A superb cover by Fay Dalton. Very reminiscent of spy/action movie posters. I think the cover would’ve looked better without the Reaper file art at the bottom, it takes some of the coolness away from the main picture. But thats just my view of course.
Judge Dredd – Shotgun by Mike Carroll (script) John Burns (art) and Annie Parkhouse (letters)
John Burns is fast becoming one of my favourite artists on 2000AD/ Judge Dredd Megazine. His linework and watercolour technique is so darn beautiful – not to mention very special aswell. The story by Mike Carroll was a nice one too involving a bank robbery by a woman who’s seemingly at the end of her tethers in terms of financial hardship and having to support her family after the Chaos bug devestation. The story had a nice twist at the end which I genuinely did not see coming.
Bob Byrne’s Twisted Tales
This Twisted Tale from Byrne’s was absolutely brilliant! Wordless yet articulate thanks to Byrne’s superbly illustrated panels; it involves a convict and a teddy bear and their relationship in the face of oppression from the prison doctors and guards. It was both funny and heart warming, one of the best of the Twisted Tales up till now and the highlight of this months Megazine in my view.
The Streets Of Dan Fransico Part One by Arthur Wyatt (Script), Paul Marshall (Art), Chris Bythe (Colours) and Elle De Ville (Letters)
I’m only a little familar with the character of Dan Fransico. I think i encountered him last in the ‘Mega City Justice’ TPB. He’s a very interesting character though and this new series was a great read, as our vid-star Judge goes back on the streets to dish out justice – live. He comes up against looters and juves – but its clear later on that that’s half the problem because the ‘Dune Sharks’ have come-a-calling.
I really enjoyed this opening story, sure it’s only getting started but I feel its been set up pretty well. And the artwork by Paul Marshall is just plain awesome – especially the double page spread at the start. That was…something. In fact if I hadn’t of turned the page over when I did i’m pretty certain my eyes would have leapt out of their sockets! Superb stuff.
American Reaper II Part Four by Pat Mills (Script), Clint Langley & Fay Dalton (Art)
I’ve been a fan of American Reaper since the start of the series, i’ve found it exciting and the premise was very interesting. Hell I even thought the artwork was cool, something different at least. But reading this months instalment…it just lost me a couple of pages in. Yes it was bloody boring, I’m sorry to say, but thankfully the Reaper File which followed was anything but. Although brief at a mere two pages it was beautifully illustrated by Fay Dalton. Absolutely mesmerising to say the least. And a very enjoyable short story or case file to boot. Those two pages were better than the whole of the eight pages which preceeded it in my opinon.
Insurrection III Part Two by Dan Abnett (script), Colin MacNeil (Art), Jean-Paul Bove (Greytone) and Simon Bowland (Letters)
A lot of discussion on the 2000ad forum regarding the change in style of the artwork. While I am a massive fan of MacNeil’s ‘soft style’ I also love his ‘normal’ stuff too (by ‘normal’ I mean extraordinary; Colin MacNeil’s art is still special no matter what technique is used). My qualm was the fact the stylistic change took place mid-story and also that i missed the ‘dreamy’ feel of the opening episode (I described it as if ‘my soul had ascended to Zarjaz heaven’ in my review for it!) but since Colin so kindly took the time to address the reasons for his change on the forum, I will not delve on the matter any further.
The story was very exciting, akin to a storm after the relative calmness of the first episode. MacNeil’s gorgeous black and white artwork helped to convey a sense of high octane drama in the midst of war. It was also quite astonishing to see how effective the explosion scenes were without colour and the last panel/page was excellent. Great stuff.
As for the features; Interrogation was a joy to read because our interviewee was none other than Paul Marshall. It was great to learn about his influences and his love of other comic strips. Some of Marshall’s work on show was a pleasure to see. Going Wheely (Part Two) – the short story by T.C Eglington was also an enjoyable read.
So all in all a really fun Meg – Twisted Tales and Judge Dredd being my favourite, but the others also being very good. I’ve yet to read the floppy (Downlode Tales Vol. 3), so I’ll forward my thoughts on it later.