Remember those halcyon days when the Meg was full of top quality Dreddworld stuff and people used to complain about the non-Dredd stuff in it being lacklustre? Well, imagine the exact opposite of that…
Maybe my eyes are getting shot to shite with all of the self abuse but that looks a little fuzzy to me. I haven’t really taken to Percival’s art over the years and none of this is going to convince me to change my mind. Like the Scissor Sisters, Damien Hirst or compliments in bed, it is something to be enjoyed by other people rather than me.
The composition is fine but it just doesn’t have any draw for me.
The pun writing on the cover is terrible and I do mean terrible. I get what it was attempting with a floating on the water feel but it failed on every score.
“On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures” I think Shakespeare wrote that or maybe it was the Chinese dude from Pirates of the Caribbean.
Krait has his criminal flippers on a salvaged weather control machine that was sent into the Gyre to arrest the wild weather system. It failed in that mission and so he somehow found a way to use it and keep the Gyre hidden under the weather it produces. He will employ this stratagem to sneak up on Sovsec in a force 9 typhoon and launch his nautical attack.
Maybe it’s just me being thick but Krait says that the Gyre has been kept hidden thanks to this weather control device? But wasn’t that wild weather the reason the device was sent there in the first place?
Luckily Krait is a very chatty man and has eschewed shooting Dredd in the face in favour of explaining the plot in a Bond villain style while stroking a catfish. He does all of this so that Dredd can get the jump on him later in the story, which is all very sporting.
Like many mutants, Krait is painted in broad and formulaic strokes. He has a salty chip on his shoulder about mutant rights and in the tradition of illegal immigrants, wronged women and uppity apes he of course turns psycho and wants to destroy and pillage. Yawn.
Joyce, who has miraculously survived going overboard manages to catch up with the ship and
At the end of this it just felt lacklustre and didn’t really add anything of value. The formulaic aspects detracted from it as a whole and I ended the tale unsatisfied as I was expecting some kind of killer punch at the end and instead it just sort of fizzled out.
The art is more of the same. The action panels are ok but nothing that really pops and for me the biggest eye catcher is the look of the swelling brine.
The old strip that never was gets a preview in the Meg.
First off, I loved the decent old school black and white art and it really was in both composition and texture, just like a strip from 1979.
In the art, phallic shapes abound and even the Procreation Protectorate has a symbol that is jizz related.
There’s even a Whittle pleasing circle panel and page 3 has Johnsons as far as the eye can see. The letters on this page also spell out F.U.C.- I wonder what it means?
Another nice touch was the toilet sign in the club spelling out Boys/Girls/Other.
Storywise this is camp to the max and deliciously bonkers. Our two fugitives are gay and not playing hetero ball. Lily herself is described as “Sapphic” and I presume this doesn’t mean she is into classical Greek poetry. Meanwhile Jake Tiger has a moustache that is clearly inspired by a leather biker daddy skilled at naval recruitment and spelling out the name of short stay accommodation. If that wasn’t enough he’s typified by this little gem…
“You shot first! Right into his mouth.”
REALM OF THE DAMNED:
Alright we’ve a departure this time with the setup of a monster hunter (Van Helsing) becoming the predator himself by hunting down vamps and using their blood to extend his shitty life. I’m fairly sure this using of vampire blood is a plot point of the risible Dracula 2000. He’s the last of his band and even when the opportunity arises he still can’t seem to cash out. His existence is pitiful and painful.
Foreign memories flooding through Van Helsing as he takes in the blood is a nice touch and it gives the act a narcotic effect.
This blood leads to his capture as the vampire he killed was bait by some filthy fanged royalty.
There’s a nice line here about God’s reticence to act being taken for cruelty.
He either doesn’t give a shit or doesn’t exist. The effect for us humans is much the same in each scenario.
Artwise it’s pretty beautiful and the spot colouring is used to great effect here. The vibrancy of the vampire’s red clothing makes her stand out (perhaps this is the point given the nature of the trap) and the bright reds of the blood as well as the gorgeous explosions are the only splashes of colour in this drab world. In this strip only blood and violence has any hue. Ditto for the glow in the eyes from the tazer as Van Helsing sets about his business.
There’s also something very Judge like in the snatch squad at church with the red lines on their helmets. Speaking of Judges, we get the realisation that this is a very different and more accepting world with the Dredd 2 poster on display in the club.
Pye also gets his name on the Damned’s amp.
Oh and there’s nakedness. Lots of it.
In a shock move, Pax is still alive but her legs are crushed. Still there is apparently a secret even she doesn’t know, so that’s a nugget for later. Let me guess…is it the ability to cheat death?
As she is carted away for repair, the speaker on Damocles explains the entire plot and then Rybakov pitches in with some further insights revealing to those who don’t give a fuck (me included) that he has been studying cyborgs for decades.
After he knocks over the city Judges and takes over he is going to go on to rule the world. This is the second power mad despot looking to overthrow the city in the same issue. And by the same writer too.
And he’s keeping Demarco alive because he needs cash to finance his army and last he heard she had a shit ton. Hang on, if you knock over a city then you don’t need cash, since you have all of these resources at your disposal and real power is in these assets. Maybe he isn’t so smart after all.
But, by the end of this he’s dead, the Whisper is captured and Pax has a new set of legs that makes her look like she is wearing some space age thigh length boots. We’re left open ended and, sadly, meh about the whole thing. Maybe it is a bridge point to something in the future but to be honest I can’t bring myself to care.
Damocles being completely immune to firepower just struck me as an odd trope. It’s the old indestructible material (which isn’t used anywhere else) line and I always find that a little lazy to be honest.
The art is just bland. There is nothing here worth commenting on.
In contrast, the art in this is superb. Just check out those simple but effective overheads after the alarm goes off, they’re brilliant. Ditto for the severed hand clutching at the alarm as the stomm hits the fan.
Dramatically meeting up with Marshal Shanahan, Dredd and Conti question Wolanski who reveals that the brutal killings are the work of a dust devil and that he and his chums decided to knock over a family at New Barnavelt, murdering the parents but somehow missing the weird mutie kid. Said kid is now wired for revenge and this plot seems eerily similar to the Radlander story from a few years back.
My main issue with this story is that it seems disjointed and lacks any tension. In fact the only real tension we have had is Conti almost falling off the radwagon and Shanahan pulling his shooter off the wall to deal with the incursion.
Stephen Watson from Paisley gets a kicking from Tharg.
Meanwhile, Andrew Honan objects to the word cunt being deployed in the Meg, but then goes on to remonstrate with another reader about what he found objectionable in a previous Meg.
I wonder how he feels about the word “irony”?
It is also intimated here that Ewing and Spurrier are former 2000Ad writers. Ouch. That’s like getting dumped on Twitter.
Realm of the Damned had the art and the gumption to surpass everything else. It’s not even a Dreddworld strip so that just means the regulars are pretty weak.