JUDGE DREDD MEGAZINE #343 | REVIEW

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Cover – This for me, is hands down the best Christmas cover of the past few years. It’s a striking piece of work from Cliff Robinson and Dylan Teague, not to mention wickedly funny aswell. I love the use of colour, not only for the main piece but the design overall.

Judge Dredd: Donner & Blitzin’ – A really entertaining story by Mike Carroll (who seems to be everywhere these days!) and excellent artwork from newcomer Duane Leslie; looking at it you’d never realise that this is his first work for the Megazine. The story revolves around an elderly resident who doesn’t want to leave her block (which is due for demolition) and so the Judges go about looking for any incriminating evidence in her apartment which would mean that she would have to move – and believe me, some of their attempts are pretty desperate! It’s a nice little tale with a festive vibe of course, and it ties in with the recent story in Prog 2014, which I thought was fun. Coming back to the artwork, Duane Leslie’s work is really superb; his character designs are a pleasure to behold, and is complemented perfectly by Eva De La Cruz’s terrific colours. All in all a great effort, and a much better ending than Carroll’s companion piece in the Prog.

DeMarco P.I: The Whisper Part One – Brilliant! I absolutely loved this opening episode to DeMarco’s new story, and again we have Mike Carroll on writing duties alongside Steve Yeowell on art. It’s a pleasure seeing Steve’s work again after his final outing on The Red Seas. His black & white work here is outstanding, with a lot of depth in his panels (something which some thought was missing on the final series of Red Seas).

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I mean just looking at the opening couple of pages, it’s clear what a talent this guy is and the reason why he’s one of my favourite artists. The set up by Carroll was interesting with another visit to MC-2 (which we last visited in Carroll’s own ‘Wolves’ storyline), as DeMarco arrives to investigate some mysterious disappearances. I must confess, I was reading the story late at night and got a little creeped out toward the end esp. when the old lady was talking about ‘The Whisper’! I can’t wait to read the next episode.

Ordinary – More awesome shenanigans and odd goings on as we catch up with our favourite plumber! This time things are getting a little heated up, not only inside the White House, but on the streets too as Mike Fisher gets himself out of one tight spot only to find himself in another as he continues his search for his son. Meanwhile, the only voice of sanity in the White House (Dr. MacDonald) finds herself increasingly isolated as the vice president tries to push her out, with mentions of her own superpowers the nature of which we still don’t know, but it’s clear she’s not too keen on. This is another memorable episode from Rob Williams and the magnificent D’Israeli. I love the two flashback panels which are rendered in a different style to the rest of the strip. With so many stylistic variations under his wing (from Lowlife to Stickleback and now this) one must ask – is there no end to D’Israeli’s talents?

Judge Anderson: Dead End Part One– This too, like the preceding strips, was a real treat. I love Mike Dowling’s fabulous artwork, and to be honest I wish we saw more from him. I like his depiction of Anderson which is very different to Boo Cook’s vision, more grounded shall we say (by the way, I love both variations). I also love Dowling’s depiction of the Mega City, with its multiple skedways and buildings. And his colours are bloody gorgeous, bringing an almost dreamy feel to proceedings.

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Alan Grant’s story is also engaging and affecting, with Anderson finding a school bus full of dead children. And later we see her atop Cypress Hill with a breath-taking view of the city as she contemplates on the insanity of life. This is a really mediative Anderson, and one which I find fascinating. But seeing as Dredd is also present in the story, it’s clear there’ll be some heavy arse kicking later on. I loved this opening episode and can’t wait for the next one.

Features: Two Interrogations –

Simon Harrison – A really indepth look into the art and talent of Simon Harrison. I find his artwork fascinating and really enjoyed this piece by
Matthew Badham.

Guy Davis – I was ecstatic when I saw that Guy Davis was featured in this months Meg – I bloody love his work! There are very few artists who can creep you out with their artwork and Guy is one of them – a true visionary. His work on B.P.R.D was jawdroppingly magnificent, and it was a pleasure to see him team up with Rob Williams for the Meg story ‘Out Law’. I wish we can see him doing another story for the Meg or even Prog, sometime soon. A big thanks to Barry Renshaw and the folks at Judge Dredd Megazine for doing this very special Interrogation. Now, all we need is a Judge Dredd story or Interrogation from Richard Corben and I’ll die happy!

Dreddlines – Great to see the letters back after missing them last month. And what’s even great is seeing my own letter amongst that fabulous lot! I wrote in because I had to defend my beloved Floppy….er, reprint graphic novels that is! For me, a Meg isn’t complete without it. Speaking of which, this months Floppy – DeMarco P.I Volume 1 – was a real treat! Alongside the main character, I also loved her Brit-centric Gorilla sidekick, Perkins. Which makes his absence in the main story that much sadder…..

In conclusion, an outstanding Meg this month.

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