JUDGE DREDD MEGAZINE #341 REVIEW

JUDGE DREDD MEGAZINE #341 REVIEW

So another month and another cracking Meg. Lets begin with the cover, a little on the saucy side perhaps but I’m not complaining! Alex Ronald (who’s name I’ve not seen before in the Meg) does a really nice job here. The grey tone in the background – Dredd included – and the more colour-centric shot of the explosion and the naughty nun in the foreground, works really well.

Judge Dredd: Fifty Shades of Crime by Rob Morrison and Patrick Goddard, was very enjoyable. I also loved the colours by Peter Doherty which rendered the strip very eye-catching. The title and indeed the story is an obvious riff on ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ (perhaps that’s why there was a lot of grey shades on the cover!), I haven’t read the novel and to be honest, couldn’t be arsed to even if I had the chance. But the lack of knowledge on the book did not detract my enjoyment of the strip. I loved Goddard’s artwork here, I’m more accustomed to seeing his black and white work but here, even his colour work looks great (as does it too in his work on Aquila for the prog at the moment). Overall it was a fun little story with some saucy shenanigans thrown in for good measure!

Next was a prologue story to the Dept. Of Monsterology by Gordon Rennie and P.J Holden, with lettering by Jim Campbell. #1 of the comic is out right now, and judging by the spectacular work on show in this teaser, I best get myself a copy before it all goes! P.J’s artwork here is simply exquisite; his double page splashes in particular nearly had me salivating! It’s not hard to see why he is one of the most exciting artists working in comics (and 2000ad) right now.

Insurrection III Part Eight was up next and I must say, the opening pages just left my jaw hanging in disbelief – not only at the shocking development in the story but Colin MacNeil’s masterful artwork. The second page in particular is just a work of breath-taking beauty, and art. It’s Terrence Malick and Michaelangelo rolled into.

There’s almost a poetic resonance to that splash page, both for the depiction and what it entails. There’s a feeling of despair and betrayal towards the end from the gruddamn Judges, Dan Abnett’s excellent script has kept me intrigued throughout this series and it’ll be a big drokking shame to see this excellent story end next month.

The awesome Ordinary is next and another enjoyable treat of an episode it is too. If the Meg was a Cadburys Cream Egg, then Ordinary would be the delicious cream at the centre! (in fact the strip is right in the middle of the Meg!) Our protagonist, plumber Michael Fisher continues to watch as everything around him goes as mad as a hatter! Not only is he worried about the safety of his kid but Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle D also make an appearance. My favourite moment is when we see Michael in the pub and his friend who’s turned into a big Black Bear walks in.
Ordinary2
The conversation which follows is really funny. I love some of the powers that the people start to exhibit, esp. in the case of the President when his private thoughts start materialising as thought bubbles! That was bloody hilarious. There’s so much stuff happening in this strip, Rob Williams script is really fun and D’Israeli’s brilliant artwork almost pops off the page. Take my word for it, Ordinary is frikkin’ Extra-ordinary, and I bloody love it!

Dreddlines is up next and hold on, what’s this? A letter by none other than myself to start off proceedings it seems? The pun-tastic header ‘Burger Off’ is a little ‘cheesy’ but I like it! Thank you Dreddlines! I enjoyed the other letters, and I wholly agree with Matt Badham; you guys do an excellent job and to call it all ‘fillers’ is utter nonsense and rude. I love the interviews in the Meg and the other features, that is why I love the Meg in the first place aswell as the strips. So well done to all you guys.

Patrick Goddard’s Interrogation by David Baillie which followed was very insightful. I’ve been wanting to see Goddard interviewed for a long time ever since I fell in love with his artwork in Savage. And his recent work in this very Meg and Aquila is outstanding, long may his presence in the Meg and prog continue.

Last but not least, Dredd: Underbelly Part Two, which was another exciting episode. Dredd is starting to go deeper into dangerous territory as he tries to bring the slavers to justice, but it’s not all plain sailing. Henry Flint’s artwork is excellent here, but I must say his style is starting to look more ‘jagged’ than some of his prior work, or even the prequel Ma-Ma story last year. Honestly if you compare both there’s a considerable difference in the style although both are set in the same world – regardless of the change of Dredd’s chin. But that is a small niggle, I’m still enjoying it. Page 3 with the shot of the city’s red light district was really great, with its neon lights and wet walkways – very dystopian in a Blade Runner fashion which I love. Page 7 and the the middle panel is also a standout, as we see two things happening at once; Dredd approaching and the creep trying to escape, the box of turds was a nice idea too! And a nice shot of Anderson to cap things off.

So a magnificent Meg overall. I cannot fault any of the strips at all, all of them are really enjoyable from Judge Dredd to, er Dredd! The standout though has to be Ordinary and Insurrection. Great stuff.

The floppy Detonator X was also great fun. Those who’ve watched the recent Pacific Rim movie will no doubt see a few similarities (although Edginton’s story was done earlier, no doubt inspired by Godzilla and others). Steve Yeowell’s colour artwork was great, I’m a big fan of his work. Talking of Ian Edginton and Steve Yeowell, I would love to see their other work Red Seas getting reprinted, hopefully as floppies? I know it’ll probably come to a lot of floppies due to the length, but I’m desperate to read the first few series which I missed as I new reader jumping on. It’ll be a big shame if we never see them re-printed. Detonator X was a fine romp, my favourite moment was when the posh martian colonists eat a ‘shit-cake’ unknowingly! The look on their faces when they realise was hilarious; Edginton sure has a wicked sense of humour!

Judge Dredd Megazine – 5/5
Detonator X – 4/5

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