We come to the final installment before the jump on Prog and we have a terrific cover by Clint Langley to start off this week’s proceedings. Some readers might not be too keen on Quartz’s head obscuring the title (In fact if you squint hard enough you can almost make out Kermit the frog!), nonetheless, I really like it.
Judge Dredd: Fit
Rob Williams and Henry Flint are back on script and art duties for this prologue to Titan. Gerhart hands in his report on Dredd, to Hershey. He has his doubts about Dredd and questions whether he’s fit for duty.
I thought this was a superb prologue, not only does it address the injuries suffered by Dredd on Titan, but it also questions whether he’s still feeling the effects of the savage beatings he took. It’s quite clear that it is impacting on him, and Dredd is human afterall. I doubt any other Judge could return to duty so soon no matter how many sessions in speed-heal. The physical scars may be less prominent, but the psychological scars are harder to erase. And nowhere is this demonstrated better than when we see Dredd in action. First via a flashback, and then using excessive force against some perps and a two-headed mutie . Flint’s artwork is a treat, even if the lack of lower lip for Hershey might be a concern! And yes, Judge Giant is right – the SJS bikes are indeed, sweet.
ABC Warriors: Return to Mars (Part 12)
For this final episode of the series we come back to the present (and Clint Langley’s photoshop style) as Happy Shrapnel and his comrades gather together, planning on the best way to take down Quartz. In the meantime, Blackblood is busy plotting the downfall of his comrades, being the treacherous bastard that he is! It’s all topped off with a superb last page with the ‘Return to Ro-busters!’
This series of A.B.C Warriors has been a blast. I enjoyed every second of it and hope to see its return very soon, especially when you consider that last page!
Tharg’s 3rillers: After The Vengeance (Part 3)
Lennon Munroe breaks down a door made out of digestives (see first panel) and barges in on Barger. And lets just say that this particular Lennon is not your peace loving type! To be honest, I knew there was something fishy about him in the prior episodes, so that twist did not come as a surprise to me. In the end it was a very good 3riller, but not as thrilling as I hoped. The artwork by Jon Davis-Hunt was enjoyable, his use of the innovative panel styling on the opening pages were really excellent. However, I felt the colours (by Gray Caldwell) were too bright and cheery at times, and clashed with the grim setting.
Future Shocks: The Flowers of Viber Hinge
The story is set in a fictional country called Yetzanistan, and it concerns an old man (Hinge) visiting the place. Years back he commited an atrocity by unleashing a deadly bomb on the country’s citizens, turning them into strange tree creatures without the need for food or sleep. Guilt ridden for his actions, he returns to the country to try and make ammends….in his own way of course.
I love Paul Marshall’s black and white artwork here which recalls to mind his excellent work on Samizdat Squad. David Baillie’s story is very reflective, looking at the repurcussions of war and the choices one makes in life. I really enjoyed this tale much more than the closing episode of his 3riller to be honest.
Grey Area: I.D, Please
This was hands down my favourite thrill of the week! It’s like a morning after episode with Bulliett still shaken from last nights visitation from the Arakshu infiltrator.
In the meantime we have an alien parasite passport seeking freedom from its Rithuan host! Their parting is a bittersweet moment with the Rithuan exclaiming “what will I do without you?” “Just be yourself” replies the passport. The characters look like they walked off a Hiyao Miyazaki film, such is their almost childish charm. But on top of all this, Birdy is also suspicious of Bulliett, thinking that he’s interested in Lyra and not her.
Simon Harrison’s artwork suits the story very well. In fact, looking at it I wish we could’ve seen his input much earlier in the series. His crowd scenes are especially a treat (see also Damnation Station). All in all, I loved this series of Grey Area, and hope to see its return later this year.
A solid Prog then, with Grey Area my top thrill followed by Judge Dredd and ABC Warriors. Next week is the jumping on Prog and we hope to see new line ups, what’s got me most excited though is the return of John Wagner and Colin MacNeil on Judge Dredd! So very much looking forward to that.