Taking a break from some weekend Fallout 4, here’s Orlok with his take on Prog 1993. Surprisingly there is only one dud in the bunch so the Prog is picking up nicely.
Well, I have to be honest and say that I don’t like it, even though it is certainly colourful and trippy.
I think my main issue is that the mind reading pose has been done to death and done a lot better but the green star on the temple is a nice touch and something I haven’t seen before.
It’s also hard to get a handle on Anderson’s shape and as John Burdis pointed out in his chain obsessed madness, one link is tiny.
It reminded me a little of Steve Sampson’s work and there is some mixed praise in there.
Inside, Yewtree Tharg reveals a Thrill of the Future that looks for all the world like a female Kano. Isn’t it about time?
No idea what this is but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what it is all about.
With Budley now dead or at least very, very sleepy the investigation turns to sniffing out clues. The camera confirms that the nurse passing by was indeed PJ and Dredd kicks himself.
PJ is almost counting coup on him and this audacity is well known to Dredd, which makes this slipping the net that much more insulting.
With the investigation shifting, Dredd gets to vent some pent up sarcasm onto those fucknuts at PSU. Speaking of which it transpires that the PSU are now in the new Statue of Judgement, which means that a city supposedly on the bones of its arse can stump up the cash and resources to knock that up. That’s weird.
Anyway, the Judges get a break with a lucky clue to Warren Buffet and this is purely down to some good old fashioned investigative work. Wagner is just so damned good at the procedural and unlike other stories the connections are usually solid with little leeway for convenience.
Warren Buffet also seems pristine and untouched by the chaos, which makes sense considering where the financial might would be and how these richer cits would ensure their home isn’t left in a state of disrepair.
The Wallies using visors to spot tackle on their quarry made me laugh but this leads to Maybe getting suspicious after initially mistaking these for a new fashion item. His preservation instinct kicks in and he decides to bail.
This instinct is confirmed when the Undercover units spot a trans person (statistically likely) and this tips off PJ for sure. Ironically this “dickery” is what ruins the trap and with no way out, PJ creates a distraction by setting fire to the place and grabbing a baby. As a young mum rather than a single lady this would provide good cover for a swift exit. Maybe is cool and calm here and almost expressionless in his acts just like the fucking monster he is.
Either that or all the surgery has fucked up his face muscles and he is unable to show anything close to human emotion any more.
Much like Katie Price.
I also noticed that unlike other PJ stories, there are no personal remarks from him throughout this. Is that because he is not in a position to dictate these ramblings at the end of this tale?
The reference to Trump Rd made me shudder.
The art is great here and PJ is a striking woman in Carlos’s hands and that body would have George McFly reaching for the binoculars and Kleenex.
Page 3 has a great panel of the block and cityscape which features some old school style blocks to give a good hit of the nostalgia.
After 42 days the Montgomery gets to Venus, and it is cloaked with camo baffles to hide it from Martian detection.
Skellen has dyed his skin with some eyebrow work done to blend in and the pilot who takes them down is called Shakespeare. Are Venusians getting Earth names like in Alien Nation?
We also get an outline of the situation on the second planet as it seems that the Venusians have been conquered rather than simply exterminated. It is pointed out that because of that occupation, the situation is not quite black and white on Venus. People are doing what they can simply to survive and do not have the option to do it out of malice or loyalty.
Once on the planet the situation turns to custard as the Underground have been killed and an ambush ensues with the shuttle getting blown up.
Skellen is knocked out and dragged off and Ahron and the Visitor are electrocuted.
Well, that escalated quickly and it’s a trip up shit creek for our heroes next time.
The panel layout here as the shuttle separates is amazing, all completed with a gorgeous background of the planet Venus.
Brilliantly, the ship resembles the Planet Of The Apes ship the Icarus and there are some great Dutch angles as the craft descends with some lovely expandable wings.
The blasted Venusian landscapes are gorgeous and the place is so hotly rendered you can almost feel the breath leaving you as our heroes emerge.
The vibrancy of the explosion and the green of the Martian fighting machine cabs clashing with the browns of the Venusian landscape really stand out here and once again this is the best art in the Prog by a country mile.
Now this is really good and a cracking start.
At a birthday party, the young Darlan is questioned by UXB expert Staff Sgt Caxon. It seems he has a bomb in his head and his only hope is the Sgt.
The Mindmines that form the focus of this tale are a very neat concept, being a ticking bomb that will go off eventually and the only way to delay it is to keep the victim in a stable state before they awaken.
The military are being badly stretched by this terrorist action and by the end of this the Sgt is trying to disarm another one when it goes off, almost certainly changing him forever.
The script fizzes along and there was a really nice exchange about the pirates calling themselves the Carasoga.
“Damned if I know.”
Classic. Roll on part two.
MacNeil draws a hell of a thing and I really love the look and feel of the party especially the clown with outlandishly oversized facial features. Again, like Katie Price.
That was also a nice expression on the Sgt on last page as the victim wakes up.
On the planet, Caul has gone all Tarzan and is killing the wildlife to survive. It’s only natural for a man on his own to want to beat his monkey to death.
Luckily in the place where he is hunting, an image of Jess appears before him and this turns out not to be a simian meat induced hallucination but a cunning Alliance trap.
Once captured, Luthra tells Caul that the Hurde and Alliance are now at war, showing him images to hammer the point home and so now we’re watching Caul watch TV too.
She blames Caul for the war starting and then knocks him out before cruelly saying they are going to dissect him.
It is revealed that he has dark matter in his brain and this may be further evidence that Jess is right and that he has a shadow personality to keep him coherent. Sort of like Jimmy Savile, really.
With Luthra now buying that Caul’s actions were set up by the Hurde elite to propagate a war, Sornell is not interested and is pushing for info on the dark matter gates because he is now the man in charge. It is of course moot how and why a brick shithouse with child-like IQ could end up in this position, even if he does breathe with his mouth open or move his lips when he reads. If he reads, that is. It’s possible he never learned how. Regardless throughout all of this he gives the impression of being a disappointed father who has just found out his daughter is dating a goth and this also makes him do an uber scowl like he is Michael Phelps reading the last series of Black Shuck.
Meanwhile the Hurde have invaded Graegan, crashing into the surface.
The art is still ok but Caul joins the glowery club which just seems to now be the default setting for the characters.
A decent enough start, this.
At Jerry Springer Square, a plot by the Citizen’s Alliance to kill unpopular mayoral candidate Carol Smart gets underway and Anderson is tasked with trying to stop it.
It moves along well and though the idea is not very exciting it does have a certain common appeal to it with regard to real world events.
When Smart goes off message, inciting another attack, Anderson gets mad so clearly she’s going to have Smart arrested next prog- that’s it then, story over.
The art is another matter. I do like Dyer’s work but he’s unsuited to this as Anderson looks too young and too mannish and bears an uncanny resemblance to Luke Goss with Guile from Street Fighter 2‘s haircut.
The changes to the uniform are also a little annoying. I’m all for an artist putting a small spin on the art (such as the Haast’s Eagle adorning Dredd’s shoulder when Ian Gibson is in full swing) but too many changes can backfire and take you out of the story.
Here we have the neck ruff like the 2012 movie which is fine but then Dyer draws the gun on the hip too high up, has Anderson’s eagle with a shield on it (which nobody else has) and gives her some weird boots to put on.
There’s also a slight fuck up with the blood splat from Smart’s poster face gone on page 2 but returning later.
What did work though was the panels of Flowers scanning the crowd and ruling out suspects.
Dredd by a radrot infected nose but that 3rillers was damned good.