Okay, it was rushed because of the fiasco with Frank Miller but come on - this cover is bad! If I didn't buy this magazine each month and I saw it on the shelves in my local newsagent; on the shelves it would stay. It just doesn't jump out and say &quit;Buy me". 2000 AD gets covers out each week and they often look great, yet the Megazine couldn't comission a good one within a month?
Judge Dredd: Ten Years - After the fantastic Dead Ringer series we're given a not-bad single episode story of a mutant boy and his mother, suffering under Mega City One's opressive anti-mutant laws. Great story, letting us see a little of Dredd's compassionate side as he allows the monther and her son to flee the city unharmed. He knows she's not coming back to the city yet still he decides not to go after them, instead ordering her to be sentenced if she was found back in the city.
I don't like the artwork though. It's detailed but the way its painted looks wrong. Some of the colouring is too bright, other times things have been added afterwards that really look out of place. Why use red for the badge and eagle detail? It just doesn't work, which is a shame because there are some excellent monochrome frames which look fabulous.
Demarco P.I., part 1 - This episode reminds me greatly of the recent Armitage series. It's got gansters (or potential gangsters anyway - they're not proven) and a heavy amount of intrigue. I'm hooked straight away - the story is well written and the characters are believeable. However, I do have one problem with it: after the anti-mutant Dredd story it's difficult to believe that a gorilla would be able to wander the streets of Mega City 1 and not get picked up by the Judges.
The artwork is great. Although there's not all that much detail, heavy black shadows are used to great effect in creating a very enjoyable, film noir atmosphere that suits the story more than heavy detail would. That said, there is a lot of line work in some of the backgrounds - the rooftop scene where Demarco is talking to Judge Blocker especially - which gives the impression of depth, distance and detail. Pages 1 and 7 both feature breathtaking scenes showing the height of Mega City 1's starscrapers. It's wonderful.
Judge Dredd: Snowstorm - 2000 AD just finished a mini-series Dredd story in a bar, where I'm pretty sure someone was drinking alcohol; yet here we find sugar is illegal. This just goes to show how odd some of Mega City 1's laws are. Despite this oddity, Snowstorm is a pretty good story. The 'Snowmen' are believeable dealers and there's a bit of humour in here too. Enjoyable. However, the ending spoils the whole thing - the story stops abruptly, as if the writer just thought "Oh, I can't be bothered writing more of this" and left it as a one-parter instead of stringing it out and letting us see the judges clearing the 'snow' from the streets. Could have been done a lot better.
The artwork is good, too. The characters are well drawn and well painted, with a lot of attention to detail. The judges' uniforms actually look like they're made of coloured leather; instead of lycra and suchlike, as they tend to a lot of the time. Dredd looks the right age for a change, too.
Strontium Dog: Death's Head, parts 1 and 2 - I love this! It's fast paced and has depth, too. The bit about someone giving someone else their arms was somewhat odd, but other than that it's great. We get to see yet more background to Johnny's world and see just how badly mutants are treated there ("Even der law mock der mutants!" says Wulf in the same frame that we see mutants are made to stay in special 'mutels' and must obey a curfew).
The artwork is fantastic, with magnificant attention to detail and some brilliant architecture (possibly inspired by the 'melted' look of some buildings in Barcelona? I don't remember the name of the architect who designed those but some of the buildings in this strip remind me of those real world ones). Everything looks great in this strip and it really adds to the story, giving it a feel of being a dirty place which makes it all the more realistic.
Nob T Mouse
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