Cover by Dylan Teague
A rather young looking Dredd fights off a giant biting knob monster. Well we've all had dreams like that. No? Just me then. Dylan Teague resolves the current holster controversy by not drawing one at all, and the uniform is black not blue (which is the right answer btw).
Judge Dredd: Squirm part 3 by Michael Carroll, Nick Dyer, Chris Blythe and Annie Parkhouse.
Dredd uses himself as bait by carrying a cannister of Bulkemup on the back of a very cool looking Lawmaster. He gets the mutant tapeworm to chase him round the block and then dumps the hormone on its tail which it promptly bites down on and dies. How does that work? Did I miss the bit where the techs explained that an overdose of the same hormone that has caused the tapeworm's growth would kill it? Or was the liquid poisoned?
Still it gives us a weird Ouroboros reference and Nick Dyer's Dredd is growing on me, particularly for the excellent McMahon chin at the bottom of page 5. Don't like the thigh strapped holster though and overall this hasn't been a memorable Dredd tale for me.
ABC Warriors: Return to Mars part 11 by Pat Mills, Clint Langley and Annie Parkhouse.
Uncle Pat gives us his views on super-heroes (again), Howard Quartz explains how decapitation will reset Tubal to factory settings, it turns out he was wrong about that (maybe he forgot to click the "are you sure?" button), and Mek-Quake does a very bad thing.
The story is making more sense, but only because its been decompressed out over so many parts. I think this wraps up next issue which is fine by me.
Tharg's 3rillers: After the Vengence by David Baillie, Jon Davis-Hunt, Gary Caldwell and Ellie De Ville.
A bunch of bankers find out what their bonus is going to be, and Lennon sings "Working class hero". The game of thrones continues with another contender murdered off panel. Don't know how this is going to wrap up next time but I'm not really thrilled, or 3rilled, so far.
Future Shocks: The Modular War by Eddie Robson, Robin Smith and Simon Bowland.
I thought this was going to turn out to be some gigantic board game, the 147 module even looks like a piece of Lego. Instead it's the old Total Recall trope about telling someone they are really a super spy only for them to turn out to be the real McCoy and mayhem ensues. Not that there's anyone thing wrong with Future Shocks being derivative, I (ahem) 'borrow' stuff all the time for the silly little stories I write for the 2000AD forums short story competition. Having read a whole book of old Future Shocks recently I can say that this is better than most of them.
Grey Area: Visitation by Dan Abnett, Mark Harrison and Ellie De Ville.
Bulliet's former actions come back to haunt him when an unstoppable, technologically advanced alien breaks into his room to tell him he's a dead man but not yet because it wants to do a bit of monologuing first.
Nice to see something being set up for the future. Presumably what Bulliet should do now is inform his superiors and come up with some kind of diplomatic or millitary response to this threat. I bet he keeps it to himself instead and we have some quick filler story about a new alien race that turn out to be mind altering drugs when you lick them or something.
Harrison's artwork is quite lovely and when you're going to reference other works then make sure to reference the best. Bulliet's apartment looks a lot like Deckard's in Blade Runner to me. I can't find the exact shot I'm looking for but this gives you the idea.
Pick of the Prog is again a tricky one as I'm struggling to be enthusiastic about any of it even though I still get excited when it drops through the letter box. I'm going with Grey Area for Harrison's visuals alone.