A nice cover by I.N.J Culbard, love the colour work on it. Very nice!
Judge Dredd (New Tricks Part 3) was a great read. I’m really enjoying this Dredd story thanks to Mike Carroll’s excellent script and Paul Davidson’s outstanding artwork. I love Pax’s thoughts that we see as text beside the panels, that’s a great idea giving us the chance to delve into the thoughts of a Judge. The underground setting works a treat, It got me going all nostalgic for films like Escape from New York for some reason! No doubt the post apocalyptic, run down New York in the bowels of another city, a factor (now, if only an Ernest Borgnine lookalike were to turn up in the next issue, I would die happy!). We also got a glimpse of the elusive and near mythical Goblin King, albeit in shadow. That was a great moment, as was that revelation at the end about the terrifying weaponary at the Goblin King’s disposal. Yikes!
Brass Sun (The Diamond Age Part 3) was also coming along nicely. Some taut action involving the bloke with the pony tail’s escape from the Scythe. There was some truly awesome visuals on show from Culbard, not least Mr. Ponytail hanging on for dear life from the window ledge with some fine plantlife and building decor to admire too! Ian Edington’s script is cracking along at a nice pace, there’s thrills and intrigue aplenty, and I loved that dressing down from Mr. Ponytail to Froddo Baggins (sorry, I’m really crap with names!).
Flesh (Badlanders Part 3) was…okay. It hasn’t really got my attention like the other strips. Not because of James McKay’s artwork, as I really like it, probably more to do with an uninteresting story, a story which has yet to really grab me. But I find that happening with a lot of Pat Mills’ stuff, I didn’t particularly enjoy Savage (Rise like Lions) or A.B.C Warriors (Return to Earth) at first but really got into them as the stories progressed, so there’s still time. McKay’s artwork is really great this issue, especially the panel with the Dino-men morphing into… well, men.
That was a surprise! Or that four panel showing a giant frog catching food as the characters converse. There’s a really Southern feel to the strip, evoking films set in the deep south such as Southern Comfort or Deliverance.
Aquila (Where All Roads Lead Part 2) was really superb this week. Patrick Goddard’s artwork coupled with Gary Caldwell’s colours was an absolute treat to behold. The opening few panels of blood spurting mayhem was excellent, as were those panels of the freaky woman in white fluttering like an apparition along the rooftops. Also the last panel of the wolf, which brought back memories of the history lessons I used to take as a young ‘un at school. In particular the story of Romulus and Remus and the mother wolf who reared them. Gordon Rennie’s script is really engaging with a lot of mythical references which I love.
Now Damnation Station (Darkness at the Break of Noon) was awesome! We should probably get more one-off’s like this as I really enjoyed it. And what was even better was seeing one of my childhood idols, Sean Connery in the main role! Woohoo! Whoever thought that up deserves a medal from Tharg! As for the story, it was a really engaging one as we see a man of the cloth (Connery) trying to come to terms with past mistakes, mistakes which have cost lives. There was almost a sad, tragic feel to it, with the protagonist talking about the absence of stars in space. An empty space without stars is a frightful vision indeed, showing perhaps that the light, or rather God has left him. And his only solace is to embrace the empty blackness, as the burden he carries weighs too heavy. Again Mark Harrison’s artwork is excellent here, I love the technique he uses, it feels like a melding of two different styles. Al Ewing’s script for this particular story is superb, less on the funny and more on the mediative.
An excellent prog overall!