An excellent cover by Jon Davis-Hunt, it’s eye-catching with a funny title to boot. I really love the depth that he brings via the shading.
Judge Dredd: Squirm (Part 2)
Dredd interrogates Simon Cowell while his fellow Judges try to come to grips with one of the mutant tape worms…
I’m really enjoying this Fatty-tastic tale by the ever reliable Mike Carroll. After the tense, no-nonsense nature of Titan, this story is welcome sight, also the chance to enjoy a little light hearted fun.
I know not everyone’s a fan of Nick Dyer’s artwork, but I really like it. Sure, you can mention that his bodies don’t look right, or Dredd looks too young, but that is Dyer’s take on the character. Is it really all that different from other artists putting their own stamp on the character? And for me it suits the tone of story which is geared more towards humour. The panels where we see the Judges trying to restrain the mutant tape worm was hilarious. It reminded me of a scene from Hellboy 2 where we see some B.P.R.D agents trying to restrain an angry un-friendly looking creature with comedic results.
ABC Warriors – Return To Mars (Part 10)
Happy Shrapnel A.K.A Tubal Caine comes under attack from Quartz’s robots, and some of the scraps even come alive, chief among them – a big robo wolf. But will Shrapnel hold them off or will they finish him off?
I’m a big fan of Harry Shrapnel/ Tubal Caine and would be mighty pissed if the latter were to happen. But let’s just say he puts his non-violence stance on hold and dishes out one hell of a butt whupping to those unruly robots. Once again, Clint Langley’s artwork is a pleasure to behold. I know this stylistic choice is maybe more to do with the tone of the story, but it’s been great to observe these last few weeks. For instance, that last splash page of Mek-Quake towering over Happy Shrapnel was absolutely fantastic. This is shaping up to be a fun arc and I can’t wait for the next episode.
Tharg’s 3rillers: After The Vengence (Part 1)
It’s a pleasure to see David Baillie back again with a new 3riller. The Ghostship Mathematica was my favourite non-Dredd strip of last year with its Treasure Island crossed with Star Wars vibe, and lovely artwork from Inaki Miranda. But how will this new 3riller fare? Well for one, I enjoyed the set up with London in the grip of anarchy after an attack on Canary Wharf. A gang has formed, known as the Canary Wolves and they rule the streets of the ‘New City’. I had a little smile on my face when I saw their name because it took me back to my boyhood when I used to mispronounce Canary Wharf as Canary Wolf! (my son is still carrying on the tradition, e.g, Cybermen = Cider-men! Weeping Angels = Whoopy Angels and so on).
Jon Davis-Hunt’s artwork is also great to see after his last work a few months back on the (sadly) much derided The Age of the Wolf III. I seemed to have a love hate relationship with his art on that strip, but this is looking much much better. I love his depiction of London in particular with all the graffiti on the walls and so on. Our protagonist, a musician by the name of Lennon Munroe Seeks work for the man behind The Canary Wolves . As a character he doesn’t seem too interesting, even if he does look a little like Robert Downey Jr in a few panels! But I’m very interested to see where the story might take us, can London be free of the colours of Brighton & Hove, and will Lennon lead all the rich folks to freedom? Or does David Baillie have other ideas for us in store? I’m looking forward to the next episode to see how it pans out.
Terror Tales: The Icarus Project
A secretive group of black berets respond to an alarm call from Station X, which is a secret military base. And once there are confronted by some strange goings on.
A really disappointing Terror Tale this. I read it twice to see if I missed something (which I hadn’t) to explain why I didn’t like it, but sadly it just didn’t do it for me. It was also rather confusing especially towards the end. Would it have helped if it was maybe a page longer? Probably. The only saving grace for me was PJ Holden’s excellent artwork, with the sickly green tone giving a sense of the macabre and weird. Such a shame the actual story didn’t measure up. I would also like to say that I know a Terror Tale doesn’t necassarily have to be scary, but what would help is the subject matter and mood. For me the last great Terror Tale I read was by John Smith last year entitled Black Spot (Prog 1801). It was illustrated by the mighty Edmund Bagwell and involved a driver and his companion making a grim discovery on the road. For me it was a creepy little tale packed into a mere few pages. The storytelling was great as was the art and it worked really well. I would love to see a Terror Tale maybe in that mould or set maybe somewhere outside of good Old Blighty, maybe Asia, or South America. There’s a whole wealth of spooky folk tales or unexplained phenomenon in those parts of the world which could be the basis of an unsettling little tale.
Grey Area: Rates Of Exchange (Part 3)
I love Grey Area. I love the premise and I love the characters, and I’ve been enjoying this new series immensely. A large part of it is due to Patrick Goddard’s impressive artwork but Dan Abnett’s writing hasn’t been too bad either even though it’s not been on the same level as say Insurrection or Kingdom. But you could say Grey Area is a little lighter in tone than the aforementioned two. This particular episode we have Bulliet and his agents locked in as the Xenomorphs run rampage – where’s Ripley with that loader and flame thrower when you need her eh?
All in all, a pretty solid Thrill. Next Prog we have the conclusion to Judge Dredd: Squirm and another Future Shock to look forward to.
This review has also been published on ECBT2000AD (Everything Comes Back To 2000AD). A big thanks to Richard!