Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Judge Dredd Megazine 345

A new Dredd storyline, the end of Ordinary and a bombshell in the Anderson story. The latest Megazine keeps up the recent high standard and continues to outpoint the Prog.
Spoilers follow. You have been warned, Citizen!

The cover is a marvellous and moody image by Phil Winslade. I still don't understand how a 70 year old's abs can show through a tight leather jacket but that's comic book art for you. As reported on the Pete Wells block's 2000AD Covers Uncovered site the image may have been reproduced a little dark and his original is better.

Judge Dredd: The Call of K.Cattrall by Arthur Wyatt, Paul Davison, Chris Blythe and Annie Parkhouse.
The Creature from the Black Lagoon, or something very much like it, is stalking Mega-City One, and there's another sexy female Psi Judge to assist Dredd. Either the psychic mutation only manifests in good looking women or they are all using their special abilities to project an image of how they want to look. Along with the ongoing Anderson series and Titan in the prog this is the third current story where Dredd seems to be just a member of the supporting cast. Maybe they don't want to do too much with him until Wagner's Dark Judges story comes along.

Paul Davison's art gives us splendid creatures that reminded me of something from Hellboy's B.P.R.D, although I did get confused as to how Dredd and Zheng could not notice the two killers standing in the corner of the room until I realised the scene had switched to the block hallway. I don't know if Zheng is a new character or someone that we've seen before but this was a promising start.

DeMarco P.I. The Whisper part 3 by Michael Carroll, Steve Yeowell and Ellie De Ville
Possibly the weakest story out of four big hitters but still interesting. There is a bit of confusion with another mutant who looks just like Claude. Put one of them in a jacket or something to help us tell them apart at least. Hopefully this will all be sorted out in the next issue.

Ordinary part 6 by Rob Williams, D’Israeli and HV Derci
It's finished and Brian the Bear is no more. The super powered world story wraps up and the ending has a slightly underwhelming solution but it's been a splendid ride and I'm looking forward to getting this when it is collected in a trade. D'Israeli who rules the roost with his black and white textured art also shows that he can perform miracles with colour. The lighting effects he pulls off in Tara's house are just lovely to behold.

I have my usual slight medical nitpick about the confusion between a virus, a bacterium and antibodies but I'll allow it because Ordinary has been anything but. I'm still cross about the bear though.

Anderson. Psi Division: Dead End part 3 by Alan Grant, Michael Dowling and Simon Bowland.
This one has already been heavily spoiled elsewhere. All I'm going to say about the story is that this is the best thing Alan Grant has done and Tharg needs to get him writing more stuff very soon.

If D'Israeli was performing miracles in Ordinary then I am going to run out of superlatives for Michael Dowling's art. The image of Anderson and Dredd launching their Lawmasters out on to the bad guys' roof is almost worth the price of admission alone. I'd buy that on a print or t-shirt.The colours are muted and lovely, the line work looks like the best European stuff from Heavy Metal, Dredd appears to be carved from granite, and a short haired Anderson looks her age rather than the fanboy pin-up she is so often portrayed as. Sign Grant and Dowling up for another series as soon as possible please.

This is not the most critical bit of criticism you are ever going to read but the standard of the Megazine is just so high at the moment and I'm loving it all. I even read the articles this month. I'm not too bothered by the Robocop piece but the Royals looks interesting and Molch-R's tribute to Jose Ortiz was splendid.

Pick of the Megazine is incredibly difficult but I'm sticking with the cracking Anderson story.

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