Prog 1989 already? Jeez. Well, Orlok has gritted his teeth and jumped right in as he has paid for this and is always one to visualise that the glass is half full. In this case, however, it is half full of broiling faeces…
Shouldn’t this have been the cover last week since Bridge is now out of the ducts and the antigrav shenanigans?
There’s a nice sense of movement in the gun as it spins in the antigrav with the orange readout leaving a trail for the eye to track and the hands reaching out creepily are good. Like a man opening the Prog these days there’s a nice look of fear and disgust in Bridge’s eyes. Love the Chopper Pro Air shoes, too.
And no logo coverage, which is always a bonus.
Inside Yewtree Tharg tells us that the repainted 3A figure of Mongrol is available and Predator vs Judge Dredd is available soon. Jesus, it’s all sell, sell, sell. Has Tharg turned into Jordan Belfort all of a sudden now that SDCC is around the corner?
The letters are the usual mixed bag.
Dredd checks his watch and discovers it is now time to kick ass. He and his team of five (yes, five) assault the Grand Hall which luckily appears to be staffed entirely by TC Judges. While you’re still grappling with the utter implausibility of that one, it is comforting that these Judges are shit in a firefight. Nobody seems surprised by either of these things, let alone the derp eyed readership clapping their hands in joy over this.
It is also weird that none of the TC Judges are in Meg uniform like Pax, but I guess that would have muddled the storytelling and it really doesn’t need any more of that.
Oswin’s underestimation of Beeny finally pays off when the young Council member makes her only contribution to the story by telling her enthralled and slack jawed comrades of the super-secret null g fast chute that Sinfield installed when he wanted to get to the choice Pokemon spawning spot on level 2. What with Smiley’s secret rooms and the Pokemon chute there is a Narnia closet feel to the Grand Hall these days.
Dredd and co come across Judge Knox who is apparently the good German and points out that despite Oswin claiming all of her Judges are loyal to her, this is not the case and most of them don’t know what she is up to. So either Oswin was lying, or that doesn’t make a lot of sense since they have been steadily undermining the Big Meg.
Knox knows all about the plans though and has seemingly done fuck all about it til now. She’s forgiven for this and like her namesake Amanda Knox, her previous mayhem will see her acquitted on the grounds of adorability. Anyway, she guns down her own men who we can presume are also in on the Oswin plan and are therefore “bad guys”. But not bad guys like her just following orders, no sir, these are bad guys through and through.
And that’s part of the issue here, isn’t it? The Texans we have seen so far are all shown to be corrupt and moustache twirling bad uns when it is now revealed that many of them are simply being duped. It can’t be both so that’s just poor writing and another failure of this tale. If you’re gonna have villains, have villains but for fuck’s sake give them some character motivation.
Knox states that she came to help Mega City One and has thus sealed her fate in the grand writing tradition. I predict she’ll be dead by the end of the story.
Oswin meanwhile is camping it up in panto villain style, saying that Mayhew assured her Dredd was under control. Er, wasn’t Joe meant to be dead for the plan to work? Doesn’t that make a mockery out of the entire “let’s heal his wounds” story of Lion’s Den?
Council member Farrow is still acting like a cunt and says Hershey should have put Dredd out to pasture years ago. Guess who just got fired.
Dredd and crew make it through the Hall because the blast doors are not sealed and apparently Beeny has done something to them. We’re not sure when because when she left the Grand Hall she had NO IDEA what the plan was, so when did she do this? Was it between panels? If so, why wasn’t this shown to carry the idea?
Again feels like we are reading an abridged tale that has suffered as a result and this is the kind of thing that should be picked up in editorial consent.
It is revealed that Dredd tried to get another Psi to help him but she was busy, which kind of intimates this is Anderson. What, something is more important than saving the city from invasion or trying to stop the bioweapon annihilation of said city? And there are absolutely no other Psi Judges available from other stories?
It isn’t all bad though and the Incendiary rounds used to fight heatseekers was nice since the Texans aren’t smart enough to use volley fire. Luckily this blows a hole in the null grav wall and they are in and on their way to the top of the shop.
And so we are down to Oswin versus Dredd and she states right off the bat that she should have had Dredd killed. Realy? Duh. Wasn’t that EXACTLY what you thought you did, so how are you regretting putting that plan into place if your alternate plan was the same? It’s like getting up in the morning and getting ready for a run only to find that the cat has shit in your trainers and then saying to yourself “well, that’s a pain, what I really should have done is gone for that run”.
Oswin (who is holding TWO guns for reasons of storytelling necessity that are a mystery to all) reveals she has a dead man’s switch which will unleash the doomsday weapon and I think I saw that on the end of a film somewhere. The character was called Yo-Yo Ma or something.
Dredd and his men throw down their own shooters because they are shit at poker and Oswin opens fire. Who does she hit? Who does she kill? Does anyone actually care?
Nope. Thought not.
I’d rather be watching any film with Kate Hudson in than reading this.
The art is great with some really excellent panel work and great shadow use again. It is a shame it isn’t on a better story, though.
Speaking of nice art there are some lovely reds in this which seems like a simple thing but works really well with the scenes. The holographc Kali representation was pretty good too.
We learn that Anoosh has named the last hope for humanity “Kali” which is a bad sign and akin to naming a dog Cujo and expecting it to behave around small children.
Anoosh and Creepy Bob have decided that humans are living out their last years on the brink and this is unsustainable in the long-term. Bob also doesn’t believe in the space egg and said this is a result of humanity deluding itself at the end. Pfft, they’ll believe in the second coming of a sandal wearing Jewish zombie next.
There’s also the small matter of a zero point drive that needs capital backing to make it a reality.
A decision will be made of who goes and who stays and this departure will probably quicken the end of the survivors left behind. But you know, fuck them.
Frannie then shows up and gives Bridge a hug, but just a bit too quickly, even though she seems pissed off that she is there.
A discussion on the previous habitat issued prompts Bridge to give the authority line that there is a plan to implement martial law if it gets bad on Ludmilla.
At this point, Frannie pulls a gun revealing the stinking hippy act is all a ruse and she has a plan to force the corporations to act in the way that she wants. We’re all set for the big reveal, I reckon.
I definitely liked this as I didn’t see it coming. I knew that something about Frannie and Bob was off but I just didn’t expect them to be the bad guys. Hell, they could even be THE bad guys.
With the fire being fought back in the homestead, our boy Shuck goes hunting and reveals that the thing he is after is not human.
We get a bit more backstory on our hero and Shuck was apparently born looking like Sid James, which is unfortunate in itself, but with dubious parentage he was spoken about as being the son of the Scucca. He also couldn’t wield an axe to save his life since that wood chopping pose is all wrong.
Hang on, has he always been this feral creature? Wasn’t he bitten in the last story and that’s how he became the creature that we know and are bored shitless by?
Anyway, dull story short, he makes his way back to camp to find everyone murdered except for one smoking hot survivor who says that he did it. What? You mean he’s chasing another werewolf? Really? Also she points out that water is wet as well as the subtle differences between his arse and his elbow.
Christ this is just turgid.
A fanboy of Cactus Thorn is really out for vengeance. That’s it, essentially. It isn’t a very exciting or engaging tale but it is a simple one that could have been done in two pages.
The art is nice with some good angles in there, especially the Dutch ones as Thorn regains consciousness. I got nothing else.
Our new London is replete with memorials to the fallen and here it is revealed that the alien is a splice built for infiltration. The thing is virtually bulletproof and has even shrugged off infection with a weaponised version of Spanish flu, which goes to show this is a Britain where bioweapons are still an option.
Dravott is now a full blown Colonel and is remarkably still alive after 60 plus years of assholery. He’d be in his 80s by now and is serving under PM Harold Wilson, who is himself a bit of a dickbeard.
Dravott matter of factly points out that with their current level of technology the aliens could actually invade and steamroller them within three months and it dawns on them that their visitor is telling the truth.
There was a nice bit of scripting when Wilson goes to see the visitor and he guesses that he is the PM by the fact that he’s not bright enough to be a scientist and that Dravott looks upon him wearily. It transpires he is good at reading people and he has been watching the tv and film transmissions from Earth while on Venus.
The big reveal is that the Martians are going to dismantle Mercury and build a hive sphere around sun. This will (unfortunately) kill the Earth as a by-product and it is recommended that they don’t try to rationalise this since this is alien thinking and they just won’t figure it out. You’d be better off trying to figure out why James Corden has a career.
Top line- “If there’s a world without Ena Sharples, I don’t want to live in it.”
The art is great, with a nice panel of the visitor imitating Martians using his face and hand as tentacles and that actually made me laugh out loud. There are some great expressions throughout, too.
Brink by a unibrow topped nose.