This week's Prog 1859, can be summed up pretty quickly:
Good second episode. Dredd's face looks a bit weird in some panels and he gets disarmed too easily, but I'm looking forward to seeing how this wraps up.
If you have read any Ray Bradbury story ever then you know how this one is going to end. It's no coincidence that the kid is called Troy. Lovely art by Nick Dyer though.
It's capture time in the continuing cycle of events for Wren and the other two whose names I keep forgetting. Looks very pretty.
Now the art is going off the rails as well as the script. And the Dinosaur rampage is really being dragged out.
Starting to get into this now, even if this episode is in Spanish. Pick of the prog this week.
However, this was a Megazine week so let's look at that in more detail.
Cover by Colin Macneil.
Beautiful image. 2000AD has always done future war and made it look weird and terrifying at the same time. This image is no exception. The razor wire gives it a world war one feel which is very appropriate for a comic published in November.
Judge Dredd: Duty Calls by Alec Worley, Ben Willsher, Gary Caldwell and Annie Parkhouse.
I love Willsher's kinetic artwork on Dredd. It helps to know that he is such a fan-boy himself and the photo of him getting a book signed by Ron Smith at the Free Comic book day event in May was a lovely thing to see. The story about a rogue sniper is a pretty good one, and it gives us a chance to see more filed teeth cannibals roaming the ruins of Mega-City One. The final image also takes us right back to Dredd's very first appearance in Prog 2. Classic stuff
Insurrection part nine by Dan Abnett, Colin Macneil, John-Paul Bove and Simon Bowland
Atmospheric black and white artwork, an army unit betrayed by their command, and terrible scenes of battlefield desolation. All this and an enhanced talking gorilla in battle armour, how can you go wrong? The first volume of Insurrection came out while 2000AD and I were on a trial separation so I missed it completely and the trade paperback is now out of print. I'm going to have to track down a copy to go along with this final chapter because this has been fantastic. And it really feels like a powerful anti-war story that reminded me of the last episode of Blackadder.
Ordinary by Rob Williams, D'Israeli and HV Derci
Another thing you can rely on 2000AD for is super-powers with a twist. Here we have a world falling apart as everybody suddenly acquires special abilities, everyone apart from one ordinary plumber who incidentally looks rather like the artist D'Israeli. Rob Williams is perfect at capturing that streak of dark comedy that 2000AD has always done so well. His Low Life stories were great and this is shaping up to be another great story. Having Michael the plumber trying to get across New York to reach his son allows D'Israeli to fill the background with all manner of strange super powered characters, the vast majority of them are just throwaway gags but it's all beautifully done with his trademark detail. It's unusual to see D'Israeli colouring his own work, I'm more used to his black and white stuff in the prog, but here his colouring just leaps off the page and reminded me of the great work he did on Scarlet Traces.
Dredd: Underbelly part three by Arthur Wyatt, Henry Flint, Chris Blythe and Ellie De Ville
The comic sequel to the Dredd movie concludes and left me strangely unmoved. Flint's art is great and the two page spread showing the Judges moving through the drug factory is fantastic, but I'd rather have him drawing regular Judge Dredd. I expected this story would be more about Anderson but she just popped up for a couple of cameos. It also seems strange that they chose to do another drug bust story for the sequel, there was the new angle with mutant trafficking but I would have thought they could have chosen a different aspect of Mega-City crime for the sequel. I am left feeling underwhelmed which is a shame as the rest of the Megazine has been great.
Lobster Random: Tooth and Claw by Simon Spurrier, Carl Critchlow and Ellie De Ville.
So there was a long period when I wasn't buying any comics at all. I know, what was wrong with me? So here is another story that first appeared in the Prog while I wasn't looking. Normally these floppy collections that come with the Megazine don't really interest me but this was great fun. Spurrier is clearly a very clever writer and while I found his Simping Detective quite hard work Lobster Random is a terrific creation. A grouchy old man with "anger management issues, surgically bonded Lobster claws, an inability to sleep or feel pain, and a sexual attraction to pieces of intelligent machinery". Add to this Carl Critchlow's weird science fiction art and you have something with a European comics feel that looks like it came from Heavy Metal magazine. Splendid.
Pick of the Meg is a really tough call but I'm going with Insurrection.