Cover by Simon Davis. A wraparound piece of loveliness from Mr Davis. The greens are fantastic and I like the giants in the background. However in the iPad app there is no way of stitching the two pages together which seems like a major problem and one that should be so easy to fix. I want to be able to turn the pad to landscape and see the full cover but at the moment the pages are split at either end of the Prog. Time to reprogram one of the droids, Tharg!
Judge Dredd: Shooters Night part 4 by John Wagner, John McCrea, Chris Blythe and Annie Parkhouse
Wagner wraps up the tale and the full horror of the shooters' conspiracy is realised. McCrea and Blythe do fantastic work with more expert storytelling and I look forward to more from them soon.
Dredd's guilt level continues to grow and grow. He has so much on his conscience by this stage and here he adds to it with the consequences of a single question that he didn't ask. The young Dredd was always convinced of the rightness of his actions but old Joe increasingly questions himself and the system he represents. Can a Judge feel guilt at the same time as determining the guilt or innocence of those they judge? It's an interesting dilemma for a character who was once compared to an emotionless robot. Dredd's 'wool-gathering' moments seem to be all about the decisions he has made in the past. Put him in a straight forward action setting like Matt Smith's "Badge" in the Free Comic Book Day issue, or the night club shooting in the first episode of this story and he is as swift and resolute as ever in his actions. But once he is off the streets and stalking the corridors of the Hall of Justice his mind turns to the past.
Some decisions he can reverse, most notably his stance over the Mutant issue, but he can never go back on his actions in the Apocalypse war, or those during the Day of Chaos, or even his conversation with the psychiatrist in Shooters Night. Joseph Dredd is in a perilous position as he ponders his past and his future. Coming up next is Michael Carroll's heavily trailed Trauma Town which asks whether the toughest law man around is losing his mind. Unusually Wagner seems to have helped set this up with his unrelenting ramping up of the pressure on Dredd.
Last thought: is Hershey suffering from an attack of the Vapors?
Indigo Prime: Perfect Day part 3 by John Smith, Lee Carter and Simon Bowland.
Wikipedia tells me that Indigo Prime has been appearing in the pages of 2000AD since 1988 and that means the appearance of Major Kurtz Arcana pre-dates the Marvel Ultimates version of Nick Fury by 12 years. Still a bit of a jolt to see his scarred and patched bald visage in this story though. I'm not quite sure where this story is going but the visuals are fantastic. As ever 2000AD has to sell pre-existing stories to new readers and there is enough intrigue here to get me on board for more.
Slaine: A Simple Killing part 9 by Pat Mills, Simon Davis and Ellie De Ville
Slaine battles the jolly green giant (are we allowed to say that in a 2000AD review?) while the bad guys discuss their doctoral theses. Strangely the action sequences are rather static with Davis' beautiful images not really conveying a sense of motion as the giant tastes BrainBiter and falls. Still my favourite Slaine story ever but possibly as I have so little to compare it with.
Tharg's 3rillers: Colony part 3 by Kek-W, Vince Locke, Adam Brown and Ellie De Ville
It started as Ivan Denisovich and it finishes as The Thing. Stealing from the best is no sin but their needs to be something original in there as well. This 3riller has been the Prog's dud for the last 3 weeks. Let's see what replaces it.
Outlier part 9 by T.C.Eglington, Karl Richardson and Annie Parkhouse.
It turns out there is something that can slow Caul down, but nothing that can stop the villainy of Ramona. Still bothers me that we've seen no more of Carcer's interesting visual abilities. The art is fine apart from one image of Caul on the second page that looks a bit rushed.
Pick of the Prog is Dredd for raising those questions about the great man's mind.