It's the 37th birthday issue of the Galaxy's greatest comic.
Cover is by Cliff Robinson and Dylan Teague and it looks lovely but it just doesn't do it for me as a birthday cover. Let's be honest, we demand a lot of Tharg when it comes to commissioning the Christmas and birthday covers but compare this with Bolland's iconic Dredd from last year (ignoring that his gloves have fingernails for a moment), or with Chris Weston's fabulous poster image on the 35th birthday cover, and this one just doesn't stand out. At least you can see the title clearly which should please Flint but apart from that I don't think I will be able to remember this image in a year's time.
Judge Dredd: Squirm part 1 by Michael Carroll, Nick Dyer, Chris Blythe and Annie Parkhouse.
The iconic diner from Hopper's Nighthawks shows up again, I think we've previously seen it in the Pit or Day of Chaos. Apart from that I can't find anything to stand out in this story. Nick Dyer has a nice cartoon style that suits a Future Shock but doesn't seem right for Dredd after 8 issues of Henry Flint. To give Dyer credit he does draw a cool looking Lawmaster. We get another variant on the beastie from Alien and it's all a big Meh for me.
Then there's a full page ad for Meg 345 (which is a much better comic at the moment).
ABC Warriors: Return to Mars part 9 by Pat Mills, Clint Langley and Annie Parkhouse.
There's a good reason why Langley is using a different illustration style for each issue at the moment, but I have no idea what it is. Still all the old favourites are here and there are nods to every toy robot you can currently find on eBay for silly money. Next issue they're going to play Scrapheap Challenge, so we may even get Kryten.
Grey Area: Rates of Exchange part 2 by Dan Abnett, Patrick Goddard, Abigail Ryder and Ellie De Ville
Did I mention the beasties from Alien yet? After the chest burster sequence in Dredd here we get the sequel with space marines from Aliens who pause at an improbable moment for an improbable kiss. The basic concept for a Grey Area story seems to be new alien life form shows up and there's some crucial piece of information that the ETC clearly should know but has somehow passed them by. Funny japes ensue. Deadly alien eggs used as currency? Yeah, right. Maybe a longer story would make this series grow on me more than these shorter mishaps. Looks lovely but I would rather see Goddard drawing Savage than this.
Future Shocks: Immunity by Eddie Robson, John Burns and Ellie De Ville
Well at least it's not just the ETC in Grey Area who don't do their research properly. Apparently it's a common problem on other planets as well. I guess that diplomatic agreements are like iTunes terms of service: nobody ever reads them.
Strontium Dog: Dogs of War part 10 by John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra and Simon Bowland.
This one goes "VADOOOOOOOMM!" and we find out what Johnny keeps in his helmet (Ooh err, Missus). Ezquerra looks as good as ever and this is not clearly not the last episode of Strontium Dog but I'm glad it's going away for a rest.
Pick of the Prog is Megazine 345. Really, go read that instead.