1995. I’m sure there was a Dredd film released that year. Luckily we have Prog 1995 to make us forget that travesty. Here’s Orlok to explain why…
Hmmm. I didn’t really like it. Not that the art is bad or anything, it’s just bland subject matter because for the second time this month we get the same pose of Anderson with gun in hand and finger to temple and that’s a problem. Added to this is the fact that she looks about 25 instead of her actual 58 years and that she also has a dumb look in her eyes that I haven’t seen since the pages of Razzle in 1985.
It isn’t all bad news, though. There’s no logo coverage, the tagline is nice and the gun and sighting is well done.
I just wish that JDH was given something to really stretch his ability and surprise the bejeezus out of us.
Inside Yewtree Tharg tells us about Dredd Year 2 which looks good and I’m getting that shit ordered right now.
At the Drekklands club, PJ appears and wows one or two guests with his “Femtastic” looks.
You gotta hand it to him, he really does make a striking woman. The only time I ever cross dressed I looked like a gorilla prostitute that not even David Blunkett’s dog would take a shine to.
There’s a wonderfully mostly silent and chilling scene here as PJ coolly and calmly poisons the entire club, locking the doors on his way out. He is utterly expressionless throughout and even a brief altercation with a bouncer yields nothing in the way of emotion.
This is his last warning for Dredd to back off and the death of 209 innocents is nothing but a means to that end. It is hard to reconcile the image of the much loved and caring Byron Ambrose with this ruthless and almost unhinged PJ.
Duly warned that PJ “knows how to hurt him”, Dredd once again weighs this in the balance and wants to make PJ come to him by making himself the target. To do this he again pushes the reward money and gives the impression that Ciudad Barranquilla is co-operating in shutting down the route for PJ’s ill-gotten gains. The truth is that the Banana City boys are still obstructing and even a Mega City operative there has hit a brick wall. Nobody tell Gordon Rennie.
This cred blocking presents a time critical challenge to our psychopath and he responds as only he can.
There was a nice scene in here as Dredd is grilled by the press about his personal failure in the Maybe case. It is pointed out that under his supposed investigative lead, PJ has killed many and continues to be at large.
Dredd takes this on the big chin and counters that he personally pushed for PJ’s execution and the decision that overturned this caused the current mess. Not him. No sir.
It is also cleverly revealed that PJ is in a Mopad and is therefore mobile so they will have a hard time pinning him down.
The next Prog promises Murder Quite Nicely so will we see PJ go after Mrs Gunderson or Walter? Are they big enough fish for him to fry?
The art is gruesome here and there is even a couple of circle panels (sort of) of the dying and terrified faces within the club gasping their last.
The panel of the carnage within and the bodies piled almost to chest height were disturbing and there was also a disgusting piece of PJ ass crack to behold.
Ban this filth.
Escaping the cells our heroes head to the war machine bay and he we get some very smart and intelligent writing as Ahron is angered that his people are cowards and traitors that have looked the other way as the Martians have continued their conquest, crushing anyone who opposes them. It takes Ikyarus to tell him that this is not the case and that they are surviving by any means. As he succinctly puts it, “dead heroes don’t feed their children”. There are some brutal parallels there to the modern world where not everything is so clear and divisions are often painted in shades of grey.
And then they are out, ripping through all resistance in brutal fashion.
Before the shield comes down, Ahron destroys the war machines in the bay reasoning that each one dealt with now is one less to face later. That’s really good tactical thinking and it makes me wonder if there is far more to him than meets the eye.
It also made me chuckle to see the Martian aerial units attack vanquished by a flung cow which I haven’t seen since some dirty French taunters pelted our beloved King Arthur with one in 932.
The art is glorious and we get a look at some lovely Martian hardware including the war machine bay and the force field technology. There are also some great images of light flooding into the breached war machine bay and the lightplay here is just amazing to behold.
This is topped off by a superb last panel of the cab blasting out of the Venusian city.
Caxon has been captured and has a gun to his head with a wry smile on his lips. In a lovely twist he reveals that he’s attached a bomb to the minds of the pirates and it is ticking. He has thus beaten them at their own game and they are decidedly unhappy at this news. With but one hour to make up their minds, the price for survival is to disarm the bomb in his head first.
Smartly there is yet another twist and the implant goes off killing Caxon and taking the pirates down with it. It appears that the military not only used him as bait (which is what I would have done too) but also employed him as a weapon too (which is a step too far even for the likes of me).
There is a further twist to come since pieces of Caxon’s mind have fragmented into the pirates and when they awake he has command of them. Angered at the betrayal he guns down the Ruperts and now is going to wage his own war with an army under his control. The galaxy has changed on a single decision and that is good, intelligent sci-fi writing.
I know in my heart that there will be people who will say “I don’t get it” but the trick to understanding it is to have an IQ that is greater than that of a pieced of boiled broccoli or a 9/11 Truther (delete as applicable). Give that a shot.
Well there was just some great MacNeil art here, the standouts being the look of the officers who show up in pristine field kit like they are conducting an audit with their rather brilliant camo hats. Also the fantastic silhouette work as everyone drops and the POV pulls away was brilliant.
The art is less scolwy this week and Richardson does pull of some nice snippets of intergalactic warfare.
The last panel especially is a cracker, showing Carcer as every inch the galactic despot.
We have the most exciting and enthralling instalment in the strip’s history but it is still pretty dull.
Luthra explains what everyone already knows, Sornell is a cunt who thinks nothing of sacrificing lives to win. Sornell therefore allows Luthra to disgrace herself and put her plan into operation sub rosa and this she does, bundling Jess and Caul onto a captured Hurde ship. A brief allowed escape later and they are on the way. I’m guessing that Sornell has allowed this to happen for another reason but that is yet to be determined.
Meanwhile Carcer has surrendered a vessel in an assault and wants to have a face to face with Sornell.
Do we even care why at this point?
We get a slight diversion here as Anderson gets a psi flash and that gives the perp a chance to escape. The clue is that the perp is a former inmate who has pulled a magnificent switcheroo somehow and allowed a poor bastard to take his place. This isn’t the first time we have seen this trick, of course, so it is feasible.
This perp then grabs a couple of Judges, forcing one to shoot the other and then accompany him on his mission.
And the young girl in the flash has to have been Smart who was involved in a double homicide over 20 years ago, so why Anderson isn’t immediately on the comm to Flowers and Smart is completely beyond me. If this little girl turns out not to be Smart (and therefore it is not her brother gunning for her) then I’ll eat humble pie.
I’m still not taking to the art as Anderson looks like a Goss brother that has had some work done in all but a few panels and the tech and look of everything seems very 20th century rather than 22nd. That can jar the story somewhat.
The perspective shot of the hand on page 2 doesn’t really work, though it was a brave attempt at something different and I have no idea why there was a massive shadow across the panel before this one. I can speculate that it was a rush job but that’s unfair. I can only say that it didn’t do the art any favours.
What did work was the nice shot of the cubes complete with internal antics and graffiti.
Dredd was pretty horrific seeing as nightclub massacres are still fresh in the mind but I’m giving the top spot to the 3rillers which was a great tale supported (but not overpowered by) the great art.