Orlok takes a long, hard look at 1985. It was the year that we traded Yul Brynner and Orson Welles for Wayne Rooney and Carly Rae Jepsen. Where’s Doc Emmet Brown with an AR15 when you need him? …
Holy shit, that’s fucking amazing and I’m thinking that’s my cover of the year so far. Just look at the framing here and how the tip of the bow meets the line and forms the base for Slaine to stand on. That’s true artistic skill right there and coupled with the perfection of the colours this is really eyecatching stuff. Not every cover has to be eyeball melting explosions and sometimes you need something like this to remind you of that.
Inside, Yewtree Tharg gives us a barely amusing Droid Life and bitches about the casting in Daredevil. It’s a fair point I suppose.
Dredd goes on a naked rampage, smashing Corden (no, not like that) and has just a small piece of paper to cover his old man junk.
For some reason there are guns in the room and Dredd picks one up, threatening to blow the creeps away. This could be Dredd’s gun I suppose but again, why is this a thing? They don’t need to put the gun on him to plant the evidence and this could have been done at any time. It is just for the sake of plot convenience.
Mayhew summons back up ( a couple of Judges) but these seems to be on a tea break because by the time they arrive, Dredd is fully dressed and has his hostages trussed up. How long did that take? Oh, fuck it, never mind.
Armitage meanwhile figures that Dredd is being held at the old Sellafield plant. A plan to bluff his way in there soon falls flat and Armitage is captured, slapped about by McCluskey and his men and given a brief lesson in what has transpired.
McCluskey does not want to lock cocks with Dredd and now wants to kill everyone inside, meaning he doesn’t answer solely to Mayhew. At this point, Joyce gets the modified gun to Armitage and he guns them down. I have absolutely no idea why Joyce doesn’t just do it. I mean it isn’t like there are going to be witnesses, I guess it is just so Armitage can do something other than make the tea and explain the plot.
Armitage then gets Dredd to a handy waiting shuttle and says someone other than Mayhew is pulling the strings. What will happen to Mayhew is anybody’s guess. He’s come across in this story as less like a villain and more like a bitter and angry assistant manager at Blockbuster who never got his chance to shine.
Back in the Meg, the penny finally drops for Hershey. Arrests are up but not as up as executions and with 2000 Texans on the streets and 20000 more expected by year end, it’s looking like a…takeover. Wait, what, really? And 20000? How can any city afford to find a spare 20000 Judges to loan out?
Never mind though because Daddy Dredd will be here soon to sort it out for her. Aside from Wagner, nobody knows how to write for Hershey. She just comes across as weak and ineffectual. Much like this story in fact.
With some stories you have to go back and read them again and take in the awesomeness a second time, spotting everything that happens when you have the complete picture and saying “holy shit, that’s clever” . This will not be one of those stories.
I’ve found the art to be quite uneven in this. Sometimes there is clear cleverness and other times it looks rushed with an over-reliance on shadows to cover the work.
I’ve given up trying to figure out what has been going on with Beeny’s haircut too.
The flashback continues with the cool revelation that Mama taught her boy to shoot, noting that firing a volley of death sticks at your enemy is preferable to getting up close with a chopper, which ironic considering how much she lifts tail. She even has a cool arrow that can turn in the air and kill an enemy behind her, which is a handy skill to have and will probably be used again.
As part of this, Slaine recognises that what he learned as a boy can be used to teach the man he has become and so leaving Gort behind to sit out the battle, he heads off to rescue Zana.
Meanwhile, Sinead slots the guards and comes face to face with Zana herself.
Lord Weird gets the news she has escaped. He isn’t happy. He never is.
The art is lovely once again. Zana is portrayed as some sort of primate with a face like a topographical map of Nepal. She looks very much like a young Katie Price in her prime.
There was a beautiful panel of eyes locking and the sadness and compassion there as Zana reflects on her brutal treatment at the hands of her captors. Peter Andre knows what I’m talking about.
Understandably, Brink didn’t make it and Bridge is looking at her career being flushed down the head. She’s now off the case and Hassan advises her that she needs to speak to legal, setting out the procedural tone this story will take with her being very much alone now that her partner is gone. She’s unsure of her righteous kill and whether they were justified in the investigation of the union which further destabilises her position. There’s also some question as to whether Brink was off his chops at the time it all went tits up.
Returning to the crime scene, she is approached by Bilder who has been pulled from his undercover assignment and he reveals the double whammy that the union is going to sue Hab-Sec and that the new sect is thousands strong and showing no signs of stopping.
Bridge isn’t listening. She just wants a gun.
So, this is playing out like a gritty cop drama now and I’m loving the scene setting.
The art is lovely and expressive. Bridge’s expression go from anger to angst and her eyeballing of her badge and gun with despair as it is taken away is indicative of this.
Likewise for the scenes in her hab when she is looking at the graffiti daubed walls and flashing back to the three bodies lying in the crimson pool.
It was also cool to see how the tracelet imparts info by beaming it to the back of the hand. That’s clever shit but utterly useless if you are a hairy handed Welshman.
The explanatory boxes were back but thankfully kept to a minimum and I liked the holographic crime scene tape.
Like many a man from Swansea, Shuck wakes up from a big night next to an animal.
In other news, the boy attacked at the end of the last instalment has died of fright and has the mark of the beast upon him. This is a five clawed paw print, meaning that the creature could well be Shuck himself or something very like him. Judging by the fact that Shuck picked up his disease abroad (don’t we all, pal) and that the werewolf pic was being drawn in a book before he returned, this may well be a local phenomenon for which our Jesus like hero gets the blame. Or it could be this guy…
King Coenwulf (whose name means fierce/bold wolf) now rules the kingdom, having stepped in when the constant raids by Vikings made the kingdom too weak to stand against him.
Meanwhile, the Bish wants Shuck and his missus to repent in order to spare themselves the eternal torment of the flames of Hell and fiery pokers up the ringpiece. That’s your Christian ethical morality right there; fear or flame.
Plus he’s also concerned that Shuck’s presence has brought a curse upon them all. He could be right about that since they all have the same face now. The curse of Yeowell has struck.
That’s a hell of a cliffhanger.
Thanks to the brilliant and timely idea by Kymn, Howeworld is saved.
With the imminent death now averted, Bulliet is more shocked that he is now married to a needy psycho and is given a hard time by Birdy as an indication of what horrors await him.
Get used to it, mate.
Meanwhile it is dawning that the planet has survived at great cost, with Resting Bitch Face hammering home that all of the aliens helped out and without these immigrants they would all be dead. Ha! Take that, Brexit.
Before everyone can get involved in a huge circle jerk, Lumot freaks the fuck out and alerts them to the sky looking a bit weird.
Some aliens have turned up and this is either good or very, very bad. Could go either way at this point but I’m guessing the distress call has yielded results.
The art is fantastic and best of all was the panel of the sky full of strange lightning as the Lumot shits itself with an audible “parp”.
Artwise, Grey Area is astonishing but I’m going to award it to Brink for the way the story is running to full strength.