JUDGE DREDD MEGAZINE #339 REVIEW

JUDGE DREDD MEGAZINE #339 REVIEW

This was one of the few, if not the only time that I read the Meg first instead of the prog, part of the reason being the high praise from readers on the 2000AD forum. And I must say it was an absolute blast! The absence of American Reaper has done wonders in my view, it gives other writers/ artists to take its place and create stories more worthwhile in my opinion. It may sound pretty hard on American Reaper and don’t get me wrong, it did have its moments but I felt it outstayed its welcome by one too many episodes.

Coming back to this months Meg, let me first start off by saying that the Dan Francisco cover was very well done by Paul Marshall. It was maybe a bit too bright for my tastes but it was eye-cathing, with some great visuals on show. Imagine if this was a 3D/ lenticular cover like Empire Magazine are known for, we would have one hell of a cover with all the broken glass coming straight at you!

As for the contents, Judge Dredd: Nurture was up first, illustrated by the excellent P.J Holden and scripted by Rob Williams. It was a really enjoyable read with some memorable moments. One of those being the opening montage scene, with so much happening. It was a visceral opener, Holden’s rendering of the surroundings with graffiti applenty and watching bystanders (one with a placard saying ” Will over eat for food”!) was brilliant. It called to mind the scene in Blade Runner when Deckard chases Zhora through the neon lit, male Nun/ Hare Krishna populated streets of Los Angeles. The ‘heat seaker’ incident was so much fun, not least for the fact it starts off a chain of events which will probably have grim repurcussions for some of the Judges, especially for chief Judge Hershey. So an excellent strip, I can’t wait to read the next episode.

Interrogations was up next, with Steve Bisette under the spotlight. It was an informative read and I quite enjoyed it. It was great reading about Bisette’s views and the accompanying panels were great fun, especially the shot of the Swamp Thing and Man Thing together, like two best pals! Following that we had Comicana: Thirty Years of Slaine by David Baillie. Like the preceding article It was an insightful read, with a look into one of 2000AD’s most celebrated character and his illustrious history, and some views from Pat Mills and co. I’m not familiar with Slaine being a fairly new reader, but that is something I hope to rectify.

Tales from the Black Museum which followed was a lot of fun. The story by Alec Worley was laugh out loud funny at times (especially when we find out the main character hails from ‘Victoria Beckham’ block!), but a little sad toward the end too when we see the lengths somone would go to to stay healthy, or unhealthy in the case of the ‘fatties’. It also served as a stark reminder where our own society is heading towards. The black and white artwork by Joe Carpenter was outstanding, I loved it!

Next up was The Steet of Dan Francisco Part Five, it was the last epiode and what a thrilling action packed end it was too. Dan Francisco has matured as a character with stark reminder of the the depths the city and its inhabitants have plunged to. At least that was my feeling and the absence of a camera in the last panel illustrates that. I thoroughly enjoyed this series, thanks to Arthur Wyatts excellent script and Paul Marshall’s fabulous artwork, I hope we will see Dan Francisco back again in the near future.

Future Shocks: Multiplicity was also enjoyable albeit a little…well head trippy! I think I’ll have to read it again to fully grasp what’s going on. Nonetheless Henry Flint’s artwork was a welcome sight. The style, including the black and white tone reminded me of his work on ABC Warriors (which is some of his best stuff in my opinion). Dead Man Talking; David Baillie’s short story I have yet to read but will do so soon. And Insurrection III was excellent, with some pulse pounding action and twists. Colin MacNeil’s artwork is truly awesome and the last page in particular was fantastic.

The advert for the Dredd comic sequel coming up next Meg got me salivating! Not only for the fact it’s set in the same universe as the movie but I loved Henry Flint’s work on the prequel story in Meg 328, so I can’t wait to see him back on art duties again. Add to that Rob Morrison and D’Israeli’s ‘Ordinary’ and we might have a blockbuster Meg on our hands next month! I cannot wait……

The floppy: Black Siddha was a lot of fun too. I wasn’t to wowed by it at first, but Pat Mills’ fun script and Simon Davies’ excellent artwork soon changed all that. And it was nice to see a story centred around Asian characters, with a different set of cultural god’s and monster’s on show, not to mention a reluctant hero in Govinda. His encounter with his reincarnated friend/dog was very funny. It seems like this is just the beginning of the story, was it cancelled or is awaiting a new series? Because on this evidence I wouldn’t mind seeing what happens next. The short Judge Dredd story at the end was very good too, but the thing that got me really excited was seeing the return of cabbie Tanner in next months floppy with ‘Beyond Zero’!

So a magnificent package overall. Meg 400 cannot come soon enough for me.

5/5

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