an utter badass, she eventually runs dry so gets the old dead man’s klick, giving the letterer the opportunity to put the shitty yellow lettering in. That’s always a joy.
I snorted quite loud as Badger told the two men on page two to kill Demarco. Really? So, everybody has been trying to do that and failed so the course of action is to send just two men to do it and explain to them that they have to kill her instead of just trying to scare her as they may have been doing for the past few minutes. Unsurprisingly this plan fails, which is a plot convenience up there with not bringing a boot knife across Dredd’s throat in part two.
With the Judges on clean-up (it was clever of Carroll to mention the riot foam in order to take as many of them alive as possible), Badger and co are overwhelmed and we get the explanation that he didn’t intervene in the Cal debacle as Cal apparently had the right idea. So, let’s see if I have understood this correctly…Badger sets up his secret army as a way to steer the Judges right and become a force of change above the SJS, even though his views are somewhat to the right of Chuck Norris. When Cal takes over, usurping command and murdering the Chief, Badger thinks this is OK and doesn’t step in, not even when Cal sentences the city to death. Ok, maybe there wasn’t time or something for that last bit and it caught him on the hop. I mean Dredd was able to mobilise a defence that Cal probably knew was a possibility but not Badger and his super-secret strike team who could have got in and out without breaking a sweat. But what about Inferno? Or the Narcos thing? What were they waiting for all this time?
The problem with these secret cabals (Smiley included) is that, as presented, they make no sense retrospectively with what has gone before and any attempt to lever them into the gaps just begins to show the cracks. You end up with Smiley in the walls and popping out just when needed or Badger and co acting as paper tigers and planning a revolution that they have conveniently put off.
I appreciate what Carroll is trying to do and set up his own arcs, characters and feel for the city politics but for the most part it doesn’t quite work and that’s a great, great shame.
His narrative strength here is in using the city, Demarco or even Cheyenne to drive the tale, leaving Dredd as the anchor that pulls it all together and makes the final act his. In this case, that is blowing Badger away and acting as a sounding board for Demarco’s questions. Carroll is very good in this regard and where other writers have failed to get the feel of the city and Dredd’s role, he hasn’t.
The best thing about this story is the loose threads left hanging with the Cadets being potentially deprogrammed and used in other areas of operation, much to Demarco’s ire. There is also the revelation that things have to change in the city. With Wagner’s blessing, of course.
The art has still been far and away the best thing to come out of this strip. There’s an amazing background to panel 1 on the first page and it was great to see Demarco under the bridge just like Dutch in Predator.
There’s also a nice panel of Dredd having it off with a Med Judge on page 3. His cast I mean.
And as the Judges rush to the rescue the city just looks amazing in Sexton’s hands. Even when the assault starts in earnest, the detail and the angle of that first panel is stunning.
I wouldn’t like to see him draw a lot of strips as I think we would become over used to his style (and it does work best as a “holy fuck!- look at this!”, but he does need to draw the strip again as it’s stunning to see.
I’m still laughing really hard at Michelle Barkman. Someone needs to send this to the crazy bitch and I guess that person is me.
The revelation that Them are terraforming the planet is a nice surprise adding a real sense of time driven plot to this war. Previously I’ve been thinking that the disparate groups could wait it out and fight a war of attrition but eventually this will result in disaster as the planet becomes unliveable.
We get a tantalising statement from Numan about Lizzee before the punch up starts with Major Canis (groan) besting our Gene, who he regards as a stray.
Can’t they just sniff each other’s arses and get it over with?
I absolutely loved the matter of fact speech between the two auxs as it seems devoid of emotion and is just instinct driven.
After listening to the last Progcast I finally figured out what I like about these characters and why I give a shit about them. They are simply uplifted pets that we can associate and identify with more easily than the faceless, multi limbed Them. That’s clever as despite the absence of humans to carry the story we have these mutts with their loyalty carrying the fight for us; a tenuous link to our human society via a much loved four legged friend.
Show me a punch up between Gene and Cesar and I’ll be on the fence though.
The art is still damned lovely and I can’t wait to see what Elson has up his sleeve for the big finish.
I’m still liking this but it can be annoying.
“You’ve got to get them out of here” Led Belly tells Gottlieb, but only once I’ve had a very long chat about matters which can either wait or have absolutely no relevance to the plot as it stands. Send a fucking email, jackass.
Interestingly, our heroic sewer robot doesn’t know he is carrying the defiance code and it is simply assumed he has a shit attitude.
As the bar is there to send up the humans, Rojaws and Hammerstein get to dance the cakewalk, appearing onstage to the anger of Sir James.
There was an audible groan from me when it transpired that the whole resistance was based on “black culture” and therefore the leader is modelled on a black icon. I had a feeling we were getting into some dodgy territory with the rest of the story being conducted entirely in blackface. However, Pat skilfully steered us clear of that cliff edge and since Led Belly is a blind and apparently black robot, he’s now in the sights of the RIP.
The last panel of page 2 is just amazing. You can tell that Clint is paying some real homage to the original design concepts here and that’s just making this even better.
I loved the panel of the terrified bot having his tax disc examined and confiscated before he is shot in the back.
Ditto for the last panel as Hammerstein, spurred into action pounds away with a cry of “take this hammer!”
Which is exactly what I said to your mum last night.
Much revelations this issue with it transpiring that Ritterstahl and Kohl were married. Or at least she was married to his host. This is a great idea as it’s like trading up every few years for a better model. Or in this case, a red haired abomination that should have been drowned by the midwife.
With the two halves of the seed re-united and another seed planted in Calhoun (look, it is best not to ask) we get everybody together to go after the wyrmqueen.
More importantly, Browne is making new friends and I have serious money on him becoming the new host of the metal bastard.
And it all just looks beautiful. Apart from the red hair where for a second I thought I might have bled onto the screen.
It struck me last night what was odd with McNulty knowing the Twister sisters; they don’t speak weegie. Not that they have to and go down the stereotype route, it just makes the degrees of separation greater and means it is more and more of a coincidence with their showing up. Unless he is in on it and planned the whole thing to buy himself a new arm.
The chase leads to Hub 451 where a montage of questioning pushes the story along and gets the heroes into a few scrapes (McNulty has gone all Rosa Klebb) before the big reveal that the sisters have fled to The Rock, playing right into the hands and machinations of the grand plan.
Great art plus competent story equals happy reader.
Despite the double plus awesomeness of the art on Dredd I’m still giving this to Kingdom, not least for the Barkman pun.